Is Disney’s newest live-action Beauty and the Beast film safe for children to see? This Beauty and the Beast Movie Review | Safe for Kids? post is sponsored by Disney as a part of the #BeOurGuestEvent. All magical opinions are my own
Beauty and the Beast Movie Review | Safe for Kids? #BeOurGuestEvent
I have every line memorized. I have every scene visualized. I am probably the worst critic going into this Beauty and the Beast Movie Review. My favorite animated Disney movie of all time finally received it’s live-action facelift after 25 years, and I wasn’t ready. But the remake I didn’t know that I needed to see was so much more than I could have ever thought (did you get all of that?). Disney’s Beauty and the Beast movie is in theaters starting today. Is this movie safe for your kids to see? Is the story even better than you remember? Does Emma Watson live up to the Belle we all know and love? Find out in this full non-spoiler review as we break down that PG rating.
Plot Holes Are Finally Filled In
Didn’t know that you had burning story line questions regarding Beauty and the Beast? Neither did I until I saw this film. Wow. So many plot holes that I never knew that I needed answers to – are finally filled in over 25 years later. It was wonderful to see Director Bill Condon expand so much more on the story that we all ‘THOUGHT’ that we knew. Clever. We learn what happened to Belle’s mother – and actually get to see clips of Belle and her mom together. We learn more about the relationship between the town and the castle – and why they both seem to ignore each other’s existence. We see more backstory on the Enchantress – which was one of my favorite additions. All of the characters seem to go a little bit deeper into their roles, with little quirks and history reveals sprinkled throughout the film, along with new surprises. You’re definitely going to need to see this film more than once to connect all of the dots. And I applaud the addition of multicultural diversity to the story. So refreshing as a mom raising multicultural kids.
The costuming rivals that of Cinderella. Elegant, regal, elaborately ornate and colorful – it’s fanciful, playful and fairy tale-like in every which way, immersing us all into the world of princesses and castles. The seamless visual blur of CGI and live-action definitely has you enraptured throughout this classic tale. The Beast’s animation is absolutely fantastic. The wolves chase scene is surprisingly realistic. Visually, you feel that this film is almost “joyful” in it’s overall look. Refreshingly modern for being set in the 17th century.
Preserving a Tale as Old as Time
I admit that I was overwhelmingly skeptic walking in. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite animated Disney film of all time – how can Disney perfect perfection? In my mind, you can’t. But the foundations are still there. Belle is still sweet, kind, strong, intelligent and independent – even fiercer than the original. I loved her character even more. Is Emma Watson’s singing as amazing as the Disney princesses we grew up with? Not really – but she does an amazing job of taking a pure and simply sweet Belle voice and making it her own. The Beast is still terrifyingly wonderful. And after finding out that Dan Stevens did almost his entire performance on stilts, I have so much respect to what he has done for the role. Gaston is so arrogantly amazing. I am now forever a Luke Evans fan. Even LeFou finds his redemption and almost undoubtedly has the best lines (though I still hear “Olaf” saying the lines). The favorite songs still give me chills, and the new songs made my eyes misty.
The weaving of new story lines, even within the songs (such as Belle) was really refreshing as well. Finding the nuances and almost like “hidden secrets” within a classic was a fun challenge. Finding the balance of the story we love and the new surprising twists – that was tougher to accept. While I loved the new additions, I kept having to calm myself down from overly comparing the two. It was almost too distracting. Go in with an open mind. Detach yourself for a moment from the original. I think you will find yourself enjoying the film so much more.
That PG Rating
For many kids, this will be the first live musical they will ever see. And Disney does an amazing job of astounding visuals and story to keep your kids engrossed during the entire film – and hopefully helping them fall in love with musicals for the rest of their lives. The PG
Now, let’s chat about the scary parts. If your kids are familiar at all with the original, then you already have half the decision in whether to take them. If you prep your kids with what to expect and how the scene ends, I think you could get your kids through most if not all of the scary scenes. The wolves chase scene is surprisingly realistic – I would say that would rank very high on the scary factor. Also not too surprisingly, the final battle between Gaston and the Beast is very intense. Note also that Gaston uses a gun in this version over a knife. More surprisingly is the addition of a new scene between Gaston and Maurice, revealing Gaston’s darker side. There is a part where Gaston basically leaves Maurice to be “fed to the wolves.” This might need a bit of explaining to the littles.
The “swear” word. UGH, I was highly disappointed to see this thrown into the new film. You will hear a line “You could have damned us all!” when the Beast catches Belle about to touch the rose in the West Wing. While the word is used in correct context, the overly ANGRY tone to me conveys a possible confusing meaning of the word to kids. I think the point could have come across just fine without it (ahem, see original movie). But there it is. For that reason, I’m honestly very on-the-fence about taking my 4-year old daughter to see this one. 8-year old son, definitely. Sweet little preschooler? Minus the swear word, please.
I am a stubborn mule resistant to change. That perfect animated movie from 1991 still clings to my childhood heartstrings with clenched fists. But I will say this, the new Beauty and the Beast movie continues to grow on me. As I interviewed the cast, as I sat down to write my posts, as I continue to reflect on the new additions to the story, I learn to love this movie more and more everyday. Disney magic? Absolutely. Entertaining? 100% yes. That Disney cry moment? So. Many. To. Count. Disney does a darn good job of re-imagining a classic that children will fall in love with for the rest of their lives. I LOVED my childhood favorite be brought to life. But will it ever compare to my childhood favorite? Well, not today. But ask me again in a few weeks after I’ve seen it another 2-3 more times.
The wait is over. Disney’s new live-action film, Beauty and the Beast is finally in theaters everywhere. Have you been following along our #BeOurGuestEvent journey? Catch up here:
- Exclusive Emma Watson & Dan Stevens Interview
- Exclusive Josh Gad & Luke Evans Interview
- Exclusive Audra McDonald & Gugu Mbatha-Raw Interview
- Beauty and the Beast Dinner Party at Williams Sonoma
- Behind-the-Scenes of Moana from the Disney Animation Building
- Tangled Before Ever After + Tangled the Series Interview
- Baby Daddy Season 6 Interview
- Best Beauty and the Beast Gift Ideas for Your Little Belle
Will you be taking your family to see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast?
I was invited to attend an all-inclusive press trip, sponsored by Disney. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians via Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for more Disney insider information, movie updates and entertainment!