I was a kid when the trifecta of Disney masterpieces of the 1990s came out: The Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast, and Aladdin. I loved Beauty & the Beast b/c the heroine, Belle, was an independent, strong, and book-loving girl just like me. When I heard that they were making a live-action version of the movie, I was a little wary.
We planned a trip to Los Angeles over spring break to visit family in the area. We did lots of fun activities in LA and visited Palm Desert. We happened to be in town during the opening day of the new Beauty & the Beast movie and I bought us advance tickets to see the film at the famous El Capitan theater in Hollywood.
Theo had never seen the animated original Beauty & the Beast but I thought the magical Disney-esque experience would be fun for us all. The theater was beautiful inside; they had Swarovski crystals everywhere and it was decorated with flower garlands. Traditionally, the theater organist played music before the film started and the whole experience was elevated beyond just going to a regular movie theater.
To my delight, Theo loved the movie! (I did too.) It was especially fun to see it on opening day with a theater full of fellow Beauty & the Beast fans, many of whom wore costumes and were in a festive mood.
In the lobby of the theater, they had a small exhibition of props and costumes from the actual filming of the movie. It was definitely a very Hollywood experience, and we had a lot of fun. I think Disney is onto something by releasing these new versions of movies that the generation of parents who have kids now are nostalgic for. I really love that Theo has an appreciation for this film (with “Hermione” starring in it) at around the same age as I was when I saw the animated version.