We went to an advance screening of the live-action movie “Beauty and the Beast” in Manhattan, and we all loved it!

We have all seen the original animated movie that came out in 1991, and the new movie has a very different feel. It is definitely more grown up, and with real actors playing the parts, the characters really come alive. We all think Emma Watson was perfect for the role of Belle; her singing voice is great and so is her acting, especially when she struggles to protect and save her father, Maurice (Kevin Kline), in several scenes. Sydney thinks Emma is perfectly matched with Dan Stevens, who plays the Beast, and she loved the ballroom dance between them in the second half of the movie. River is a fan of just about everything about the Beast. He thinks the way his costume is designed is very cool, especially with all the details on his head, face and hands. He loved the part when the Beast opens up to Belle because it shows how he feels deep down and makes him seem less like a monster.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

There are a few new songs that have been added to this version, and all of the music is great. Also, the parts of Lumiere (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth (Ian McKellen), Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson) and Chip (Nathan Mack) are very fun to watch as they come to life in the movie. LeFou, played by Josh Gad, is hilarious as Gaston’s sidekick. We laughed at every scene that he is in. We also laughed at a scene when Belle and the Beast are playing in the snow as they are getting to know each other at his castle, and the Beast hits Belle in the face with a snowball and she goes down!

There is a lot of excitement in the movie that kept us on the edge of our seats. The scenes in the woods where the wolves attack Maurice and later attack the Beast are scary, and so is the sound of the Beast’s roar, according to Sophia. We also really liked the exciting fighting scenes with Gaston (Luke Evans) toward the end of the movie. Gaston’s character is definitely more evil than in the animated version of the movie. Ashley likes how intense things get when Gaston starts shooting at the Beast, and Sydney is very satisfied with what happens to Gaston at the end.

Overall, the happy ending had us leaving the theater in a great mood. We give it a 4.5 out of 5 for its action, intensity, great acting, costumes, and incredible sets and scenery.