BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic featuring an extraordinary ensemble cast, including: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu MbathaRaw, Haƫtie Morahan and Nathan Mack with Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.
Directed by Bill Condon and based on the 1991 animated film “Beauty and the Beast,” the screenplay is written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos. Alan Menken provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman as well as three new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice. The film is produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman, p.g.a. and Todd Lieberman, p.g.a with Jeffrey Silver, Thomas Schumacher and Don Hahn serving as executive producers.
Director Bill Condon brings a deep understanding and respect for the actors he works with, and collaborating with them in the initial stages to fine-tune the personal details of their characters is a process he finds invaluable. In this case, weeks of one-on-one work with actors led to a fullscript table read, a customary practice Condon orchestrates – though in this case, with some musical numbers fully performed by actors and ensemble – it turned into more of a live concert for the assembled crew. “Bill Condon decided to put on a show and I’ve never seen or heard anything like it,” remarked Ian McKellen just afterwards. The cast agreed it got the production off to a great start, and exemplified what this unique experience would have in store.
When searching for talent to bring the beloved animated characters to life on screen, the filmmakers canvassed the worlds of film, television, music and theatre to find the performers best suited for each role. Emma Watson was the first to join the production as Belle, the shrewd villager who yearns for adventure.
For over a decade, the British actress has charmed audiences playing the quick-witted and tenacious Hogwarts student Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” films and in films including “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “Noah” and “The Bling Ring.” In addition, she has a highly-visible role as a human rights activist and global goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, something which has become her life’s calling. Of all the female characters in all the Disney films, she has always been drawn to – and most identifies with – Belle. “I have loved ‘Beauty and the Beast’ since I was four years old,” she says. “I remember Belle as this feisty young woman who spoke her mind and had these ambitions and was incredibly independent and wanted to see the world. And she had this relationship with the Beast where they were just toe to toe and that, to me, just seemed like such a terrific dynamic and interesting kind of relationship that I’d never seen before in a fairy tale.”
For the role of the Beast, a spoiled and arrogant Prince transformed by the curse of an enchantress, the filmmakers had multiple conversations and tossed around dozens of names before deciding on Dan Stevens. The British thespian, best known for his portrayal of the dashing and sensitive Matthew Crawley on the award-winning television series “Downtown Abbey,” worked with Condon a few years back on “The Fifth Estate” and found it to be a collaborative experience and one that he was eager to repeat.
Of particular importance to the filmmakers was determining the fine line between man and beast, as there are moments when rage overwhelms the character and makes him more beastly, yet there are other times when he is quite gentle. “Bill and I spent a lot of time talking about how we could add some nuances to my character to make him more dimensional than the Beast from the animated film,” says Stevens. “It was quite interesting, trying to find those little human beats that would make him less animalistic and more a human trapped inside this creature.”
Click on the links below to print the coloring sheets.
Like BEAUTY AND THE BEAST on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyBeautyAndTheBeast
Follow BEAUTY AND THE BEAST on Twitter: https://twitter.com/beourguest
Follow BEAUTY AND THE BEAST on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beautyandthebeast/
Visit the official BEAUTY AND THE BEAST website here: http://movies.disney.com/beauty-and-the-beast-2017
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is now playing in theatres everywhere!