Beauty and the Beast (2017)
March 27, 2018
(The Channel Awesome logo is shown, before we fade to Belle, played by Tamara Chambers, in a ballroom. As the music for "Beauty and the Beast" plays, Belle smiles at her dance partner, which is a large "$" sign, and starts dancing with it)
Singer (Doug): Tale as old as time
Stale as it can be
Recycled and tame
So much more the same
(As the dance scene goes on, we are shown footage of both the Disney Beauty and the Beast adaptations, the live-action remake and the classic animated version)
Maybe just a change
Singers that aren't fake
But the suits are scared
No one is prepared
Disney's Bland Remake
All of it's the same
Never a surprise
But you'll watch it all
'Cause Disney's got your balls
At the critic's side
Even what is new
Makes no friggin' sense
Really got it all
The film viewers forgot
What wasn't half as dense
Certain as the cash
The studio will rake
Hear a second time
Songs played for rewind
Disney's Bland Remake
Who cares if it blows?
We're rolling in the dough
(An image revealing the movie's worldwide gross of $1.264 billion is shown)
Disney's Bland Remake...
(As Belle dances with the "$" sign, her face and look suddenly turn vampire-ish as she uses her sharp teeth to bite onto the "$" sign. With blood coming out, even!)
Singer: (stunned) Oh...oh, that's, uh...oh, wow!
(We then go to the NC 2018 opening, before cutting to NC in his room)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. And welcome to the final installment of Disney Live-Action Remake Month.
(The Disney Live-Action Remake Month intro plays out, with the contrast clips of animated and live-action versions showing Lumiere the candle this time)
NC: For the final one, let's talk about one of Disney's most beloved animated films, if not, their most beloved animated film, Beauty and the Beast.
(Footage of the 1991 animated film is shown)
NC (vo): With its amazing animation, stunning music, and unforgettable characters, it received a standing ovation at the New York Film Festival, was the first animated movie to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, and is regarded by many to be one of the best animated movies ever, if not, the best.
NC: Yeah. Remake that shit.
(Now we are shown the title and footage of the 2017 live-action remake)
NC (vo): The story of Beauty and the Beast has been told countless times. They range from quick children's cash-ins (The Storytime Collection adaptation is shown) to unbelievably adult and mature (The 1946 live-action adaptation) to quick children's cash-ins. (The 2017 Disney remake) Despite it making a buttload of cash, audiences seem split on this remake. Some say it just told the same story minus the fresh take and joy, others say it's a charming adaptation that captures the magic of the original.
NC: (imitating Lieutenant Eckardt from Batman (1989)) I say, you're full of shit, Knox.
NC (vo): Is there any wiggle room for us purists that love the original so much?
NC: There's a lot to talk about, so let's get right to it. This is the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast.
(The movie opens with a remade Disney logo that shows the Beast's castle at night)
NC: Even the slight changes to the Disney format are becoming formulaic!
(We are shown the prince, played by Dan Stevens, sitting on his throne and watching the ball that has only the women in white dresses)
NC (vo): As before, we get a backstory about a selfish prince who threw parties for only the most beautiful people in white bedsheets.
(Maestro Cadenza (Stanley Tucci) is shown playing the harpsichord while his wife Madame de Garderobe (Audra McDonald) sings one of the songs that weren't heard in the original animated film)
Madame de Garderobe: (singing) Oh, how divine! / Glamour, music and magic combine...
NC (vo): Wow! That singing is beautiful.
NC: (smirking) Don't get used to it.
(The ball is interrupted by an old beggar woman asking for a shelter and offering the prince a rose in exchange)
NC (vo): Ever as before, literally line for line, an old woman knocks on the door and asks for shelter offering him a single rose as payment.
(The prince throws the rose on the floor, and after that, the beggar woman turns into a beautiful enchantress (Hattie Morahan), which shocks the prince)
Narrator (Hattie Morahan): But she warned him not to be deceived by appearances. When he dismissed her again, the old...
NC: (confused) But he didn't dismiss her again. She just...
NC (vo): ...started glowing, and he backed off.
NC: Literally, a stained glass window is being more consistent than you right now! (The prologue from the animated movie, showing the past events pictured in glass windows, is shown)
(The enchantress transforms the prince into a beast, which is shown by the close-up of the prince's eyes)
Narrator: As punishment, she transformed him into a hideous beast.
NC: (as the narrator) Like, seriously. The CGI on him was hideous.
Narrator: The prince and his servants were forgotten by the world, for the enchantress had erased all memory of them.
NC: (as the narrator, arms crossed) Yes, that's how we handle that plot hole. But fear not, we will create many more to confuse you.
(The title of the 2017 movie is shown fading in the black screen, before showing the 1991 movie's title appearing the same way. Pans of Belle's house and the latter walking out of it into Villeneuve in the 2017 and 1991 versions are shown for comparison as well)
NC (vo): The title is shown just like in the last film, Belle's home is shown just like in the last film, and the same song with the same angelic voice is sung just like in the last fi-
Belle (Emma Watson): (singing) Little town...
NC: (surprised by her singing) Ooh! Yeah, note three. You lost me after the note three.
Belle: (singing) Full of little people...
NC: And you're...clearly trying not to get me back.
Belle: (singing, meeting the baker) The same old bread and rolls to sell...
