Whenever someone asks me what my favorite Disney cartoon is, I always say ‘Beauty And The Beast,’ and when asked why, I always say that it is because I think it is the most romantic of all the titles. So of course I have been interested in the ‘live action’ version of it that’s coming up, although really, there’s a part of me that thinks the original must be preserved (and I am not even the biggest animated film fan) But Disney will always be the money hungry Disney, so recycle recycle, recycle!
But, for me anyway, the score is the real star of the film. Alan Menken’s music and Howard Ashman’s words are perfect together, and whenever I hear the title track, I am reminded of the rumour that Ashman wrote that as an AIDS allegory (they say the same thing about ‘Part Of Your World’ from ‘The Little Mermaid’) That core is in perfect hands based on the soundtrack – all the principals sing the songs well, and give textured aural performances. Emma Watson is great as Belle, in ‘Something There,’ and ‘Belle,’ and Emma Thompson gives a wise reading of Mrs. Pott’s version of the title track. Based on this recording, the movie is perfectly cast. The additional songs here, written by Menken with Tim Rice, are fine, although I suspect they will fare better after seeing the movie, which i am, now more than ever, desiring to see.