Beauty and the Beast (2017) – Nostalgia Critic

Audiences either loved it or hated it, but the NC has some harsh words about this beastly live action remake.

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About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

71 comments

  1. MiscellaneousSoup

    Personally, I thought it was just okay. The book was interesting, but it brought up some confusing issues. I think my favorite part was the “Be Our Guest” sequence. Somehow, a CGI/live-action hybrid song managed to outdo a completely animated musical sequence in terms of incredible visuals. Of course, some of that might be due to technological advances, but I still think the point is valid.

  2. I like the remake. FIGHT ME.

    Seriously, I don’t like it as much as the original (didn’t expect to, though), but I enjoyed it.

    (Emma Watson can’t sing, though)

    • To be fair the nostalgia critic never said the remake wasn’t “enjoyable”. He just said it failed to live up to the original and focused on the wrong elements.

    • It isn’t that uncommon opinion. Remake is not as good as the original but it is still a decent movie. Personally I think that people complaining about Disney remakes are hipsters, because outside maybe one or two they aren’t really bad.

  3. Blaze The Movie Fan

    I hate this remake with a burning passion. It did EVERYTHING wrong, there isn’t a single good thing about it. Great review.

    • Yes, we see that you are biased. Keep it for yourself.

    • Alejandro Sanz II

      No one could have said it better: “…leading to something that looks familiar, but feels false”. I tried to like this, I really did, but it was just too awful, so empty, so… wrong in every aspect. It was so satisfying to see the Critic nailing every bad thing about it, like, at the very beginning, when I saw “Belle” dancing with the dollar sign, I was like: “TOTALLY!!!”. No matter how hard I tried, it was also impossible for me to find a single good thing about this movie. The only thing I could add to the review, is that the movie felt cheap in every department, and for a company that can even lay its hands on such impossible things like The Immigrant Song, this was just unacceptable.

      Tammy looks SO HOT with those vampire teeth, gosh!

  4. This movie is alright. Would I pick this over the original? Obviously not. I mean, Gaston is more of a broken man than just a narcissistic prick as he would go to lengths to steel his reputation. I could go on more, but I’m currently needing a nap.

  5. I didn’t even see the point of doing a live-action remake of this, really.

  6. SwedishMovieNerd523

    My biggest issue with this film was that the curse solves itself. Seriously, the curse makes sure that Belle comes to the castle. Sure the characters are unaware, but the audience is, making all the “trying to make thins seems serious and really dramatic” really unengaging.

  7. Ok. I have to say it now. I’m the only one that rewatched the original animated version and found it… kind of boring?
    And even while ike it, it’s true. The original is kind of tedious and boring. We only enjoy it because of the animation and the music, because the plot moves at the velocity of a snail, and Beast is almost devoid of personality. This Beast has more personality, at least.

    • Can you elaborate what you mean by personality? What is his personality/character in the remake?

      • The Beast of the original version felt like a “mark the spot in the sheet” kind of character. He has a rude exterior, but in the end, he has his little heart. He is quite gullible, and is almost like a kid when dealing with some matters.
        Well, he was a kid when he was cursed, so that is expected. But that’s not my point.

        The Beast from the remake acted more in consequence with the asshole we saw at the beggining. He was rude, treated Belle badly just because she was of low class, and had lost all hope of breaking the curse. The only reason he seemed to want to protect the rose is that he feared something even worse would happen if it was destroyed. It wasn’t after he saved Belle, and she saved his life in return, that he started to treat her well.
        And from that point onwards, we see his true personality. Even when rude, his old noble manners and education come to light. He shares Belle’s passion from lecture instead of learning it from her, even if he got that passion out of boredom of living trapped in a castle. His politeness and kind heartedness como out of him, instead of being teached by Belle.
        I think this is important, because the character benefits of being cursed as an adult instead of a child. In the original, I see little reason for Belle to fall in love with him, because almost everything good in him had come of her teaching him that. He felt most like a mother-child relationship that a true romance. Here, they both learn from one eachother. He from her kindness, and her from his cultivated intelligence. Like in a true romantic relationship.

