Everything you need to know about taking your kids to see Beauty and the Beast

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UPDATE: Here’s my 6-year-old daughter’s Beauty and the Beast review! Details on if she thought it was scary and how she liked it compared to the animated version.

I’m about to give a Beauty and the Beast review for people obsessed with the animated version and/or planning to take their kids to see it and looking for more information. Buckle up!

The live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast must be the must anticipated movie since I don’t know what. All of my friends have countdowns set. And 30-something around the world are acting like they’re 7 again.

I’ll admit I was one of them. Though it took me awhile to join the fray and really get excited for it (I really wish we could get more new animated classics versus re-hashing the old ones) once I sat down in the screening room at Walt Disney Studios and the music started, I was 7 again, bouncing up and down in my seat ready for some Disney magic.

Beauty and The Beast Overall thoughts (no spoilers)

Beauty and the Beast was a beautifully updated version of the classic we know and love so well. My favorite lines and parts from the animated version made the cut, but my favorite parts of the movie were the parts where the creators diverted from it.

In more way than one I feel like this movie was made with adults in mind—Specifically my generation. Never before have I watched a brand new movie that I could (and did) quote along with about 70% of it.

That said, I think people new, or less familiar with the animated version will still love it.

It was a musical from the get-go, and with new songs sprinkled through the movie it

It was the first movie I’ve seen in 3D in a long time that had really cool 3D effects.

Compared to the other live-action Disney updates, Maleficent is still my favorite, but I definitely liked Beauty and the Beast WAY more than Cinderella. This movie was beautifully done, and it’s worth seeing it in 3D.

An all-encompassing Beauty and the Beast review. What's up with the gay scene everyone keeps bringing up? Is it scary? Will you like it?

What I LOVED (no spoilers)

1. Progressive: The creators managed to keep the beautiful storyline but make Belle even stronger. There were at least three interracial couples I noticed, and way more diversity.

2. Backstories: All those questions we had about Belle’s mom and The Beasts’ parents get addressed in this movie.

3. A more realistic romance: The Beast likes books too, and their relationship seemingly takes longer to build and has more important moments that bring them together.

4. More character depth: Obviously with Belle, but also with The Beast, and most surprisingly to me… Gaston. He’s even more ruthless.

5. Nostalgia: The score was similar to the animated version through several parts of the movie. The dance gave me chills. (spoiler if you didn’t see the original): As did when he transformed back into himself. I’d love to see the side-by-side because it really felt surreal watching it play back with a different look. It was like they transformed the characters into real life.

6. (Spoiler if you haven’t seen the animated version): The scene when the townspeople attack the castle was my favorite in the 1991 version and it was my favorite part in this movie too.

Ok, now that we got all that out of the way let’s talk about what you need to know when it comes to taking your kids to see Beauty and the Beast.

I’ll be taking Lil’ J to screen it hopefully early next week so I’ll updated this post (or add another) with her full review. But here are my initial thoughts.

Beauty and the Beast: Will kids like it?

I think so. And from what I’ve heard so far from other kids, it’s a resounding “YES”.

My daughter has seen the animated movie a handful of times, so she will likely have a different perspective than me, who has it memorized. There will be more surprises, and there’s a likelihood of young kids falling in love with it, really falling in love with the story for the first time.

When I showed her the trailer of them movie she said “So it’s like Beauty and the Beast but it looks, like, more realer?” Yes, baby girl, it looks more realer.

An all-encompassing Beauty and the Beast review. What's up with the gay scene everyone keeps bringing up? Is it scary? Will you like it?

“Is there a ‘gay scene’”

I’m not quite sure what started this hoopla but after I screened the movie my husband texted me asking for a co-worker if there was a gay scene in Beauty and the Beast. Now I’m not sure exactly what a gay scene is classified as. Like a sex scene? Heavens no! Kissing? Nope. Hugging? I don’t remember that, definitely nothing in a sexual way.

What is there? I watched the two-hour movie expecting something juicy. LeFou, Gaston’s right-hand man and not-so-secret admirer, admiring Gaston as he does in the animated movie. Could people read between the lines and wonder if he’s gay? Sure. Would kids? No. Is it ever stated outright that he is gay? No.

What else is there? (This includes spoilers) Well, you know that scene in the animated version where the Plumette, the
opera-singing armoire jumps/falls on one of the townspeople attacking the castle? In the animated version, the man jumps up, realizes he’s in a dress and runs and screams. In this live-action version, she attacks three men and they come out wearing dresses. Two scream and run away, one more admires his new look, smiles, and struts away. It got a lot of laughter and applause in our little theater.

What else is there? At the end LeFou and the gentleman who liked his new dress (though no longer in his dress) pair up for a waltz in the ballroom with Belle and The Beast. LeFou is dancing with a woman at first but later in the scene swaps and dances with that gentleman. They dance. That is it. Definitely not worth the fuss.

(Side Note)

I love diversity and diversity being represented in movies, books, and on TV. Representation matters. Personally, I think it’s important for my kids to know not all families look the same. My daughter knows blacks and whites didn’t used to be able to get married like her daddy and mommy are and I’m raising them to be accepting. That said, even if I wasn’t I don’t think I’d have a problem with that or letting my kids watch because it’s not blatant.

“Is it scary?

Another thing parents worry about with these updated children’s movies is if they’re too scary. Is Beauty and the Beast scary? Well, not really. Scenes with the wolves chasing Maurice and later Belle were a bit intense. The Beast is mean and loud at first. But again, if you know how the story goes it’s nothing any scarier.

You know your kids best. To a child seeing this movie for the first time, an extra loud and dark theater (plus 3D) makes any movie more intense. I’m bringing my 6-year-old to see it. My 3-year-old loves scary beasts, fight scenes and music so I might bring him too, knowing neither of them will get scared or cry. He’s never sat through a live-action movie though and he’d likely find some scenes (all of the non-violent, non-musical parts) boring.



One last issue I want to touch on for parents is violence. Though subtle for kids used to Marvel movies and Star Wars, if your little ones haven’t seen much other than animated movies there are a few things to take note of.

(Spoilers) There’s a scene where Gaston punches Maurice in the face and I literally gasped. It’s not in the animated version so I know a part of it was my surprise because it was new. But another part because you rarely see that kind of thing in Disney movies.

Also, at the end instead of stabbing the Beast in the side with a knife, Gaston shoots him, several times. I was like “holy crap!”. Again, it could have been the diversion from the animated version that gave that more of a shock factor to me, but I didn’t like the change. Maybe ratings wise shooting is more normalized than stabbing but gun violence is a trigger for me so this was something that bothered me a little. I knew it had a happy ending (though I worried for a second cause dang!) so I was ok.

Hopefully giving you a little warning helps you prepare, or prepare your kids if need be.

An all-encompassing Beauty and the Beast review. What's up with the gay scene everyone keeps bringing up? Is it scary? Will you like it?

Final thoughts

Overall I think kids will be mesmerized by the beauty, the music, and wonderful enchantments that made us 30-somethings fall in love with the movie 26 years ago.

I hope you’ll go see it and let me know what you think!

Ok, so that’s a lot of information. I’ll probably just post Lil’ J’s review in a separate post after she’s watched it since I’ve blabbed here enough.

Are you going to see Beauty and the Beast? Will you take your kids?

UPDATE: Here’s my 6-year-old daughter’s review! Details on if she thought it was scary and how she liked it compared to the animated version. Check out other Disney posts! 

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  1. I can’t wait to hear Lil’ J’s review those are always my favorite! I love reading them to K! Thanks for this one-I love it and can’t wait to see the movie!

  2. I’m probably not going to see it, but it has nothing to do with a ‘gay scene’ or anything like that. I’m just not interested in seeing it, but I’m not a big movie goer.

    As for who made a big deal about the gay scene in the first place- Disney did. The director of the film is the one who made comments hinting towards some big thing and then also stated this was just the beginning of things like this for Disney. And I think we all know why he did. For publicity. His comments were a PR stunt and nothing more. He knew that if he even hinted that there might be something that hinted towards homosexuality in the movie, it would get talked about like crazy. And it did, because then people from all sides of the issue ran with it. Those who are against such things being in kids movies started up a petition and are begging people to boycott it. And those who are okay with homosexuality being in films are going to go see it, thinking they are being represented, only to likely be disappointed and tell Disney that they didn’t make it gay enough and that Elsa had better be a lesbian in Frozen 2.

    1. That’s true Nicole. I didn’t read the articles about it until today so I wasn’t sure if it was in defense or whatnot. Definitely not over the top, r even close. But I guess still a first for Disney.

  3. In the animated version…Gaston most certainly punches Maurice in the face…enough to send him flying across the room, and does something else violent I believe while he’s singing the “Gaston” song. Watch again. Apparently you don’t have it as memorized as you thought lol…and cartoon violence is less noticeable to you….but it’s there.

    1. And you are right, animated movies are definitely violent too. I mean Tarzan, Bambi, and (my favorite) Lion King! Definitely some harsh stuff. I mean think of Tom and Jerry and Bugs Bunny stuff too. Cartoons are definitely violent but I wanted to point out how it stood out more to me in this version 😉 Hope you enjoy the movie!

  4. I was hoping you were going to review this movie, you do such a great job with your reviews! I can’t wait to take my 5 year old daughter to see it. Thank you!

  5. I , too, was hoping you would review it! I had assumed the “gay” scenes were similar to what you described. I remember when Brave came out there was speculation about Merida being gay, since she was so opposed to getting married. I just think Disney has put a good bit of effort in recent years of making a lot of their characters pretty ambiguous, so that they are relatable to all kinds of people. I’m so excited to see this movie!

    1. Oh wow, I didn’t know there was a concern over that. I heard about some people concerned about innuendos with Elsa and “Let it Go”. I guess people can read really hard into anything. Let me know what you think once you see it!

  6. Love the review. But your concern over the shooting but not the gay or other violence is odd but your personal choice. It’s all make believe and just because someone sees a shooting in a movie instead of a stabbing does not mean they will do it.

    1. Definitely a personal choice. Like I said if your kids are used to Marvel and Star Wars and things this is nothing. My kids haven’t seen many live action movies so it was something I thought I’d make sure to point out in case other parents are taking their kids to see this as their first non-animated movie. Reviews are just personal opinions 😉

  7. I enjoyed your review, and in watching the animated version AND the play three years ago, in which my Grandson portrayed both the young, cocktail Prince in the beginning (before he was cursed to become the beast), AND Leroy, I got that he was enamored of Gaston, but it just made for a fun role to play. I didn’t dwell on it!

    And Gina, she is correct. Gaston decked Leroy in the animated version and in the play, NOT Maurice.

  8. Thank you sooooo much!!!! I was thinking really hard on taking my 3 year old to watch it. while she is going crazy that she wants to see it. I am sure she will like but I was thoughtful about the parts that seemed scary to me for her .. I guees she will be ok. Againg thank you and we will go watch it today!

  9. I love your review of Beauty and the Beast and how much you seemed to enjoy it! You know how much people like to cause drama – I love your take on all of that.

  10. Amazing Writeup Jennifer! I have seen both of the versions of Beauty and the beast, and I must say each version is a masterpiece on its own. One thing I really liked about these types of animated movies is that both adults, as well as children, can be entertained with its charm and wit. Now, I want to watch this again.

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