Here is your first look at Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” the live-action adaptation of the animated classic directed by Bill Condon. A previous Oscar winner for Best Adapted Screenplay (“Gods and Monsters” in 1998), Condon has extensive work in musicals. He also received an Oscar nominationfor Best Adapted Screenplay for “Chicago” (2002). Click through our photo gallery above for your sneak peek at the 2017 “Beauty and the Beast” cast before the film is released on March 17.
“Beauty and the Beast” tells the story of Belle, whose father has been taken prisoner by a terrifying Beast, a prince under a magic spell. The Disney original animated version was released on November 22, 1991 and became an instant classic. Two of television’s favorites and past Tony winners Angela Lansbury voiced Ms. Potts and Jerry Orbach voiced Lumiere. Thanks in no small part to the original music and score, Condon convinced Disney that a live action version would need to be a musical because the audience would miss the songs.
“Beauty and the Beast” made history as the first full length animated film nominated at the Oscars for Best Picture (it lost to “Silence of the Lambs”) and the only one to do so when there were only five nominees. The film remained the only animated film nominated for Best Picture for 18 years until “Up” (2009) made the 10 films nominated. The original “Beauty and the Beast” won two Oscars: Best Original Score (Alan Menken) and Best Original Song for the title song “Beauty and the Beast” (Menken and Howard Ashman). Besides Best Picture the film was also nominated at the Oscars for Best Sound and two more for Best Original Song: “Belle” and “Be Our Guest.”
Long before there was a Golden Globe for Best Animated Film, “Beauty and the Beast” won the Globe for Best Comedy/Musical Picture along with Best Original Score (Menken) and Best Original Song for the title song “Beauty and the Beast.” The film also won four Grammys: Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television; Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television for the title song “Beauty and the Beast;” Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group (Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson, “Beauty and the Beast”) and Best Pop Instrumental Performance (for the song “Beauty and the Beast”) along with receiving nominations in major categories: Album, Record and Song of the Year for “Beauty and the Beast.”
Soon after “Beauty and the Beast” was moved to Broadway in 1994 and it won the Tony Award for Best Costumes (Ann Hould-Ward). The musical adaptation also received an additional eight nominations: Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Musical Actor (Terence Mann), Best Musical Actress (Susan Egan), Best Musical Featured Actor (Gary Beach), Best Director and Best Lighting Design.
The new live-action film may debut in March but will easily be a contender and possible favorite going into next year’s Oscars especially in the below-the line categories. A past Oscar winner Jacqueline Durran (“Anna Karrenina,” 2012) will be a favorite for Best Costumes. Also looking to contend will be four-time Oscar nominees Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer for bringing the animated world to life in Best Production Design. The film also could possibly contend for Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and of course Best Makeup and Hairstyling for turning Dan Stevens into the Beast.
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