NC (vo): I did (title card of...) a whole editorial about Emma Watson's painful auto-tuning and lack of emotion, but don't worry. The auto-tuning disappears when she talks. The lack of emotion, on the other hand...
(Belle enters the chapel's meager library to return her book and speaks with the chaplain, Père Robert (Ray Fearon))
Belle: I didn't want to come back. Have you got any new places to go?
NC: (scratches his head) Actually, maybe her whole performance needs auto-tuning...
Belle: (singing) There must be more than...
NC: D'AAAAH! Okay, no more auto-tuning! Christ, you sound like Stephen Hawking's voice box.
(We go back to the scene of Belle entering the library)
NC (vo): So Belle is not only a bookworm, but the only bookworm in town...
Père Robert: If it isn't the only bookworm in town.
NC: I'm so glad they decided to humanize her with more faults.
NC (vo): But even that's not impressive, as there's only 12 books in this (becomes confused) library/church?
NC: That's like saying you're a movie buff, if you've only seen eight films. And they're all (logo of...) Pure Filx!
Belle: (singing and reading) Oh...
NC: D'AAAAAH!! Okay, I'll buy you, just stop singing! You sound like Tina from Bob's Burgers.
(The scene is shown again, but with the clip of Tina Belcher from Bob's Burgers holding a long "Uh...". We cut to Gaston and his partner LeFou, played by Luke Evans and Josh Gad, watching Belle from a hill via spyglass)
NC (vo): Of course, we see the handsome Gaston has the hots for Belle, having just returned from battle.
Gaston (Luke Evans): Ever since the war, I've felt like I've been missing something.
NC (vo): This creative choice adds a lot to his story and character, because...
NC: ...I don't know. It's something different.
(The shots of the "Belle" musical number that feature the crowd of people are shown)
NC (vo): Something you'll notice very quickly is while the song numbers clearly have a lot of work put into them, they still somehow seem slow and lifeless.
Belle: Good day.
Woman 1: Mais oui!
Man: You call this bacon?
Woman 2: What lovely flowers!
Woman 3: Some cheese!
Woman 3: Ten yards!
Woman 4: One pound...
Gaston: Excuse me!
Cheese Merchant: I'll get the knife.
(The same sequence, as shown in the 1991 film, is followed to compare and contrast)
NC (vo): The original has the advantage of being animated. It can exaggerate everything and get the timing perfect, practically leaping off the screen. But still, why does it seem like there's so little energy here (live-action)?
Three men (Animated): (singing) Look, there she goes, that girl is so peculiar...
Three men (Live-Action): (singing) Look, there she goes, that girl is so peculiar...
NC: (adjusts his suit) Well, if I could borrow from another terrible cinematic musical...
(The poster for The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman as P. T. Barnum, is shown, followed by the footage of "The Greatest Show" sequence)
NC (vo): As bad as Greatest Showman got, it still was quite a spectacle when it came to the musical numbers. This is because not only is the movement keeping the energy up, but so are the camera angles, the editing, and what's being focused on. The majority of beats and every song have something visual, keeping you connected to it.
P. T. Barnum: (singing) Go, where it's covered in all the colored lights! / We light it up, we won't come down!
(Cut back to the live-action "Belle" scene)
NC (vo): This is just people walking around, and it's shot, edited, and feels like just people walking around.
(Everyone in the town stands and sings together, looking at Belle walking past them)
Townspeople: (singing) Look, there she goes, that girl who's strange but special, / A most peculiar mademoiselle.
NC (vo): Also, Belle is the only one who wore blue from the original, helping her stand out. Here... (The final shot of "Belle" shows the entire town looking at Belle. Arrows reveal that several townsfolk are wearing the same colors as Belle has) Who gives a shit? She's from Harry Potter, that's interesting enough.
(After the song ends, Gaston walks up to Belle)
Gaston: Wonderful book you have there.
Belle: Have you read it?
Gaston: Well, not that one, but, you know...books.
NC: (as Gaston) Much like the script, I didn't read it.
(We see Belle return home to her father Maurice, played by Kevin Kline, who is making a music box)
NC (vo): Look out! The one good scene in the movie!
Maurice (Kevin Kline): (singing) How does a moment last forever? How can a story never die?
NC: I'm serious. This addition, though not sung very well, is filled with so much heart and emotion.
NC (vo): In this one scene, through lyrics, paintings and expressions, we know who he's singing about and what she meant to our leads without specifically addressing her.
Belle: Please, just tell me one more thing about her.
NC: Except when they do.
Belle: Papa, do you think I'm odd?
NC: (as Maurice) You're forgettably bland. "Odd" would be a step up.
Maurice: Back in Paris, I knew a girl like you, who was so...different. People mocked her.
Belle: Please, just tell me one more thing about her.
Maurice: Your mother was...
NC: (smiling warmly) Say it. Say it.
NC: (disappointed) ODD! It should've been "Odd"!
NC (vo): He said how much he admires uniqueness and how being odd isn't bad!
NC: (as the picture of an actual heart is shown) My heart was this close to melting, and what did you go with?
Heart: (gaining a mouth and the voice of Malcolm) Oh, wow, I'm instantly gonna forget about this scene.
