Bill Condon and Alan Menken Discuss Making Beauty and the Beast #BeOurGuestEvent

Bill Condon and Alan Menken Discuss Making Beauty and the Beast

For as long as I can remember Disney’s animated classic Beauty and the Beast had been my favorite Disney movie of all time. I never thought anything would ever take it’s place. I was wrong. After screening the new live action version of Beauty and the Beast, I officially have a new favorite.

I’m always honored when I have the opportunity to sit down with the film-makers for my favorite movies. It makes me feel more connected to the projects, and when they do well, I feel a personal sense of accomplishment. We were interested in how Condon and Menken got connected to Beauty and the Beast.

AM : I was drawn to the story by Disney. I mean it was basically Howard Ashman and I were working Little Mermaid, it hadn’t been released yet but people were very happy with it and they said how about Beauty and the Beast. We’re interested in doing that next. I have to say Howard and I actually, we had Aladdin but Aladdin had to go back to development because we were a bit to edgy. There was more development work to do on that so Beauty and the Beast then came in and became the next thing we worked on together.

As far as what drew me to it beyond that I mean I gotta go back and credit Howard who looked at the initial story and how you’re gonna turn it into an animated musical then it was a matter of inventing the enchanted objects and inventing a huge ego for Gaston and his posse of nitwits who praise him. So simply because for the structure we needed to put in production numbers and comedy numbers and so it was all those brilliant ideas and I gotta say Howard was so instrumental in that.

BC : There’s this movie, this classic, perfect movie that already exist and for me more than anything it was the score, the chance to really roll around in that music and to restage it, do a kind of new version of it in a live action format but to specially those songs. It just felt to me that, that like a once in a lifetime opportunity.

AM : When I heard that Bill was directing it I didn’t know you. I knew the work you had done but Richard said Bill is a major fan of musical theatre. He loves it so this was oh, he knows the craft. He knows musicals and so that was huge.

The music in the live action film really sealed the deal for me. All of the originals are still in the film. That was huge. There’s also three songs added to the film that adds to the musical journey.

AM: Days in the Sun, before Bill was on as a director, this goes back to about 2008. There was discussions about a movie version of Beauty and actually went as far as early script and when I was in London working on Sister Act Tim was there and I said let’s try, you know, working on a couple of songs. The Days in the Sun, the genesis of that actually began back there as sort of a lullaby moment but once Bill came aboard then that really got reworked, you know, to be a vehicle of so much back story and we’re threading a lot of story to it.

And the other songs I would say they were the song we decide at the beginning. Some moments we followed through on. You know, the actual conception of the songs was yes, here they are. The actual execution was two years of here are these songs, black and blue and we’re gonna reprise it here and we’re gonna put it so a little bit of How Does a Moment Last Forever into the middle of Days in the Sun. We’re gonna take Days in the Sun theme and we’re gonna put it at the top as the Aria and just, you know you begin, you have these threads and you begin to weave with them. I never, by the way I never pull from a trunk, ever.

Director/co-screenwriter Bill Condon on set with Belle (Emma Watson) in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic. The story and characters audiences know and love are brought to life in this stunning cinematic event…a celebration of one of the most beloved stories ever told.

Bill talked to us about how he felt working with the iconic Menken on Beauty and the Beast. He opened up about their work process, and how they created the visual beauty that we’re all falling in love with.

BC : Well for me I was intimidated at our first meeting because here I am and I’m sort of talking about the first possible new song and this is a legendary composer but also it’s a property that as we keep saying is perfect on its own so it’s like okay, gonna tell me we need that but Alan is a direct opposite of that. You know, I think Alan as a man of the theatre, is somebody who craves the dialogue and the collaboration. I think that’s what it’s about and that became clear very, very soon, you know. We just started a conversation, you know, it went on for a couple of years, right?

Next we talked about the challenges they faced of preserving the timeless classic while adding new things into the movie.

BC : I think again it was always about revealing more. It wasn’t about reinventing. So it was like you start to bring it into the real world and you start to ask questions that didn’t matter in the animated film. How did Belle and Maurice wind up in this village. What happened to her mother? How did the Prince become such a dissolute figure that he was worthy of being cursed, you know? And, it’s interesting you start asking those questions and you start to bat around what the possible answers are. Then you’re making something different but I think for me I could ever really rely on my own kind of reverence for the original film in knowing when you’re changing something or going too far. You know, I hope never to cross that line.

Emma Watson as Belle in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s classic animated film.

When you see the film, you know that Emma Watson was the perfect choice for Belle. I can’t think of a single actress that would have pulled it off so well. We asked Condon how did he know she was his Belle.

BC : Well I suspected it was just seeing her in Harry Potter. It seemed like that was a perfect kind of connection to a 21st century Belle. Then we met. I was shooting a movie called Mr. Holmes. We met for an hour and the thing that I loved was how much she loved the original movie and how much she wanted to play the part and she came with a whole pile of books because I was late because I was shooting and she was in the middle of reading so there she was. And then the only question really became she’s never sung professionally before. She needed to answer that question for herself too. She wanted to go off.

It was Christmas holiday and she said you go out and get a script together you can send it to me. We made a handshake deal and Emma’s gonna go off and make a tape and explore her voice and that was the thing, that kind of scary moment. To me it’s more intimate than taking your clothes when you first hear somebody sing even in a karaoke session. It’s like oh, my god, that’s the sound that comes out of you. We’ve seen that a few time in movies too but, but, for her the voice, her voice is so much a continuation of who she is and how she speaks and there was clearly this kind of sweetness to it and clarity to it that made it seem like it was gonna be a different Belle but I was gonna be a really satisfying one.

AM : She was a little terrified. I mean no bones about it and we made sure she had her vocal coach. I had Michael Kosarin, my musical director. Bill was actually at the sessions. This is not necessarily it always is but it’s so helpful because she was I think really intimidated by me. I don’t know why. Possibly because of me being the composer I don’t think she wanted to be that vulnerable in front of me so I really hung back, you know, in the control room and in the back of the control room. And we also had a guy named Matt Sullivan who is a music supervisor and just gave, had to give Emma the space to just find her voice and work on it and work on it and she did and Dan was similar. He also was, you know, it was new for both of them.

