Disney won't be releasing a new animated movie in 2017 (they did deliver two in 2016 - Zootopia and Moana - and are still distributing two from Pixar this year - Cars 3 and Coco), but that doesn't mean fans of the Mouse House's classics are going to be left wanting at the multiplex this year. Following on from the success of Cinderella and The Jungle Book, 2017 sees the release of the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, one of the studio's most beloved animated films.
Hype for the movie has already become higher than the tallest tower of the Beast's castle. The casting - the trifecta of Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast and Luke Evans as Gaston in particular - has been spot on; its first two trailers smashed view records set by the likes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens;and the release of Watson singing as Belle was a hungrily devoured event. The film is now just over two months away, so Disney are soon going to be really ramping up its marketing. The studio has already started with a run of TV spots and a (not 100% successful) toy launch, but that's just the beginning.
We've just got an international poster for the film (featuring the rather elegant Portuguese title, A Bela E O Monstro) that shows Watson's Belle and Stevens' Beast in classic poses with a bunch of recognizable elements from the 1991 animated film - the rose, the snow covered castle, Belle entering the main hall as Cogsworth, Mrs Potts and Chip look on, and so forth. Check it out, below:
This post has a classic, old-school design that really helps push the "tale as old as time" angle Disney is going for. It's also considerably neater than the original full-cast one sheet. That one felt way too overstuffed (it has fifteen character poses on it!) and oddly includes the pre-transformation versions of the castle's staff - although, to be fair, it was cool to see what Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen and co. would look like when not in household item form. By poster, this new poster is simpler, more striking, and emblemizes the film we've been sold thus far in the trailers.
Based on everything we've seen of the film so far, it appears to be a mixture of straightforward adaptation and new stylistic flourishes; taking the core iconography of the animated Beauty and the Beast and expanding it into a bigger experience. Newer TV spots have shown a humor more in keeping with the 1991 film and recent stills hint at an expanded backstory for the Beast. This is similar to the approach in Disney's previous live-action adaptations - and if director Bill Condon can work the same magic as Kenneth Branagh and Jon Favreau have before him, then we should be in for a treat come March.
- Beauty and the Beast (2017) release date: Mar 17, 2017