        • To be fair a big part of why the beast feels like “Mak the spot in the sheet” in the original is because the original was used as the template for SO many other things that came after.

          Often times the source material can feel bland in some aspects as we’ve seen the concept refined and evolved over the years. So we see the flaws in the first attempt even more.

          On that note you can accuse the remake of being just as guilty of being by the book. He’s rought and violent and after a key scene they start to fall in love. The only difference really is that they make him more violent and unlikeable before hand in order to make the change more obvious.

          The problem with this is of course that given the stakes involved the beast should act at least a little more aware of what he should be at least trying to do. In the original he at least does state he knows but is just to stubborn and tempermental to do it properly. In the remake it’s hard to tell if he even remembers how important she is to breaking the curse.

          While I do see what you mean and agree the romance in the original had it’s flaws. I don’t think the remake truely improved it. It just forced it into following a more of a 3 act structure format and in an inorganic way.

        • Holy. Crap. Can I shake your hand? Because this is a beautiful explanation for the remake’s Beast. The original film is my favorite Disney film of all time so I hold it dear to my heart. However, I thought this remake was good because of its characterization of the Beast. It touched on the snobbiness of the character that I expected of a former prince.

          • The original film plagiarized the 1946 french version of the fairy tale. The french version added to the fairy tale the character of Avenant (renamed Gaston by Disney, probably more easily recognizable french name, and easily pronounceable too) and changed The Beast’s appearance to more feline one as opposed the more stag like appearance (wink, wink) in earlier versions. The thing is that in the 1946 version both both Avenant and The Beast were played by the same actor as a statemented: while The Beast was human in beast skin Avenant were more of a beast in human appearance. So the “original” Disney version and the remake completely missed the point of Gaston’s presence in the story. As for modern versions of the story the 2014, french version is better than this shameless cash grab.

          • RIP131

            The animated film did recognize the purpose of Gaston and handled him accordingly. The Beast and Gaston have the opposite arc: The Beast starts off as good as killing a poor old lady and ends up not being able to kill his rival, home invader, and attempted murderer; Gaston starts off as a doofy, full of himself, schmo and ends up leading a mob to slaughter innocent people, without caring what would happen to the not-trained-in-combat townsfolk he riled up, to soothe his own vanity being hurt by romantic rejection. This was not an accident; That was deliberately crafted: There’s a reason this film was nominated for Best Picture. The funny part is, from what I can tell, for all else they fudged, that’s one part of the original that was retained in the remake.

  8. While I think this one is fine version of story for what it is I feel that anime Ancient Magus’ Bride does it far better while not being based on Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. To be fair I have no nostalgia for animated Disney version since I have never been into those so maybe it helps me to have less negative view of this live action version than some.

    • Well, that is power of being inspired. But it is a adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, so people expect them to stick to basic premise. The thing is that animation was already modernized so they didn’t have much place to go here outside making Gaston victim of PTSD instead straight douche. I personally don’t see how they could change the story (you may check here movie from 2014 but not expect much)? It is not a Cinderella where Evil Step Mother was just a bitch, but they did give her reliable motif and tragic background.

  9. Devil's Advocate

    this applies to all the versions of the story, doesn’t it kind of break the moral to have the beast return to normal at the end? isn’t that kind of like the ending of the second animated Hunchback knockoff film Phelous reviewed were Quasimodo became hansom? isn’t that why Fiona from Shrek stayed and Ogre?

    but either way, this remake does seem to take away the good of the original Disney version.

    • In some ways yes but remember a big part of the story wasn’t just seeing past his beastly exterior it was also him learning to love and redeaming himself.

      After she learns to truely love him then it’s not really needed for him to remain a beast and thus the story finishes with his redemption by making him human again.

      • Seriously. It was a curse. How removal of curse “brake moral” especially because original moral was about arranged marriages? She didn’t know that would happen when she did what she did so it is ok.

        PS: Though I would love to see comedic version when he turn in the prince and she revel that she is fur lover and don’t care about him anymore ;D

  10. For just second I thought you were going to do Robin Williams Popeye next.

    Anyway while some of the music was off, I did like the visuals and other bits. I know the classic will stay in my heart, but this wasn’t outright terrible.

