Is the New Beauty & the Beast Too Scary for Kids?

I recently caught a pre-screening of the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie released by Disney today, and I absolutely loved it. Read on for an exclusive sneak peek at one of my favorite songs in the movie, plus free printable Beauty and the Beast coloring pages and activity pack. I figure many of you are wondering if you can take your younger kids — is the live Beast too scary? It is difficult to give an across-the-board age recommendation, so I like to offer comparisons. As far as scariness goes, I think this new Beauty and the Beast movie is on par with Maleficent. Yet I think Beauty will do a better job of holding the interest of a wiggly younger child.

Beauty and the Beast Too Scary for Kids? Movie Review from a parent's perspective via @PagingSupermom
Emma Watson stars as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the well-loved animated film.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into the new Beauty and the Beast, because although I enjoyed the live-action remake of Cinderella, it certainly didn’t knock my socks off, and I haven’t been driven to see it again. Yet I can’t wait to go back to see Beauty with my kiddos.

I think the Cinderella remake varied too much from the familiar storyline of the animated version, which made it less appealing. In Beauty the storyline is followed closely, but they offered some interesting new depth to the characters, delving a bit more into their back stories, which I imagine will be very satisfying for anyone who adored the 1991 version of Beauty and the Beast.

Belle in the new Beauty and the Beast movie. Read a parent's review @PagingSupermom
Gaston (Luke Evans) is relentless in his pursuit of Belle, shown here in the iconic village scene.
Belle in the new Beauty and the Beast movie. Read a parent's review @PagingSupermom
Director/co-screenwriter Bill Condon on set with Belle (Emma Watson) in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic.
Emma Watson does an incredible job as Belle, and it was fun to learn that she too adored the animated Beauty and the Beast movie as a child. “I have loved ‘Beauty and the Beast’ since I was four years old,” Watson said. “I remember Belle as this feisty young woman who spoke her mind and had these ambitions and was incredibly independent and wanted to see the world.”

Watson is well suited for the role, and solidifies Belle as a quick-witted and courageous character sure to win over a new crop of young fans. I thought it was a fun change that in this version Belle is actually the inventor, while her Father is an artist instead.

Belle in the new Beauty and the Beast movie. Read a parent's review @PagingSupermom
Kevin Kline is Maurice, Belle’s father.
Is Beauty and the Beast Too Scary For Kids? Read a movie review from a parent's perspective @PagingSupermom
The Beast (Dan Stevens) and Belle (Emma Watson) in the castle library.
A little about the Beast, I must admit in the movie posters and other images I’d seen in advance of the movie, I thought the Beast looked pretty hokey. Surely it must be hard to take an animated beast and portray that on a real person without looking a bit silly. I was really expecting the beast’s makeup to bother me throughout the film, but in the context of the show it didn’t phase me at all.

As far as his scariness, the Beast is probably not the cause for concern. If you recall from the previous version, there is a pack of threatening wolves that appear a couple times. The real wolves might be more frightening than their animated counterparts; yet I can’t help but feel that if you’d have no qualms about your child watching the old Beauty and the Beast then they can probably handle this one as well.

Will I be taking my 6-year-old daughter to see it? Yup. How about my 4-year-old son? Probably so but for him I’m on the fence, but honestly I think it’s got more to do with wondering if he’ll be entertained and less because of the scariness. 

Probably my favorite things about this new version: it does an outstanding job of developing the relationship between Belle and the Beast and he truly felt human to me even before the spell was broken. Here is a just-released clip of the “Something There Before” song that gives a glimpse at Beast & Belle’s relationship.

Disney has shared some fun Beauty and the Beast coloring pages and other activities — download them below or pin it for later. The free printable pack has 12 pages of fun including a full-color door hanger project, that might keep those littles busy and buy you a few minutes peace this weekend. You’re welcome! ;)

Download Beauty and the Beast Coloring Pages

Free Printable Beauty and the Beast coloring pages and other fun activities including a full-color door hanger. These are the official Disney printables via @PagingSupermom