3 Ways The Live-Action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Improves Upon It’s Predecessor

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SPOILERS ahead for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. 

Bill Condon’s adaptation of a beloved Disney cartoon from the 90s came with breathtaking results with a domestic total of around $174 million on opening weekend. Beauty and the Beast has it’s fair share of fans looking for that nostalgia from their childhoods. The film did a tremendous job reimagining a beloved Disney classic.

While there were similarities between the cartoon and the live-action version, there were also some significant changes that were made to flesh out the story further. That being said, here are three significant changes that were made that helped improve upon the original.  

1. The Backstory To Belle And The Beast

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While the opening of the film gave a more expanded version as to how Prince Adam was turned into the Beast along with everyone else turned into inanimate objects, the part I’m referring to here is more of Prince Adam’s past. In the film, we learn that the Prince distraught upbringing and had to cope with his mother dying while he was just a young boy. Unlike his loving mother, his father was cruel and taught him to be so.

We later learn in the film that Prince Adam truly cared for his mother. This is story is backed up further when Belle asks Mrs. Potts why they put up with him. She states that they still see some good in him and know that there’s still a chance that he will find true love and thus reverse the curse brought upon them.

Belle on the other hand also had a troubled childhood when she also lost her mother at a very young age. With the help of the Beast’s teleportation book, she learns that her mother died of the bubonic plague and is the reason why her father Maurice had to leave her. Maurice was afraid that his daughter would catch the plague but unfortunately he had no choice but to leave his beloved wife in order to keep Belle safe.

These similarities between the two pivotal characters adds another element to the connection between them.

2. The Beast Has A More Human Side

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Though the film still portrays Prince Adam as a man turned into a Beast, this new version however shows his human side a whole lot more. The original Disney masterpiece portrayed the Beast as being illiterate, while also having a bigger temper. This movie however shows a more gentle Beast, one who’s actively looking for someone to love him as he is.

One of my favorite scenes in the entire film depicts the Beast being knowledgeable in the popular Shakespearean drama Romeo & Juliet. In one of the more humorous scenes in the movie, Belle calls him out for enjoying romances as they get into a rather deep conversation of other Shakespeare plays. These elements add that extra layer between these two characters and why they were ultimately made to love each other.  

3. The New Song Choices

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This movie still has the classic musical scores of the original film including “Be Our Guest,” “Gaston,” “The Mob Song,” and of course the song that’s a tale as old as time “Beauty and the Beast.” What makes this film improve upon the original when talking about the scores is the integration they have throughout the film. There are times when you can hear some of the original soundtrack intertwined with a new song. Not only that, but Alan Menken (who scored the original soundtrack) has also added a few new songs that will stick with you long after you’ve left the theater.

Some of these songs include “Days in the Sun,” a score that invokes life inside of the castle, “How Does a Moment Last Forever,” a song both sung by Maurice and Belle which further expands upon the lore of Belle’s deceased mother, and my personal favorite “Evermore,” which is sung by the Beast where he accepts his fate with or without being with Belle. Menken not only stuck with the soundtracks we all know and fell in love with, but he also wanted to make sure he supplanted that extra Disney magic by giving us memorable music we can listen to at any given time.

So those are some of the improvements that were made that I thought made this film very enjoyable to watch. What were some of the differences you spotted that you thought improved upon the original? Share your thoughts in the comment section below! 

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