NC: Right? (throws his arms and slams the table)
(Maurice is prepared to leave Villeneuve for a convention on his horse, Philippe)
Maurice: So, what can I bring you from the market?
NC: The market? In the original, it was the fair.
(Cut back to "Belle" sequence)
NC (vo): She was just at the market! Why the hell are you travelling a great distance for what's literally in your front yard?
NC: Is it Wal-Market? (The photo of Wal-Mart store is shown, but the title is Photoshopped to say "Wal-Market") Are the prices so good, they're worth travelling for?
Belle: A rose. Like the one in the painting.
Maurice: You ask for that every year.
NC: (as Belle) Okay, bring me a hairy CGI man with the rose, if we want to hammer this in.
(After Maurice leaves, Belle takes her designs of a washing machine, which is a barrel carried by a horse around the fountain, and makes it happen in front of the townsfolk)
NC (vo): And so, to add even more dimension to humanizing Belle, she apparently invents the washing machine! (Beat) Yeah, that's a thing.
(A little girl comes across Belle and her contraption)
Girl: What are you doing?
Belle: The laundry.
NC: (chuckles) Wow! Belle really is Jesus! In that...
(The clip from The Passion of the Christ is shown, showing Jesus Christ (Jim Caviezel) having constructed a dining table and saying to her mother Mary (Maia Morgenstern) that he will also make chairs because the table is low)
NC (vo): ...Jesus invented the chair, clearly established in The Passion!
Mary: (speaking in Hebrew) This will never catch on.
NC: Aren't these two (Belle and Jesus) popular enough you don't have to invent shit?
(The ending of "Belle" musical number in the 1991 film is shown, with Belle turning to the townsfolk and them resuming their business immediately. Back to the 2017 remake, Belle is shown teaching the little girl how to read)
NC (vo): Now, in the original, Belle is seen as odd because she's a bookworm that keeps to herself. But seeing how that was the kids version and this one wants to be more adult...
NC: Let's spell it out even more!
(The town's forgetful potter Jean and fishmonger Clothilde observe Belle and the girl reading together)
Monsieur Jean (Gerard Horan): What on Earth are you doing? Teaching another girl to read? Isn't one enough?
Clothilde (Haydn Gwynne): We have to do something.
NC: (as Clothilde) I'm gonna write up a plan to get her back, that is, if I knew how to read or write!
(The townspeople drop the barrel with clothes on the ground, and Belle rushes to pick it up)
NC (vo): They do have an evil plan, though: they knock over her washing machine! (Pause) And it's...really not shot like a big deal. It's only a few seconds, they don't even focus on her looking angry?
NC: I actually feel more sorry for...
(A green arrow points to Père Robert who helps Belle picking up the clothes)
NC (vo): ...this guy, the attention seems to be focused on him.
NC: (annoyed) When will people just let women use washing machines... (instantly changes his tone of voice, becoming shocked and concerned) ...my God, that sounds sexist, Beauty and the Beast!
(Belle returns to her house's porch, where Gaston is waiting)
NC (vo): Gaston approaches Belle and suggests they become an item, but Belle turns down his wedding proposal, despite him never giving a wedding proposal.
Gaston: Some of us have changed.
Belle: I'm never going to marry you, Gaston. I'm sorry! (closes the door on him)
(The scene of Gaston storming off after Belle rejests his proposal, and Belle herself singing that she wants more in the animated movie is shown)
NC (vo): Now, of course, in the original, we see the beginnings of Gaston's cruel nature and Belle's frustration reaching her peak.
NC: Here, it's...just another scene.
NC (vo): Yeah, look at how angry he looks in the original. He says Belle's gonna be his wife, he marches off super angry after getting this whole big wedding proposal thing put together...
(In the 2017 movie, Gaston just looks around trying to keep his cool, probably thinking that it's natural for her to say that)
NC (vo): Here, there's none of that. He looks more like... (as Gaston) I'm in the mood for nachos. Hmm, maybe pizza... No, nachos.
(After this, we're shown Belle running up a hill, before cutting to the animated movie again, which shows Belle saying goodbye to her father, the ending of the scene of the Beast discovering Maurice in his castle, fading to black and then showing Gaston and LeFou hiding in the bushes, looking at Belle's house)
NC (vo): Belle even goes into her big "Madame Gaston" song, and it doesn't feel warranted. You see, time passed in the original so you can feel the emotions rising even when they're not on screen. It also allows for a location change so you're not getting tired of looking at the same place for too long. (Cut back to the remake) But in this order, not only are we stuck in the village for longer than we need to be, but Belle just comes across as bland whining after bland whining. There's no break from it.
Belle: (singing) I want adventure in the great wide somewhere...
NC: Yeah. Along with...
NC (vo): ...your mother back, your father talking about her more, girl's reading, patenting your washing machine, a rose, Gaston not asking you to marry him, even though he didn't ask you to marry him...
NC: A word of advice: don't smile...
NC (vo): ...when you're singing what you're frustrated about!
NC: I'd say that's child actor stuff, (A picture of Hermione Granger from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone movie, played by Watson, is shown) but you were a child actor!
