And you dare try to remake that masterpiece? In live action? Blasphemy! It’s going to take everything you’ve got to win me over.
Sweet merciful Xoltar, shut up and take my money!
Yes, the trailer looks amazing. Yes, it also looks like a carbon copy of the original animated feature with the same music, scenes, and even lines. However, even if it does imitate rather than innovate, it has one advantage:
It. Looks. Gorgeous.
One of my problems with the previous live-action Disney adaptations has been the overuse of CGI to capture the animated beauty of the originals. While some CGI is still present here, the physical sets are jaw-dropping. That garden, the main foyer, the ballroom, the set production looks incredible.
Beast’s makeup is also better than I thought it would be. I mean how could you possibly put that creature in live action? However, the outfit looks oddly believable. Perhaps not as grotesquely wonderful as the original, but neither does it look like cheap Halloween getup either, and Dan Stevens has the scowl to make it work.
That’s the other thing: we finally get to see what these actors do with the characters. Dan Stevens’ legendary scowl from Downton Abbey works well as the grumpy Beast, Emma Watson has already proven herself as beauty and brains, so she seems natural as Belle, and Kevin Kline appears the perfect fit for Belle’s eccentric father. We only get fleeting glimpses of Luke Evans as Gaston, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, but so far, so good.
I only have two complaints. First, I like Ewan McGregor a lot, but his French accent as Lumiere did not impress. Maybe the movie itself will be better.
The second is more of a nitpick. The film is listed as a musical, and we get some beautiful renditions of the opening theme and the titular song “Beauty and the Beast,” but we don’t get to sample anybody’s singing abilities. Certain shots, like Gaston hoisting up a sword in an oh-so-dramatic way, wigged dancers swaying, and Lumiere twirling with a feather duster suggest this really will be a full-blown musical, reprising some of the best music in Disney’s history. I just wish I could have seen it.
Other than that, the trailer looks amazing. Grand visuals, great actors, a score that makes my heart thump, even a clever use of the Disney logo. This skeptic has been won over and I sincerely hope I won’t be disappointed.
The film is set for release on March 17th, 2017.