Ever since people first put sound in movies, the classic genre of the musical has thrived. It makes sense, of course. Song has always been involved in visual story telling. The Greek Chorus would sing prayers during stage productions. Opera adapted the works of Shakespeare.
There is no question about the quality of Beauty and the Beast, regardless of whether you watch the animated or the live action version of the film. The films are both visually stunning, and the music is gorgeous. Emma Watson as Belle also has a surprisingly good singing voice, and Dan Stevens makes the most of acting through a heavy layer of makeup. In all, the new film is in many ways on par with the 1991 animated one.