Ever since I saw the teaser trailer for Beauty and the Beast (2017) I’ve been dying to get this off my chest, so here goes: in the past month, I believe I made some comments wherein I doubted that Disney would be able to successfully adapt the animated Beauty and the Beast (1991) to live-action, and that I was very upset at the prospect of seeing my favorite Disney film ruined.
Well, having seen the 90 second teaser….I take it all back. I’ve changed my mind, recanted, seen the light, I’m back on board, etc. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been completely drawn in by a teaser (I can’t even tell you what the last film was to draw me in like that) and only 90 seconds of footage (and music, more on that in a little bit) has me completely convinced that Beauty and the Beast will be the greatest live-action adaptation of an animated Disney film since Maleficent.
First of all, what visuals we have are just stunning. The interior of Beast’s castle is instantly recognizable, and I love that they started with the grand ballroom (where the famous dancing scene takes place). True, it doesn’t appear to be as big as its animated counterpart, but the live-action one is probably more realistic (in animation you can do whatever you like after all).
But what REALLY convinced me that Disney has a future hit on their hands was (should be no surprise) the music!! When I saw that the trailer had released, I actually resisted watching it for a while, because I wasn’t sure what I was going to see, let alone hear, but finally I decided to take a peek, just so I would know. And that’s when I heard it, the opening melody from the prologue of the animated film. And hearing it, I watched the entire teaser spellbound.
I firmly believe that the musical score can make or break a film, and if the teaser is ANY indication, it seems to me that they are going to stick closely to the original music!! And not only that, I know for a fact that Alan Menken, who composed that original score, has returned to score THIS version as well!! Not only that, but this film IS remaining a musical (they may have said that sooner, but I was too busy with school to pay much attention), which should mean that all the songs are staying in!!!
I have two remaining fears right now: can Emma Watson (Belle) pull this off AND can Dan Stevens (Beast/Prince) do it as well? I only know Emma Watson as Hermione, and Dan Stevens is a complete unknown to me, but hopefully…hopefully, it will be great.
Now, back to the teaser (which I’ve seen at least a dozen times by now), I think I’ve figured out what’s going on as the camera sweeps around the interior. I didn’t quite notice at first, but as the light changes from golden to icy blue, the interior of the castle changes as well. I can’t tell if it’s cobwebs or ice crystals (or both), but it’s like the inside of the castle is entering a state of hibernation. It was mesmerizing, and then it occurred to me that what we were seeing was the enchantment on the castle taking effect. I really liked the closeup on the portrait of the Prince and his parents (I presume those are his parents) and the implication that it was suddenly ripped (just as the animated version was destroyed).
Perhaps the best part of all was simply hearing Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen as Lumiere and Cogsworth, I think it was brilliant that we can’t see them yet. (Random trivia: Ian McKellen was going to be Cogsworth in the animated version but had to pull out). What I wonder is, how are they going to be realized: are they going to be CGI/motion-capture? Or is it going to be more like the Broadway show, with more practical effects to create the illusion of enchantment? I’m fine with either, I’m just curious. I wonder the same thing about the Beast, if I’m honest, though I would hope that there’d be at least motion capture used for him.
Also, did you know that Luke Evans is a really really REALLY good singer? I think he’s going to be a great Gaston, and if you need reassurance, just watch this:
I can’t believe I have to wait ten whole months to see this movie!! At least we’ll get more trailers before then! -Bex
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