Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Beauty and the Beast trailer reaction.

In the past few weeks, we’ve gotten our first real trailer for Disney’s new live action (and also lots and lots of CGI) version of Beauty and the Beast.  Disney actually sent me an e-mail letting me know that the new trailer was up.  It must be because I’m such a big deal reviewer for fairy tale material.

Yup, that’s totally got to be it.

Okay, I’ll admit it.  They really did it because I had just cashed in a whole lot of Disney Rewards Codes and they had gotten a hold of my e-mail address in the process and were sending e-mails about pretty much everything.  But anyway, I thought we could take a look at the trailer and I’d point out some things that jumped out at me.

But first, the trailer:
(Trailer is property of Walt Disney Studios)

-          -Interesting shot with the painting.  You can see the faces of the young boy and the father are slashed but not the mother’s.  This may indicate an alteration to the Beast’s back story.  The back story in the original animated film was that he turned away an old crone who tried to stay at the castle for the price of a rose.  She turned out to be an enchantress who cursed him to be a Beast.  The time frame was always a bit strange, though.  He was supposed to lift the curse before his 21st birthday and the servants say they were cursed for ten years.  So, he was 11?  This all differs from the back story in Villeneuve’s original story in which the prince turned away the advances of an amorous fairy.  I think Disney wanted to suggest that the Beast also needed to learn a lesson, just as Belle needed to learn how to love a Beast.
      -The famous scene from the original fairy tale where Belle’s father tries to steal a rose from the Beast’s garden.  I’m so glad they opted to put this back in the story for this movie.  I think the writer of the animated version , Linda Woolverton, made a conscious choice to leave it out.  I believe she didn’t like the idea of Belle wanting this rose.  I can kind of see why, seeing as Disney movies are often held up by a lot of longings and “I wants” and wanting a rose seemed a little unambitious.  But I don’t think the rose was ever meant to be Belle’s aspiration.  It was always supposed to be a little thing with a big consequence.  Also, it makes a bit more sense for the Beast to be mad because Maurice tried to steal something rather than him just trying to seek shelter in the castle.  Another thing from the original tale that we didn’t see in the animated version was that the Beast’s garden was supposed to be half in summer and half in winter.  I wonder if we’ll see that in this one.
      -The Beast looks a bit more human here than I expected.  I think that might be necessary though, if they want to really show him expressing human emotion.  It’s like how Spider-Man always seemed to lose his mask in the movies when he had to show a lot of emotion.
          - I like the look of the objects here.  It was so hard to tell how they’d be done through the still images.  I especially like how the faces for Mrs. Potts and Chip are the designs painted on the ceramic.  That approach could actually be used for certain other fantasy characters in the future (the Scarecrow from Oz is the first one that comes to mind).
     -That library still looks fantastic!  Though, maybe not as good as the animated one.
     -They managed to pack a lot of emotion into the last scenes in this trailer.  The one thing Disney has always had a talent for is tugging on the heart strings.

Anyway, the trailer certainly has me interested.  Even if it doesn’t turn out that great, I still want to see what it is they try to do. 

In other Disney related news, they have now apparently hired Marc Foster, the director of World War Z to direct their upcoming Winnie the Pooh project.  This seems like an odd choice until you realize he’s also the man who directed Finding Neverland.  Then things start to make a lot more sense.  As is usually the case, just the existence of this project has drawn its fair share of detractors.  This seems strange though, considering Disney has never shied away from doing Winnie the Pooh projects.  The Mouse has made at least four different TV shows starring that silly old bear.

Anyway, until next time.


  1. I'm enormously looking forward to this movie. From the sounds of it, they're still sticking with the Disney Beast, who is a, well, different beast from the Villeneuve/Beaumont one. The Disney Beast is flawed as a character first and foremost, and has to overcome his character defects before he can become human again, while the original one is under a curse that's none of his own fault. From the cast interviews, it looks like this version is, if anything, going to ramp up that aspect of the Disney narrative.

  2. As a matter of fact, there is a low budget studio called Barnyard Studios that is attempting a book-faithful adaptation of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," and they will have the face of the Scarecrow be painted on, with the paint "moving" as if it's actual eyes and mouth. It looks great!