Last night, Disney premiered the final trailer for their upcoming live-action remake of the 1991 classic BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. It’s the most complete look at the film fans have been able to enjoy so far in all its two and a half minute glory.
Like most full trailers these days, it maps out the general premise of the film quite clearly, but not in a way that gives away all its secrets (it’s a two-minute, highly edited video of a two-hour film). Based on what we know the film so far, including this trailer, it’s clearly going to go more in the direction of Kenneth Branagh’s masterful, but more faithful, rendition of Cinderella in 2015, rather than 2014’s revisionist take with Maleficent.
What made Cinderella the success that it was is that Branagh took its story and added real depth and poignancy to flesh out his film, which is hopefully what Beauty and the Beast will do as well.
The story, from this trailer, looks very familiar to the one we already know (bookish girl goes to castle, falls in love with Beast and breaks his curse — after, of course, demanding the respect she deserves and going on her very first adventure “in the great wide somewhere”). However, we also already know that the film will be adding and changing some backstories — Belle is an inventor as well as an avid reader now — and this trailer also gives us a glimpse of Belle’s life in her “poor, provincial town” that we didn’t have in the original animated film, such as her teaching a young girl to read.
While this film is the first of Disney’s live-action remakes to be a musical, it won’t be taking any of the original songs written for the Broadway show (original composer Alan Menken has created three new songs for the movie instead, plus covers by artists like Ariana Grande and John Legend, which can be heard for the first time in this trailer). What it does seem to be taking from the Broadway show is its humor. If you’ve never seen the Broadway show, here’s a tidbit: the Beast is funny in the stage show. Like, really funny. Though it’s just a brief moment, I really laughed at the Beast making a quip in this trailer when Belle asks him if he’s read all the books in the library and he responds with a huff: “Some of them are in Greek.”
Plus, Luke Evans as Gaston is already bringing the ham, and there’s a very good chance both he and Josh Gad as villainous sidekick Lefou will emerge from the film as standouts.
We also get some glimpses of big musical numbers like “Be Our Guest” and “Gaston,” showing fun choreography and big, colorful, gorgeous visuals. There’s certainly no doubt this film is going to look spectacular, at the very least.
Beauty and the Beast hits theaters on March 17.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor