The new “Beauty and the Beast” movie came out in the middle of March, but it took until last Sunday for me to go see it. Even though Tom and I saw a lot of movies on St. Simons, Tom didn’t really want to go see “Beauty and the Beast.” So I put it off until we got to Ohio and then asked daughter-in-law Jackie if she would be willing to see it with me. We decided to go on Sunday while Tom and John played paintball.
The original, animated movie was released in 1991 (really – that long ago?) and immediately became my favorite animated movie of all time. The heroine has brown hair and is smart. She loves to read books and can see beyond appearances. Finally, a Disney princess with whom I could identify! And I loved the music.
I was a little hesitant about seeing the new release because I loved the original movie so much. But I can honestly say I loved the new movie as much as the original. There was a little more backstory – helpful – and it seemed the characters were more fully developed. Emma Watson brought Belle to life. All the actors were wonderful: Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, and Kevin Kline (I’ve loved Kevin Kline ever since “Pirates of Penzance“).
The new “Beauty and the Beast” was every bit as enchanted as the original. I laughed, I cried, I cried some more: I want to see it again. I cried for most of the last part of the movie, and felt a little silly until I realized Jackie was crying too. Jackie said seeing real people in the roles made her care about them more.
Why is it we can see a movie over and over and it still touches us and moves us to tears? Why do certain stories resonate in our hearts so they become a favorite? For me, “Beauty and the Beast” is a story about resurrection and unconditional love. Belle is willing to sacrifice herself for her father. Selfishness locked people into the prison of a castle. Hatred, fear, and jealousy killed the Beast. But love conquered all and caused everyone to be born again. In “Beauty and the Beast” I see my Savior’s love for me despite my beastliness. I see myself born again because of his sacrifice.
Have you seen the new “Beauty and the Beast”? What did you think? What is your favorite movie or story? One that can move you no matter how many times you see it or hear it? I’d like to hear from you!