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When Freed From Its Past, Beauty and the Beast Has Its Own Brand of Magic

When Things Go Pop!

There is no real reason why a 2017 live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast should exist.

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The 1991 animated film is considered a masterpiece by many, the first of its kind to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination. The characters are iconic, the songs legendary, the artwork exquisite. Even those who find the plot troubling and outdated would be hard-pressed to find that landmark ballroom scene to be anything less than spell-binding. In other words, why watch a remake when you can just watch the cartoon? Disney, equal parts studio and relentless marketing behemoth, has banked on moviegoers ignoring the cynicism to get swept in the nostalgia of their tale as old as time.

Beauty and the Beast tells the story of Belle, a young woman living in a small town in 18th century France who longs for more than her provincial life. That life is upended when her father is…

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