There are many changes and things added, but they are not all successful. Some of the things they copied over again did not work for me this time. Like the design of the inanimate object servants. They look too much like the objects they are. It is often hard to interpret facial expressions or body language. I am reminded of the carpet in Aladdin, which is bad if this is a large part of your supporting cast. That could just be my own problem though. But my biggest problem with them lies with the tea kettle and cups. I was not impressed with any sort of warm characterization for them that I felt in the animated film. The voice of Mrs. Potts here bothered me, though it may be me just comparing her voice to the former film's. When all those characters transformed back into humans at the end, I wasn't as excited to learn what they actually looked like. The underwhelming nature of this overwhelmed me later after I got home.
The end fight on top of the castle was not strong enough. Part of the problem might be that Belle gets involved and assures the Beast that what Gaston says about how she feels is wrong, which then motivates the Beast to fight. The problems extend more off from there, though.
"The Mob Song" pales in comparison to the original. The former version felt like a dark ranting that you could almost feel persuaded to join in, while this one is brief and not too rapturous. Because Gaston is now a living, breathing human it is much harder to be certain that he is evil and deserves to die, instead of just being a mighty self-centered buggard with a lot of influence and pride. Animation is better with caricatures.
I was confused about the townspeople's mockery of Maurice in this, as nothing is shown with him being eccentric. I had a harder time picturing Belle and her father as this odd pair that everyone talks about. If the movie is going to promote its theme of inclusion by revealing that a few characters are of color, treated equally with white people, and a couple are of the LGBTQ community, why do Belle and her father get such a bad reception from others? Emma Watson is okay as Belle, but she doesn't have as strong of a personality as the Belle in the 1991 film.
The film doesn't have much of a personality either, which may be as a result of it being lost in distant nature of the inanimate servants and the inconsistent pacing, which speeds much too quickly through some places that I would have preferred it slow down, and then lugs sluggishly through other areas. The pacing threw me out of the film too many times than I count, which upset me when I was finally starting to get into the narrative's groove.
The Beast looks like too much CGI or motion-capture and not enough like a living being, which made it harder for me to be convinced of the possibility that Belle could fall in love with it. At least in the animated film both characters were animated, appearing to live in the same domain of reality, even if the Beast was figuratively "disfigured".
Of course, this all could just be me being "picky", as someone already called me after I shared my thoughts on the film.
I will say this, though: I actually liked this version of LeFou. I like both versions, the former for comedic relief and his devoted empty-headed banality, and this one for his charm, warmth, and gusto, the only character I felt that from during the whole movie. I actually WANTED the scenes with him in it. People may worry about this, as he is "gay" and might appeal to children. The "gayness" of him is barely pronounced, basically only being noticeable if you look for it. I didn't care. In this version, he actually seems like a nice guy, and for all the indifference Gaston gives to him as a fellow human being and all the times LeFou must struggle with fighting his own conscience, I do actually feel sad that he may never be able to love anyone. Sure, he is seen dancing with somebody at the end, but society will guarantee that nothing will come of it. That's not me saying that I approve of gay marriage, but it is me saying that I realize that the withholding of it can lead to heartbreak and a lifetime of misery. And I respect this LeFou. But this is a fantasy/fairy tale, so who knows? Maybe someday he'll have a "happily ever after" after all.
My rating: 3 1/8 /5
P.S. I maybe used too many "maybe"s in this review. (Perhaps I'll overuse "perhaps" next time?)