(Maurice gets lost in the forest and finds the big castle. Coming inside, he meets the living household objects: Lumiere the candle, Cogsworth the clock, Mrs. Potts the teapot, Chip the cup, etc. Frightened by this, he leaves, but sees the rose garden outside and stops Philippe)
NC (vo): Belle's father gets lost on his way to presumably the greatest market in the world and stumbles across the Beast's castle. He finds it's filled with all sorts of nightmare utensils...oh, I mean, (giggles) charming little friends... (normal) as he's intimidated by the place and escapes.
Maurice: Wait, wait, wait! Roses. I nearly forgot. I promised Belle a rose.
NC: (as Maurice) I mean, sure, this place is haunted and I was fleeing for my life, but a rose! When am I gonna come across that?
(The Beast appears in front of Maurice and captures him. Philippe runs back to Villeneuve, and Belle starts to fear that something has happened to her father, so Philippe rides her to the castle)
NC (vo): The Beast captures the father, though, as the horse goes back to Belle, and she demands that she's taken to him.
(A view from above shows that it's the eternal winter on the castle's territory)
NC: (as Belle) Pleasant weather, then horrendous winter? I must be in Chicago!
(Belle finds Maurice's cane and looks forward in worry)
NC: (smirking) Such a wide range of expressions from Watson, isn't it?
NC (vo): In the animated one, she holds her father's belonging close to her and looks worried. Here, she doesn't even glance at the damn thing. It just looks like she's been asked a hard math question.
(The scene is repeated)
NC (vo; as Belle): What's the square root of 3.29? Hmmm...
(In the castle, Belle finds Maurice locked in a dungeon. Suddenly for both of them, the Beast jumps into the scene)
NC (vo): It gets even better when she finds her father locked up, and the Beast confronts her. The film takes what was an emotional moment of fear and discovery and almost fast-forwards through it.
(The scene of the Beast agreeing that Belle take her father's place as the prisoner and stepping out of the shadows, scaring Belle, as shown in the 1991 film, is followed)
NC (vo): Look at the time it takes for every character to come to their decision. Belle has to think before offering up her life. Beast has to think before realizing he may have a way out of his damnation. The reveal of him is slow, letting her reaction sink in to what she's about to do.
NC: But that movie was an hour and a half, and this is but a mere two hours, ten minutes. We gotta bullet-point this shit!
(The captions of what NC says appear in order as the scene in the 2017 movie continues)
NC (vo): Quickly offering up her life?
Belle: (to the Beast) Punish me, not him.
(The red mark appears near the caption with a ding)
NC (vo): Check. Quickly revealing the Beast? Check. Quickly having Beast realize what this could mean? (Belle pushes her father out of the cell) Oh, we didn't even have time for that. Okay, whatever. Emotions are secondary in a romance.
NC: Why else would they show the Beast and Belle together as little as possible?
(The scene of the Beast seeing Belle uncomfortable and deciding to show her the better room in the animated movie is shown)
NC (vo): Not even kidding. Remember when the Beast sees her crying and feels bad, and then decides to give her a nicer room, while also being domineering? How he's trying to be sympathetic, showing some emotion, but losing it again when he brings up the West Wing, establishing a mysterious connection to it?
NC: (inhales) Going back and forth...
NC (vo): ...establishing what a tortured character he is? Trying to be kind, but he's too filled up with anger from years of isolation?
NC: (inhales again) Making Belle's...
NC (vo): ...new environment all the more uncertain and frightening? Making the danger the danger, fear and captivity feel all the more real?
NC: (waves hands to his sides) All gone! Yes, really.
(In the 2017 movie, Lumiere and Cogsworth are showing Belle the way to her room)
NC (vo): Now, it's Cogsworth and Lumiere doing all that, because they didn't give them much time earlier, for whatever reason. We don't even have a breakdown from Belle, realizing the sacrifice she made. She just walks blandly through the palace with no fear, no intimidation, no nothing!
NC: Oh, but don't worry, though. The Beast is even less interesting.
(The clips are focusing on the Beast)
NC (vo): Even taking away how distracting his CGI is, even though it originally was gonna be makeup...
NC: It's like Superman's CGI upper lip, except it's the whole thing! (The screenshot of Superman from Justice League (2017) is shown, showing that Henry Cavill's mustache is pretty sloppily removed)
(A brief clip from the 1991 movie is followed, showing the Beast, Lumiere and Mrs. Potts waiting for Belle to come down to dinner)
NC (vo): But listen to this line from the original.
Lumiere (Animated): Have you thought that perhaps this girl could be the one to break the spell?
Beast (Animated): Of course I have! I'm not a fool.
NC: Well, guess who goddamn is!
(Back to the remake, the Beast is shown scolding his servants in various clips)
Beast (Dan Stevens): She's the daughter of a common thief.
NC (vo): This Beast hates that she's in a nicer room, roaming around the castle, and has to be told that she's the one that could possibly break the spell.
Beast: You're making her dinner. / You gave her a bedroom? / That's the ridiculous idea I've ever heard. Charm the prisoner!
NC: Okay, look. The other Beast is a brute, but he still has some connection to an intelligent emotional human being. That's what Belle has to discover.
NC (vo): This one's just a dumbass. He's not intriguing, he's not smart, there's no sympathy, so there's no relating to him*.
- (Note: This film's adaptation of the Beast is portrayed as a more beastly creature, mainly brought on by how cruel the Prince's father was; it eventually takes the help of Belle and the enchanted servants to get the Beast's humanity back inside him)
NC (vo): Between both their lack of being invested in anything, I think the real couple I want to see get together in this is these two.
