In January 2017 (approximately), Disney ran an ad for the live action Beauty & the Beast. Emma Watson as Belle was singing the ‘Belle, Reprise’. It was slow. It was rich with melancholia.
It was soul crushing.
To my nostalgic soul.
The animated version of the reprise is the first thing I think of when I consider a ‘favorite moment in an animated movie’. To me, it is the epitome of The ‘I Want’ song (for you musical theatre lovers)… she sings the words ‘I want…’ for Pete’s sake!
And with that ad, I swore to never watch this movie.
And then I struggled with that for two months as the film soared at the box office.
I still didn’t see it.
Last September, the musical came to Netflix, and my 8 month long icy stare when thinking about this movie began to thaw.
It still took me 5 months to commit to watching it.
About 45 seconds into the Prologue, I left the room. Yes, I should get over the notion that David Ogden Stiers should be the only one speaking the prologue, much like James Earl Jones should be the only voice of Mufasa. I am very attached to the prologue. The prologue was the prologue to my adult life essentially. Watching the animated version in the September of 1991… felt like some kind of cloud being lifted. Before too long, I was reciting the prologue as a party trick.
That’s not a rib.
There are three movies that I still feel the experience of watching them in the theater in my bones.
1) Star Wars
3) Beauty & the Beast
So, my quick exit during the prologue was a quicker reaction than, say, seeing the Star Wars prequels three or more times each in the theater.
Once, ‘little town, it’s a quiet village…’ started, I sat back down with my scrutinizing posture on. And, when the credits rolled, I was okay with what I just watched. Acceptance is a big step knowing you may have to watch this several times in your life with your daughter.
– ‘Gaston’ & ‘Beauty & The Beast’ were the numbers I enjoyed the most.
– ‘Be Our Guest’ was a CGI disappointment.
– appreciated the use of the Enchantress, but felt the execution floundered (maybe because of some editing). I’m always a fan of an omnipresent figure, so I get it.
– Olaf is an omnipresent figure in this household, so I’m just a big fan of all of Josh Gad’s timing and delivery at this point.
– It’s a bone of contention with a lot of people, but I didn’t mind the ‘trip’ to Paris.
– the outrage about Lefou last year? Give me a break!