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.

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.

El Capitan Theatre to Offer Sensory Friendly Showings of Beauty and the Beast

El Capitan Theatre to Offer Sensory Friendly Showings of Beauty and the Beast

The world is waiting for the live action release of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast next month. I’ve been excited about this film since I’ve seen the teaser poster. I’ll be attending a special blogger event next month for the film, be sure to check back for more on that trip. As a special needs mother I always want to share and highlight companies that accommodate our families. Although I won’t be in town when the El Capitan Theatre is running Beauty and the Beast, I had to share.

Hollywood’s legendary El Capitan Theatre presents a special engagement of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST March 17 –  April 30, 2017, in Dolby Vision™ Laser Projection and Dolby Atmos® Sound Technology.  Plus, an additional show on Thursday, March 16 at 9:30pm!

The El Capitan Theatre will also host a very special Tiny Tot Tuesday on these specific dates only:  Mar 21, 28, Apr 4, 11, 18 during the run of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.  During these special screenings, parents and small children may enjoy the movie in a tot-friendly way—with lights dimmed rather than out and reduced sound levels.

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.

In addition to the special showings for families with little kids, especially those with sensory sensitivity, The El Capitan Theatre will come alive under the magical spell of an immersive light and projection show before the movie featuring a dazzling SWAROVSKI crystal curtain, bringing the tale as old as time to life in a new and spectacular way.

This pre-show will be accompanied by a brand-new BEAUTY AND THE BEAST overture, arranged by Alan Menken’s long-time music director Michael Kosarin, in the style and tradition of the great classic roadshow film overtures.  It was recorded by a 100-piece symphonic studio orchestra, and takes the audience through the best loved songs from the 1991 animated film, as well as some of the gorgeous new songs written for this new live-action one.  Before and after the movie,  guests will have the opportunity to see costumes, props, and set dressing from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST in a display in the lower lounge.

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.

During its special engagement of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The El Capitan Theatre is offering a Movie & Meal package at Hard Rock Café – a movie ticket and meal for $30.00 per person — park once and enjoy both!  Guests see the movie first and then have a meal at the Hard Rock Café after. Guests select their entrée upon arrival at the restaurant.  Reservations are required 24 hours (Business Days) in advance by calling 1-818-845-3110.  Please note: theatre concessions are not included; menu items cannot be substituted; tax & gratuity are included; additional items, including alcohol, are not included and if ordered, are paid for by the guest at the time of service.

El Capitan Theatre Guests may also enjoy the GHIRARDELLI SIP & SEE PACKAGE for $27.00 per person. Each ticket package includes: VIP Preferred Seat for the movie, VIP Popcorn, 20 oz. drink of choice. Either before or after the movie Guests will be able to take their ticket to Ghirardelli and enjoy a cup of Twinings exclusive BEAUTY & THE BEAST Tea paired with a crunchy biscotti freshly dipped in Ghirardelli chocolate. Reservations are required in advance (tickets must be booked no later than 24 hrs business days).

Daily showtimes are 10:45 a.m.3:00 p.m.7:00 p.m., and 10:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now, available at the El Capitan Theatre (6838 Hollywood Blvd.), online at www.elcapitantickets.com or by calling 1-800-DISNEY6. Special group rates for parties of 20 or more are available by calling 1-818-845-3110. Showtimes and dates are subject to change.

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.

New Beauty and the Beast Poster and TV Spot

New Beauty and the Beast Poster and TV Spot

The more I see about this film the more anxious I get about the upcoming release.  I can’t wait to March to arrive so I can see my favorite Disney movie of all time come to life.  Check out the awesome poster below.

It’s stunning and it gets you even more excited about seeing the film.  Emma Watson looks amazing as Belle.  During the Golden Globes last night a new television spot aired showing clips from the movie with Watson singing.

About Beauty and the Beast

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.

Beauty and the Beast Joins the Walt Disney Signature Collection

Beauty and the Beast Joins the Walt Disney Signature Collection

It’s hard to believe that twenty-five years ago Beauty and the Beast broke ground as the first animated feature film to receive an Academy Award® nomination for best picture. Now the film will join the Walt Disney Signature Collection.  The Blu-ray release will include the original theatrical film; an extended version with the “Human Again” song sequence and a never-before-released on home entertainment sing-along version.  The original work-in-progress version will be available digitally and on Disney Movies Anywhere. Relive the magic on Sept. 6 on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere, and on Sept. 20 on Blu-ray™ and DVD.

BeautyAndTheBeast201625th_AnniversaryEditionBlu-ray

Beauty and the Beast has a new live action movie set to be released in March 2018, and when the teaser trailer was released a few weeks ago, fans all over the internet was excited.  I can’t wait for the new movie, and to update my DVD version of the animated feature.