You always seem to know all the answers in hindsight. Of course that works because you’ve already been thought it. We asked the men what advice would they give to their younger selves.

AM : What would I tell? Well, it’s just stuff I’ve learned. I mean one of the most important things I learned in my career was it’s not about me. It’s about the characters and the story and don’t ever fall in love with your own material. Let other people fall in love with it if they want and if you have a note, the best way to address a note is to go okay, and just do it because you’re part of a thing that’s larger than you and the more, that’s what’s great about musical theater also.

The more that you’re recognizing that you’re part is bigger than you and you are a part of that and just stay in the process that you can survive. I mean the most tragic thing and you can see this too is people who go I wrote this wonderful music. I don’t know why it wasn’t a hit. I gotta try. I gotta keep working. I don’t understand why they didn’t like it. It’s just tragic. Don’t try it out. Push it aside and go on to something else. Write another musical and another and another. Just move on and don’t get stuck being the nurse mate to your own material.

Our final question was to Menken, music has a way to molding our lives, and speaking to us on an emotional level. We asked how does it feel when he hears stories of how his music impacted others.

AM : It’s unreal. It’s unreal. It gives me, frankly it gives me more of a sense of what we think of a collective consciousness, that we’re all a part of a collective consciousness because, we as artists are conduits for emotion and for things they really come through us. I mean god knows we shape them and so I just feel very blessed honestly, blessed that I’m a vehicle for that when I sometimes. That’s amazing and wonderful because basically I was a kid who liked to practice the piano and I was a nervous kid with an ulcer and I just was a dreamer and then somehow I found that writing songs was really composing was where my brain would settle and I just did it and did it and did it and now it has an impact on people like that and that’s I’m just living my life and it’s had that effect and wow.

Beauty and the Beast is now playing in theaters everywhere. Be sure to grab your tickets and enjoy during opening weekend. Download the Atom App and earn a $5 gift with you buy two tickets with code BEAUTY.

About 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 adaption on 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 Mbatha-Raw, Hattie 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.

Love Stories, Bravery, Diversity Makes New Beauty and the Beast A Must See #BeOurGuestEvent

Love Stories, Bravery, Diversity Makes New Beauty and the Beast A Must See

Disney’s new live action film, Beauty and the Beast is now playing in theaters everywhere. I’ve been waiting to see this movie since they announced that Emma Watson was slated to play Belle. Beauty and the Beast has been my favorite Disney movie of all time. I’ve always felt like Belle was my spirit princess, so attending the #BeOurGuestEvent was life changing for me.

I remember the chills I felt watching the teaser trailer months ago. Just seeing that iconic rose brought back so many memories of the animated version of the film.

We screened the movie the same day we arrived in town. My body was still on east coast time but I was determined to enjoy it to the fullest. It was amazing. There were moments when there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. I wanted to immediately see it again after the first time. There are so many things I could say about the film to encourage you to see the film. Here’s eight reasons why I loved the film and why I think you’ll want to see it as well.

8 Reasons Why I Loved Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Emma Watson as Belle in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s classic animated film.

Emma Watson Nails Belle

There was never a doubt in my mind that Watson could pull off the iconic character of Belle. She seemed like she was born to play this role. Before screening the movie someone mentioned if I was worried about her singing. I’d never actually thought about her singing at all. After seeing the movie I have to say she did an awesome job with the singing. During our interview with Emma and Dan, she talked about how hard she worked on her voice to prove to Disney that she was committed to the role and that she could indeed sing.

The mantel clock Cogsworth, the teapot Mrs. Potts, Lumiere the candelabra and the feather duster Plumette live in an enchanted castle in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST the live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic directed by Bill Condon.

New Animation Effects Brings Supporting Cast to Life

As you can imagine it’s not easy to bring to life moving and talking furniture and household items to life. For the movie, Disney filmmakers started working with a new technique to animate the items. They looked amazing in the movie. My personal favorite was Plumette. I loved the new look she received versus the animated version.

Luke Evans stars as Gaston and Josh Gad as Le Fou in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic directed by Bill Condon which brings the story and characters audiences know and love to life.

Luke Evans and Josh Gad Steals Hearts as Gaston and Le Fou

These guys probably have one of the best bromances I’ve seen in movie history. Evans and Gad did an amazing job bringing these characters to life in a grand way. They really are the bad guys we love to hate in the film. Be prepared to sing when the tavern scene appears in the film. I couldn’t help myself when I saw the film.

All the Original Songs You Love Plus Three New Ones

Since I mentioned singing I have to take about the music. If you’re worried about them not staying true to the film don’t worry. All of the original songs appear in the live action version. There are also three new songs added to the film. The supporting cast gets a song, along with a solo for the Beast. The new songs include:

  • How Does A Moment Last Forever
  • Days in the Sun
  • Evermore

You can purchase the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack in stores or stream it online from iTunes or your preferred streaming service.

There Are Several Love Stories

In the original animated feature, we know that Belle and the Beast fall in love. Gaston thinks he likes Belle, but I believe he wants he because he can’t have her. In the live action film, we see the love story of Lumiere the candelabra and the feather duster Plumette expanded. There’s also additional romances with other items in the enchanted castle.

Diversity & Interracial Couples

Disney did an amazing job adding such a diverse cast for this film by way of supporting actors. During our interview with Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Audra McDonald, we talked about the inclusion of not one but two interracial couples. I love seeing positive images of love in films, and I hope people recognize the beauty in these stories.

The Lesson on Acceptance

One of my favorite quotes during our interviews came from Gugu Mbatha-Raw, when we asked what she hoped people take away from the film, she stated “I hope that people will get swept up in the romance and the music is just so iconic. I love the message that beauty is found within, it’s an oldie but a goodie. But, I think really for this film the idea to look a little deeper, see the human within each and every person even if the exterior is something that intimidates you or you’re not familiar with. There’s always a human underneath it all. And I think to try to connect to somebody’s soul, is really important.” 

It Stays True to the Original

What I loved the most about this version of the movie is that it was very true to the original. From the opening scene with Belle’s song. I was immediately drawn into the story. I loved it just as much as the original and at times even more. It reminded me of my childhood all over again and I can’t wait to share it with my kids.

