Saturday, March 25, 2017

How Did Gaston and Le Fou Meet? (Disney Enlists Kids To Create Stories Inspired by BatB, and Turns Them Into Short Films!)

Possibly our favorite things about the gigantic release and popularity of Disney live action Beauty and the Beast, is the creativity boom in so many areas as a result, a large focus of which is on reading and storytelling. (Yay!)

Disney themselves are participating in encouraging this as well, which makes it even better. Some of their publications are focused on 'what you can read' if you want to read like Belle, or mining the earliest written forms of Beauty and the Beast (Villeneuve and Beamont) and republishing in various ways, not to mention emphasizing storytelling and eco-conscious creation through fashion and foot ware. The best of the initiatives we've seen to date, however, is likely a writing and filmmaking collaboration with non-profit group, Young Storytellers, who aim to give a voice to low-income students by helping them write their own stories, through a one-on-one mentorship, and see them brought to life on stage and screen.

Partnering with Young Storytellers* and Tongal**, Disney enlisted the creativity of kids by giving them a pre-release showing of the movie on the Disney lot, then asking them to come up with stories, or 'spin-offs', based on their favorite characters. (Young Storytellers is a non-profit organization in Los Angeles. "Every child has a story worth telling." **Tongal is an independent creative network with a global community of more than 120,000 writers, directors and animators) 

The title of the project was 'Beyond the Castle: Stories Inspired by Disney's Beauty and the Beast'.

(T)hey were paired with their mentors to write scripts inspired by their favorite characters from the film. Tongal* then matched these Young Storytellers'** scripts with its network of creators who turned them into live-action and animated short films...The Young Storytellers got the added surprise of seeing their projects come to life on the big screen with a premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. After the screening, they were surprised by a video greeting with actors from the film, Luke Evans (Gaston) and Josh Gad (Le Fou). (Hollywood Reporter)
Four talented young people were chosen to have their stories made into short films. Here are three of them (we can't find Acacia's story and film, Cooking Catastrophe but have no doubt it's just as wonderful as the others and hope it will be available on the Young Storytellers' YouTube Channel to see soon!).

This one is by 12 year old, Robert Nelson, who imagined how Gaston and LeFou might have met.

“LeFouston” from “Beyond the Castle: Stories Inspired by Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’"
The video was created in stop motion by Tongal creator Kevin Ulrich, with music by Trevor Gomes.
"Pug in a Cup" from “Beyond the Castle: Stories Inspired by Disney's Beauty and the Beast"

Written by Hana Morshedi (age unknown) and directed by Tucker Barrie.

“Beauty and the Curse” from “Beyond the Castle: Stories Inspired by Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’"

Written by Tamara Sims (based on her short story “Changing Ways”, age unknown) and directed by Maya Rudolph.
Many congrats to Tamara, Robert, Acacia, and Hana!
Here's a peek behind-the-scenes of these young people's storytelling adventure:
A brilliant and successful collaboration thanks in large part to the ongoing amazing work by Young Storytellers, along with Tongal and Disney. We only wish more kids got an opportunity like this, or are being encouraged to do this themselves with their own resources.

You can find out more about Young Storytellers and how to help with wonderful programs like this, by clicking the link HERE.

No comments:

Post a Comment