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Beauty And The Beast Is Beautifully Updated For Modern Audiences — But Still Isn't As Magical As The Original! Read The Review Roundup!

| Filed under: Film FlickersDisneyEmma WatsonEwan McGregorOscarsEmmaEmma ThompsonNostalgia

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We're knee deep in the age of live-action Disney remakes, with the studio delivering hit-or-miss adaptations to cash in on the nostalgia cravings audiences are having these days.

Even though the trailers and music for Beauty and the Beast were beyond stunning, we still didn't want to get our hopes up that the latest version could match the magic of the Oscar-winning animated classic.

Lo and behold, critics felt the same way, noting that while the movie had many magical moments, the CG wasn't as spellbinding as the OG!

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While critics were charmed by the film's modern updates — including more fleshed out characters (like Josh Gad's gay LeFou and a more feminist Belle courtesy of Emma Watson) and beautifully intricate sequences — the live action take just can't hold a candle (played by Ewan McGregor) to the animated magic Disney is known for.

Still, that doesn't mean Beauty and the Beast wasn't enjoyable (it's currently at 74% on Rotten Tomatoes) — just don't expect to fall in love as quickly as Belle falls for her furry captor!

Want to see what the critics thought? Be Our Guest and read the review roundup (below)!

A.O. Scott, The New York Times: "Its classicism feels unforced and fresh. Its romance neither winks nor panders. It looks good, moves gracefully and leaves a clean and invigorating aftertaste. I almost didn't recognize the flavor: I think the name for it is joy."

Emily Yoshida, Vulture: "Emma Watson is the real headliner here, and physically couldn't have been more perfectly cast. But someone really should have screen-tested her before she signed on — with an actual green screen. There are actors who can conjure up a world around them on a blank soundstage and make us believe in it just with their eyes; Watson is not one of those actors."

Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter: "The film's weakest link is the look of the digital characters. While the effects deployed to render the Beast and his various enchanted servants — Lumiere (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth (Condon regular Ian McKellan), Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson) — are marvels in terms of texture, especially as their digital fur, brass or ceramic surfaces react to the environment around them, the faces are too often stiff and lacking in expression."

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: "Beauty and the Beast is a movie that can't quite figure out what it wants to say that it didn't already say back in 1991 — when it was the first full-length animated film to be nominated for a best picture Oscar. It's fine and funny and sweet and lush and some of the songs are infectious, but I still don't completely understand why it exists — and why they couldn't do more with it."

Owen Gleiberman, Variety: "When Belle walks out of her house and wanders through the village singing "Belle"… the shots and beats are all in place, the spirit is there, you can see within 15 seconds that Emma Watson has the perfect perky soulfulness to bring your dream of Belle to life — and still… the material loses its slapstick spryness when it's not animated. The sequence isn't bad, it's just…standard."

Brian Truitt, USA Today: "Like with Moana, Disney has made a conscious effort to modernize its female lead for a 2017 audience: As the servants try to gussy Belle up for dinner, she gives them sass and says, 'I'm not a princess.' And although she likes the yellow dress worn in the iconic dance scene, that thing gets ditched quick when she needs to go fight for her man-beast."

Aisha Harris, Slate: "The three new songs, including a plodding ballad that the Beast sings while brooding around his castle, are unfortunately forgettable. The standards are hit or miss. "Belle" is a bit of a letdown, as the song has been slowed and stretched out considerably to allow for more exposition in between, lacking the brisk early-morning crackle of the original."

[Image via Disney.]

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