  11. Wow I mean wow, once again, like in Jungle Book, the decisions they went with were completely bizarre and screwed up one of Disney’s finest.

    First of all Emma Watson can be our Belle but can you at least get a decent singer (there are plenty of cover singers on youtube that would jump at the opportunity) to dub her songs rather than autotune it to death. I mean it IS a musical. If you can’t get that right then what the hell are you doing.

    Nah just ignore all the long drawn out moments filled with emotion, in a 2 and a half hour film I mean what. On no wait its because they had to add in moments with the enchantress so they have a twist ending because the original couldn’t finish without her right? I mean Gaston is the villain but really, since shes the one who cast the curse doesn’t that make her the villain?

    I love Luke Evans as Gaston, his performance is pretty much perfect, his singing is pretty good, the only issue is the directing of his scenes.

    I don’t understand why they would cast Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, I love Ewan but he’s scottish. I mean sure he can do a french accent but trying to maintain your accent while singing is pretty tricky so once again why not dub the song. They really were desperate to squeeze as many stars in as they could weren’t they.

    I couldn’t believe what they did to the Prince, in the original he NEVER acts like a stuck up Prince. He’s very demanding but he doesn’t assume he’s better than Belle because why would he, he’s a beast. One scene in the original is Belle reading to Beast and its another sweet bonding moment but no lets just have Beast show off his amazing library while also boasting about it like he’s smarter even though he is a complete moron throughout

    And my jaw dropped when they brought in the magic book, why couldn’t they just stick to books being an escape but a figurative one.

    I haven’t enjoyed any disney remake so far so I’m a little worried about what they’ll do with Lion King. Lets all pray they get decent singers. I will be happy though if they try to add in the songs from the Broadway version such as Endless Night, Shadowland and He Lives in You. I will NOT be happy if they have that god awful Morning Report song instead of the pouncing lesson.

    Lastly Critic good luck with Woody Woodpecker, I can’t wait to see that.

  12. I really enjoyed this film. It’s like a cross between the original film and the Broadway play. Just be thankful that it doesn’t have Old Man from that animated DTV Beauty and the Beast movie Phelous reviewed years ago. HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

  13. Doug, I’m disappointed that you didn’t apply autotune to your intro song. An opportunity missed.

  14. Go Fuck your self Critic

  15. I can’t wait for the review of Woody the Woodpecker. That ending got me excited. BTW this review was great as always. I would recommend the original over the remake.

  16. Just for fun, would you consider reviewing the ScoobyNatural crossover after it comes out??? The episode is done with classic SD animation and is more adult than a typical Scooby Doo episode! Not too sure if you watch Supernatural, but this one might be worth a review and watch 🙂

  17. Anybody know this was direCted by the director for TwiligHt? It explAiNs a lot…

    Also, one of the screenwriters wrote both Hercules and Huntsman: Winter’s War. Another Good bit Explained…

    THE other sCreenwriter, tHough, worked on Perks of Being a WAllflower and WoNder. Seems that the other two dragged him dowN with thE sinking ship.

    L

    • ThatManWithTheHeadband12

      He directed Breaking Dawn though, not the first film. He also won Best Adapted Screenplay for Gods and Monsters, a film about James Whale (with Ian McKellen as Whale) which he also directed. Cut Condon slack

  18. I’d rather watch this movie than Demo Reel.

  19. I’ve watched every other live action Disney remake at least once but this one. I didn’t even attempt to watch this one. Although, I LOVE The Greatest Showman! I love everything about that movie.

  20. he’s gonna do Woody WoodPecker isn’t he?

  21. What’s sad is that I have a friend who loves the remake and hates the original animated version….

    Someone help me!

  22. Frankly I blame Disney’s own meddling with The Copyright System. One reason why Disney is remaking all their animated movies in live-action may be because of the erosion of The Public Domain, since Disney lobbied Congress to extend the terms of Copyright in 1976, and again in 1998 just to retain the rights to Micky Mouse and other characters, thus extending the copyright license by another 50 years plus 70 years; and because of that little to no work before 1923 has entered The Public Domain at all.

