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‘Beauty and the Beast’ Teaser: A New Tale as Old as Time

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“Ever just the same. Ever a surprise.” One imagines those lyrics from “Beauty and the Beast” will apply particularly well to this new version of Disney’s animated classic, coming to theaters next year.

Certainly the music is the same (or at least some of it is); fans of the original will recognize several of the famous Alan Menken melodies in the trailer. But this is a different Beauty and the Beast too, with live-action actors instead of animated ones. Emma Watson from the Harry Potter franchise stars as Belle, with Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey and The Guest as her ferocious but heroic Beast. Here’s the official synopsis:

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs. “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 and soul 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; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, the wardrobe; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

That’s a great cast, and I’ve liked several of Disney’s live-action retellings of their animated movies (including last year’s superb version of Cinderella). So I’m all for this idea — just so long as one thing remains unchanged from the original:

They must have Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson redo their version of the theme song.

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Aw yeah, that’s the good stuff. It’s a karaoke classic. If nothing else, this must ever be the same. Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters on March 17, 2017.

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