The first trailer of live action Beauty and the Beast dropped this morning, and I don’t know what to think about it. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies, and it’s true that I’ve had mixed feelings about this adaptation ever since it was announced. But, let’s have a tour of what the trailer has delivered.
The trailer presents the main cast to us and gives everyone a line. And everyone seems to do a good job! Emma Watson and Luke Evans look good in their roles (even if Emma Watson’s very English accent is a bit disturbing). The animated objects have a fantastic visual feel and manage not to be creepy. The design of the Beast is amazing and seems to work in the environment. The castle and its gardens are very baroque, and I absolutely adore them. In general, the CGI appears to be on point which is not common in early trailers so double hurrah for that! It’s also always a pleasure to listen to the original Beauty and the Beast theme. So overall? Yeah, it looks pretty good.
However, Belle’s costume designs confuse me. The movie seems to be set in a mock 18th century according to both Gaston’s clothes and a glimpse of ball scene, but Belle looks like as if her clothes, (and hers alone) got a 21st-century update. Her blue dress, which is nearly entirely similar to the one from the animated movie, shows her ankles and her yellow ball-one has a dream-prom vibe that I don’t find befitting to what we have seen of the rest of the universe. Whatever story you are telling your world must be coherent.
It’s almost like they wanted to force Belle to mirror her animated counter-part and it leads to my biggest nit-pick with the trailer: many scenes look like they are directly re-shooting the animated version. And that makes me fear that they’re just remaking the same movie again without having something new to say or a different view, which would be a shame. Ultimately, what’s the point in redoing an already good movie except cashing in easy money? (There are already criticisms floating around the internet after the announcement of a live action Lion King, so this fear isn’t unique to us.)
The overall verdict? Hopes are still high for Beauty and the Beast because the artistic direction seems mainly on point and in general, I think the casting can be trusted. However, the letdown could be huge. Let’s cross our fingers. Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters on March 17, 2017.