The Culture Movies

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

'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. 

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

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.)