The expected Disney movie Belle and the Beast debuted in theaters on March 16. The feature is based on both the fairy tale of 1740 – the French writer Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve – and the 1991 Disney animated film.
Like any successful fairy tale, her story has been adapted and interpreted several times. However, the present cinema that values nostalgia and memory, comes in sharp contrast with contemporary reality, which aims to modernize works according to current cultural and technological values. In this way, the remake of such an exalted work has a high risk. The new Disney film, however, goes through the intricate ways of its remake in a fortunate way.
The original story of Beauty and the Beast is in itself quite controversial: a girl who falls in love with a monster after being imprisoned by it (possibly a metaphor for arranged marriages, common in the past). Unlike Disney’s story, Barbot’s tale is much darker and develops around a father figure who has no money to support his children, and Bela being the daughter who cares least for material goods. Disney itself has taken a long time to adapt the tale the way it wanted, with attempts dating back to 1930.
With the addition of music, singing and funny objects, and a focus on Bela’s cleverness, Disney found the perfect formula for the tale, turning it into one of its most famous animations and a movie icon.
It is in this complex backdrop that the new film Beauty and the Beast resurface, creating controversy with every small decision made by the studio. For example, the character of Mrs. Potts, the famous teapot, has her face drawn from the side of the pottery, unlike the drawing where the face appears in the front, her nose being the teapot’s beak. Such a difference has already made many animation fans feel betrayed before they even see the movie. The same sentiment appears in relation to Fera, who does not have the same charisma of drawing.
If stylistic differences are enough to create controversy, changes in the plot create fury. Trying to update the story, Disney has created more complex characters. One of the controversial changes was the character LeFou (Josh Gad), the notorious helper of the villain Gaston, who is now gay. While children are unlikely to realize this, this fact has left many fans disappointed, while others have approved the change.
Still, the film creates many conditions for a great box office success. For starters, the production features the original songs, enough to make anyone want to see the movie. Emma Watson, playing Bela, has many fans for her work on Harry Potter. And finally, the show is up to date for an audience accustomed to a visual extravaganza.
However, only time will tell whether the film will enter our memories or will only be a reminder of something greater.
(article translated from the original version in portuguese, by Google Translate)