Before the live-action Beauty and the Beast debut in March 2017, Disney devotees were equally ecstatic and skeptical about the remake of the classic animated film. The prospect of seeing Emma Watson (Harry Potter series) as another strong, independent book fanatic was promising, yet some were still worried the film wouldn't meet their expectations.
Suffice it to say, the film was a huge success. It became the highest grossing live-action movie musical in history, and some saw how the remake actually improved from the 1991 animated film. Paige O'Hara — the original voice of Belle — repeatedly gave her approval of Watson's casting and she made an appearance at the film's New York City premiere, which gave us a look at our two Belles' side-by-side.
However, in spite of the film's huge success, there were a few issues that audiences were vocal about. And, the original Belle herself has even chimed in on what she would have changed about the new Beauty in the Beast. Besides fan issues such as the excessive use of auto-tune for Watson's musical performances and the argument that Josh Gad's character Lefou negatively represents the LGBT community, there was also the violence to consider.
In a recent interview, O'Hara revealed that there was one scene in particular that she didn't like about the live-action remake. When asked what she would have changed about the new film, O'Hara told Cosplay and Coffee:
"I wouldn’t have gone quite as dark with the way Gaston is killed. I would have rather seen them do a struggling fight rather than the gun (I’m very much against the guns)."
She's referring to the pivotal moment during the battle between Gaston and the Beast where Gaston uses his gun to shoot the Beast, before falling to his own death. The gunshot is how the Beast would have met his end had Belle not confessed her love, thus resulting in the spell breaking, and everyone living happily ever after. In the animated version, Gaston first attacks the Beast with a bow and arrow, and ultimately uses a knife for his final attempt at destroying Belle's love. Here's a reminder:
O'Hara expressed that this scene was the only one that unerved her, and she surmised that it and the wolf scene are the reason the film made the jump from the G-rated animation to a PG rating:
"I don’t think you want little tiny kids seeing it — I think the wolf scene would give them nightmares."
O'Hara also divulged a casting idea that she had after seeing the film. One of most notable differences between the 2017 remake and the 1991 original is the background story of Belle's mother and getting the chance to see what became of her. Despite the fact that Belle's mother died an untimely death, O'Hara couldn't help but notice similarities:
"I wish I’d played the mom. In retrospect, when I saw it, I was like, 'Oh looks like she’s kinda like me.' But it’s okay! It was still great to be a part of it and go to the premiere and meet Emma and the cast. It was sensational."
Personally, I think it would have been genius to case the original Belle as her mother in the remake. Sadly, however, O'Hara doesn't make a cameo in the film.
With its monumental success, Beauty and the Beast has been branded one of the best classic remakes to date. It's so popular, that even Netflix has it streaming on it's platform alongside Disney originals.
Beauty and the Beast is also available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
What was your favorite and least favorite scenes from the film? Tell us in the comments below!