Just a note that there are some minor spoilers included in this review.
Beauty and The Beast is simply magical. Not just the story, but also the visual scenery and backgrounds used. The beauty of the sunset used as Belle sings, about wanting more, is glorious and one of the most magnificent in movie history.
All of the acting was superb, with no weak spots that I noticed. The only role that, to me anyways, felt less was Mrs. Potts. That is not to say that there was anything wrong with Emma Thompson’s performance. It was simply that she wasn’t Angela Lansbury, and my childhood missed her.
There are several added scenes, all of which bring further depth to the story and even more life to the characters. Some of the additions were actually parts from the original fairy tale that hadn’t made into the animated movie. Other changes made the story make more sense, also adding to the sense of realism.
Beast’s transformation scene was toned down to not be as bizarre. I mean the whole light coming out of his fingers and toes really was just too much in the animated version. However, they did keep it’s expression of magic intact.
Josh Gad’s performance as LeFou was possibly one of the biggest differences. We watched him become disillusioned with his hero worship of Gaston until he realized it himself and changed. As for his “gay moment”, it was barely noticeable, especially to children, and no one should have been freaked out by it, as that part didn’t actually feel like a change to the character.
New songs also added to the story, with Beast’s song “Evermore” taking over the spot for my favorite song from the movie. A few times I noticed added lines, including some to old songs, but those too added to the whole.
In closing, I would say that this is by far the best live action remake, at least to this point. You should definitely go see it, as soon as you can.