Ever since the trailer first dropped, the live adaptation of a beloved Disney classic has been heavily marketed with tons of behind the scenes, features, and song numbers to boot. The heavy marketing deemed this adaptation to high expectations. Reigning in names like Emma Watson, Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen certainly makes the pull of the movie stronger. However, did it meet expectations?
If you're an avid fan of the 1991 animated film, there's not much need to rehash the plot line, as the adaptation is very much the same. The only differences are there's more details to the characters to give them personalities, thus making them more realistic characters, and that this doesn't hold a candle to the original movie. It didn't bring anything new to the movie despite the changes here and there. The iconic song numbers were present but when compared to the original, one would notice the change of tempo, of atmosphere, and performance that didn't rival the original. The new songs didn't add the element of 'instant classic' to the mix.
Emma Watson was perfectly cast as Belle. She seems well suited for these kinds of roles, and the character of Belle was easily adapted by her. There were some scenes where I thought her character could have used more expression but otherwise her performance was all right. She was clearly the star of the movie as everyone seemed to just fade around her. It would be fine if Watson was a strong actress. Unfortunately her performance wasn't strong enough to carry the movie.
What I really liked about the adaptation is that they added personalities to Belle and the prince, making them more human and realistic. They still weren't three dimensional characters but the added characteristics provided more context to their story. The chemistry between both characters was a bit lackluster. I would have loved to see more of the interactions between the objects and the two characters, as both Lumiere and Cogsworth were scene stealing characters in their own right.
The CGI was good, and the costumes were fantastic. However, the underwhelming performances overshadowed what could have been a fantastic adaptation and I was left wanting more.