As young stars of Disney's re-adaptation "Beauty and the Beast," Emma Watson and Dan Stevens are on the ride of their lives. The box office opening shattered several existing records in its first weekend, and the phenomenon continues in the second weekend. Together with this week's #1 spot at $90+ million plus last week's #1 spot at $174+ million, Disney's live-action remake is more than just a beast of a film.

A cast of stars for the ages

Emma Watson, as Belle - the Beauty, and Dan Stevens, as the Beast, are just two of the members of a very synergistic ensemble cast.

Luke Evans is remarkable as the unlikable Gaston. His partner in crime, LeFou, is played deftly and creatively by Josh Gad, who sings and dances his way out of and into the hearts of viewers. Kevin Kline as Belle's father draws in a sentimentality for those in the audience who easily remember him from his Big Chill days.

Stanley Tucci (Maestro Cadenza) and Audra McDonald (Madame de Garderobe) compliment each other in acting and voice department. The character, Lumière, needed a strong lead which Ewan McGregor brought soundly. Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Plumette) and Ian McKellen (Cogsworth) add stunning performances, often stealing the scenes in their furniture partner roles aside to Lumière.

A star beyond the stars

Finally, there is Emma Thompson. The way she played her role as Mrs. Potts, the teapot, is the glue that holds the entire ensemble cast together. Her character is the voice of reason, of wisdom, of hope, of passion and elevates the film from one of simple and uncomplicated to complex and intricate.


Potts looks to the future throughout the darkest moments. Thompson's voice, though not on the upper professional level of McDonald's (Madame de Gardenrobe), emanates the sound of a caring and wise parent, not tearful, not fearful, and not shy. Thompson brings the film home without overpowering or overshadowing the story or the remaining ensemble cast members.

By year's end, "Beaty and the Beast" is sure to be ranked high among the list of financial hits at the box office. It might also remain tops in the hearts of Disney fans and beyond.