Beauty and the Beast is now playing in theaters everywhere. Be sure to grab your tickets and enjoy during opening weekend. Download the Atom App and earn a $5 gift with you buy two tickets with code BEAUTY.

About 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 adaption on 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 Mbatha-Raw, Hattie 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.

Audra McDonald and Gugu Mbatha-Raw Discuss Their Roles in Beauty and the Beast

 Audra McDonald and Gugu Mbatha-Raw Discuss Their Roles in Beauty and the Beast

It’s almost opening day for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and today I’m sharing my interview with Audra McDonald and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The ladies sat down with us during the #BeOurGuestEvent to talk about their roles as “Garderobe” & “Plumette”. I’d been looking forward to this interview all day. As a woman of color, and mother of a daughter it’s important to see characters like us in movies.

The ladies were so excited about sitting down with us and talking about the film. Audra who’s a new mom beamed talking to us about her newborn daughter, and how she handles working and being a mom. Our first question, of course, was about what drew them to the film.

Gugu : Well, for me I was obsessed with the original Disney film. It came out when I was eight years old, I had the cassette tape, made my mom play in the car on the way to ballet and tap and modern, everyday. [LAUGHS] I knew all the words to all the songs and it is still my favorite Disney movie so I had a very personal connection to it. When my agent called and said they wanted me to play a part in this I squealed down the phone, so loudly.

I think it was probably the biggest reaction to getting a job that I’ve every had. [LAUGHS] ’cause I think that little eight year old inside of me was just so excited and it sort of connects you back to growing up with Disney movies. And then this cast is just phenomenal. 

Audra : Yeah, I know, I, when I got the, the call I, I’d known that the movie was being made and I was excited about it and my agent called and he said, ‘so, Beauty and the Beast,’ he’s like, ‘yeah, they’re turning into this, isn’t that great?’ he’s like, ‘yeah, so they want you to be in it.’ I was like, ‘excuse me? That doesn’t make sense. I was like, ‘wh–, what? Why? I mean–.’ But, if Disney calls, like I said, I would sell churros at the park for them, you know what I mean? But any way so yeah, so of course, it’s just Disney, you want to be a part of it, so yes, it’s just an automatic yes.

Audra briefly shared with us about Oreos and their plans for a churro flavor before jumping into our next question. She had auditioned for the broadway musical of Beauty and the Beast but wasn’t cast.  Of course, we wondered if she felt like this movie made up for not getting that part.

Audra: On the night before we started filming in London, we all went out to dinner and they had a dinner for the cast and everybody. I’d flown over from New York, I was jet lagged, had a glass of wine, I was like, ‘so, Alan. I auditioned for the musical on Broadway for the ensemble and I didn’t get cast in the ensemble.’ And he goes, ‘I know, I know, I know. Is this okay?’ I was like, ‘yes.’ [LAUGHS] Thank you, this fixes it, thank you.

Audra has one of the most amazing voices I’ve heard. Her voice steals the scenes she appears in the movie. It’s beautiful, sultry and full of power. We were left wondering how she ended up on her musical path.

Audra : Well, this is mommy bloggers right? So, it was a lot of it had to do with my parents and my mom. I was a really hyperactive child struggling, actually and my parents were struggling with trying to figure out how to help me. And I was an overdramatic child and having a hard time in school and whatnot. And they went to the local dinner theater one night and saw a little junior troop that performed before the main musical and it was a group of kids.

I loved to sing at home and all that stuff and I had all this extra energy and drama inside of me. And they said, ‘maybe this is gonna help her.’ And so, I auditioned for that when I was nine years old and that set me on my path and so I really have my parents to thank for looking for something that would be right for me to express who I was and find a way to channel that energy. And so that’s what started me on my path.

I mentioned above the importance of seeing characters of color in films. Disney did an amazing job with casting a multi-cultural cast for this film. We asked about what the ladies were bringing to the film based on their individual backgrounds.

Gugu : Yeah, I mean I guess we’re all just brining ourselves and, thrilled that Bill Condon, the director, had the vision to make it such a diverse cast. It wasn’t really something we discussed, which is kind of cool in this day and age, it just sort of is. And yeah, I’m sort of thrilled about it.

Audra : Yeah, we got told that yesterday, we were doing press yesterday, someone was like, ‘so you guys are, you’re the first and second interracial kisses in a Disney film,’ or something like that, or close to one of the first. In live action and, Gugu and I are like, ‘we are?’ [LAUGHS] ‘Oh, okay, cool.’ We didn’t even think about that.

Hopefully we’ll get to a day where no one has to think about it. That’s what we’re aiming for so I mean I’m just pleased that Disney recognizes that you know, you’ve got to represent the entire world out there. And that’s what they’re doing. 

We asked Audra about how it felt being in a movie like Beauty and the Beast, that will probably become a favorite of her two children.

Audra: When I got cast and I told my daughter, I also have two step-son’s so there’s four in our house. When I I told my sixteen year old that I was doing it, she was like, ‘oh that’s cool.’ And I was like, ‘Emma Watson.’ And she’s like, ‘oh my god.’ [LAUGHS] The kids were most excited about that.

And that thrills me to no end because Emma’s such an incredible role model. I was saying in the press conference, my daughter for her sixteenth birthday and her fifteenth birthday, asked for people to make donations to charities in her name. And that’s because of Emma Watson. You know what I mean? But, that’s what these kids are learning, if that’s your role model, then go, go, go. So, to be a part of this film that’s gonna obviously be a classic and part of the Disney cannon and also be in a film with someone like Emma Watson who has influenced my kids so much is very important to me and one of the reasons I said, ‘yes.’

Lumiere, the candelabra, is smitten with Plumette, the feather duster, in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic which is a celebration of one of the most beloved stories ever told.

Next the ladies shared with us about their experiences preparing for the animated scenes and the live action sequences for the film.

Gugu : Well, for me it was just so liberating. I mean, I’ve never been offered a role like this before obviously, I had to come from doing some quite intense dramatic roles and the idea of playing a feather duster, I sort of thought was so whimsical and fun. But, also you know, it’s a lot of vocal work in the recording studio and finding not just the singing but finding the voice of the character, working on the French accent with the dialect coach and also just really going back to that childhood thing of like, ‘let’s pretend.’ You know, it’s, you’re not limited by your face and your body.