    And it’s because there’s fewer source material that can be used freely, that puts Disney in a position where they’re practically running our of new material hence the trend of remaking previous movies as a band-aid for not coming up with any new content.

    • How I love those conspiracy nut-jobs ;D

      Disney never did own rights to fairy tales you morons! Relatively decent Beauty and the Beast movie was made three years prior Disney.

      • Hate to break it to you, but that isn’t a conspiracy theory. If you look at changes made to our copyright system, they always correlate directly to whenever Mickey Mouse is about to become public domain. Disney VERY consistently tries to make changes to The Copyright System to ensure that none of their material becomes public domain.

        My teacher animated under Disney and they still owe him $30,000. When he requested the money and they refused, their response was, “You can try and sue us, but our legal department is larger than our animation department.”

        In short, Disney is all about making money, keeping their icons to themselves, and making sure no one can get any legal advantage on them. While Disney does not own the fairy-tales, they do own their VERSION of the story. If the copyright were to run out on their versions the stories could then become public domain.

        However, most of the films they are remaking are nowhere close to expiring, so I agree with you that the theory is a bit flimsy.

        • Ironically, their vein attempts just to keep making money actually keeps them from making more money and generally trying out new material to work with.

          Even then, if a license to a property they owned expires they could still make money off of that or at least by working with new potential material that they could come up with on their own or use freely from The Public Domain.

          Ironically, Walt Disney himself understood how copyright works and he respected the original terms as such since most of the stuff he helped to create was either taken from The Public Domain, or content he was allowed to use with Creative Commons or Fair Use purposes; even Steamboat Willy was actually based on a Buster Keaton movie back in 1928, which Disney was allowed to copy off of for fair use or creative commons.

          I mean if I died, I wouldn’t want to retain the rights to my work all to myself, I’d love to see others build on what I made or include into works of their own; never mind how much money it makes. (since I can’t really take it with me to the afterlife anyway)

  23. Doug’s gonna review that Woody Woodpecker movie? Hell yes!

  24. I wish it was hosted elsewhere than ‘vimeo’… It doesn’t work half the time for me.

  25. 1) Did Rob end up drunk on the floor after watching this?

    2) It’s amazing how English the French sound.

  26. From the previews of this episode posted on Facebook, I was expecting a clipless review. Sorry Doug, but I would have watched it if it was one because I like the production of clipless reviews, but since this isn’t one, I know I’m just going to disagree with you, so I’m going to have to give this episode a pass. I’ve been a bit iffy on Disney’s live-action remakes, but I was curious about The Jungle Book because of the casting and I was even keener for Beauty And The Beast because of the visual style. If you ask me, this was a film made purely for fun, much like a stage adaptation of a movie. But I will admit it does have some flaws; Emma Watson’s singing it fairly mediocre, however, in the editorial about if bad singers in movies should be dubbed when you first brought that up, you pointed out that if an actor is able to make up for their bad singing with their acting skills, it’s forgivable. That’s exactly what I thought Emma Watson did when she was using props to express her disgust at the thought of marrying Gaston, so if I was the dirrector, I would have said “Hey, you know how you were being expressive with you body language while singing, you should do more of that!”, but nope, nobody encouraged her to make up for her singing. Also, some of the camerawork ruined secenes. There were a few moments that were obviously supposed to show how spectacular a room was, but I couldn’t see that because the speed the camera moved at made it too blurry to see.

  27. This comment was written as I was watching the review.

    Oh my God, why are the Bimbettes badly dolled up? That misses the entire freakin’ point of their existence. Gaston DOES have beautiful women fawning over him but Belle has been arbitrarily marked as THE most beautiful in town, so he must have her, and no one says no to Gaston.

    Oh, that proposal scene was a great failure. And the way Belle Reprise is choreographed. “Emma, just stand stock still. Don’t move your arms or anything. Just stay stiff. This is a passionate number; You using your body to emote will make no sense. ” Would be nice too if Emma Watson had the powerhouse voice that Belle requires; Remember, she’s not Beauty, she’s Belle™ and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast has its songs written like a Broadway musical.

