chicafrom3: photo of the TARDIS (m: b&tb: reading rocks)
So I went and saw the live-action Beauty And The Beast today!

The original Disney B&TB is an important movie to me. Belle was my favorite Disney princess growing up (for predictable reasons...she's a bookworm like meeee and most of fandom). The main reason I continue watching Once Upon A Time even though it's gone drastically downhill is because I love Belle so much. (And specifically Emilie de Ravin as Belle. Shh, moving on.)

So I was a little worried about this movie, particularly when I started hearing seemingly-sound criticisms from people who'd seen it.

That said, it was much better than I was worried it was going to be! Maybe not as good as I hoped it was going to be, but still very good, and with moments of greatness.

There was some really gorgeous production work going on, particularly with regards to the scenery. (The CASTLE, oh my God, it was beautiful.) I was mildly disappointed with some of Belle's costumes, but the rest of the costume design was fantastic, and while I didn't like the design of the servants/furniture in promo pics I really liked it in motion; it was exactly the right kind of uncanny valley, and the slowly-turning-into-inanimate-objects threat was done well.

Some of the plot/character changes worked very well for me, others...didn't so much. (Why was the enchantress hanging around the village for however-many-years pretending to be a homeless spinster? That seems like a weird thing for a vindictive enchantress to do.) The Beast being almost as much of a bookworm as Belle was delightful, and I loved their argument over Shakespeare. Followed by Belle teasing him for reading a romance. Hee.

Not a huge fan of the abridged timeline, I think their romance is more believable and deep when it develops over a period of months rather than days. But I can live with it -- and having the castle and its immediate surroundings locked in permanent winter ("it's only snow. in June.") was a nice touch.

I liked that they worked in "bring me a rose" from most of the original versions of the fairy tale.

And I have to point out one of my biggest talent crushes, Audra McDonald, as the wardrobe/Madame de Garderobe. Not a huge role, but she worked it, and she's brilliant. (BRILLIANT.) Plus she got two songs, a sweet romance, a kickass moment in the battle, and a cute dog. Winning.

The new songs were for the most part fine. Not super-memorable, but they didn't stick out in a bad way and they were enjoyable in the moment. From the preexisting songs, "Be Our Guest" was gorgeous to look at and Belle continually trying and failing to eat some of the food they were presenting her with was hilarious. I didn't like the cinematography in "Belle" very much -- the camera seemed to be working against the choreography instead of with it -- but "Something There" was really well done.

Plus they restored the "do you think you can grow a beard?" line from the original script and I died a little.

...and then I came home and made mint M&M cookies, so, you know, big day. By my measly standards.