Audra : You know, you have so much more freedom I think. And, as I say it really helps when you get to you know, this huge team who are creating these CGI characters. I just found it incredibly liberating. Yeah and you also, Bill Condon, such an incredible leader, and an amazing director. And you feel very safe with him, so when you’re doing, especially the, the vocal work for the characters, it’s just you, the recording engineers and Bill. You know, and so Bill’s in there with you and he’s saying, ‘okay, now try one like this.’ So, he’s in there playing, you know, with you in a way. And it’s truly just make believe and so it’s, you know, for the wardrobe it was like, ‘okay, she’s kind of trying to get to the staircase at this point so, grunt a little bit.’

Audra : ‘grunt like this, okay now she’s just, snore this way, snore this way, snore and sing a high note.’ I mean so we just, you know, we had the time and the freedom to just sort of explore and then they take that, they go and work with the CGI folks and then the CGI folks bring back something. And then you can then put on top of that, so it’s a real collaborative, it’s a real collaborative effort. It takes a village, it takes a massive village for this one.

Belle (Emma Watson) learns that the Beast’s castle is enchanted in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, directed by Bill Condon.

As you can imagine the wardrobe for the film is amazing. Gugu and Audra shared with us details about the costumes they had for their live actions scenes and how it inspired their animated characters.

Gugu : Jacqueline I forgotten her last name, she’s done all of Joe Wright’s movies, she did Atonement, Anna Karenina, incredible costume designer. On my first costume fitting, she said, ‘okay, would you like to meet your object?’ [LAUGHS] In the room, they had the feather duster on a stand and I was kind of taken aback because Plumette is quite different to the feather duster Fifi, who’s more sort of mopped like, in the original.

And I was pleasantly surprised to see that they made her into this sort of flying dove like peacock like, very dainty creation. So, in the costume fitting, we played around with the bird theme, I had a big tail feather on one of my costumes, a huge bustle which also worked with the period. And feathers, I had feathers in my hair, we played around with this sort of Marilyn Monroe style wig so it was kind of fun for me to blonde which is just so outrageous.

Audra : And we both got to be blonde. [LAUGHS] But with the wardrobe, the first time I sat in the chair and the dress being so large that I couldn’t walk in any regular door to get to set, I had walk sideways. And, and scrunch because once they started putting the wig on, they put the first part and I was like, ‘wow, that’s big, that’s tall’ and she said, ‘hold on.’  Now ‘the top part,’ ‘okay,’ then birds and stuff started going, I was like ‘oh my goodness what is going on?’ But, it makes perfect sense because once she’s transformed to the wardrobe, the top of the wardrobe if you notice is her wig. And you couldn’t even see them but this is the detail that Disney pays attention too. The shoes that I wore were the feet of the wardrobe, so if you’d actually seen my shoes, they curled up into the exact sort of way that the legs of the wardrobe and all of that. I mean and even within the design of like our make up and all of it is echoed in our objects.

We had asked everyone we spoke with during interviews what they wanted the audience to take away from the film, so we had to make sure we got the ladies point of view as well.

Gugu : Well I hope that people will get swept up in the romance and the music is just so iconic. I love the message that beauty is found within, it’s an oldie but a goodie. But, I think really for this film the idea to look a little deeper, see the human within each and every person even if the exterior is something that intimidates you or you’re not familiar with. There’s always a human underneath it all. And I think to try to connect to somebody’s soul, is really important.

Audra : Yeah, and also that love, there’s always the love conquers all, love wins and it’s not about just giving the love but loving yourself too. I think that’s what’s so important. And realizing that what you have inside of you is most important and not the outside doesn’t necessarily matter. And I’m sure that’s what people are gonna take away from this.

I was in awe when I saw the film. I wanted to see it again immediately after we screened it. For actors and actresses though it’s different the way they view a finished piece of work. Audra and Gugu talked briefly about how it felt for them to see it all come together.

Gugu : It was breathtaking. I saw it for the first time just two nights ago at the Hollywood premier and to see it with an audience and people are applauding after musical numbers. You know, at a screen and it just brought back all those memories of those songs. There’s a couple of new songs in this version of the film. Days in the Sun and also the Beast has his own solo. So, yeah, it was really overwhelming.

Audra : I saw it at the London premier and I was so shocked at how moved I was. And I really felt that I was watching it as an innocent sort of general audience member. Not someone who had been a part of the film. I hate watching myself on film or on screen at all and this I sort of felt completely removed from it. I didn’t really see myself up there, I was just in the world and I was weeping at the end and I was like, ‘I was there, I was in the scene. Why am I crying so much?’ You know, but it was just you get swept up, you get absolutely swept up. You know?

The mantel clock Cogsworth, the teapot Mrs. Potts, Lumiere the candelabra and the feather duster Plumette live in an enchanted castle in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST the live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic directed by Bill Condon.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters everywhere on March 17th. Check out the trailer below.

About 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 adaption on 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 Mbatha-Raw, Hattie 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.

Josh Gad and Luke Evans on Being the Bad Guys Everyone Love to Hate

Josh Gad and Luke Evans on Being the Bad Guys Everyone Love to Hate

The Beauty and the Beast press day started with an extra special treat. Alan Menken started by singing songs from the film. Once he got to his last song of the morning he paused and asked for some help with the song. Excited I jumped up hoping he was planning on picking someone from the audience but he surprised us with an extra special treat.

We couldn’t believe out eyes when the pair walked on the stage. It was such a great start to our day. After the live performance, we sat down with Luke and Josh to talk about their roles as the bad guys that everyone love to hate.

Coralie Seright – Lovebugs and Postcards

You can tell that these two have enjoyed playing the roles of Gaston and LeFou, when we thanked them for their performance from earlier they both were quick to respond letting us know how much they love performing.

JG : The truth is, you don’t need to beg us to do a performance. Luke and I will sing at the drop of a coin. But it’s a problem, actually, I never thought I’d be someone who was so willing to sing for no reason at all. Until I met Luke Evans.

