Beauty and the Beast – Ever as Before, Ever just as Sure.

HYPE gets a fresh dose of Beauty and the Beast which continues to make magic using the latest animation technology

By Ng Jing Zhi.

 

The tale as old as time receives a makeover in Disney’s latest line-up of live-action remakes.

 

The Beast (Dan Stevens) and Belle (Emma Watson) in the castle library in Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio's animated classic which is a celebration of one of the most beloved stories ever told.

The Beast (Dan Stevens) and Belle (Emma Watson) in the castle library in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic which is a celebration of one of the most beloved stories ever told.

 

Beauty and the Beast will be the studio’s fifth live-action remake and it will be helmed by director Bill Condon with David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman as producers.

 

This much-loved classic revolves around Belle (Emma Watson), a young and feisty book lover whose father Maurice (Kevin Kline) is imprisoned by the Beast (Dan Stevens). As a result, Belle offers to take her father’s place as prisoner in exchange for his freedom and soon discovers that her captor is in fact a human prince who was cursed to look like a beast. As part of the curse, his staff were also transformed into various enchanted objects.

 

Cast of Beauty and the Beast (2017) (L-R), Josh Gad, Luke Evans, Emma Watson, Dan Stevens and Kevin Kline.  Screenshot from http://www.obsev.com/entertainment/emma-watson-first-beauty-and-beast-cast-photo.html

Cast of Beauty and the Beast (2017) (L-R), Josh Gad, Luke Evans, Emma Watson, Dan Stevens and Kevin Kline. Screenshot from Obsev.com

 

Disney certainly did not hold back with casting big names for the upcoming movie. Alongside the main cast are Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge!), who will be voicing Lumière, the candelabra, Emma Thompson (Nanny McPhee), voicing Mrs Potts the teapot, and Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings) voicing Cogsworth, the mantle clock.

 

Luke Evans, who previously starred as Scott Hipwell in the book-to-movie thriller The Girl On The Train (2016), plays the role of Gaston, Belle’s arrogant suitor and a hunter intent on killing the Beast.

 

The studio has been releasing a steady stream of live-action remakes of classics in the past few years.

 

Screenshot from: kingdomheartsplease.blogspot.sg

Disney has been adapting their fairy tale classics into live-action versions, namely (Left – Right) Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Maleficent and The Jungle Book. Screenshot from: kingdomheartsplease.blogspot.sg

 

So far, there has been Alice in Wonderland (2010), Maleficent (2014), Cinderella (2015) and The Jungle Book (2016) – all of which stuck closely to their original stories except for Maleficent, which took the unconventional route by delving into the villain’s backstory.

 

Condon said in a bonus sneak preview clip of Beauty and the Beast that the reason behind the remake was simply because “technology has caught up to the ideas that were introduced in [the] movie”. In other words, animation technology has finally reached a point where it can now bring two-dimensional characters to life – literally.

 

Watson said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that the new movie has also allowed more opportunities to add depth to Belle’s character so that she will be “more proactive” and “less carried along by the story”. This will be seen through her added hobby as an inventor, which was originally something her father did.

 

The 1991 adaptation of the classic fairy tale starred Paige O' Hara as Belle and Robby Benson as the Beast

The 1991 adaptation of the classic fairy tale starred Paige O’ Hara as Belle and Robby Benson as the Beast. Screenshot from: IMDB

 

While the remake attempts to stay true to the 1991 original in terms of how the characters are animated, some fans have taken to social media to express their discontent with the characters’ new looks – specifically, the Beast’s, as seen in the tweets below:

 

 

BuzzFeed compiled a list of tweets from fans over how the new computer-generated Beast looked ugly and unsettling. Ironically, the Beast is meant to look terrifying and unattractive; a fact that many fans have not been able to comprehend.

 

Nevertheless, with the hype surrounding the release of the movie, Disney is confident that Beauty and the Beast will be “one of their best productions yet”. Glamour magazine backs this up by saying that “Disney has mastered the art to build up expectations for their spin-offs – and deliver”.

 

Another animated classic set for live-action remake is Mulan. The film is set to be another roaring success with an international open casting call for the lead roles of the girl warrior herself and Chen Honghui, a fellow recruit who is as handsome as he is brash. The movie is slated for release in 2018.

 

 

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Beauty and the Beast opens in cinemas Mar 16.

 

About HYPE

HYPE is an entertainment and lifestyle magazine published by m:idea. Circulation: 4,000 copies bi-annual. Distribution: 30 F&B/Retail Outlets all over Singapore.