While Disney have struck gold when they learned they could remake their animated films in live-action, even the most jaded of film lovers had to have felt some tinge of excitement when they announced a Beauty and the Beast remake. While all Disney films are beloved in some form or another, few have risen to the prestige of Beauty and the Beast, which was an amazing enough experience to warrant a Best Picture nomination at the Oscarsâ€” marking the first time an animated film was ever nominated for the award.
Moreso than many other Disney films, Beauty and the Beast holds a place in many fansâ€™ hearts. Itâ€™s with all that in mind that makes it all the more impactful that Disney chose this film with which to make history. So what is it they did, you ask? We all knew there was something different about the character Lefou. His admiration for Gaston seemed to go beyond mere friendship, did it not? Well, not in an animated Disney film, but not yet. Itâ€™s 2017 now, and Disney looked to remedy that situation with this reaimagining.
Thatâ€™s right, in the new Beauty and the Beast film, LeFou, played by Josh Gad, is sort of discovering a whole new side to himself.
â€œLeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,â€ reveals Condon.
â€œHeâ€™s confused about what he wants. Itâ€™s somebody whoâ€™s just realising that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And thatâ€™s what has its payoff at the end, which I donâ€™t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.â€
Of course, this is quite the big deal for the Disney brand, as itâ€™s set its stake in the ground decades ago as a family friendly entity. Weâ€™d be surprised if this aspect of the movie doesnâ€™t get mired in controversy at some point. That being said, it marks a significant step forward for the company, and could certainly go a long way to knock down the social prejudices surrounding same sex attraction. Matt Cain, the editor-in-chief of Attitude, expressed his approval of this move from Disney.
â€œIt may have been a long time coming but this is a watershed moment for Disney,â€ he says.
â€œBy representing same-sex attraction in this short but explicitly gay scene, the studio is sending out a message that this is normal and natural â€“ and this is a message that will be heard in every country of the world, even countries where itâ€™s still socially unacceptable or even illegal to be gay.
â€œItâ€™s only a first step towards creating a cinematic world that reflects the one in which many of us are now proud to live. But itâ€™s a step in the right direction and I applaud Disney for being brave enough to make it â€“ and in doing so hopefully helping to change attitudes and bring about real social progress.â€
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Beauty and the Beast hits theaters on March 17, 2017!
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