LE : We are literally cut from the same cloth.

When the pair walked in the room, you could tell they play off each other a lot. We asked them about the antics from behind the scenes on set.

LE :  We cause trouble wherever we go. But make people laugh in the process. It was just a lot of fun playing these characters. You know, first of all, we were massive, massive fans of the original. We were both kids when it came out. He was 10, I was 12. I was in South Wales, he was in South Florida. And the climate was rather different.

It probably meant even more to me ’cause it was always dark and gloomy where I came from. So to go in and watch a Disney film in the little cinema in our village was the highlight of my year! Always was. And to bring them to life, we both felt very lucky. And we knew that we could have a lot of fun and laugh. And there were moments when some of the funniest moments we had, I think are things that we made up on the moment.

Coralie Seright – Lovebugs and Postcards

The pair on screen had a funny sort of bromance throughout the movie. They added an extra layer of comedy that doesn’t appear in the original animated film.

JG : The first sequence when the two of us are riding in that wagon with Maurice. That whole idea of calming Luke down with stories about the war, was something that we literally came up with on the spotAnd we had about like 30 variations of it. Some of them were even more insane than what you see on the screen. But you’re always hoping, when you get paired with somebody – and I’ve had a couple of those films that I’ve done, where it’s all about the chemistry between the two characters. And the day I met Luke, especially because I didn’t even realize we both came from musical theater.

Luke from the West Side, me from Broadway. And so we have this common language and this common understanding. And this common goal of wanting to do justice to a movie that was so – I cannot stress this enough – so pivotal in our childhoods.

The second golden age of Disney animation from LITTLE MERMAID to BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, to ALADDIN then to LION KING, defined my growing up. They really did. I was 10 years old when BEAUTY AND THE BEAST came out. And those Alan Menken, Howard Ashman songs, they really were the soundtrack to my childhood. And so bringing a song like Gaston to life, that’s like a dream come true. So it was incredible.

Gaston (Luke Evans) a handsome but arrogant brute, holds court in the village tavern in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, directed by Bill Condon, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic and a celebration of one of the most beloved stories ever told.

Luke Evans did an amazing job as Gaston, it was like he was born to play the character. We asked Luke about how it felt for him the first time he put on the costume and really dived into the character.

LE : I’ve always said, and I always will say, because I think its a massive part of my creation of a character, especially somebody like Gaston – the look is half of his ego. You know, the hair and the fitted red leather. We went to about four or five incarnations of that leather jacket before we found the right color of blood red, that represented the sinister part of his nature. Because I don’t know if you noticed, but that red jacket which is obviously so synonymous with Gaston in the original. And it’s the same here. That only goes on when he puts Maurice into the carriage to lock him up. And that’s the first time you see it. 

And we made that conscious decision. When you put something on like that, there was so much work in it, those buttons all and antlers on each button. And I had a pinky ring which was an antler impressed into red stone. It was all antler themed, as you can imagine. It looked fantastic and you put the wig on and there you go. I remember taking it off on the last day and my hair and makeup lady’s like, “Okay, well, say goodbye to the final time. 

He was a hard character to let go. I think we both felt very sad to let them go. Because we’d had so much fun and brought so much happiness to villains, it is to make people laugh.

Luke Evans stars as Gaston and Josh Gad as Le Fou in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic directed by Bill Condon which brings the story and characters audiences know and love to life.

“We didn’t want to just literally recreate a movie that, in of itself is pretty perfect, right? You can’t do that. You have to add, you have to keep building on the legacy of that which everybody is awaiting and looking forward to,” stated Josh. I have to agree that the original was absolutely amazing, but I can honestly say Disney did an incredible job building and adding to the original and not just remaking it. Since the film meant so much to both Josh and Luke we asked about their reasons for signing on to such an iconic film.

JG : The money. It was one of those, honestly, I literally would have done this movie for nothing. It was – and the reason I signed on was because it was so iconic. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was my FROZEN. You know, like this was the movie I saw five times as a kid.

You know what I mean? And like, that was just recreating these moments, these iconic moments that I grew up with, knowing that my daughters are gonna grow up with this as hopefully their definitive version of the story.

Coralie Seright – Lovebugs and Postcards

This version of Beauty and the Beast will be the version my kids grow up on, including many other younger kids. Josh and Luke talk about how the film will impact the children in their lives.

JG : This is gonna be for many of your kids and my kids certainly, the first time they ever see a musical that isn’t animated. That’s huge. That’s huge.

LE : My godchildren are very young and I’ve got lots of kids in my family, who are just a little tired of me booking movies that they can’t watch. [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER] So the day that I got offered it, the first thing I did was text all their parents and just say to them, “I’m gonna be in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and they can finally come to the cinema.”

And they all were at the London premiere. And weirdly, they were happy but also a little sad that I was the bad guy.  

Coralie Seright – Lovebugs and Postcards

While Luke makes it look easy to portray the role of Gaston, we still asked about the challenges he faced while filming.

LE : The physicality of the fight sequence at the end was going to be demanding. Because it took a lot of stunt rehearsals and training. So I had to train quite a few times on weekends once we finished – I came in and they had a big cherry picker which they would raise another six feet and then another.

And I was on cables and I had to land, I had to jump and I just sort of reflect what the Beast was doing on another tower, doing it in his beastly way. Where I am just a human being. So I have to find a way about doing it like Spiderman with long hair. I managed to get it by the time we shot it. But I think it was about a 42 foot leap that I do in the film with a cable. And it’s a trust exercise. I mean, you’re trusting a stunt guy with your life. And it’s an interesting thing to do. But I found that quite challenging. But very rewarding. And thank god it’s in the film. They often don’t make the movie and then you’re really annoyed.

Coralie Seright – Lovebugs and Postcards

One of the final things we asked the guys was about the message they want audiences to take away after they watch the film. With all the recent controversy around the film, I think we all hope people walk away with the right message.

JG : I think that Gaston in particular, represents a really interesting character. Because there’s I think one of the most important lessons to be learned, comes surprisingly out of that character. Which is, you have a guy who is provoking fear, based on a character that nobody knows. That people are scared of because they’ve never seen him. But they’re afraid of what he’s capable of. Feeding into those fears and going to attack someone because, based on the fact that you’ve never met them before.

