(2017) (Emma Watson, Dan Stevens) (PG)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Musical: Despite being his prisoner for life, a young and headstrong woman finds herself falling for a former prince who was turned into an unrefined and initially unfriendly beast, the result of a curse put on him and his castle staff that could be lifted should love blossom between the unlikely pair.
- Belle (EMMA WATSON) is a young, educated and independent woman who longs for a life outside of her small village. She lives with her long-widowed father, Maurice (KEVIN KLINE), and wants no part of the marital desires of the village's handsome and highly egotistical bachelor, Gaston (LUKE EVANS) who has an adoring sidekick in LeFou (JOSH GAD). But Belle ends up with greater concerns than boorish and unwelcome overtures when her father, seeking shelter from a storm at night and a pack of hungry wolves, stumbles upon a long forgotten castle in the woods and ends up as a prisoner there.
It belongs to a former prince who, along with his staff, was cursed by an enchantress for his arrogant and snobbish ways. While he was turned into the hulking Beast (DAN STEVENS), his staff was turned into various objects, albeit the kind that can move and talk. Among them is his maître d', Lumière (voice of EWAN McGREGOR), who's now a candlestick; the former head of the household staff, Cogsworth (voice of IAN McKELLEN) who's been changed into a mantle clock; and former cook turned teapot, Mrs. Potts (voice of EMMA THOMPSON) who cares for her young son turned teacup, Chip (voice of NATHAN MACK). There's also the court composer, Maestro Cadenza (voice of STANLEY TUCCI), who now lives as a harpsichord; his wife and former opera singer, Madame Garderobe (voice of AUDRA McDONALD), who was turned into a wardrobe; and Plumette (voice of GUGU MBATHA-RAW), a castle maid and Lumière's lover who now lives as a feather duster.
When Belle discovers that Beast intends to keep her father prisoner for the rest of his life, she volunteers to take his place. Beast doesn't care and initially wants nothing to do with her, but Lumière and the rest remind him that the enchantress' curse can be broken and everything returned to normal should love blossom between anyone and the former prince, all before a magical rose drops its last petal. From that point on, the staff does what it can to make the unlikely pair fall for each other, something that initially seems like a long shot at best, and something that could be ruined by Gaston mounting an attempt to rescue Belle from the castle.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- It's a good bet many will, especially if they're fans of the animated movie from 1991.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
- For some action violence, peril and frightening images.
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