Beauty and The Beast: A Musical vs. Movie Review // Permission to share under license CC BY-SA 4.0.) // Permission to share under license CC BY-SA 4.0.)

Disney has made some of its movies into Broadway Musicals. One of these musicals is Beauty and the Beast. The movie, Beauty and The Beast, is a story about loving someone who is not beautiful with an intense storyline. Also, it has a controversial theory with the main character having Stockholm syndrome. Similar to the Anastasia story, both the musical and movie have similar songs, but the musical added more songs. However, the question still remains: Is the musical better than the movie or is the movie better than the musical?

DISCLAIMER: This story contains spoilers for both the movie and the musical. So, if you do not want spoilers then you probably should not read this article. However, if you do not mind spoilers, then by all means, please enjoy this article!

The movie starts with a prophecy about a prince who was turned into a hideous beast and a magical enchanted rose reminds him that the only way to break the curse is for him to find true love. Soon after, the audience is introduced to Belle, a simple village girl who is weird because of her love of reading. Despite her “strangeness” for reading books, she is known as the most beautiful girl in the village (which makes the arrogant villain, Gaston, fall for her). One day, her father (an inventor) leaves home to present his invention at a fair but does not return. When only his horse comes back, Belle has her father’s horse take her to where her father is located. Turns out, Belle’s father accidentally trespassed into the prince’s estate and was being held prisoner. Belle, after learning this news, offers to take her father’s place for his freedom, to which the prince agrees. Although her father is allowed to go home, Belle has to remain as the prince’s prisoner instead. With the passing of time, Belle starts to fall in love with the prince/beast, who also falls in love with her.

Overall, the movie is good. The movie’s storyline is played out nicely and the songs are amazing. “Be Our Guest” and “Tale as Old as Time” are the most popular melodies. Belle and Beast’s characters are wonderfully portrayed in the movie as they make the story interesting through their creative personalities. The other supporting characters (especially Lumiere and Cogsworth) are also interesting and enjoyable. However, there are still some flaws. Gaston’s character seems to be too much of an antagonist than a villain, making his transformation into a villain too rushed. Lefou’s (Gaston’s sidekick) character is ridiculous and provides no meaning to the plot. One of the major problems in the movie is the relationship between Belle and the Beast, which suggests that Belle has a “Stockholm Syndrome” (falling in love with captor due to displaced compassion and empathy). Their relationship seems too rushed at some points and at times did not appear healthy. Belle, however, is able to break the spell and admit that she loves him.

The musical, on the other hand, is not that different. However, there are some improvements. Belle and Beast’s characters have more depth and more songs are included, like “Home” and “If I can’t love her.” “Home” is a beautiful and emotional song sung by Belle which demonstrates her vocal ability. The supporting characters are more likable and their songs are better too. Gaston and Lefou’s characters, however, are still poorly developed and annoying. In addition, the relationship between Belle and the prince has improved immensely making it more healthy. Belle’s father also sings in the musical unlike the movie. Either way, the musical is more entertaining and better than the movie. What made the Broadway musical superior is the Beast’s transformation. In the movie, the Beast is transformed as light surrounds him and each part of his beastly form is turned into a prince, while the musical dramatically flashes lights surrounding the prince’s character as smoke rises from the stage floor. Simultaneously, the transformation music plays as the Beast changes from his beastly form into a handsome prince. The costumes too are excellent.

When comparing the musical to the movie, the musical wins. Overall, the musical is great as a whole. While the movie appeals more to younger kids, the musical appeals to older audiences.