I want to start off this post by noting two things. One is that, if you haven’t yet seen the new Beauty and the Best with Emma Watson and the rest of its stupendous cast, there are spoilers to be had here. So if you haven’t seen it then go see it you godawful philistine. Then come back and read this post.
The second thing that I want to make clear is that, regardless of what I may say here, I had a really fantastic time watching the live-action Beauty and the Beast. The special effects were gorgeous, Luke Evans killed it as Gaston, Emma Watson did a lovely job as another classic brainy brunette, it was grand seeing more people of color in fairy-tale France, and the film was generally just fabulous. Even the things where I was kinda meh—like how, as much as I love Ewan McGregor, he just doesn’t quite meet the impossibly lofty bar set by Jerry Orbach—weren’t things that really took away from my enjoyment of the movie overall.
On the other hand, some things, such as doubling down on Lefou’s queer coding, I did not approve of in the least (regardless of how events played out by the end of the film).
The things I point out here are primarily an intellectual exercise in structure and narrative, where I look at the differences between the original animated feature and this new interpretation and how the various additions have affected the story. As result, this post gets a brand new tag: “not a movie review”.
So, if you’d like to carry on, there’s more to be had here directly below the cut.