'Beauty and the Beast' is not a compelling equivalent of the 1991 animated movie

( PG ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

'Beast' stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the title roles. All the hit numbers are here and Emma Watson is charming as Belle, but seeing it will probably send you back to the original animated movie for refreshment. 

Disney/AP
Dan Stevens as The Beast and Emma Watson as Belle star in a live-action adaptation of the animated classic 'Beauty and the Beast.'

I’m not the biggest fan of live-action remakes of classic animated features à la “The Jungle Book” and “Cinderella.” Now there’s “Beauty and the Beast,” directed by Bill Condon, which is not a vast improvement on, or even a compelling equivalent of, the 1991 Disney animated movie musical.

All the hit numbers, including “Be Our Guest” and the title song, are here; Emma Watson is charming as Belle; and the enchanted servants are voiced by the likes of Ian McKellan, Emma Thompson, and Ewan McGregor. But seeing it will probably send you back to the original animated movie for refreshment. Grade: B- (Rated PG for some action violence, peril, and frightening images.)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.