March 17 is getting near – thank goodness for February being the shortest month of the year – and we (or at least Disney fans) shall then be charging into movie theaters to experience the legendary studio’s latest live-action conversion from their long-running animated canon, ad from one of their most iconic animated films from the so-called 1990s Disney Renaissance. The original “Beauty and the Beast” movie from 1991 gets a magnificent upgrade in flesh, blood and CGI as teased little by little with all the trailers and TV spots that have come out. With just over a month left to go the studio has graced us with one last look at choice scenes from the film before unleashing the entire experience.
The Los Angeles Times tells us that a final theatrical trailer has been put online for perusal by Disney this Monday January 30, showing even more scenes to watch out for in the upcoming film, to the point that detractors are complaining that it practically condenses the story. But really, there shouldn’t be any spoilers at all. Anyway, it opens with a montage of scenes from the provincial village that is home to heroine Belle (Emma Watson) where she teaches a child to read, walks around a crowded town square with her eyes glued to a book, all while a voiceover from her father Maurice (Kevin Kline) sets the tone for her status quo.
Several production interviews and online leaks have revealed tweaks to the plot such as the inventive streak of animated 1991 Maurice is now Belle’s own, making her even more of an odd duck to the setting save for the chauvinistic hunter Gaston (Luke Evans), who’s guaranteed to generate laughs in the audience with how he preens to himself in a mirror.
From there we get to see another remix of scenes we got from the previous trailer, consisting of Maurice stumbling into the enchanted castle and Belle allowing herself to be imprisoned there in her father’s place by the resident (not-so-scary-looking) Beast played by Dan Stevens. There’s the fight with the wolves sequence topped by Belle deciding not to escape and help the Beast by tending his wounds.
In the final stretch of the trailer we get more additional visuals covered point by point from the animation, with extras added: library, Gaston’s song and dance, the ballroom waltz and the attacked on the Beast’s castle. But the main draw at this point is the first sampling of the revival of the 1991 film’s theme song by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson, this time covered by Ariana Grande and John Legend, which is surprisingly good. Surely, this “tale as old as time” has been made brand new. Look forward to Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” March 17.