But what you believe they’re capable of. Well, that’s as relevant today as it was when BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was first written. And I think the thing that I hope kids can look at and they’re not gonna understand it now. But that’s something as they revisit this film over and over and over again – this idea of never judging a book by its cover, is so important. Right? So that’s what I would say I hope they take from it.

LE : Well, yeah. Love conquers hate. And that’s basically the running theme. And to watch it all being carried by a very strong female lead character. Who basically at the end of the day, guys, she saves the Prince. Multiple times, you know. If it wasn’t for her, this story wouldn’t have the backbone that it does. And it comes from a very fearless, independently spirited young woman who reads, who’s intellectual. Who wants to learn. Who sees that there are no boundaries to her world. It might be right there and then but she knows there’s a world out there to conquer and to discover. And she doesn’t need a man to do it. I mean, she’s a 21st Century Disney princess. And Emma was exactly the right person to portray that character.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters everywhere on March 17th. Check out the trailer below.

About 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 adaption on 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 Mbatha-Raw, Hattie Morahan and Nathan Mack with Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.

Belle (Emma Watson) comes to realize that underneath the hideous exterior of the Beast (Dan Stevens) there is the kind heart of a Prince in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic directed by Bill Condon.

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.

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens Talk Beauty and the Beast

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens Talk Beauty and the Beast

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens were our last interview of the day during our #BeOurGuestEvent press day. We sat in our interview room after lunch anxiously awaiting the pair. They both seemed to glide into the room and immediately headed for the Funko Pop figurines on the table. Emma was wearing a completely different dress from the one we had seen her in early that day. We’d hear some many wonderful things about the pair all day, so we couldn’t wait to talk to them about the film.

Coralie Seright – Lovebugs and Postcards

We briefly touched on the audition process with the director earlier in the day. You’re probably wondering like most people if Emma is actually singing in the film. We’d already learn that she was committed to learning to sing for this part. We wanted to know from Emma and Dan how the audition process was for them.

Emma Watson: I think for Disney, it was about wanting to explore whether or not I could sing. I think, really that was the major question mark, so I was put together an audition tape, and I went away and trained. Then I did that classic thing of waiting on tentative hooks to get the call, and to hear whether or not it was up to standard and thankfully it was, so I got offered the role which was just very, very exciting, really.

Dan Stevens : And yes, for me I put a song on tape for, for Bill Condon, and it was the Beast song from the Broadway musical which we end up not using in the movie, but it is was because the Beast doesn’t sing in the animated film. Fortunately he like it.

Belle (Emma Watson) comes to realize that underneath the hideous exterior of the Beast (Dan Stevens) there is the kind heart of a Prince in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic directed by Bill Condon.

Wardrobe and costumes play and integral part in any movie or television show.  We wanted to know what was it like seeing themselves in full costume the first time?

EW : It was kind of amazing, [LAUGHS]. I think because Belle, you know, it’s a fairytale; I play kind of an architype, really. She’s more of a symbol. The way that I got into character was I sort of started to feel like I was understanding her really well through her costume, so it was like working on putting together the boots that she wore and she had kind of these slightly scruffy socks, and she had the bloomers underneath her skirt which meant that she could swing her leg over a horse.

And creating the kind of tool belt that she has on for when she’s inventing things, and it will carry her books and all these little details. She actually has a ring on this finger which actually just like one that I wear, which is one from my mom. I really felt like I was starting to get to know her, so her costume was really important for me, actually. 

DS : I didn’t really have a costume. Well, I did have a costume. The made costumes for the Beast. They were really giant coats that he wore, and this massive shredded cloak, but I never actually got to put it on. I spent the whole time, as the Beast, anyway, in a forty pound muscle suit on stilts covered in gray lycra. So I looked pretty odd, but nothing like the Beast that you see in the, in the movie.

Photo Credit: Coralie Seright – Lovebugs and Postcards

Emma Watson is known for her portrayal of Hermione in the Harry Potter series. Both Hermione and Belle are very strong charac- very strong characters. In which ways were you able to shape the character of Belle to help continue the empowerment of future generations that will be seeing this film, both young and impressionable?

EW : That’s really a good question. There was talk of- a little bit at the beginning, – of a wedding perhaps at the end, and that had not been in the original, and I was sort of like, oh, me, sorry, can I just point out this isn’t in the original. We need to stay faithful to the original, and I felt strongly about that. I felt very strongly that she needed to have a vocation to fill her time with, this is very important to me.

So we kind of co-opted what was originally kind of crazy ole Maurice’s identity, and I was like, well, that’s not the direction that Kevin’s taking the role in. Could I co-opt that for Bell, and we had her design this washing machine that allows her to have more time to read and to teach. That was super important to me. I think also, actually, people ask me a lot, you know, what’s it like being a Disney princess? And I go, well, actually, Belle isn’t a princess, [LAUGHS].

She’s actually one of the few Disney of young women who actually isn’t a princess. She’s an ordinary girl from an ordinary village and, and actually that’s very important about her, and she has no aspirations to be a princess. She has no aspirations to marry a prince. And so there was a line in the movie, originally, about Audra, the chest of drawers says to me, oh you know, we’ll make you a gown fit for a princess, and I asked Bill, I said, could I say actually, I’m not a princess?

And he was like, yeah, sure. And so just like little things like that where I just felt like I was protecting and defending Belle’s sort of original DNA and just making sure that we stay truthful and, and faithful to this very independent young woman.

Belle (Emma Watson) comes to realize that underneath the hideous exterior of the Beast (Dan Stevens) there is the kind heart of a Prince in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic directed by Bill Condon.

We briefly touched on the dancing scenes in the film. Both actors did an amazing job, they trained for three months to learn all the dances for the movie. First they started with separate partners, then started dancing with each other. Both credited learning to Waltz with helping them build chemistry for the film.

Emma Watson as Belle in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s classic animated film.

