Beauty and the Beast: Everything you need to read before seeing the film
It’s been more than 25 years since the debut of Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast, but Emma Watson now steps into Belle’s shoes in the live-action adaptation, in theaters this weekend.
It’s “a tale as old as time,” but with a few nuances. Belle, a young woman and outsider of her small, provincial town, meets a prince cursed into a monstrous form by a witch. A mix of live-action and CGI performances, Beauty and the Beast features an massive ensemble with Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Kline, Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, and Audra McDonald.
For anyone holding off on spoilers or wanting to learn more about the behind-the-scenes Disney magic, here’s a recap of EW’s continuing coverage of the latest live-action fairytale.
Subscribe now to receive Entertainment Weekly’s The Ultimate Guide to Beauty and The Beast special issue, featuring the casts and creators of the new film and the animated classic, free with your order.
“Directed by movie-musical veteran Bill Condon (Dreamgirls and the script for Chicago), Beauty and the Beast is a movie that can’t quite figure out what it wants to say that it didn’t already say back in 1991,” Nashawaty writes. But that doesn’t mean the film is void of joy. Watson “is certainly one of the film’s stronger elements” who, “it turns out, can sing.”
EW premiered the first look at the cast with a behind-the-scenes investigation of Beauty and the Beast, complete with secrets from the U.K. set.
The Disney princess is no longer a damsel in distress. The star of the film talks about bringing more of an inventor background to the library-loving character.
We all know the scene: Belle, twirling in a yellow gown, dances with the Beast in a shimmering ballroom to the song “Beauty and the Beast.” Watson remarked of the moment, “It really tells the story of Beast and Belle falling in love.”
In addition to compositions from the original movie musical, the film incorporated original pieces from composer Alan Menken: “For Evermore,” “Our Song Lives On,” and “Days in the Sun.”
In EW’s recent cover story, the actress and director Bill Condon tell EW about how Belle’s quiet village views her inquisitive mind as a threat. “They don’t think women should read and it goes further than that,” she said. “They are deeply suspicious of intelligence.”
Watson defended the live-action remake against criticism surrounding Belle’s relationship with the Beast. “It’s such a good question and it’s something I really grappled with at the beginning,” she said.
EW’s Anthony Breznican penned a thoughtful essay from a father’s perspective on LeFou’s character progression.
Check out exclusive behind-the-scenes images from the London set — from Belle’s hometown to the Beast’s castle and the wolf-riddled woods.
The legendary movie composer (Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, and more) looks back to one of his most renowned achievements in EW’s Ultimate Guide to Beauty and the Beast.
Want to know how such iconic tunes, like “Gaston” and “Be Our Guest,” came to be? Find out from Menken himself.
Find out how the film started out with a 20-minute reel about Belle with her angry aunt, cat, and little sister. Plus, there wasn’t any music. Yeah, Disney didn’t go for that concept, either.
It may be a story we’ve heard before, but there’s still more to say. Condon writes about his experience looking to 1932’s Love Me Tonight and breathing new life into a Disney hallmark.
“Be Our Guest” is one of the most iconic Disney moments of all time. So, no pressure recreating it again decades later. “It’s a four-minute number that cost more than Mr. Holmes‘s entire budget,” Condon dished.