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: (speaking in a dark, cool tone) I say, you're full of shit-knocks.
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...
*(Note: There has been reports that Emma Watson's voice was not auto-tuned and that she had in fact took singing lessons to prepare for the role)
(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: 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!
Woman 2: You call this bacon?
Woman 3: What lovely flowers!
Man: Some cheese...
Woman 4: Ten yards...
Man: 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 here.
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.