Disney’s transformation of “Beauty and the Beast” from an animated classic to a live action film will sweep audiences off of their feet into a warm embrace of something truly wonderful. This new adaptation of the story will provide a memorable time and a chance for families to create a lasting memory.

The film tells the story of a prince (Dan Stevens) who shuns a traveler seeking shelter from the cold. After several rebukes to leave, the traveler transforms into a magical being. She then places a spell on the prince turning him into a beast and gives him a magical rose. If the prince is unable to learn how to love by the time the last rose petal falls he will remain a beast forever.

A young woman, Belle (Emma Watson), comes to the Beast’s castle looking for her father after he has failed to return home. Beast tells her that if she takes her father’s place, he can go free but she has to live with him forever. Belle accepts his terms and over time grows to understand the heart of Beast, as he hers.

"Beauty and the Beast" is one of the few times that a remake captures and holds onto the audience's attention as much as the original 1991 film. The remake features the same colorful characters and upbeat music in a new realistic setting. The power of the movie is that it transports the audience back to a simpler time. For me, the film reminds me of my childhood, as staples like this and others — the ice-cream man driving down the street in the summer time — were a part of daily life.

The cast in this film is truly inspired and helps make the story come alive. One of my favorite characters in the movie has to be Maurice, Belle’s father, played by Kevin Kline. Kline gives depth to the character and provides the audience with insight into his past. He not only appears to be a doting father but someone who is brilliant. In the 1991 film, Maurice seems more a bumbling idiot rather than the grounded individual played by Kline.

A good film needs a point of conflict or a character that provides that conflict to move the story. "Beauty and the Beast" embodies that conflict in the character of Gaston, which is played by Luke Evans. Evans plays Gaston as flamboyant as possible. He seems to be a person that you might like if it was not for his arrogance and ego. Evan does a great job in bringing Gaston’s over the top personality to life.

This is a movie that both adults and children will enjoy. However, I would caution adults not to bring young children to this film because there are several parts where Beast can be rather frightening. The earlier film might be a better choice. Seeing a movie for the first time at the theater needs to be about having fun and creating a long lasting memory and not something associated with fear.

I give “Beauty and the Beast” four out of five mustaches.

This film is rated PG for some action violence, peril, and fighting images. The movie runs 129 minutes.


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