Beastly Appearances

         Beauty and the Beast, the French film we watched in class directed by Jean Cocteau in 1946, followed the Disney version in many aspects, however, varied from the later version in story line and characters. The Disney version did not include siblings, and Belle's father was an inventor. Personally, I felt the Disney version was more enjoyable. It kept my attention longer than the film that was viewed in class.

         The costumes for Beauty and the Beast, which was viewed in class, were a little over the top. They were very ornate and extravagant; however, I felt they were just too much for this film. For example the collars on many of the costumes were over exaggerated and distracting. The Beast's costume was not very believable; the fur did not look like real hair. The Beast did not have a scary demeanor to him; his demeanor was more creepy than scary. His voice was low and raspy instead of deep and harsh.

         It was made clear in the beginning of the film that the film was intended for an audience of children. This could explain the ornate costumes, which were used to create more of a spectacle for the children. The smoke that the Beast emitted when he had killed something really did not add to the film and at times was confusing. However, to a child that special effect could have instilled the feeling of terror.

         The background music in this film was semi-appropriate. At times when there was a dead silence, suspenseful music needed to be played. This film would have been more enjoyable if the director would have had the characters to sing, as they did in the Disney version. I find when the characters sing in films, it makes the films more enjoyable and help speed the film. This film would not have felt as slow moving if there were songs included in the film.

         Overall, I did enjoy viewing this film; the scenes seemed to flow appropriately and for the most part kept my attention. There were a few scenes I had found myself wandering off, but I have grown up in a time period where the movies are very fast-paced and action-packed.

Sarah Ellegood

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