(Cut to Gaston and LeFou talking in a tavern. We go to a commercial. After coming back, we're shown Mrs. Potts and her son Chip at the kitchen receiving tea and speaking to Madame de Garderobe, turned into a wardrobe)
NC (vo): So, a mere 43 minutes in, and we're finally introduced to Mrs. Potts...
NC: God, I love how this movie is structured.
(At the same time, Lumiere and Cogsworth are shown talking with Maestro Cadenza on the first floor, who, in turn, is now a harpsichord)
NC (vo): As we're given, frankly, a confusing connection between the credenza and the wardrobe.
Lumiere (Ewan McGregor): Maestro, your wife is upstairs, finding it harder and harder to stay awake. She's counting on you to help us break this curse.
NC: Literally, that one line is the only thing that shows those two characters have a relationship. (looks aside for a moment) Do you follow it?
NC (vo): Why is she tired? What does it mean that she's tired? Why is she upstairs? And don't they see each other or talk to each other at all? The place is big enough that they could work out something. (Cut to the climax of the movie) We see her come to the balcony, and the stairs seem big enough to support either of them. Why don't they see each other at all?
NC: You know, I already have (Belle and the Beast are shown) one romance with a ton of plotholes I don't care about. Don't try to shoehorn in another!
(Belle enters the dining room and is greeted by Lumiere)
NC (vo): Belle is shown the dining room, and we partake, of course, in the big showstopper "Be Our Guest".
Lumiere: As the dining room proudly presents...
NC: (as Lumiere) Our leftovers. In every meaning of the word.
(The clips from the "Be Our Guest" musical sequence is shown)
NC (vo): The music number is honestly okay, despite Ewan McGregor as Lumiere sounding like a drunk Pepe Le Pew.
Lumiere: (singing) Go on, unfold your menu, / Take a glance, and then you'll / Be our guest...
NC (vo): But because there's no real fear or danger built up, this doesn't feel as much as levity as much as...obligation. We're not doing this to lift the emotional intensity Belle has gone through, because, you know... (Belle is shown smiling at Chip) that will require an emotion out of Belle. They're doing it, because it'd be crazy not to do a song this popular.
NC: Plus, more creepy teapot faces.
(Mrs. Potts is floating on a tray as various dishes and carts roll around her, as shown from above)
NC: (weirded out) Am I gonna drink out of you, or you're gonna drink out of me?
NC (vo): It even ends kind of awkward.
(Lumiere brings out a tray with a small pudding on it)
(Belle chuckles. Cut to black...and fade to Belle and Mrs. Potts walking in a hallway)
Belle: I don't understand why you're all being so kind to me. Surely, you're as trapped here as I am.
NC: (perplexed) Why did you need that weird cut?
(The clip from the 1991 movie shows a smooth transition from the dining table to Cogsworth describing everything to Belle)
NC (vo): In the original, she says, "That was great. Why don't we look around the castle?". It was an easy segue! It would have been easy to have that before she walks through the rooms of sculpted tentacle porn to the West Wing.
(Belle sees the Beast's large room in the West Wing for the first time, and though there is some trashed stuff like a broken mirror in the background, it doesn't stand out)
NC: (surprised) Oh, my God! It... (becomes puzzled) looks just like the other rooms.
NC (vo): I mean, come on. You remember how destroyed that room looked in the original? It was kinda like, "Whoa! What happened in here?". But because the rest of the castle already looks like architectural clutter, this isn't the least bit jarring. I dare even say, the West Wing looks nicer than the other rooms in the castle. Dibs on the West Wing!
(Belle walks to the small table with the enchanted rose behind the glass)
NC (vo): But, look out. An angry beast with hastily rushed lines!
(The Beast suddenly jumps in front of Belle)
Beast: What are you doing in here?! What did you do to it?!
Beast: Do you realize what you could have done? You could have damned us all! Get out of here!
NC: Seven seconds. From him appearing to her leaving, seven seconds.
(The same scene is shown in the clips from the animated movie)
NC (vo): Don't get me wrong, the original wasn't that long either, but look. They're absorbing their actions, taking their time. What they say and do actually has weight to it, amounting to at least a bare minimum of 30 seconds. That's over double the time of this one! You'd think, in a longer film, they could have expanded on that, but no! They actually make it go quicker! Friggin' quicker!
NC: How does this film somehow go faster and slower at the same time?!
(In the woods, Belle is ambushed by a pack of wolves, but the Beast appears and rescues her, and is injured in the process. Belle's reactions in the animated and live-action movies are shown for comparison)
NC (vo): As you'd guess, Belle is cornered by the wolves, and the Beast saves her. Belle's incredibly emotional animation is now replaced by a glance down...
NC: Whoa, be careful! That was a whole facial muscle you just used there!
(Meanwhile in Villeneuve, Maurice, trying to prove that Belle is held captive by the Beast, shows Gaston and LeFou the way, and they almost get lost)
NC (vo): ...as we cut to, well, something new, at least: Gaston trying to help Maurice find Belle.
Gaston: (approaches Maurice) Where is Belle?
Maurice: The beast took her, and she...
Gaston: There are no such things as beasts.
