It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another Geekly Humpday to get you through your work week! Amanda is taking over as the special guest this week. Enjoy!
The time is almost here! The most awaited Disney film since Frozen is arriving on the big screen in just a few days. You’ve watched every single trailer, TV spot, and 30 second clip they’ve teased us with. You’ve rewatched the 1991 classic and (admit it) you have all the songs memorized. You just have to get through the next two days before you are surrounded in pure Disney magic with those slightly terrifying inanimate objects and a tale as old as time. So to make the next few days go by a little faster, we’ve come up with ten things that you can look forward to in the 2017 remake.
10: Seeing Familiar Scenes
The classic 1991 film was iconic from the very moment the film opened on a beautiful castle in the woods and that piano started playing. But there are so many scenes that made this film not only memorable but also completely lovable. Gaston’s pub where everyone is singing and sloshing around their beer steins. The wolf scene where the Beast helps Belle fight off the pack of wolves in the snow. The mob scene where the villagers grab their torches and pitchforks and make their way to the Beast’s castle. And, of course, the ballroom scene where Belle dances with the Beast in the iconic yellow dress. We’ve seen glimpses of all of these scenes that were definitive points in the original, so it’s safe to say that we’ll be recognizing scenes and songs. I can’t wait to see how the filmmakers add onto them and make them richer than the animated classic.
9. Stanley Tucci
With a remake always comes new additions to the story, and Beauty and the Beast is no different. Looking at one of the film’s posters, you might notice a few extra characters besides the ones you know, like Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts. One of those is played by Stanley Tucci. He will be portraying a harpsichord named Maestro Cadenza. This brings about flashbacks for me from Belle’s Enchanted Christmas with Tim Curry’s evil character, Forte the Pipe Organ, but from what we’ve seen, I don’t think Cadenza is joining Gaston in the ranks of villain, but it’s safe to say that Tucci will bring that quirky charm that he does to each one of his characters, and he’ll make a great addition to this story.
8. The music
If you remember listening to the piano in that very first trailer we saw all those months ago, the music in this film is going to be stellar. Not only the singing but the orchestrations–both of which are so timeless. The music in the cartoon was iconic enough to define a generation of kids and adults. With a remake, you know that they’re going to have to go bigger and better, and from what we’ve only heard from the trailers, the music is just as important to the story as Belle and the Beast.
7. Emma Watson IS Belle
Now I know some might think, “Why is this only 7?!?” but hang in there; we’ve got so much more to talk about! When it was announced that Emma Watson would play Belle, I didn’t have any doubts or concerns, and I don’t think too many people actually did. Even now that we’ve heard her voice and know that she can, in fact, sing, there’s really no doubt in anyone’s mind that she’ll be able to bring Belle to life. Emma Watson is a strong young woman who’s gone beyond playing little Hermione Granger: She’s a UN ambassador, she started her own organization called He for She that helps fight for gender equality, and she has a feminist book club called Our Shared Shelf that encourages people–both men and women–to read a different book each month. If none of that screams Belle then I don’t know what does. Emma has said that seeing Beauty and the Beast was one of those definitive moments in her childhood, and you can tell. Let’s hope her portrayal as the young heroine will inspire a whole new generation.
6. The Cast
I know this is fairly general but we have to talk about how incredible this cast is. You have Emma Watson and Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame leading the way as Belle and the Beast. But the big names don’t stop there! Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as LeFou, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Audra McDonald as Mme. de Garderobe (the wardrobe)… the list can go on and on. It’s definitely a star studded line up. Let’s see how their pipes are and if they measure up to their animated counterparts.
5. Possible filled-in plot holes
One of the nice things about Disney remakes is that they try to fill in the holes that the animated classics had. Some have done a good job and others have not (*cough*Maleficent*cough*). Anyway, Beauty and the Beast, while an incredible movie, had some major plot holes that were never really answered. Things like where the heck is Belle’s mom? Where were Belle and Maurice before they arrived in that poor provincial town? Will the Prince still be an 11 year old kid when the Enchantress curses him? If so, we all know who the real villain of this movie is. Beauty and the Beast is an incredible movie, but with the chance to remake it in 2017, there is so much that can be added to make it a deeper and richer story.
Every remake prior to this has built so much on the villain (or in Gaston’s case, the anti-hero). We learn why they act the way they do, what drives them to do the things that they do, and sometimes we see a bit more into their minds and hearts. I’m hoping that Disney doesn’t stop with this. I want to know more about Gaston. He can’t just be a muscly buffoon that goes around shooting geese out of the sky and throwing girls over his shoulder all day. Here’s hoping we get to see him interact more with Belle and maybe even the Beast!
3. The Costumes
I’m not sure how an animated dress can become a fashion icon, but-come on!- that yellow dress is something to be envious of all day long. From what we’ve already seen, the costumes in the remake pay a beautiful homage to the originals. You have Belle’s classic blue village dress. but now Belle has a special pocket to carry her books, and her skirt is hitched up so she can ride her horse. There’s more thought put into these costumes: they look lived in and actually worn. Gaston has his classic red and gold but the costume is more complicated and intricate–all of the costumes are. And I’m thrilled to see that even the supporting characters and extras in the village are dressed as if they are, indeed, in 18th century France. It’s nice to see the filmmakers trying to stay true to both the time and place of this story.
2. Working in the Fairy Tale
When this film was first announced, I was hoping that they would be working in a bunch of different aspects of the cartoon, the musical, and the fairy tale. While I’m a bit disappointed that none of the songs from the musical made it into the soundtrack, I did notice something in one of the trailers that did make me happy. We can see Maurice, Belle’s father, wandering through the Beast’s courtyard in the snow where we see him walk up to a rose bush and pick a rose from it. In the original fairy tale, Belle’s father is a merchant and when he goes away he asks his children (yes, Belle actually had siblings) what they would want. The others ask for silks, gowns, and swords, but all Belle asks for is a rose. Whether this is the only nod to the fairy tale or not, I’m glad that the filmmakers decided to put it in there for us to see.
1. The Beast’s Song
In the original cartoon, the Beast only sang one stanza in the song “Something There” and in the musical we did get to hear the Beast sing a few songs, the most moving and sweeping one being “If I Can’t Love Her” sung just after he throws Belle out of the West Wing and before he rescues her from the wolves. Songs are inner thoughts of the characters, especially a character like the Beast who is so tortured and unable to really say what he’s thinking or feeling. It seems like we’ll be keeping in the tradition of adding onto characters and their personal narratives because in this remake, the Beast will also be getting his own song called “Evermore.” According to the soundtrack listing, “Evermore” is sung solely by Dan Stevens and comes after the Beast has let Belle go to help her father. It’s a chance for us to see more of the Beast and what he’s thinking and feeling as he’s slowly falling in love with Belle. Everyone else gets a song in this film, it seems only fair (and long overdue) that the second half of this love story gets his own song too.
What are you looking forward to the most with this remake of Beauty and the Beast? Is it the costumes? Emma Watson? New songs? Luke Evans? Or something else entirely? Let us know in the comments and we’ll see you at the movies!
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Amanda Woomer-Limpert is The Geekiverse’s enthusiastic Disney lover. We are mere hours away from the premiere of Beauty and the Beast!
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