I took my daughter to go see the new live-action remake of Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' last night and I was pleasantly surprised.

Back in November, I did a blog about some concerns I had after the first trailer was released, and I have to say, now after seeing the movie, none of the things I was worried about happened.

Luke Evans as Gaston was great and the Beast was spot on, the CGI was great! The thing I wasn't worried about at all, Emma Watson as Belle, was actually the thing I didn't like as much, she was good, just not great. The rest of the cast did a great job, I really enjoyed Kevin Kline as Maurice.

I also really enjoyed the additional back story they gave some characters and the tweaks to the original story they made, like for instance, in this version the Beast is not dumb and illiterate, he can read and is actually very smart, it helps explain why there is a HUGE library in the castle for someone who can't read.

I'm not sure that I like the new songs that were added to the movie, even the Beast gets a solo song in this version, it wasn't the best.

Disney is playing with fire remaking their classic movies and so far they haven't screwed it up, and that holds true for 'Beauty and the Beast', the new version does a great job of sticking to the original material and being its own movie at the same time.

My daughter is 5 and she had a hard time sitting through it, she said that she liked it, but I'm not sure that she loved it, so you might want to think twice before taking young children to this movie as it is a little darker than the animated film and the pace is slow at times.

'Beauty and the Beast' is mostly a win for fans of the story and for Disney, fans will love it and Disney will probably make boat loads of cash from it, I'd still rather sit down and watch the animated movie, though.

I'll give 'Beauty and the Beast' 4 out of 5 bowls of the gray stuff.


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