NC: I'll just be honest, I'm not entirely sure what Gaston's endgame is here.
NC (vo): He didn't believe Maurice, so why did he think he would find Belle?* Did he even believe she was gone and not at home? Maybe he's just trying to get friendly with him-
- (Note: Gaston's motive for "helping" Maurice was to gain his blessing to marry Belle, something implied when Maurice was being sent to the asylum)
Gaston: I WILL FEED YOU TO THE WOLVES!
NC: Well, maybe not.
Gaston: (attempts to apologize) That's no way to talk to my future father-in-law, now, is it?
Maurice: You will never marry my daughter.
(Gaston and Maurice stare at each other for some seconds)
NC (vo; as Maurice): Now, kindly help me find her, you clearly well-balanced human being... (Gaston punches Maurice, knocking him down) Oh, down I go.
(Gaston ties Maurice to a tree for him to be eaten by the wolves. The next morning, Maurice is found by a local hermit named Agathe, and she takes him to her dwelling)
NC (vo): So Gaston goes from zero to murder pretty quick, leaving Maurice to be eaten by the wolves. The town beggar finds him later and nurses him back to health.
NC: Not entirely sure where this is all going, but I'll wait it out to be disappointed.
(Back at the castle, Belle tends to the wounded Beast in bed as the enchanted objects watch)
NC (vo): Meanwhile, Belle tends to the Beast's wounds, as the servants admit that they were cursed, too, because they didn't help when the Beast's mean father made him so foul.
Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson): And his cruel father took that sweet, innocent lad and twisted him up to be just like him. We did nothing.
NC: We'll, of course, never see any of that, apart from this pointless...
(We see a flashback of the young Prince watching his mother die in her bed as his father, the King, takes him away)
NC (vo): ...flashback of his mother dying. (We see one of the film's four new musical numbers, "Days in the Sun", performed by the enchanted objects) But it's okay, the more we don't show the beauty and the beast interacting in a movie called "Beauty and the Beast", the more things will fall into place.
(Later, the Beast wakes up to see Belle reciting a line from Romeo and Juliet)
Belle: "[Love looks not] with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore..."
Beast: "And therefore is winged Cupid..."
NC: Oh, yeah. An hour and 10 in. (Looks at his cell phone) I guess we can start having some chemistry now.
NC (vo; whimpers): The other film would only have 20 minutes left!
Belle: Romeo and Juliet's my favorite play.
Beast: So many better things to read.
Belle: Like what?
(We cut to the Beast escorting Belle to the library)
Beast: There's a couple things in here you could start with.
NC (vo): Oh, yeah. So the Beast doesn't give Belle the library to show his thanks and that he understands something she loves. He just accidentally shows it off, trying to get her mind off romance. (Hisses) So much better!
NC: Oh, and here's an interesting addition.
(Cut to an earlier scene of Belle talking with the enchanted objects)
Belle: What happens when the last petal falls?
Lumiere: We become...
Mrs. Potts: Antiques.
Cogsworth (Ian McKellen): Rubbish.
NC (vo): Yeah, if the spell isn't broken, they don't stay that way, they become actual, inanimate objects.
(NC has his hands on his face, before sighing)
NC: So...I hate to keep saying this, but, um...in the goddamn original...
(Clips of the animated version are shown again)
NC (vo): When they're doing the song numbers and being friendly, there's an underlying fear that they'll stay that way, but at least they have been like that for years. They can survive. (Cut back to the 2017 remake) Here, they will literally die! Why the friggin' hell are you singing and dancing? In fact, isn't Belle kind of selfish knowing that this could be their last days and she's just bonking up with the Beast*?
- (Note: Actually, Belle had offered to help find a way to break the curse, but the enchanted objects convinced her to not try to find a way, knowing that there is only one way to do so, have Belle fall in love with the Beast, and it would not be right to force her to do that by revealing the way to break the curse)
NC: Shouldn't everyone be in an awkward position right now?
(We cut to a skit showing Lumiere, played by Malcolm Ray, being approached by a worried Belle)
Lumiere: Belle, what is wrong?
Belle: I'm sorry. I just can't focus on romance right now when this could be your last night alive.
Lumiere: Oh, but we are happy to serve you. There is no pressure to fall in love with the Beast.
Belle: (stunned) What?
Lumiere: Oh, nothing! I didn't say anything. (Whispers to himself) Oh, God, what have I done?
Belle: So, falling in love with the Beast will break the curse?
Lumiere: But you're not supposed to know that, or it's less likely to happen!
Belle: No, no. No, that's fine. I'm glad you told me. I'm just gonna...go fall in love with him and not think about it at all.
Lumiere: But the knowledge is just going to get in the way!
Belle: No! I'm sure I can make this work. I'll totally...I'll make it work. (She walks away. After a short moment of silence, she comes back) You're right. I can't make this work. It's all I can think about!
Lumiere: (despairing) Oh, God, why did I have to tell you?
Belle: I just can't get my mind off of it now!
Lumiere: I don't even know where the silver candlestick goes. To a heaven afterlife, or do I just...just...oh, God! (Starts weeping)
Belle: Uh, okay. I'm gonna go invent the toaster or something. I'm so sorry I couldn't help.
