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A fresh take

Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast hits theaters

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Drawn by Jessica Palakovich

Drawn by Jessica Palakovich

Drawn by Jessica Palakovich

Jessica Palakovich, Photo and Design Editor

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Walt Disney Pictures is a growing universe full of delightful characters, memorable songs and positive themes for families of all ages to explore. Disney’s mission to reboot some of the more popular ones with innovative ideas allows younger generations to see where the stories come from and let older generations relive their favorite tales.

Beginning with “Alice in Wonderland” in 2010, Disney’s plan to remake movies took off. The live-action films “Cinderella” (2015), “The Jungle Book” (2016) and “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (2016) soon followed.
The newest addition to the collection of Disney reboots retelling the timeless tale of beauty within, “Beauty and the Beast,” was released on March 17.

Lots of preparation went into the making of the film. Over the course of four months, the shots were filmed in the United Kingdom.

Besides the filming taking up time, the sets took months to make them look as realistic as possible. The enchanted forest set alone took 15 weeks to complete. The scenery features live greenery, a frozen lake and 20,000 icicles. A total of 1,500 red roses and 8,700 candles were used as decoration throughout the film. Also, 12,000 square feet of faux marble and 10 glass chandeliers created the set into a ballroom fit for a prince.

From all the commercials, advertisements, trailers and articles, the scenery, costume design, music and overall aesthetics are thoroughly detailed and well constructed. Everything from the brilliant yellow of Belle’s dress to the way the Beast’s fur swishes as he strolls is packed with detail.

There was a lot of pressure on actress Emma Watson regarding keeping to the original or changing the character Belle into a new style. According to an interview, Watson worked with the directors to change the character slightly.

“In the animated movie, it’s her father who is the inventor, and we actually co-opted that for Belle,” Watson said.
While it’s great to add to the story or update the old, if too much of the original is lost, it wouldn’t be the same classic tale we all love.

Not only does Watson have big shoes to fill, but the movie itself does as well. The animated “Beauty and the Beast” (1991) was the first animated film to break the $100 million barrier at the box office. Additionally, the animated classic was the only animated film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture until 2009’s “Up.” In total, the film won two Academy Awards, three Golden Globes and five Grammy Awards, but were nominated for over a dozen.

Josh Gad, who plays the comic relief character of the villainous Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou, has voiced characters in multiple children’s movies. Some of these include “Frozen,” “The Angry Birds Movie” and “A Dog’s Purpose.” His acting or voice for kids’ movies isn’t overused yet. However, his voice is very recognizable already. Acting or giving his voice to four kids movies, with two of them being Disney, is pushing it.

So far, the only other live action on the scheduled with a release date is “Mulan.” Set for release on Nov. 2, 2018, it will be directed by Niki Caro (“The Zookeeper’s Wife,” “McFarland, USA”). “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Cruella” and “Peter Pan” are additional planned movies with the dates to be announced.

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