Full disclosure: as a closet Disney fanatic, I've been counting down the days to this film since Emma Watson's earth-moving Facebook announcement over two years ago. When I got invited to a pre-release screening of the film, I. Was. Ready. I tried to temper my expectations (really, what could ever compare to this?) and remarkably, I was thoroughly impressed. Here, 129 thoughts I had while enjoying two hours and 10 minutes of pure Disney magic.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead!
1) Getting some A Song of Ice and Fire vibes from this title card. What would a Beauty and the Beast x Game of Thrones crossover even look like?
2) Those opening notes = ALL THE FEELS.
3) I can't say I'm surprised they decided to depart from that iconic stained glass opening-why mess with perfection?-but at the same time, I'm a little sad. It's so pretty.
4) Dan Stevens in eyeliner makes up for that. He should adopt this look full-time. His pre-Beast prince is giving off major Louis XVI vibes-he even taxes his townspeople to pay for his parties!
5) Stanley Tucci is living his best life at that piano.
6) This party scene turned into a Cats audition really fast.
7) The enchantress isn't even a real person! I understand we're going heavy with the computer-generated effects, but aren't appearance standards unattainable without posing a completely manufactured person as a beauty ideal?
8) The movie wastes no time answering the long-debated question of "Why didn't anyone notice an entire castle disappearing?" Though how anyone forgets Audra McDonald's voice-even under a magic spell-is beyond me.
9) I defy you to hear the opening notes of "Belle" without your heart swelling with joy.
10) Who are these new villagers?!
11) Ugh, preteen boys are the WORST.
12) Belle is traipsing through the town, literally walking on top of children doing laundry at the well. No wonder everyone hates her.
13) There's no bookstore in this town, which means we don't get this moment:
Instead, a kind clergyman shares his library with Belle, calling her "the only bookworm in town" (in case you weren't sure, Belle is very different from everyone else).
14) Belle loves Shakespeare and I AM HERE FOR IT.
15) "Your library makes our small corner of the world feel big." Belle really hates this town, doesn't she?
15) The townspeople are a diverse crowd, which is great and all, but would it have killed Disney to cast one of its leads as a person of color? Supporting players aren't enough.
16) WHERE ARE THE SHEEP?!?!?!
17) Whoa, can Luke Evans sing in everything please?
18) Evans is really good at making Gaston both intriguing in his hilarity and utterly detestable. "It's the ones who play hard to get that are the sweetest prey." VOMIT.
19) 🚨 NEW SONG ALERT 🚨
20) This movie is giving Belle's mom a whole back story, which is fine, just a little... slow.
21) Belle asks Maurice to bring her a single rose from the market. This is not heavy-handed at all.
22) "Teaching another girl to read? Isn't one enough?" This guy is trash.
23) Gaston tells Belle she should focus less on reading and more on having children of her own. BYE.
24) Gaston grabs Belle's skirt-which, no, you do not ever touch someone's clothes without asking permission-and Belle tells him, "I'm never going to marry you, Gaston. I'm sorry." GIRL WHY ARE YOU APOLOGIZING?!?!
25) I cannot resist this "Belle" reprise. YESSSSSSS:
26) Maurice is in the woods on his way to the market and he's in trouble. A bolt of lightning splits a tree and blocks his path. "We can go this way," he tells Felipe, pointing to a path going IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT DIRECTION. In what world would that work?!
27) "Just a bit of snow in June" GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL.
28) Felipe is the true star of this film, tbh.
29) How is Maurice not dead?! He was just flung from horseback into a wall of rock.
30) This wrought-iron gate as a means of escape from a pack of vicious wolves is not at all convenient.
31) I don't know about you, but my first instinct after discovering a terrifying castle in the middle of nowhere would definitely not be feeding my horse with the food in the stable, nor leaving the horse alone to explore the castle on my own.
32) Maurice is walking around like he owns the place! I'm sorry, did anyone teach you manners?
33) He is not sitting himself down to a meal at this dining room table right now. Of course he is.
34) He completely deserves to have the sh*t scared out of him for that.
35) Yes, good idea, definitely stop in the scary castle garden to pick some flowers after fleeing for your life. This is so dumb!!!
36) The Beast's cloak looks like it has mold growing on it and I am horrified.
37) Human Belle talking to a real, living horse was a lot less weird when it was animated.
38) "This castle is alive!" Actually, Maurice, this castle is one of the few inanimate objects in this movie that's not alive.
39) Dan Stevens sounds a lot like the animated Beast. Impressive.
40) The Beast is supposed to be letting Maurice go but I think he might kill him dragging him down those steps.
41) "The West Wing" has a much different connotation as an adult:
42) Belle talking to the hairbrush is me after two glasses of wine.
43) Audra McDonald is so good in this role, but wish her Madame Garderobe had recognizable facial features. I would definitely scream if this thing talked to me in real life.
44) "I'm not a princess" WE GET IT BELLE.
45) I've waited half a lifetime for the "Gaston" sequence and it's finally here!!!
46) Josh Gad was born for this role.
47) I KNOW I'M A GROWN WOMAN I CAN'T HELP BUT SING ALONG.
48) Ooh! New lyrics. Gaston is a hunter, in case you didn't pick up on that already.
49) I could make a joke about expectorating here but I won't.
50) Gaston is not juggling four dozen eggs which is less than impressive.
51) He just lifted Le Fou and a woman onto his shoulders and I can't tell if it's real or ~movie magic~ but I'm slightly more impressed.
52) Oh okay, they're stomping now.
53) Gaston claims to use antlers in all of his decorating. Actually, he uses pictures of himself:
54) Could do without this "illiterate" bit and get to the end of the song but whatever.
55) Maurice is back! I guess they couldn't resist throwing a "Crazy old Maurice" reference in there. Rude.
56) "Winter in June?!" These global warming jokes have to be on purpose, right?
57) Gaston and Le Fou offering to help Maurice find Belle is noble and at all suspect.
58) "You can't judge people by who their father is." I see your foreshadowing, Mrs. Potts.
59) I'd like to take this time to really applaud Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen as Lumière and Cogsworth. They are perfect.
60) Wait a minute, isn't it about time for...
61) OMG IT'S FINALLY HAPPENING:
62) How weird would it be watching this movie-specifically, this musical number-without having seen the original?
63) It's 2017 and Belle still doesn't get a full meal out of this sequence.
64) Instead of "Ten years we've been rusting," Lumière sings, "Too long we've been rusting," purposefully obscuring the actual amount of time the castle has been under enchantment. That's an easy out for Disney, which now doesn't have to explain why the Beast was 11 when he was cursed. I hate these ambiguities!
65) I'm not loving new Mrs. Potts's face. She look so dead inside.
66) I had zero expectations for this number because nothing could compare to the original, yet I was thoroughly charmed by the entire thing.
67) "Lumière mentioned somethng about the west wing." Actually it was Cogsworth, but semantics, I guess.
68) Does the castle pass fire codes? Those stairs look dangerous AF.
69) Is that pile of fabric and straw in the west wing the Beast's nest or something? It's disgusting.
70) This rose looks a lot less magical than the original. It's not even glowing!
71) This scene could've used a bit more build-up. She's barely near the rose and he pounces.
72) That human-sized doggy door is super convenient 🤔🤔🤔
73) Definitely getting some direwolf vibes from these wolves. Still wondering what a GoT/BatB crossover would look like.
74) I love that Belle picks up the stick to fight off the wolves. She's def not a damsel in distress.
75) How is Felipe supporting the Beast's weight right now?!
76) Le Fou implores Gaston to "think of the war"-and the widows-to calm him down. What?! Am I the only one who finds this over-the-top gross and, frankly, unnecessary?
77) Gaston tells Maurice he intends to marry Belle and Maurice is all, "Nah, bro," telling him, "You'll never marry my daughter." I get what they're trying to do here, but I immediately recoil whenever two men discuss a woman's marriage plans.
78) So far, I've assumed this Gaston is a little less terrible than the original, but I was way off base. He punches Maurice in the face and ties him to a tree for the wolves. WTF?! Le Fou actually has a conscience and points out Gaston's cruelty, but is too intimidated to do anything. What a mess.
79) Back at the castle, Belle tends to the Beast's wounds. He really is a petulant child and I'm over his attitude.
80) All the servants blame themselves for how heartless the prince turned out, which is actually tragic.