Lumiere: Where does the soul of a candlestick go? (Belle leaves, as Lumiere continues despairing) Where does the soul of a candlestick go?! (Continues weeping)
(Back to the 2017 remake. We are shown Belle and the Beast talking with each other on a bridge, then we are shown them having a snowball fight)
NC (vo): We do get a legit nice moment with them talking on a bridge, followed by a weird-as-hell moment of her getting sucker-punched by a snowball.
(The Beast throws a large snowball at Belle as he chuckles. We cut to an image of a gravestone which reads "R.I.P. Belle Whatever Her Last Name Was". Then, the Beast is shown giving Belle a secret book)
NC (vo): But we're given yet another odd addition of finding out that the Beast has a book that can literally, and I guess literarily, take him anywhere.
NC: (silently stunned and confused) What?
Beast: The book that truly allows you to escape. The outside world has no place for a creature like me. But it can for you.
NC: (as the Beast) So when I'm asleep and you want to escape, you totally can. We just made this even more of a Stockholm movie!
(The secret book uses its rare power to transport Belle and the Beast into an abandoned house in Paris)
NC (vo): They use it to see where Belle's mother died...
NC: Always a romantic spot.
(While there, Belle discovers a plague doctor mask and realizes that she and her father were forced to leave when her mother succumbed to the plague)
NC (vo): ...and they never use it again. (Sighs) You know, wasn't that the idea of the mirror? The only window to the outside world? Now that window turned into a goddamn United Air flight! True, they don't treat dogs well and that could be an issue, but I think you can still go places where there's little-to-no people. Isolation, my ass! I'll gladly get turned into a beast if it means I can literally go anywhere in the world!
(We cut to the famous ballroom dance sequence with Belle and the Beast with the title song being performed)
NC (vo): But, nope. Let's stay here and awkwardly do our ballroom scene that feels more like two third-graders being forced to hold hands.
NC: Yeah, this scene was pretty romantically laid out in the original, wasn't it?
(Footage of the famous dance scene in the animated version is shown)
NC (vo): They make a whole evening out of it, they eat at the table, he learned how to use a spoon, she gets the idea to go dance, but he's nervous because he clearly doesn't know how, so she teaches him, and they both become comfortable in each other's arms. It feels real. It built up to this lovely moment, and it feels genuine.
NC: Again...all skipped. Just go straight to the ballroom!
(Cut back to the 2017 remake)
NC (vo): Go down the stairs, turn right. That's all people really want to see, just the image, not anything that led up to it. How is this even proposed?
NC: (as the Beast) If you're not doing anything tonight, I was hoping we could just go to the ballroom, dance for exactly two minutes, and stare blankly at each other. (Beat) But it'll lead to this shot! (One shot of the dance scene is shown, showing the Beast lifting up Belle and spinning her around) That means we're in love now.
(We see briefly the opening scene of Madame de Garderobe again, with the caption revealing the actress, Audra McDonald, then we are shown Mrs. Potts singing the title song)
NC (vo): Great plan, by the way, to have currently one of the greatest living singers in your movie and have Emma Thompson sing your big song.
Mrs. Potts: (singing) As the sun will rise...
NC: I'm sure McDonald couldn't top that... (We see a brief snippet of McDonald as Mother Abbess singing the opening line of "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" from the NBC television special The Sound of Music) God, you're a bad movie!
(After their dance, the Beast takes Belle to the West Wing to look at the mirror, where Belle sees her father being arrested by police, having been manipulated by Gaston into thinking that Maurice is crazy in order to hide Gaston's attempt to kill Maurice)
NC (vo): Belle sees through the mirror, though, that Gaston is having her father locked up...not to get Belle to marry him, but just to cover his tracks for trying to kill him.
NC: That is so much better...wait, it's bullshit! It's bullshit!
Belle: He's in trouble!
(The Beast turns his head to think for a moment, then makes his decision)
Beast: Then you must go to him.
NC: Wow. Again. Barely even thought about it. This is actually kind of amazing!
(The scene in the animated version is shown)
NC (vo): Look at the same scene in the good movie. He was told he was dying, he looks at the rose, thinks for a moment. On the verge of tears, he then tells her she can go. He realizes what he's giving up, but he loves her so much, he's willing to make the sacrifice. (Back to the 2017 remake) This sounds more like an office favor.
NC: (brings out a paper) Hey, I need a digital copy of this, and Frank is the only one with a scanner.
Beast: Then you must go to him.
NC: Okay, I'll see CEO on this.
Beast: You must go to him. No time to waste.
NC (vo): That's why I'm having you go on horseback and not the magic book that can take you anywhere and bring him right back, easily solving two problems!
NC: But then we couldn't have the "Gimme Oscar" song!
(As he watches Belle leave, the Beast sings the last of the new songs in the film, "Evermore")
Beast: (singing) Now I know she'll never leave me...
NC: Kind of ironic, seeing how Disney stole the Oscar from Disney. (Two posters, Beauty and the Beast (2017) and the Pixar film Coco, are shown)
NC (vo): The song itself is okay, despite it not being very well sung. (Cut to the next song, "The Mob Song", showing Gaston leading an entire mob of townsfolk to kill the Beast) And I'll even give credit to the "Kill the Beast" song after Belle convinces everyone the Beast is real.
Gaston: (singing) Hear him roar, see him foam, but we're not coming home till he's dead!
