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 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: Even 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 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 than 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.