Let's just start right out with this: no, Beauty and the Beast didn't really need to be remade. I adored the old cartoon version. What I read about that was that Disney is apparently making tons of money overseas on all these live-action remakes of the old cartoons, so these movies aren't really being made for American audiences at all. It's the best explanation I've heard, anyway.
I guess this one was the first of those remakes I've seen - what else is there so far, just Cinderella and Jungle Book? but there was nothing else we wanted to see last weekend, and I thought if we were going to see it, seeing it while it's still in the big theater seemed like a good idea. Rob hadn't been dying to see it but he liked the old one too so he didn't gripe.
(My mother and I also went to see the Broadway-bound musical way back in 1993, I guess that was. See here
. I know I saw it but it didn't make a big impact, to tell you the truth. The most famous person in it, at least then, was Tom Bosley, and I remember being slightly impressed by that part. And it had pretty impressive staging but that's really about all I remember.)
And I have to say that I liked the new movie more than I expected to. I didn't love love love it like I did the older one, but it was still pretty good. The love story works, and a lot of the changes worked at least reasonably well, and... it was pretty good. I do have a tendency to compare it to all those retellings I've read in the interim, like both of Robin McKinley's versions, in one of which the Beast does stay a Beast at the end. But I don't really feel like that would have worked here. This Beast wanted to be a boy again.
I ended up watching a bunch of interviews and stuff on YouTube when I got home, and a bunch of interviews with Dan Stevens (I didn't watch Downton Abbey so I didn't particularly know who he was) and the upshot of that
was, that I watched the beginning of Legion - he stars in that also, in case you're not getting the connection there - and I liked it. So then I made Rob watch part of the first episode also, and I'm not sure if he saw enough of it to get hooked but I definitely did. It's interestingly trippy and not at all like what I'd think "Uncanny X-men" would be like even though that's what it's based on. (I haven't read any of those comics but I guess I would expect something more like Doctor Strange, to the extent that I'd thought about it at all.)
(But we also are still watching Daredevil Season 2 and Iron Fist, etc, so we are getting more and more backed up with the TV stuff, and now baseball season has started so there's another thing to compete for our time. So I don't know when we'll get around to that.)