#Disney movies have always had an incredible amount of layers: You'd watch them first as a little child, merrily singing along to the catchy tunes, then rewatch them as a teenager and later as an adult and discover new elements you'd never seen before. It's what makes them so universally appealing, and it should be a fun game to realize some parts might be less innocent than you'd imagined them to be.
Take #BeautyAndTheBeast: As kids, we'd focus primarily on the talking silverware, but later, we could start asking the important questions, like wondering if Belle's falling in love with the Beast wasn't fueled by Stockholm syndrome, or which poor servant was turned into a toilet. Similarly, it shouldn't have taken anyone that long to realize that LeFou has a ginormous crush on Gaston — but when Disney made it "official," you'd have sworn from the backlash that everyone just found out Belle was a robot designed by her father to seduce the Beast, or something.
'I'm Thrilled That This Character Is More Complex'
Thankfully, the cast can tell a sin from a perfectly normal and sweet infatuation, so they're very proud to be open about LeFou's relationship with Gaston. To #JoshGad, who plays LeFou, it was important to give the character a more complex dimension and explore his feelings, rather than having him be just the goofy sidekick he's in the animated version:
"You know, I'm thrilled that this character, I think, veers in different directions than the original because he’s more complex. In the original movie, the character is a bumbling fool and it worked because it was animated and it was wonderful. For me, it was important to add some dimension to him, to give him some pathos, to give him some heart, and there's a moment at the end of the movie that's very subtle, but that I'm very proud of, and I’ll let it speak for itself."
Director Bill Condon also explained that approach to Attitude back in April:
"LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston. He's confused about what he wants. It's somebody who's just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that's what has its payoff at the end, which I don't want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie."
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The Live-Action Version Of 'Beauty And The Beast' Could Surprise You
Just like Condon was hinting at a slightly different ending, #LukeEvans, who plays Gaston, revealed at the premiere that the turnout wouldn't be exactly like the animated version:
"The main body of the journey between Gaston and LeFou is about two people that need each other and have a wonderful friendship and it's a wonderful story. [...] There's a little moment in the film when everybody finds their identity in this movie, you know. Some of them are happy to find their identity and some are not, and Gaston is one of them that realizes he's not going to win, and you see the Beast loses his identity by becoming a Beast, and finds his identity again and his humility and gratitude, and he finds love. Everybody feels complete, including LeFou."
After all, what would be the point of producing a remake if it matched the previous version shot by shot? It's good to see that Disney isn't afraid to modernize its classic stories.
Who's your favorite character in Beauty and the Beast?