“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.