NC (vo): It's well-edited, well-shot, and keeps the energy very high...for the first half.
(Cut to Gaston leading his mob to the castle on horseback)
Gaston: (singing) Call it war, call it threat, you can bet they all will follow...
NC: Yeah! Slow horseback riding! I am so amped right now! (Growls in anticipation)
(We see the battle between the enchanted objects and the villagers, before we cut to Gaston confronting the Beast. During their showdown, Belle comes back, arousing Beast to fight Gaston back)
NC (vo): The climax is pretty standard with comedic slapstick, leading up to the showdown between the Beast and Gaston. Belle, of course, arrives, giving him the courage to fight back.
(The Beast holds Gaston near a ledge)
Gaston: Don't hurt me, Beast!
(The Beast softens and spares Gaston, bringing him closer to his face)
Beast: I am not...a beast.
NC: (as the Beast) Granted, I have no other name in this. Even the woman I love calls me "Beast". But...I just don't like the way you say it.
(Refusing to lose even after being spared, Gaston fatally shoots the Beast in the back from a bridge, but it collapses when the castle crumbles and Gaston falls to his death. As Belle cradles Beast in her arms as he dies, the last petal falls from the rose, causing all the enchanted objects to become lifeless)
NC (vo): Gaston gets one last shot before falling to his death, the living objects are turned into inanimate objects, and Belle confesses her love in... (Agathe, who is revealed to be the Enchantress, sees Belle confessing her love to the dead Beast, and undoes the curse) front of the Enchantress?
(The Enchantress watches as the prince turns back into human in front of Belle)
NC: (stunned, then throws his arms) That's right. The beggar woman was the Enchantress the whole time.
(We see all the enchanted objects come back to life and turn back into human, before the mob of villagers walk to the castle, their memories restored)
NC (vo): And on top of transforming the Beast and everyone back to normal...well, mostly normal. This blink is weird.
(Cogsworth is shown making a weird, happy face, confusing NC)
NC (vo): ...she also gives the townspeople back their memories. Oh, yeah. It looks like some of them have friends and family in that castle that she kept separated for years and years.
(Mrs. Potts and Chip reunite with Jean Potts, the man who was struggling to remember something)
Mrs. Potts: Mr. Potts!
Monsieur Jean: Beatrice! I remember! I do!
(The Enchantress watches from nearby. NC nods, his face frozen)
NC: This is a goddamn messed-up lady!
NC (vo): She's gonna punish the servants with death if the Beast doesn't fall in love, she erased all memory of government, kept families apart, pretty much altered this entire world, and for what? So they could learn overcoming prejudice comes down to beastly violence? (We are shown a scene in the battle of the Wardrobe fighting against several townsfolk) So she could let another selfish asshole ruin things while she watches and does nothing? (We are shown a scene of Gaston approaching Agathe) That dude (Gaston) served in war, too. Why wasn't he given the Beast's treatment, rather than just watching him die?! Her secretly viewing this doesn't make her an all-knowing angel, it makes her a friggin' psychopath! She's a goddamn psychopath!
- (Note: To be fair, both to NC and this movie, the actions of the Enchantress were addressed in a scene that got cut, when LeFou approaches the Enchantress and asks, "You know, you've really put a lot of people through a big mess here. Was it really worth it? Was he that bad?")
NC: This movie is messed up!
(The final scene is shown, showing Belle and the prince hosting a ball for the entire kingdom)
NC (vo): But...happily ever after, I guess! Tee-hee, ha-ha, everyone's so happy, just forget the...mayhem and terror that bestowed us. Christ.
Madame de Garderobe: (singing) Tale as old as time...
NC (vo): And look, the best singer actually gets the finishing song...oh, not quite.
Mrs. Potts: (singing) Famine turns to feast, / Nature points the way...
NC: Shut up, McDonald! You got this voice to contend with!
(A scene from Men in Black 3, showing Agent O (Thompson) reciting a monologue in a Zyglot language, is shown. We cut back to the 2017 remake once more as Madame sings the last note of the song)
NC (vo): But she (McDonald) got the last note, bitches!
(The movie ends)
NC: And that was…really hard to get through.
(Footage of Beauty and the Beast (2017), as well as the animated version, is shown as NC gives his thought)
NC (vo): The original is a classic telling of a timeless story. This is just…a remake, a remake that doesn’t understand what made the original story so powerful. While it’s shorter and arguably simpler, every choice plays a part in driving the characters’ motivations. The emotions feel justified and earned. This one just changes things that don’t need to be changed, didn’t add enough to make it its own thing, and sped up parts that needed to remain slow. It’s as if the story is still there, but the wrong parts are focused on, leading to something that looks familiar, but feels false. If you enjoy it, more power to you, but I can tell you, this is a beast I don’t think I can ever learn to love.
NC: Thank you for watching Disney's Live-Action Remake Month. And I gotta tell you, after seeing all of these animated classics turned into these live-action abominations, I got to see some cartoon that's put to live-action done right. (Woody Woodpecker's signature laugh is heard as NC looks aside in worry) That's not it, is it...?
(The credits roll)
Channel Awesome Tagline - Belle: (singing) Oh... (We again hear Tina Belcher from Bob's Burgers holding a long "Uh..." at the same time)