While discussing the dress Dan shared a funny story with us about how his five year old daughter overheard Emma and him talking about the design of the dress. She went to her room and sketched five designs. Emma played along and picked a favorite, and a few weeks later when his daughter appeared on the set and saw the dress her response – “Yep, that’s the one!”. In her mind she designed that dress. Emma shared the qualities she required of the dress.

EW : So yes, I was very heavily involved in the dress. Trying to get the dress right was really difficult because we needed to dress her to serve a number of different purposes and functions. So it needed to be of the period, so originally we started off with a very kind of like seventeenth century traditional dress, but then we realized that it didn’t do that, like, really cute twirly thing that it does in the animation, when the dress, like, spins behind her?

We were like, damn. It has to do that, [AUDIENCE LAUGHS], otherwise it’s not right. So we’re like, okay, back to the drawing board. It’s gotta twirl. All right, so it can’t be quite seventeenth century, but the bottom’s gotta be different, so let me try another version of it, which kind of have that movement. It needed to be light, so we made it out of chiffon, and then we were like, she’s also gotta ride a horse in it, and she’s gotta be able to kind of go into the third part of the movie which is where she goes back to see her father. So it also kind of needs to feel like an action hero dress which is why the front of the dress looks a bit like a coat of armor.

It’s got gold flecks in it, and it kind of like had that kind of warrior element to it, as well. So, yeah, we kind of created a warrior, modern seventeenth century twisty, twirly dress hybrid.

Coralie Seright – Lovebugs and Postcards

One of the last things we asked about was what was important for both of them, for girls and boys to take away from this movie, because it’s a great- on both sides, there’s such great messages for boys and girls to learn.

DS : There really are. I remember even for me, the animated film as being a Disney film that was immediately loved by boys and girls. I actually have a great friend of mine who’s now in his midthirties. He grew up in the west of England in the countryside, who for him, Belle was his greatest hero, and he used to go into the fields of Somerset and sing, I want to venture in the great wide somewhere [AUDIENCE LAUGHS], you know, because there’s something about the spirit of Belle that is to be championed in all of us. I think that curiosity, that imagination, that ability to see beneath the surface deep, but also to see beyond your immediate surroundings. And she has tremendous vision in all, in all ways, and I think that’s, that something to be applauded.

EW : I think as a child, I had a very hard time working out sometime to why people weren’t kind to other people, and trying to kind of like understand. I think what is so beautiful about Belle is that she’s so nonjudgmental. It’s her ability to see beyond the surface of things and to understand that kind of everyone has a story, and you don’t always know what that story is, and to kind of look deeper into things before you make a judgement.

And, so there’s a kind of like a compassion and empathy there which I think is kind of a relief because I don’t think anyone is inherently evil. I think there’s light and dark in everyone, and I think that she kind of- she symbolizes that very well.

Coralie Seright – Lovebugs and Postcards

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters everywhere on March 17th. Check out the trailer below.

About 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 adaption on 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 Mbatha-Raw, Hattie 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.

Celine Dion to Perform Brand New Song for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Celine Dion to Perform Brand New Song for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

I didn’t think there was anything that could make this movie even better in my eyes, but Disney found a way. I still remember growing up as a young girl listening to my father’s Celine Dion cassette tapes. She’s one of my favorite singers and I’m excited to hear her new original song for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, opening in theaters on March 17th.

Dion is a five-time GRAMMY® winning and best-selling recording artist, she’ll the perform an all-new original song, “How Does A Moment Last Forever,” for Disney’s live-action BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. The song will also be included on the film’s soundtrack.

Written by eight-time Oscar®-winning composer Alan Menken (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin”) and veteran lyricist and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (“The Lion King,” “Evita”), “How Does A Moment Last Forever” is an emotional ballad about holding onto life’s precious moments. Portions of the song are performed throughout the film and interpolated into the underscore before Dion’s full-length version debuts in the film’s custom main-on-end title design.

“Being a part of the original ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was such a magical experience in my life, and I’m truly honored to be a part of this film again.”  says Dion.

President of Music for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Production, Mitchell Leib, approached the artist on behalf of the project with the idea of recording one of the three new songs written for the film. “Celine was the unanimous choice of the filmmakers and studio to perform this song,” says Leib, “And everyone involved with the film is thrilled she agreed to be part of this new live-action adaptation.”

Dion originally performed the duet “Beauty and the Beast” – featuring Menken’s haunting melody and two-time Oscar-winner Howard Ashman’s unforgettable lyrics – with Peabo Bryson for the animated film. The song became an instant classic and went on to receive an Academy Award®, Golden Globe® and three GRAMMY Awards.

Menken also provides the film score along with new recordings of the classic songs from the animated film written by himself and Ashman. The original motion picture soundtrack will be released by Walt Disney Records on March 10, 2017. The pre-order is available now at http://disneymusic.co/BeautySndtrkP.

Walt Disney Studios 2017 Movie Slate

Walt Disney Studios 2017 Movie Slate

It’s going to be another great year at the movies, and Walt Disney Studios has a great line up.  I’ve been looking forward to 2017 for a while now.  My favorite Disney movie of all time is being remade into a live-action film.  I’ve been waiting on Beauty and the Beast since I saw the first poster.

Another film high on my list this year is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  Since being invited to a super secret set visit last year, I’ve been waiting to share details about this film with you.  Soon I’ll be spilling the beans so be sure to check back.

March 17, 2017 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Walt Disney Studios)

#BeautyAndTheBeast #BeOurGuest

 

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

Directed by Bill Condon based on the 1991 animated film, “Beauty and the Beast,” the screenplay is written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos and 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. Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the animated film, 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. “Beauty and the Beast” will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.

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April 21, 2017 – BORN IN CHINA (Disneynature)

#BornInChina

Narrated by John Krasinski (“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” NBC’s “The Office,” “Amazon’s “Jack Ryan”), Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure film “Born In China” takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film. A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden monkey who feels displaced by his new baby sister joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard—an elusive animal rarely caught on camera—faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet. Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China’s vast terrain—from the frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest—on the wings of red-crowned cranes, seamlessly tying the extraordinary tales together. Opening in U.S. theaters on Earth Day 2017, “Born in China” is directed by accomplished Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan, and produced by Disney’s Roy Conli and renowned nature filmmakers Brian Leith and Phil Chapman.