The Walt Disney Signature Collection edition features four versions of “Beauty and the Beast.”  The Blu-ray release will include the original theatrical film; an extended version with the “Human Again” song sequence and a never-before-released on home entertainment sing-along version.  The original work-in-progress version will be available digitally and on Disney Movies Anywhere.
There is also a host of all-new bonus extras including a rare opportunity to gather around the piano with some of Disney’s greatest composers, including Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin”), Stephen Schwartz (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Pocahontas”), Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“Frozen,” Disney’s upcoming “Gigantic”), Robert Lopez (“Frozen,” Disney’s upcoming “Gigantic”) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Disney’s upcoming “Moana”) as they sing and share how they’ve personally been inspired by the film’s award-winning music; a look at how Walt Disney himself sought to adapt this famous fairytale; a nostalgic look back with Paige O’Hara, the voice of Belle; behind-the-scenes access into the recording booth with the cast; and a sneak peek at Disney’s upcoming live-action re-telling of “Beauty and the Beast,” arriving in theaters in 2017.
Film Versions:
BLU-RAY, DIGITAL HD* & DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE:
  • Original theatrical version
  • New advanced sing-along version
  • Extended version with “Human Again” song sequence
DIGITAL HD* & DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE:
  • Work-in-progress version
Bonus Features:
BLU-RAY, DIGITAL HD* & DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE: 
  • Menken & Friends: 25 Years of Musical Inspiration – Get a front-row seat for an intimate discussion between legendary music composers from classic and future Disney films, including Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin”), Stephen Schwartz (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Pocahontas”), Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“Frozen,” Disney’s upcoming “Gigantic”), Robert Lopez (“Frozen,” Disney’s upcoming “Gigantic”) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Disney’s upcoming “Moana”). Discover how the composers are personally connected, how they first experienced “Beauty and the Beast” and how they find  inspiration for their own films. And watch as they pay tribute to the film’s award-winning music score and the man who has inspired them all—Alan Menken.
  • #1074: Walt, Fairy Tales & Beauty and the Beast – Long before “Beauty and the Beast” became the instant classic we know and love, Walt Disney made two attempts—between the 1930s and 1950s—to adapt the famous fairy tale into an animated film. Discover what Walt and his team was dreaming up through Walt’s actual voice recordings, archived artwork, story notes, and learn why the project was sidelined for decades.
  • Always Belle – The original voice of Belle, Paige O’Hara, reminisces about earning the role of the beautiful bookworm in “Beauty and the Beast” and recalls how the iconic character changed her life and continues to inspire fans both young and old.
  • The Recording Sessions – Go in the recording booth with the cast of Beauty and the Beast and see what went into adding voices to the characters and the lines we know and love.
  • 25 Fun Facts About Beauty and the Beast – Disney Channel’s Gus Kamp and Kayla Maisonet host this entertaining countdown featuring little-known fun facts, anecdotes and hidden Easter Eggs (references to Disney animated films and characters) from one of the most cherished animated films of all time.
  • “Beauty and The Beast” Sneak Peek – An exciting first look into the live-action re-telling of “Beauty and the Beast,” 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.
DIGITAL HD* & DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE:
  • Classic Bonus Features – These offerings from prior home entertainment releases include over five hours of bonus material, such as an alternate version of “Be Our Guest” and the “Beauty and the Beast” music video performed by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson, and deleted scenes.
  • Bonus features may vary by retailer

Get Ready for Galavant

Get Ready for Galavant

It seems like it was ages ago that I attended my second press trip with Disney that included ABC Television.  Last November we had the opportunity to preview two episodes of the new musical comedy Galavant coming to ABC Television tonight (January 4th, 2015).  After we watched the episodes we chatted with show producer Dan Fogelman, musical composer Alan Menken, lyricist Glen Slater and show star and mega hottie Joshua Sasse.  I attended an all expenses paid trip to LA from Disney and ABC Television, any opinions expressed are my own.

Galavant GFX

We sat down for lunch after our morning of black.ish events and started to preview the first two episodes of the show Galavant.  Not knowing anything really in dept about the show none of us knew what to expect.  We started eating and watching the show and almost immediately I could feel the smile starting to stretch across my face.  According to show producer Dan Fogelman, Galavant would appeal to fans of Monty  Python, Princess Bride and Game of Thrones.  I love Game of Thrones and I’ve seen Princess Bride quite a few times, my husband still quotes lines from that movie, so I had high expectations.  The show is filmed on location in England and the imagery is absolutely beautiful.  It was a great decision to go that route instead of using a studio lot.  Fans of any sort of musical shows will find Galavant entertaining and delightful, I certainly did.  I loved all the medieval themes all through out the show.  If you’re thinking about watching Galavant with the kids I will note that there is some adult humor in the show, however show creators feel they did a great job hiding those jokes so kids don’t understand.  Fogelman said he feels they would go over the kids heads but the parents would totally get it.

