"Tale as old as time, true as it can be": the end of February is fast approaching, which means lots of stuff is leaving Netflix. Among the titles to go come March are Ghostbusters, The Breakfast Club and Bruce Almighty, but if there’s one movie to watch before it leaves Netflix, it's Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, because it could be your last chance, ever! Well, if you don't want to pay for another streaming service, that is.
Disney is currently knee deep in their effort to make all their beautiful animated films into live-action movies. (Even though they are taking some creative license with the term “live-action.") And they really set the bar high with their first major effort, 2017's Beauty and the Beast. The adaptation of the animated classic stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as Beast, Kevin Kline as her father Maurice, Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as Le Fou, and an impressive voice cast to round out the cursed inhabitants of the Beast’s castle. The movie was nominated for Best Costume Design at the Academy Awards, and was the second highest grossing film of 2017 after Star Wars: The Last Jedi, according to Box Office Mojo, making over $1.2 billion worldwide.
And just like its box office returns, Disney’s budget for this film was huge. According to The New York Times, the film cost $300 million to produce and promote, making it a huge gamble, even for Disney. But, as any fan of the original will tell you, it truly paid off.
You may have noticed that musicals are having a big moment, and Beauty and the Beast really fits the bill. The amazing songs from the original 1991 animated feature have been remastered for the live-action, and everyone just really goes for it. (Yes, that is really Emma Watson singing.) But the real show-stopper is Gaston and Le Fou's duet "Gaston." Gaston, of course, is one of the greatest — and definitely the hunkiest — Disney villains. And Evans plays him with just the right amount of pompous energy. It's truly a great adaptation of the animated version we all know and love.
Not only is Beauty and the Beast a fun, gorgeous watch with great songs, it's a lovely amuse-bouche to prep for the many, many Disney live-action films rolling out soon. On deck for 2019 are Dumbo, set for release on March 29, Aladdin (with a blue Will Smith, don’t worry) in May, and of course, the most hotly anticipated live action adaptation, The Lion King (if you have been living under a rock or just woke up from a Rip Van Winkle nap, The Lion King HAS BEYONCE IN IT).
So, if you want to get ready for a year full of live action Disney masterpieces, you should probably head straight to Netflix and press play on Beauty and the Beast right now because it may be your last ever free chance to watch the film if you don’t have Hulu. Disney is starting their own new streaming service called Disney+ slated to come out late in 2019. And since Disney owns this movie, and basically everything else, they now own a lot of Hulu's parent company 21st Century Fox, their content will be available on that streaming service as an add-on. But on Netflix? Nevermore.
Beauty and the Beast leaves Netflix on March 18, so put the streaming service to the test and watch it before it's gone.