23 Questions I Have For Literally Anyone Who Was Involved In The Making of Disney’s Beauty And The Beast
1. Perhaps not a qualm with the live-action adaptation in particular, but I never quite understood just what was so “unusual” about Belle. The commonfolk of Villeneuve really seem to detest Belle’s strange ways, but the specifics of this strangeness are never fully realized. Is the strangest thing about her that she likes to read? If so, that’s just…
2. Was there a particular reason why Belle literally wears sand-colored Tom’s shoes for 80% of this movie? Though it appeared the label had been removed, the lil’ tab on the back of the shoe was still there for all the world to see. Is it possible Emma Watson forgot to remove her casual footwear after arriving on set?
3. Why was the woman in this live-action version so notably less desperate for six eggs? What kind of significant divestments in the economic system of this little provincial town have occurred between 1991 and 2017 that would lead to such a decrease in the disparity in the egg to consumer ratio?
4. Did the horse who so bravely played the role of Philippe enjoy a blissful Caribbean vacation post-shoot? That horse (whose name has yet to be located via Google) was sprinting back and forth from the town to the castle no less than five times before he finally enjoyed a moment’s peace.
5. Why was Lumiere the only piece of furniture/cutlery to enjoy a fully anthropomorphic form, seemingly at his will? Mrs. Potts’ lil’ legs were working overtime and the Wardrobe didn’t even have eyes (that I saw?) I am all for Ewan McGregor at his most fleshed-out, but not at the expense of wondering how Mrs. Potts made it up and down that steep, seemingly never-ending staircase, numerous times throughout the film.
6. Is it supposed to be some kind of joke that Belle is forced to sit through the entirety of “Be Our Guest” without enjoying a single bite of food? I distinctly recall, in the animated version, Belle snagging a swipe of greyish pudding, which has to count for something, right? In this version, however, Belle seems to be struggling through the reverie, certainly straining to hide the fact that she has yet to eat a single thing in the entire film, and we’re already about 40 minutes in.
7. On a related note — where were the singing steins? These really added a much needed bass harmony to the original number.
8. The sexual tension between Lumiere and Plumette was honestly the most palpable chemistry in the entire film. This begs the question: what would a candelabra/feather duster sex tape look like, and does the world want/need this?
9. What caused the producers of this shiny new version to decide “You know what? Those beloved musical numbers that have become part of the cultural canon over the last 25 years? They’re not good enough! Let’s add more songs! People will definitely learn to treasure these just as much as their treasured counterparts, despite their obvious slapdash nature and irrelevance to the general plot!” ?
10. And why did, in the creation of those songs, anyone with a remotely decent ear for music decide to create a number in which Emma Watson would be singing at the same time as Audra McDonald? Did no one with a financial stake in the creation of this monstrosity understand that doing so would expose Emma Watson’s half-decent voice (which was at least better than Emma Stone’s if we’re talking Singing Emmas) as the powerless, nasal tune it was?
12. You know what? If Emma Watson demanded that an “active princess” would have a lifeless gown that looks like a castoff from the JCPenny prom dress rack, FINE. But could it not at least have been well-made? What was the budget on this thing again? 160 MILLION you say? And did you not bother to think that the dress, which will surely go on to be featured on dolls, Halloween costumes, and other various memorabilia, would be a major feature of this updated franchise? If you were responsible for creating the single feature of this movie that is going to be repeated over and over and over again in various forms, would you not have spent more than 15 minutes literally gluing crystals onto it?
13. Did you know that the patent for the zipper wasn’t filed until 1917? Now, I’m no historian, but something about this film’s lack of electricity, publicly acceptable alcoholism, and mentions of the plague tell me that this story is intended to take place well before 1917. So why, then — if I may be so bold — did the dress feature a very prominent zipper down the back? A zipper whose existence was only further pointed out by the excessive puckering around it? Was this something that anyone, at any point in the creation of this very significant piece of costuming, stopped to ponder? No? They didn’t? Not once? Not a single time? Really? Really?
14. Ugh, Emma Thompson, let me just take a moment to reach out to you personally and ask: how did you come to be such a treasure of a human being? Seriously, if anyone could have filled Lansbury’s shoes…goddammit am I glad it was you.
15. Do you think there’s any chance of getting an Agatha/Enchantress spinoff? Or am I just going to have to hunt for fanfiction?
16. Why was Gaston’s death so much less fiery and so much less satisfying? He was even way more unlikeable and less redeemed in this version. The least Disney could have done was create a metaphorical hell death for him a la Scar!
17. Was anyone else kind of glad they didn’t include the freaky spider carriage that carries Maurice off in the original? Did a precocious intern inform one of the producers that everyone under the age of 30 has spent their entire lives wrestling with nightmares about this thing?
18. Why was Cogsworth so non-bitchy? Don’t get me wrong, I stan for Sir Ian McKellen every day of the week (please see my literal Lord of the Rings tattoo), but he was not nearly as much of a bottom as the real Cogsworth. I mean, they got Stanley Tucci over here with like, two lines as the harpsichord and he somehow wasn’t considered for the role of Anal Clock?
19. Theoretically, what do you think would happen if Belle was not attracted to the Beast in his human form? Also, what does she call him now that she has come to refer to him as Beast?
20. Why would Mrs. Potts get back with Mr. Potts? They’ve been apart for years! Even if the flame is still there, I think Mrs. Potts owes it to herself not to get back with anyone who a) is in possession of mutton chops and b) was so willing and ready to join an angry mob.
21. Where, in God’s name, after all of the controversy and “YAS!”-filled HelloGiggles articles, was the “exclusively gay moment” that literally got this movie an adults-only rating in Russia? I was on the edge of my recliner seat eagerly awaiting this evidently momentous scene, and I for the life of me cannot recall a single interaction in this film that I would consider “gay.”
22. After some research, I have confirmed that the “gay moment” occurred in the final scene of the film, during the Everyone Is Happy And Dancing Again But In A Good Way This Time scene. Is it possible that I missed this moment because I was once again enflamed with rage over the fact that, despite being much cuter than the yellow number, Belle’s dress featured an even more exposed invisible zipper? Like, they used a black zipper on a white tulle gown!!! I’m sorry, but anyone who was actually gay enough to be concerned with the gay moment certainly would have found this ghastly detail far too large a distraction to revel in Disney’s excuse for a micro-progression.
23. In any universe did this movie need to be made? Did the masses enjoy it as a brief respite from the chaos of modern times? Will the upcoming adaptations of Mulan and Aladdin prove to be just as soulless? Will costume designer Jacqueline Durran ever work in this town again?