“Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.
Disney has had mixed results with remaking their animated films. Their first attempt in 1996, “101 Dalmatians”, made $320.6 million but its 2000 sequel, “102 Dalmatians” made a disappointing $183.6 million. Disney didn’t make another attempt until “Alice in Wonderland” in 2010. It made over a billion dollars. Now, Disney’s been regularly putting out live action remakes of their animated films. Most have been success but “Maleficent” told a different take on the “Sleeping Beauty” tale while “Cinderella” stayed close to its original film. “Maleficent” made over 200 hundred million more dollars than “Cinderella”.
Considering how part of “Cinderella”‘s under-performance at the box office was blamed on replicating the original film without enough new deviation, “Beauty and the Beast” could appear in trouble. However, “Beauty and the Beast” has something that “Cinderella” was lacking; a cast full of actors from other franchises instead of just a few! Belle is played by Emma Watson who’s still best known for Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter adaptations. Her love interests are Gaston (Luke Evans) and Adam a.k.a. the Beast (Dan Stevens). Evans played the villain in the last two Fast & Furious films while Stevens was one of the original members of Downton Abbey. Other beloved characters from the original; Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth and Lumiere, are played by another actor from the Harry Potter adaptations (Emma Thompson), the live action Tolkien adaptations (Ian McKellan) and Star Wars (Ewan McGregor).
“Beauty and the Beast” benefits from being based off a critically acclaimed film. The 1991 release remains the only animated film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. Being that the original release was only 25 years ago, that also puts it in a sweet spot where children who saw it back then will want to take their own children and teenagers will be curious what the fuss is all about. In order to make it even more friendly to teenagers, the script was rewritten by Stephen Chbosky who wrote “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, both the novel and screenplay.
Alan Menken, who composed the original score, is credited with the new film, too. However, it’s not clear how much of the original songs will be used. The remakes have left out the musical part of the original films. Instead, they’re used as references for jokes or for use during the credits. Still, it was reported that Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson might be recording a new version of their duet of the title song from “Beauty and the Beast”.
The best thing about the new “Beauty and the Beast” teaser trailer? It actually shows Belle unlike “Cinderella”‘s teaser trailer which was the worst teaser trailer of all time. It was over a whole minute of showing various angles of the glass slipper. There was no one else, nothing else, just the glass slipper.
“Beauty and the Beast” opens in theatres in the United States on March 17, 2017.
Now if we all wish upon a star…maybe an official teaser poster will appear. See the trailer on the big screen starting this Friday.
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