The nature of “The Beast” and Kong Skull Island while we’re at it.

So, what did I think of the 2017 “Beauty and the Beast”?

First my actual review: It was enjoyable. I recommend it to people who liked the original cartoon and want to see different actors and designers take it on, allowing people to see it in live action. It’s a bit like seeing one of Disney’s stage plays or even any stage play with a different cast than you’ve seen before: a chance to revisit old friends doing something just a little, not a lot, different.

My problem, and I’ll admit, I got over it, is what the movie represents.

I don’t hate Disney or modern mass-produced pop-culture in general. Neither shouldn’t be the only thing that’s out there but neither is. There’s always stuff for other tastes if you know where to find it.

No, I’m talking about the movie’s problem, which also its greatest strength: It’s very much like the cartoon.

Sure they add some new songs, add extra scenes including backstories for some characters, use a somewhat different design to avoid anything too cartoony, but much of the dialogue, plot, characters costumes, etc. are exactly what you’ve probably seen bef0re. For the most part, it’s not a re-adaptation of an earlier version of the fairy tale. It’s a remake of their own. Nothing is too different.

“Certain as the sun/Rising in the east,” indeed.

Now that’s what people came to see. I’ll admit that the whole nostalgically etched-in-my-mind lines, moments and songs have a certain appeal to me because by this point they have to. But shouldn’t we want something different from what we’ve already seen?

It’s rather odd that right now one of the other less-successful blockbusters out there is Kong Skull Island, which I also enjoyed, deliberately avoids this problem in favor of keeping only the title character and setting while avoiding any direct analogue to the original’s iconic Empire State Building scene. Its most interesting character, played by John C. Reiley, d0es not correspond to anyone in the Peter Jackson movie and probably not in the original either (full disclosure: never saw the original). Kong Skull Island did, however, have everything I wanted in a big monster flick, with plenty of action scenes and monsters. If you want that, Kong Skull Island is for you.

As a side note, nowadays Disney is more original than they ever were at the height of their Renaissance, as people call the 1990s era. Would Renaissance era Disney have ever made a completely original (apart from some allusions) story about a police rabbit in a city of racist animals?

Somehow, and this is rather strange: Beauty and the Beast at first when I heard about it seemed a bit too soon. Which is downright weird because of how old it actually is.

What happened was that my family owned it and my sister, being a big fan 0f it, and I liked it too as I recall, in spite of it being considered a girls’ movie kinda ran it into the ground. But I haven’t seen it in ages. So that’s the backstory here. I assumed before seeing it the movie would come off as clichéd, then, when watching the movie, realized I hadn’t seen the older movie recently enough for it to come off that way.


Other Disney Remakes/Sequels

So I wrote this on Facebook:

Disney, you’re doing it wrong with the remakes. Beauty and the Beast? You got it right the first time. Cinderella? There wasn’t that much potential for playing around. These below are the movies you need to remake or possibly sequel, not in any particular order. Full and complete disclosure: I haven’t seen all of these, but neither will most of your viewers.
1. The Chronicles of Prydain. Yup, I used the original title, because I actually know the books and “The Black Cauldron” is book two not one like you mistakenly seemed to think in the eighties. You want the next Lord of the Rings with a way bigger part for a woman right there in the original book? Here it is. You can make three.
2. Song of the South. Yeah, I’m going there, and I’ve actually seen the movie. The ride is awesome. Just think about if you had a good movie to go along with it. You understand race now and you understand how to make an actually interesting movie unlike then. You got this.
3. The Great Mouse Detective. Not actually seen this one, but anyway, people love Sherlock Holmes stuff. People like mysteries starring animals (Zootopia anyone?). This would work. Besides, you can have the original characters doing new and different things. You could even get Cumberbatch. On a related note: Possibly rodent “Avengers” starring Basil, Bernard, Bianca, Chip and Dale.
4. The Wind in the Willows. Again, I’m using the original book title here, but you don’t have to. People don’t even know you adapted this, so you’ve got free reign to do what you want, within limits. I only vaguely remember your version.
5. Three Caballeros. You could do whatever you want with this. No one has seen this movie. I haven’t either. Just put the name on any remake and call it this. I’d be fine with that.

Please note: I was kinda joking about the last one. As a side note, note that I’ve stuck to things they haven’t done as remakes yet. I took off “Ducktales” for that reason and didn’t include “Pete’s Dragon” which is in the vein of the above.

Do I still agree with what I wrote? The above was a Facebook post.


Way to go Disney making me support something I should hate. Or rather, way to go Emma Watson. I guess the actors make the production what it is. So if the new actors work, they work.