SPOILERS: Do not read any further unless you have seen the movie. Seriously, you guys -- LOTS OF SPOILERS below.
"Beauty and the Beast" is the latest in a growing line of Disney animated movies getting the live-action remake treatment. And while the remake stuck pretty close to the blueprint of the original, there were a few key differences this time around.
If you need a little refresher on how this tale as old as time changed between 1991 and 2017, here are five major differences between the original and the remake.
1. The Curse Is DifferentThe animated "Beauty and the Beast" didn't waste much time on the Enchantress who cursed the prince and his servants to an eternity of solitude and suffering. But in the remake, the Enchantress is treated as an actual character (played by Hattie Morahan), and the actual mechanics of the curse are given much more attention.
In this new version, we learn that the curse causes the castle and its inhabitants to become more warped with each falling petal. We also learn that the curse keeps the castle frozen in perpetual winter, while also forcing the people in Belle's village to forget about the castle's very existence.
That last fact becomes crucial once it's revealed that Mrs. Potts and Cogsworth both have loved ones still living in the village. Worst of all, it's revealed that the curse will cause the Beast's servants to lose the final traces of their humanity once the final petal falls.Basically, the remake addresses many of the plot holes from the original while also establishing much higher stakes should the Beast fail to find true love in time.
2. Belle Is More Than the Village OutcastIn the animated version, Belle's father, Maurice, is a doddering inventor while Belle herself does little more than wander about town and long to be whisked away from her "provincial life."
With the remake, Disney clearly felt Belle should have some marketable skills to offer. In this case, Belle herself is now the inventor of the family, while Maurice is an artist and music box-maker. This helps explain why the townsfolk are so wary of Belle. It's pretty unusual for women in 18th Century France to be inventing washing machines.
3. We Learn About Belle and the Beast's ChildhoodWhy was the prince such a jerk before he was cursed? Why doesn't Belle have a mother? These weren't questions the original movie cared to address, but the remake definitely did. Here we learn that both characters are united by the loss of their mothers.
In Belle's case, her mother died from the plague shortly after giving birth to her, forcing Maurice and baby Belle to flee Paris. The Beast, meanwhile, suffered the loss of his mother as a child and grew up under a cruel, domineering father. That's the reason he's such a monster to everyone, but his servants stuck around because, even before the curse, they knew a good, kind person still remained under the prince's cranky facade.
4. There's a New Character and New SongsThe remake includes a brand new character in the form of Stanley Tucci's Maestro Cadenza, a court composer-turned-talking harpsichord. Cadenza also happens to be the husband of Madame Garderobe.
The film also includes three new songs in addition to the iconic lineup from the original. Those songs include "Evermore" (about Beast learning to accept his fate), "Days in the Sun" (about Belle and Beast growing used to each other's company) and "How Does a Moment Last Forever?" (sung by both Maurice and Belle at different points).
5. LeFou Has a Bigger RoleWhile his role in the remake is pretty similar to the original, Gaston's sidekick/punching bag LeFou wound up being more important and more sympathetic character here. For one thing, there's the fact that LeFou pines after Gaston, making him the first openly gay character in a Disney movie.
For another, LeFou has a more redemptive character arc this time around. He eventually asserts his independence and turns against Gaston's men, and in the end is rewarded with the opportunity to dance at Belle's wedding.
It turns out he's not such a bad guy after all.