Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” Truly A Tale as Old as Time

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.

 

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” a live-action adaptation on of the studio’s animated classic featured an extraordinary ensemble cast, including: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu MbathaRaw, Hattie Morahan and Nathan Mack with Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.

~ Film Facts ~

  • Over 8,700 candles (or 104,400 inches of wax) were used as set decoration during production.
  • The ballroom floor in the Beast’s castle is made from 12,000 square feet of faux marble and its design is based on a pattern found on the ceiling of the Benedictine Abbey in Braunau, Germany. The 10 glass chandeliers in the ballroom – each measuring 14 feet by 7 feet – are based on actual chandeliers from Versailles which were then frosted, covered in fabric and candlelit.
  • Approximately 1,500 red roses were grown or purchased during production for use as research or set decoration.
  • The enchanted forest which surrounds the Beast’s castle and features real trees, hedges, a frozen lake and 20,000 icicles, took 15 weeks to complete.
  • Approximately 180 feet of feather light satin organza was used to create Belle’s yellow dress. The dress, which required 3,000 feet of thread and took over 12,000 hours to create, was accentuated with 2,160 Swarovski crystals.
  • During production, the costume department challenged itself to design and create ethical and sustainable costumes made from fair-trade fabrics (meaning the use of organic materials from suppliers that pay their employees a fair wage and are considerate of the environment), which they achieved. Working in tandem with Eco Age and the Green Carpet Challenge, the department used natural and low impact dyes, carefully disposing of any waste water, and printed with traditional wood blocks.
  • A production crew comprised of more than 1,000 people worked around the clock to design, build and decorate the film’s mammoth sets.
  • Philippe, Belle (Emma Watson) and Maurice’s (Kevin Kline) horse, is played by three different horses, two of which had to be painted on a daily basis.
  • Emma Watson (Belle), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Luke Evans (Gaston) and Nathan Mack (Chip) all share the same birthday, April 14, which was also the date of the cast read through.
  • Froufrou, the dog belonging to Madame de Garderobe (Audra McDonald) and Maestro Cadenza (Stanley Tucci), is played by Gizmo, a rescue from one of the U.K.’s oldest and most famous animal rescue centers.
  • The coat of arms in the Beast’s castle is a lion and a boar with a WD anagram (the WD is meant to represent a fictional character, William Devereaux, but could also stand for Walt Disney).
  • Some of the original lyrics written by Howard Ashman for the songs “Gaston” and “Beauty and the Beast” that were not used in the animated film have been added to the live-action adaptation.

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