    God, I love that “All Gone” speech. F*** Belle not breaking down; Strong women are allowed to cry: It shows how much Belle feels she’s lost when she passionately cries and that is missing here. Yes, the lack of exploration of LeFou’s attraction to Gaston is a major letdown; That was a great Once Upon A Time angle that made sense and would have brought greater depth to the character and his toadying.

    That rose scene was absolutely blown. These major scenes that are supposed to hold weight are not given the proper treatment.

    The gift of the library is ruined but included because, Damn it, we must slam our fist on that nostalgia button. Without, you know, getting the beauty of the original scene and WHY it’s memorable.

    Soooo the pivotal date wasn’t a date or explored at all. Yay.

    Oh, I want to stab that “I am not a beast” line. HARD. Let’s talk about a little thing called Show, not Tell. In the animated scene, we see the Beast show mercy. He’s angry; This f***er has showed up to not only poke his depressive sore spot but to kill him and now that he knows that Belle is totes in his corner, he’s fighting back. The man who would have left a little old lady to die can’t be brought to kill a rival man who’s at his lowest, even if it’s a monster like Gaston. The Beast pulls Gaston back and tells him to “Get Out”, then tosses him to the side. He still hates Gaston but he no longer lets his anger rule him. We see this all in the action. We do not need to be told that the Beast feels this way because that would be f***ing stupid and redundant.

    On the visuals. I find it very odd that they leaned in heavily to the 18th century design of the clothing for everyone else and then had Belle dressed in modern, almost prom, dresses for her fancy looks. They couldn’t even do Rococo Lite, to distinguish her from the other women but still have her dressed up? I hated the Cinderella dress for personal reasons but as a ball gown it was gorgeous.

    I feel that this movie would have been so much better if it had been a completely original production: New story, new script, new visuals. I would have rather seen Disney have a separate label do these new takes on classic stories, that their main label did once and now this side department is free to do their own thing with, with the Disney money but not the Disney™ brand.

  28. In fairness, the enchantress in the original fairy tale was absolutely a goddamned psychopath, but then again, getting into that opens a whole bag of worms about bringing the old school portrayal Fair Folk into the setting, which Disney probably doesn’t want to do, and anyhow that clearly isn’t what they were going for.

    Also, part of the Beast’s curse actually is that he’s a dumbass. But again, that’s clearly not what they were going for.

  29. Is it strange that I like both films just fine but am not in love with either of them? I like these movies for the visuals, music and the fascinatingly elegant ladies in gorgeous dresses who are an unattainable fantasy in real life, and both films have all of the above in spades. As far as story goes, both have their ups and downs, and their own plot holes. I actually remember making a mental checklist of things the remake both ruins and fixes. Maybe I will still give the edge to the original for its nostalgic value.

    There are a couple points where I think this remake edges out the original though and they have to do with her relationships with Gaston and the Beast. I never did understand why Gaston was such a jerk to Belle in the original as she’s the one he wants to charm into marrying him. The remake Gaston is a jerk to others, but he does try to be charming to Belle, which makes a lot more sense. With the Beast, I actually like that the remake version has a passion for reading in common with Belle. The whole subplot of reading being seen as “most unorthodox” in Belle’s hometown is way overblown and ridiculous, but when she finds out that the Beast actually enjoys that thing she enjoys but no one else seems to, I actually do believe that as a moment of bonding. I think the original’s subplot of Belle teaching the Beast to read is just fine, mind you. Also, what’s up with Gaston literally committing suicide just so he could get a shot in on the Beast in the remake? Whatever. I’m fine with both films.

  30. My personal opinion is that Emma Watson was not a good Belle! I feel like they just gave her the role because, hello! she used to be the internets queen! But otherwise she was flat!
    Gaston was good, i really liked both the actor and the way they portrayed him! The Beast was “myeh”…
    It wasn’t a bad movie, it was not a good one either! Personally if i want to watch Beauty and the Beast i will definitely put the animated DVD on and move on with my life!!!

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