Photo Credit: ABC
Photo Credit: ABC

 

While the pilot has the least amount of music, Glenn Slater and Alan Menken have written 33 songs for the eight episode series.  There are 24 songs and with reprises it totals 33 songs, they even threw out quite a few songs that didn’t work for the show.  That’s a lot of music, Alan joked that their hands were tired after writing all the songs but really he’s probably written tons more for other projects.  Galavant was born out of a script that Dan Fogelman created and he wanted to turn it into a musical.  He had worked with Alan Menken and Glenn Slater on Tangled, while he was working on “The Neighbors” Glenn and Alan came in to work on a musical episode with him.  He said at the time the show wasn’t getting much attention but after that episode, Alan received an Emmy nomination for the episode and they started to get more attention.  That’s when he approached them about his script, shortly after Glen and Alan came up with the show’s original theme song and Galavant was born.

GALAVANT - "Joust Friends" (ABC/Nick Ray) KAREN DAVID, JOSHUA SASSE, DAN FOGELMAN (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), LUKE YOUNGBLOOD, JOHN STAMOS, KAREN DAVID
GALAVANT – “Joust Friends” (ABC/Nick Ray)
KAREN DAVID, JOSHUA SASSE, DAN FOGELMAN (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), LUKE YOUNGBLOOD, JOHN STAMOS, KAREN DAVID

There’s a lot of star power expected to show up on Galavant.  While Joshua Sasse is an up and coming star in the US, he’s be doing musicals in England and I’m sure he’ll be an instant hit here in the US.  Along with Joshua there’s Karen David and Luke Youngblood, both are also up and coming stars.  According to Dan Fogelman there will be lots of other stars appearing on the show.  The king and rival to Galavant is Timothy Omundson, you probably know him from Psych.  Weird Al  Yankovic is slated to appear on the show, Ricky Gervais, Hugh Bonneville and John Stamos makes an appearance as a rival to Galavant in the second episode of the series which airs tonight on ABC.  Check out a clip of Galavant below.

As a part of the interview we also had the opportunity to meet Galavant in person.  Dan introduced him as a surprise for us mommy bloggers and something for us to look at.  I laugh now because he walked in and we all cheered.  I could look at him forever (I’m married, not dead).  I honestly don’t remember half of what he said (thank goodness for recordings) because I loved his accent. I have an accent and I usually get people asking me about mine so it was nice listening to Joshua talk.  I honestly think he has the whole hottie star thing down.  I swore he was winking at us.  Or maybe I imagined it.  LOL – either way I’m sure he’s be lots of women’s Man Crush Monday posts tomorrow.

Group photo with Joshua Sasse.  Photo credit: Staci S. of 7 on a Shoestring.
Group photo with Joshua Sasse. Photo credit: Staci S. of 7 on a Shoestring.

About Galavant:

Screenwriter/executive producer Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love, Tangled, Cars) teams up with Broadway and Hollywood award-winning musical team — composer Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast) and lyricist Glenn Slater (Tangled) — for a 4-week comedy extravaganza. Once upon a time, the dashing hero, Galavant (Joshua Sasse) lost the love of his life, Madalena (Mallory Jansen), to the evil King Richard (Timothy Omundson). Now, our fallen hero is ready to take revenge and restore his “happily ever after.” But it won’t be without a few twists and turns along the way.

Galavant stars Joshua Sasse as Galavant, Timothy Omundson as King Richard, Vinnie Jones as Gareth, Mallory Jansen as Madalena, Karen David as Isabella and Luke Youngblood as Sid.

GALAVANT - ABC's "Galavant" stars Joshua Sasse as Galavant. (ABC/Bob D'Amico)
GALAVANT – ABC’s “Galavant” stars Joshua Sasse as Galavant. (ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Make sure you tune in every Sunday in January for Galavant, each week you can enjoy two episodes for the 8 part musical comedy series.  Galavant airs at 8 PM ET/PT on ABC.  Follow along on social media to be up to date on all things Galavant.

Galavant FB page and/or are following at https://twitter.com/GalavantABC ‪#‎Galavant‬, and here are more social handles to follow for the show, which premieres on Jan 4 (tonight)!
http://instagram.com/GalavantABC
http://galavantabc.tumblr.com
https://plus.google.com/+GalavantABC/posts
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDRL6iuFfFQ