Monday, November 14, 2016

'Beauty and the Beast' Trailer Will Help You Believe In Magic Again

There's magic & beauty out there.
Find it, share it, fight for it.
(Paraphrasing Celeste Ng)
It's been a really rough week, hasn't it. (Statement, not a question.) Trying to find bright spots of inspiration to move you forward without making you feel like you're ignoring things, has been difficult. Beautiful and cute things have felt indulgent, ridiculous, even, and haven't served their usual roles of giving people a 'breathing space' or needed distraction. More than a few people have told us it feels trite and irresponsible to spend any time thinking about fantasy, fairy tales and magic. Even when we received word early this morning that the new trailer for Disney's live action Beauty and the Beast was about to go live, the fairy tale newsroom didn't immediately jump to attention. It took seeing some gifs, that hinted at a better story and a narrative of hope, to tune in (which is why we put an extended one at the head of the post today).

We're glad we did. Take a look (full screen recommended):
Regarding the trailer, there's more hinted at here than we could have hoped for - Belle's father and the rose, the magical objects actually being far more charming than any image so far has promised.
The Beast is less beast-like -more human- than expected but knowing they're aiming at families with young children, it's not too surprising either. One Tumblr artist has already given the Beast a make-over, and we would have been fine with this as well. Perhaps this was done in anticipation of his final transformation though. There isn't a female fan I know of, who isn't a little bothered by the fact that Belle overcame her initial reaction , looked past her first impressions, fell in love with him as he was, only to have him be completely changed. Perhaps the human-ness makes the 'beast' easier to recognize as still being there in the end, after the transformation. We shall see. Cocteau intended his audience to be disappointed at the reveal of the prince - and so we were. Disney, however, never intended that in the past. We're curious to see how it's resolved in the new movie.
The only thing we really haven't glimpsed/heard, is the musical-song aspect, but all signs point to this movie being everything it has promised to be, and possibly more. Not only should it make Beauty and the Beast classic fans happy, but it's likely to get others, who have criticisms of the Disney original, a little more on side too - and anything that brings people together to talk in a positive and hopeful way, is a good thing.
Aside: the hillside shot cannot help but be compared to The Sound Of Music, but, if you know that classic film, perhaps that's actually an appropriate (and possibly inspiring) comparison.
While a great trailer doesn't 'fix' anything, what it does do, is remind you that people generally do want to be 'better'. That, with the right motivation, people will put in the effort to make magic of many kinds, and that more is possible than most of us ever dream, especially when we work together.

Fairy tales have always suggested that magic is something that requires hard work. While the moment that 'spark' happens (eg someone is transformed, a dress appears etc) is represented as a magical instant, there has often been many years of preparation - of real life grit and survival - before that becomes a reality.
Fairy tale folk are uniquely qualified to remind people that there is always hope and that magic is possible, especially when we show courage, remember things aren't always as they first appear, that transformation is possible and that you are rarely as alone as you feel.
If you know where to look, there is help, and a way forward - even if it only seems to be a talking candlestick.


  1. I think the trailer looked great. Disney sent me a link to it (not because I'm a reviewer, but because I finally went and cashed in all the Disney rewards codes from all the Disney, Marvel and Muppets DVDs I have and now they're sending me e-mails constantly). I was pleasantly surprised to see the scene of Belle's father picking the rose. I know the writer of the original animated film had a problem with that scene, but I think she may have been overreacting a little when she didn't include it.

  2. I don't really get why Beauty and the Beast needed a remake. With other movies that are older and show their age, I can see it, but Beauty and the Beast still looks and feels pretty modern. Anyways the trailer looks gorgeous. I'm still not sold on the movie (at least not sold on watching it in the theatre) for that I would have to know if the movie contains enough alterations to be interesting (which means I'm probably expecting the opposite of what othr Disney fans want), but it definitely shows promise.

  3. I haven't been an avid fan of Disney's live-action remakes, but each one has been charming in their own ways. Beauty and the Beast was my favorite Disney movie (and Bell as a character), and the trailer for this version made me super-excited. The cast looks great, the songs will be fun to hear especially for the first time, and the promise that it'll be like the original but with new details/storytelling/etc. gives me a lot of hope!