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Beauty and the Beast

I haven't been sold on these live action Disney adaptations yet. Yes, the visuals are always stunning, but they rarely offer up anything new and fantastic enough to justify their existence. The Jungle Book was prolly the most successful thus far, although it's not really one that I feel that connected to. Beauty and the Beast, however, is right in the second golden age of Disney sweet spot for this 90's kid. Even then, there are others in that era that I prefer, so I didn't buy into the hype of this remake.

I was sold seconds into the movie. I just got so giddy watching the prologue play out (Audra!!!) and then the big opening number. And the feels never let up. Mostly it was giddy nostalgia, but the more emotional moments were truly moving as well. I was just swept up in the music and the costumes and the production design. I had chills all through the ballroom scene, and I maybe got a little teary in the scene that followed.

And oh that cast was perfect. MVP's totally go to Luke Evans and Josh Gad. Can we please get a Gaston and Lefou buddy comedy musical spin off? I could not get enough of those two. Ian McKellan's Cogsworth was the other big scene stealer for me. And it wasn't lost on me that Ewan McGregor's Lumiere did a Fosse move when he sang the words "culinary cabaret" in Be Our Guest.

I think part of why Beauty and the Beast never fully resonated with me growing up was that too much emphasis was always placed on the romantic storyline. I did love the supporting characters, but they didn't endure like the ones from other films. I also never realized how much I actually identify with Belle. The bookish smart girl who doesn't fit in her small town? Hmm that sounds familiar. I can't say enough how much I loved that they had her share the inventor/engineer traits with her father this time. Seriously, how did I not register how awesome this chick is? Oh right, because we usually just see her waltzing in the yellow dress.

This is the first movie this year that has had me so excited that I was bouncing on my way out of the theater. Ten minutes in, I was ready to go see it again. If I got this giddy over Beauty and the Beast, can you only imagine what will happen if and when the live action Aladdin ever comes together? Guy Ritchie, I'm counting on you!

Beauty and the Beast - \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/
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