81) Another new song! "Days in the Sun." It's great, but also, I wouldn't be mad if they did "Human Again" instead.
82) Maurice is saved by a beggar woman named Agatha who wanders around the village. She sort of looks like Brie Larson and has an owl that looks like Hedwig. I like her.
83) The famous library scene! This is so moving. Sort of what I look like whenever I walk into the Strand. Or Sephora.
84) They're flirting and I'm sorry, I can't get over the fact that she's falling in love with an oversized talking dog. I'M SORRY.
85) Time for "Something There!" I love this one.
86) This snowball fight escalated so quickly.
87) Seriously, how is she not dead? She hit her head so hard!
88) "New and a bit alarming" YEAH NO SH*T YOU'RE FALLING IN LOVE WITH AN ANIMAL.
89) "Your village sounds terrible" LOL.
90) "What do you say we run away?" The Beast is definitely a Carly Rae Jepsen fan.
91) Besides eternal damnation, the enchantress gave the Beast a magic traveling book-and a completely unnecessary plot point.
92) This Paris thing is such a SLOG and frankly, unnecessary. The song is pretty, I guess?
93) Belle's mom died from the plague which is super dark for a PG-rated film. Good luck explaining that one to your kids!
94) Young Maurice could get it. Damn.
95) Actually, older Maurice after a shower looks great too!
96) This iconic bathtub scene! That means we're getting ready for the ballroom sequence.
97) This might be controversial but I'm just not feeling Belle's yellow dress. I'm not sure what it's missing, but it needs a bit... more.
98) Why is Emma Thompson singing this title song when Audra McDonald is already in the cast?!
99) Don't get me wrong, Emma Thompson is great, but it's Audra McDonald you guys!!!
100) There is literally nothing worse than having an audience for a first date.
101) It's still an impressive sequence though.
102) "I haven't danced in years" BUT HOW MANY YEARS WAS IT, BEAST?!
103) "Can anybody be happy if they aren't truly free?" YESSSSS BELLE.
104) As someone who's been to Versailles in the winter, I can confirm it looks exactly like the view Belle and Beast are looking at right now. Maybe Beast really is Louis XVI?!
105) New theory: Beast/the castle is Matthew Crawley's hell. THAT'S WHAT YOU GET FOR LEAVING DOWNTON ABBEY DAN STEVENS.
106) This song really brings the momentum of the movie to a screeching halt, doesn't it?
107) Actually, now that we're past the initial awkwardness, I don't think I hate it.
108) The look on the clergyman's face is literally, "white people are the worst."
109) "The Mob Song" is so catchy and underrated.
110) "I fear the wrong monster's released" really hammering home that Le Fou is not a villain.
111) The castle is so obviously close to the town-how did no one find it all these years?!
112) Cogsworth can hardly walk in a straight line-how the f*ck did he manage all those steps that fast?
113) "Let them come" the Beast is such a whiny emo boy. I'm over it.
114) Mrs. Potts isn't here for Le Fou's ageist garbage and I'm living for it.
115) This villager feeling his makeover from Madame Garderobe is easily the best part of the movie.
116) I have to give it up to Disney for portraying Gaston as a gun-toting, trigger-happy villain. If this isn't Disney's "f*ck you" to the NRA, I don't know what is.
117) You bet your ass I'm crying over these inanimate objects right now.
118) Agatha-as-enchantress was the least-unexpected twist in film history.
119) BELLE KISSED THE BEAST AND I'M A LITTLE UPSET.
120) Dan Stevens is back in human form and it has confirmed my theory that he should wear electric-blue eyeliner at all times.
121) His hair is so...lanky.
122) I need a sequel about Lumière and Plumette. Ewan McGregor and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are 🔥🔥🔥
123) Of course Cogsworth is married to the worst person in town.
124) Put some goddamn shoes on, Dan Stevens.
125) Audra McDonald does get her chance to sing "Beauty and the Beast." Still not good enough.
126) There's our "exclusively gay moment." Would it have really killed Disney to show a kiss?
127) Audra McDonald wearing a massive hoop skirt and clutching a tiny dog is my aesthetic.
128) Dan Stevens growling at Emma Watson is the single most uncomfortable moment of my life.
129) I NEED TO SEE IT AGAIN.
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