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May 5, 2017 – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (Marvel Studios)

#GotGVol2

Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock and Kurt Russell. Kevin Feige is producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Jonathan Schwartz, Victoria Alonso, Nik Korda and Stan Lee are the executive producers. The screenplay is by James Gunn. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” blasts into theaters on May 5, 2017.

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May 26, 2017 – PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES (Walt Disney Studios)

#PiratesOfTheCaribbean #APiratesDeathForMe

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” also stars Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs,  Golshifteh Farahani as the sea-witch Shansa, David Wenham as Scarfield, Stephen Graham as Scrum, and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa.

 Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are directing “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” with Jerry Bruckheimer producing. The executive producers are Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Joe Caracciolo, Jr., Terry Rossio and Brigham Taylor. Jeff Nathanson wrote the screenplay. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” drops anchor in U.S. theaters on May 26, 2017.

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June 16, 2017 – CARS 3 (Disney / Pixar)

#Cars3

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

Directed by Brian Fee (storyboard artist “Cars,” “Cars 2“) and produced by Kevin Reher (“A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” short), “Cars 3” cruises into theaters on June 16, 2017.

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November 3, 2017 – THOR: RAGNAROK (Marvel Studios)

#ThorRagnarok

In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk!

“Thor: Ragnarok” is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.

Kevin Feige is producing with Louis D’Esposito, Brad Winderbaum, Victoria Alonso, Thomas M. Hammel and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. The story is byCraig Kyle & Christopher Yost and Stephany Folsom, and the screenplay is by Eric Pearson. “Thor: Ragnarok” thunders into U.S. theaters on November 3, 2017.

November 22, 2017 – COCO (Disney / Pixar)

#Coco

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017.

December 15, 2017 –  STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII (Lucasfilm)

#StarWarsVIII

Which film are you most excited about seeing this year?

 

New Beauty and the Beast Trailer #BeOurGuest

New Beauty and the Beast Trailer

I woke up this morning to another beautiful look inside the upcoming live action release from Disney.  The official Beauty and the Beast trailer was release this morning and it’s amazing.  It’s everything I hoped it would be and more.  I’m obsessed with this movie, I can’t wait to see how they bring to life my favorite Disney movie of all time.

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Check out the official trailer for the movie below.  After you wanted it a few times let me know just how much you loved it.

The film, which brings the story and characters audiences know and love to life in a stunning, cinematic event, is directed by Bill Condon and features an extraordinary ensemble cast which also includes Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST will be released in theaters nationwide on March 17, 2017.

Belle (Emma Watson) comes to realize that underneath the hideous exterior of the Beast (Dan Stevens) there is the kind heart of a Prince in Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio's animated classic directed by Bill Condon.
Belle (Emma Watson) comes to realize that underneath the hideous exterior of the Beast (Dan Stevens) there is the kind heart of a Prince in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic directed by Bill Condon.

Exciting Look at Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Exciting Look at Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

The first set of photos from Disney’s new live action film Beauty and the Beast are beautiful.  I knew they would be look amazing, but they were breathtaking.  I’m in awe looking at all my favorite characters in a whole new way.  I have to say that Emma Watson looks magical as Belle.

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Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast from Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic and one of the most beloved tales ever told, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

The film, which brings the story and characters audiences know and love to life in a stunning, cinematic event, is directed by Bill Condon and features an extraordinary ensemble cast which also includes Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST will be released in theaters nationwide on March 17, 2017.

In Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio's animated classic, Emma Watson stars as Belle and Kevin Kline is Maurice, Belle's father.  The story and characters audiences know and love are brought to life in this stunning cinematic event...a celebration of one of the most beloved tales ever told.
In Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic, Emma Watson stars as Belle and Kevin Kline is Maurice, Belle’s father.
Gaston (Luke Evans) a handsome but arrogant brute, holds court in the village tavern in Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, directed by Bill Condon, a live-action adaptation of the studio's animated classic and a celebration of one of the most beloved stories ever told.
Gaston (Luke Evans) a handsome but arrogant brute, holds court in the village tavern in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, directed by Bill Condon, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic and a celebration of one of the most beloved stories ever told.

This reminds me of the scene when he sings about himself… No one does anything like Gaston.  I’m hoping this movie has songs from the original animated feature.

The Beast (Dan Stevens) and Belle (Emma Watson) in the castle library in Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio's animated classic which is a celebration of one of the most beloved stories ever told.
The Beast (Dan Stevens) and Belle (Emma Watson) in the castle library in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic which is a celebration of one of the most beloved stories ever told.
Director/co-screenwriter Bill Condon on set with Belle (Emma Watson) in Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio's animated classic. The story and characters audiences know and love are brought to life in this stunning cinematic event...a celebration of one of the most beloved stories ever told.
Director/co-screenwriter Bill Condon on set with Belle (Emma Watson) in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic. The story and characters audiences know and love are brought to life in this stunning cinematic event…a celebration of one of the most beloved stories ever told.

This library is a book lovers dream.  I think this is one of the ways Beast was able to get Belle to see past his exterior looks.

Luke Evans stars as  Gaston and Josh Gad as Le Fou in Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio's animated classic directed by Bill Condon which brings the story and characters audiences know and love to life.
Luke Evans stars as Gaston and Josh Gad as Le Fou in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic directed by Bill Condon which brings the story and characters audiences know and love to life.
Emma Watson as Belle in Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio's classic animated film.
Emma Watson as Belle in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s classic animated film.

I would love to see this dress up close and personal.  The wardrobe for the movie is amazing.  This is simply elegant.

The mantel clock Cogsworth, the teapot Mrs. Potts, Lumiere the candelabra and the feather duster Plumette live in an enchanted castle in Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST the live-action adaptation of the studio's animated classic directed by Bill Condon.
The mantel clock Cogsworth, the teapot Mrs. Potts, Lumiere the candelabra and the feather duster Plumette live in an enchanted castle in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST the live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic directed by Bill Condon.

Beauty and the Beast wouldn’t be what it was without these guys.  I have to say teapot is fancier than I expected her to be, but she looks very pretty.

I can’t wait to see more about this movie.  Beauty and the Beast will be released on March 17th, 2017.