The Flickering Myth team react to the trailer for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast…
Despite everyone singing the praises of The Jungle Book earlier this year, there has been some trepidation from movie fans about the upcoming slate of Disney’s live-action reboots. The announcement of a new version of The Lion King met serious backlash from Twitter [read Luke Owen’s thoughts on it here], and the release of the trailer for Beauty and the Beast did little to support this new direction for the studio [watch it here]. The trailer earlier this year [watch that here] did raise some hope, but what did the Flickering Myth writing staff make of our first full look at the film?
Luke Owen: Hmmm. It has a great cast and the live-action Disney output has been mostly great (The Jungle Book in particular), but this was not a great trailer. Perhaps its that certain things like talking cups and clocks work great when animated, but look really silly when put in live-action. Something didn’t sit right with me. At all. Not sold, let’s put it that way.
Chris Cooper: I’ve not seen the point of the live action remakes at all, and this hasn’t done anything to convince me otherwise.
Villordsutch: Next to a hole in the head, this film was the next on my list of things I never needed. Watching the trailer just confirmed why I have no interest in this pap! Instant cash generating dross.
Andrew Newton: You have several holes in your head mate.
Gav Logan: It looks fine. Was never sold on Emma Watson as Belle and the trailer doesn’t change my mind on that.
Andrew Newton: I’m with Gav, Emma Watson just doesn’t make me think of Belle. I did like the darker Disney opening though.
James Garcia: As was the case with the recent Cinderella remake, this movie looks… fine. I doubt it will be very remarkable or do anything new, but it’ll please the Disney crowd and make boatloads of money regardless. I agree with Luke on some of the characters not really working in live action, and the design of Cogsworth and Lumiere in particular I’d say are actually bad. Don’t know what they were doing there. Wasn’t very excited for this before the trailer, and feel the same now.
Oliver Davis: They phoned it in on the trailer. It relies to heavily on the original’s music. I think the film is going to be brilliant, though. If only just for Luke Evans’ Gaston.
Luke Owen: Luke Evans is going to steal the show.
Eric Bay-Andersen: One big pile of ‘urgh!’. The film’s look/production design is flat, CGI-heavy and without a scrap of charm, Lumiere and Cogsworth look terrible and Emma Watson just isn’t Belle. The live-action Jungle Book may have been better than I expected, but because the original Beauty And The Beast is one of my very favourite Disney films I expect this will be a painful experience.
Helen Murdoch: Looks okay but I wasn’t blown away. Effects look good and it has great casting, but I feel that the original animation did it better.
Danny Hale: I’m cautiously excited! Would have liked to have heard some of the vocals as I’ve no idea what Emma Watson’s singing voice is like. I adore the animated Beauty and the Beast and thought this looked incredible.
Anghus Houvouras: Big fat meh. Disney is going to have a hard time getting me excited for these live action remakes if they’re just going to end up like Zack Snyder’s Watchmen. I’ve already seen Beauty and the Beast in animated form (excellent) and on Broadway (laughably terrible). You’re not getting my 12 bucks to watch it again unless you’re going to do something new, and that doesn’t really seem like Disney’s bag these days. Someone wake me up when the live action Mulan trailer is released. “Tale as old as time” feels apt, because this live-action remake shit is sooooo tired.
Jake Peffer: It looks like it could be really good however I wish Disney would try to do something a little different. I understand it’s a live action version of the original but that doesn’t mean it has to be identical. It’d be nice to see them just try something different, but it does look like it could be a solid movie.
Mark Bartlett: It looks absolutely wonderful. I know this film so well and have seen it so often I’m pretty sure I could perform it credibly as a one-man play. Beauty and the Beast is without doubt the jewel in the crown of the early 90’s Disney renaissance. It has the best script, story and songs of any Disney film bar none. Dan Stevens is way underused and can easily pull off charm and beastly menace and Emma Watson is dream casting for Belle. I know Bill Condon has respect for the material and it looks like their going for as straight a remake as possible. The CGI characters and overall design look very classy and true to the spirit of the original. Why fix what isn’t broken? You could argue why remake it at all, but I think the live action will really make everything that much more moving; I’m anticipating that this’ll be a super weepy blub-fest for myself (I’m known to cry at most things). This is going to be something very special, and I’ve got a good feeling about it.
Chris Cooper: I feel a need to reiterate my earlier post. What is the point? This doesn’t look as though it has a chance of improving on the animated version and it certainly doesn’t appear to be adding anything new. Like all the others, I’ll just stick with the original animated version. I know that’s very negative sounding, but I just don’t get it!
Mark Bartlett: Wow. So much Haterade being drank here!
Chris Cooper: If I saw something to be positive about I’d go for it, but this isn’t a different take. It’s recreating the animated film almost shot for shot, and so far comes off poorly in comparison. This live action approach is clearly making Disney a lot of money, I just won’t be adding to it.
Mark Bartlett: Haha! Then I’ll have to make up the difference by seeing it several times. This is 100% for me and a straight-up remake is the way to go. It’s making a billion dollars with or without us though!
Chris Cooper: Which is a shame! This isn’t doing anything to warrant it, bar raking in the money.
Well, this certainly wasn’t a positive reaction. We haven’t had a reaction this negative since Ghostbusters or the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailers. Actually, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter was met with a lot of negativity too. Maybe we’re just a bunch of cynics? Still, there are a couple of us who are very excited (Mark Bartlett in particular, who also loved Cinderella) and there are a few who remain cautiously optimistic. Many question the idea of doing a straight adaptation, while others are already sick and tired of this new Disney venture. What did you make of the trailer?
Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.
Beauty and the Beast is directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) and sees Emma Watson as Belle alongside Dan Stevens as Beast, while the cast also includes Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Luke Evans as Gaston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, Stanley Tucci as Cadenza, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Josh Gad as Le Fou and Audra McDonald as Garderobe. The film is set for release on March 17th, 2017.