Monday, November 14, 2016

Trailer Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Trailer #1)

Disney has seemingly greenlit their entire catalog of animated films for live-action remakes and reboots. With the wild success of Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book and with David Lowery's Pete's Dragon being generally forgettable, all eyes are on Bill Condon's Beauty and the Beast to see if this new wave of Disney films will flop or fly. This morning, Disney released the first full-length trailer for Beauty and the Beast and, at least for me, proved that we have a new classic film coming next year.

Opening on a dimly lit Disney castle, this trailer pulls us into a world of familiar images and scenes, accentuated by a light, piano-driven score. Nostalgic wonderment is the only way I can fully describe the atmosphere of this two-minute look into the snow-capped world. As I watched, I felt like a kid again popping the VHS into my family's tiny TV.

Emma Watson shines as Belle, bringing her quiet charm into the role that most agree she was born to play. Old concerns over the look of Dan Steven's Beast were largely put to rest as viewers got their first solid look at his character outside of still images. Luke Evans looks completely at home as the violent Gaston. The voice-acting of supporting actors like Ian McKellen and Ewan McGregor even have their individual moments to shine.

I'll admit that the animation used to bring the household items to life still strikes me as a bit off-putting. However, within the runtime of the finished film, I'm sure that I'll accept them much easier than in a fragmented set of quick cuts. Those quick cuts were my only genuine criticism of this first trailer. Moments shown seemed to be almost picked at random and strewn together in a way that successfully pulled at my heartstrings, but did not hold up as well upon multiple rewatches.

That being said, if the goal of this trailer was to get me excited for Beauty and the Beast, it more than accomplished its purpose. This film was always lingering somewhere in my Top 5 Most Anticipated Films of 2017. After this trailer, it has skyrocketed to the #1 position, well ahead of its closest competition.

Like many, I have been skeptical of Disney's never-ending stream of remake and reboot announcements. I was even beginning to doubt whether or not this entry would end up being worth rushing to cinemas to see opening night. Now, after watching the trailer, I can feel the magic and the glory of the Best Picture-nominated original flowing through every frame.

I never expected this trailer to fall on the "beastly" side of the equation. However, I never expected it to be this beautiful.

Beauty and the Beast welcomes us to be its guest in cinemas on March 17, 2017.

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