I loved the symbolism of the rose: a delicate, beautiful flower you have to nurture and grow. It was always one of my favorite aspects of the Beauty and the Beast tale. Flinn incorporates the magic mirror, the only portal the Beast has to the outside world.
The one thing a truly liked was that the witch wasn't just some magical hag who wanted to teach our beast a lesson. She was someone who generally cared for him and wanted him to have more in life than just the material and superficial. I thought it gave the story a softer feel to it. It starts with love and ends with love.