B – More “Beauty” than “Beast” (A Film in Review)

“Should I take my kids to see Beauty and the Beast?”  Many concerned parents have asked this question as a great deal of controversy has arisen over the 2017 remake of a beloved Disney classic.  After examining an overview of the film (both the beautiful and the beastly), you’ll be fully equipped to answer this question for yourself. 

More Beautiful Than Ever


First of all, let me say that I loved this film.  I walked in expecting an exact replica of the animated version, but director Bill Condon offers viewers so much more.  This year’s release includes new subplots and fresh new musical numbers that mesh perfectly with the old favorites, presenting audiences with one pleasant surprise after another.  Not only that, but a genuine all-star cast and breathtaking visual effects make this fairy tale classic far more elegant and magical the second time around. 

Emma Watson (of Harry Potter fame) has turned quite a few heads with her performance as Belle, and I agree that she captures the essence of this character perfectly.  She is youthful and innocent, but wise at the same time.  

Of course, young Watson is not alone.  Each actor and actress breathes new life into their respective role, with stunning results. 

Now…About that Beast…


Okay, let’s talk about the beastly elephant in the room.  Some Christian leaders are calling foul after viewing this film, since it does contain subtle homosexual undertones.  Does this mean we ought to ban our impressionable children from watching this film?

There are two brief moments which may cause concern (totaling only about 4 seconds of film time).  After hearing all the hype, I was surprised at how fleeting these moments were. They basically boil down to a twirl and a glance.  While I, too, worry that this is only the beginning of a disappointing downward spiral for Disney, I also know that we have to choose our battles.  Honestly folks, Beauty and the Beast is not a hill I’d want to die on.  

The moments in question didn’t offend me deeply, and here’s why. They center around a comic relief character who is flamboyant and over the top, which is something we’ve honestly come to expect from the hilarious supporting characters in Disney films (think Cinderella’s stepsisters).  Even his name, LeFou (French for “The Fool”) points to the fact that he was meant to make us laugh and is not supposed to be taken seriously.  While adults may cringe at some of his sly remarks, the average child will most likely laugh at his silly antics without a second thought.  Christian parents will probably want to discuss the implications of the film with older teens, but having an open door to talk about our beliefs is a wonderful thing!

My only other beef with the film was the heavy use of auto tuning for Emma Watson’s voice, causing her to sound a tad robotic.  

Overall, however, the magic wins out in the end.  I enjoyed the film immensely.  Its sweetness and beauty outweigh its more – eh – beastly aspects.  In the end, I think this is a win for Disney that – if handled correctly – the entire family can enjoy together.

___________________

Today’s post is part of the A-to-Z Challenge, where participants commit to posting one article for each day during the month of April – one for every letter of the alphabet.  





Check back here at “The Artistic Christian” for a daily slice of art (art reviews, practical tips, and motivation for artists), all steeped in a rich Christian worldview.

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24 thoughts on “B – More “Beauty” than “Beast” (A Film in Review)

  1. I absolutely adored Beauty and the Beast, as did my husband and grandchildren. In today’s inclusive society, the addition of Le Fou’s obvious sexuality is something that was bound to happen, and I felt was treated naturally. My grandkids (11,10,9, and almost 8) didn’t comment on it. What they did comment on was the amazing animation, the fact that Belle was beautiful without having lots of makeup on, and that the beast was kind of loveable, but not scary. They preferred the piano in this version over Forte, the evil organ in Beauty and the Beast 2. What they noticed most of all was Gaston and the fact that even though he was pretty on the outside, he was an evil man. To me, the fact they saw that far outweighed any negative impact Le Fou had.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for sharing these thoughts! Yes, I agree that there are many wonderful lessons our children can learn from this film, especially if we guide them into making those connections. So glad you stopped by!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello! Great to see you popping up in my likes just there. I confess I haven’t visited your blog for a LONG time. It went very quiet at one point and I thought you must have given up blogging, but here you are tackling the A to Z again. I hope all is well with you and your family.

    I’ve seen a number of good reviews of this film. It sounds spectacular.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has been a long time! I got a little busy with working four jobs and really struggled with finding time for blogging. But for me, blogging is like visiting a bookstore… I can’t stay away for too long! Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, so many of our kids look to Disney characters as role models, and they have always prided themselves on being family friendly. But to begin discussing sexual issues (of any type) feels like a slippery slope. I don’t want to have to worry about what my kids might be exposed to in a Disney film the way I worry about films produced by other companies.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can understand your point of view I just thought that seemed a little bit of a far fetched statement. Personally I don’t see it as “sexual issues” more like general inclusion and showing acceptance, I realise we won’t have the same views on that particular topic, but at the end of the day it is still Disney, which as you said is very family orientated, it just amused me the way you characterised it, so I had to ask 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Okay, that’s fair. As I said in the article, this particular film didn’t bother me as much as it bothered others. I just worry about how comfortable our society as a whole is becoming with discussing issues related to sexuality in children’s programs. Where will it go next? One day I can see myself feeling much more offended…

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I was really looking forward to taking our little girl to see this movie, but the problem I have is not merely a 4 second glance. Hollywood has been inserting homosexual characters into movies and television shows to the point that there’s obviously a concerted effort to dull it’s influence on our society as a whole. If you were to take Hollywood’s version seriously, that would equate to 1/20 people identifying as gay. That they’ve seen fit to insert this into a children’s movie is yet another case where Hollywood has deemed itself to be the moral compass for everyone. My own belief is that God is the judge, not me. I respect those who have chosen this lifestyle even though I do not believe it’s God’s intention. All I can do as a Christian is love them and pray for them. But I am offended by how often it is portrayed as the new norm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’ve expressed your position extremely well here! I agree that television and media are trying to help us see this type of family as the “new normal,” and it really is disappointing. It just reminds me of how important it is to talk to our children constantly about the stark difference between television and reality. To completely shelter our kids from media wouldn’t prepare them to live out in the world. I’d rather talk them through things like this along the way. I so appreciate your thoughts…thanks so much for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I wouldn’t say they are portraying it as the new norm, the majority of the characters in the film are still heterosexual. The character in question was always of questionable sexuality – he sings a song about how great he thinks Gaston is!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I saw the film since I read your review the other day, and I fully enjoyed it. But I was terribly conscious of the auto-tune thing, and it put a dent in it. It would have been so much better if the sound had a more natural feel. The way it was it kept taking me out of the moment instead of sinking me into it. I thought the scene where the beast takes her back to her infant home was really touching. Well done, for sure. The live action compared to the animated version was much more compelling and rich.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really enjoyed the film. I liked the changes they made to the Beast’s character, how he was educated. I think it made Belle and him more compatible.

    I was disappointed that the filmmakers revealed that there was a homosexual character before the film was released. I took it as a marketing ploy. Because like you said it was a very small part of the film. I think they should have just let the audience find it on their own instead of trying to search for it.

    Overall, I don’t think it was a big deal to make La Fou homosexual. If they tried to make Beast or Belle a homosexual then I would have been upset. There is a time and place for everything.

    But overall, Good Post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I thought the movie was ok, but it was so similar to the original I thought it didn’t really justify its existence. It would much prefer Disney was more like Pixar, focusing on producing new content instead of remaking old movies to make more money.
    I’ve written an article about the
    Evolution of the Disney Princess, which you can read here https://scribblesofstageandscreen.com/2017/01/14/the-evolution-of-the-disney-princess/

    Liked by 1 person

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