It’s a tale that is old as time and a film that is sure to have box offices selling out, audiences cheering and a few (too many!) tears shed. The story and characters that audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic Beauty and the Beast, a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved love stories ever told.

Now in case you have never seen Beauty and the Beast before, here is the 411.  Belle, a bright and beautiful book lover is taken prisoner by a beast who is actually a prince that has had a spell placed upon him. Despite her original fears of the beast she starts to get to know him and starts to fall in love with him for what he is on the inside and not on the out. But does she do it in time to break the spell?

The adaptation perfectly casts Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome but shallow villager who tries to woo Belle and Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering best friend. As well as the cast being on point, the sets, costumes, animation and huge musical and dance numbers are stand-outs in the film.

The film’s sets are magnificent, detailed, epic and magical. One of the key sets, the castle’s ballroom where Belle and the beast dance, has a floor made of 12,000 square feet of faux marble while the enchanted forest around the castle took 15 weeks to make and includes real trees, hedges, a frozen lake, a set of 29- foot high ice gates and approximately 20,00 icicles.

In the film, each character’s costume is befitting of a fairy tale. From peasant costumes to extravagant ball gowns, each costume dazzled with detail. But of course, Belle’s iconic yellow dress is the costume centrepiece of the film.  The top two layers of the dazzling dress were printed with gold leaf filigree and accentuated with 2,160 Swarovski crystals. I wonder if they have it in my size?

Lumiere, the candelabra; Cogsworth, the mantel clock; Chip, the teacup and Plumette, the feather duster were brought to life in the film through incredible animation and computer-generated imagery. The detail was incredible and their movements, features and personalities were so life like you sometimes forgot it was a clock, candlestick and feather duster you were watching dance and talk.

Spectacular song and dance numbers throughout the film transport the audience to the live theatre and leave them clapping and cheering for more. They are bright, energy filled and hugely entertaining. Musical number “Be Our Guest” was an absolute highlight featuring over-the-top cabaret sequences and Bollywood-inspired dancing that had the audience singing and clapping along.

Personally, I absolutely adored Beauty and the Beast. It made me laugh (Josh Gad you are hilarious!), it made me cheer for more and I definitely shed a tear (I am a sucker for a romance!). The sets and costumes were a treat for the eyes and the acting and animation suspended my disbelief.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast hits Australian cinemas on 23rd March. Yippy!

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