Once again, we’re about to be treated to a tale as old as time. Disney released the final trailer for Beauty and the Beast this Monday, and within just a day it hit 3 million views. Based on an animated classic that needs very little introduction, Bill Condon’s live-action remake looks like another Disney box office hit on the way.
This doesn’t mean, however, that the film itself will be immune to criticism. In fact, being based on an film now beloved around the world, it may be under more scrutiny than usual. The first Beauty and the Beast was released in 1991, and was nominated for a Oscar for Best Picture. Now it stands as one of Disney’s finest gems. How will the live-action remake hold a candle to the original?
Song As Old As Rhyme
The trailer itself is promising. Emma Watson looks stunning as Belle, Dan Stevens suits the forlorn-looking Beast, and Luke Evans’s Gaston looks positively narcissistic. The sets look fantastic; the designs of the castle’s denizens are pretty new; the music is resounding in its familiarity.
And mostly, the iconic ballroom dance scene looks like it’ll make a perfect transition to the big screen. It grabs our confidence because these are all characters and scenes we already know.
However, that itself is also the first challenge Beauty and the Beast must hurdle. Because we’re all already familiar with the story and characters, the film has to answer, “what’s new?” What does the film do, beyond taking an animated classic and redoing it with a live cast?
The film is then an exercise in creativity for director Bill Condon. We want to see a fresh take on something that’s already 26 years old. Otherwise, it will be in danger of being labelled nothing more than a cash grab for years to come.
A new song would be nice. Perhaps, a minor shift in the portrayal of Lumiere, Cogsworth, or some of the other characters would be welcome too.
But mostly, what we need to see is a deeper look into some of the characters. How can the one-dimensional character Gaston be given any more depth? What horrible aspects of the enchantress’s curse have we not seen from the first film? And what kind of misgivings did Belle ever experience in falling in love with the Beast? If the film can explore these, then this film will do its job of standing out.
Disney’s on a roll with its live action adaptations of classic films. Cinderella came into its own with the 2015 adaptation. Maleficent and Alice in Wonderland, although critically panned, also sparked interest in live action remakes.
According tot Time, Mulan could very well be next to hit the big screen in 2018. Aladdin and Peter Pan are also in the pipeline. Jon Favreau, who successfully made a hit out of 2016’s The Jungle Book remake, is slated to direct a The Lion King live action/CG adaptation.
Excited for Beauty and the Beast yet? Hit us with your thoughts in the comments below!