18 Musical Facts about Disney‟s Live-action Beauty and the Beast

Friday, March 10, 2017

After the success of recent live-action remakes of Disney animated feature films such as Maleficent, Cinderella and The Jungle Book, Disney lovers are eagerly anticipating the release of the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast on March 17, 2017. Here are some musical facts about the film while you wait!

1. Director Bill Condon has wanted the live-action version to be a musical from the very beginning, stating “The songs are too good. You‟re going to spend all this time making a huge gorgeous live-action Beauty and the Beast and not do "Be Our Guest?" Condon‟s choice to keep the classic a musical may make a difference at the box office considering the overwhelming success of current Broadway musical Hamilton.

2. The animated movie spawned a successful Broadway version which has run since 1993! No surprise there since the film won two academy awards for Best Score and Best Original Song.

3. Condon is no stranger with bringing Broadway musicals to the screen; he is credited with writing the screenplay for Chicago (2002) and directing Dreamgirls (2006)

4. During auditions, Condon had the actors sing the Disney classic “Hakuna Matata” from the Lion King!

5. Emma Watson announced she would be playing Belle on Twitter before it the film was officially announced saying “it was such a big part of my growing up; it almost feels surreal that I‟ll get to dance to "Be Our Guest" and sing "Something There." My six year old self is on the ceiling-heart bursting. Time to start some singing lessons!”


6. Watson is linked to the cult musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show through her performance as Sam in 2012‟s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In the film, main character Charlie and his friends act as a performance group at Rocky screenings. Click below to see Watson as Janet performing the song “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a Touch


7. Watson has shown off her dance skills while promoting The Perks of Being a Wallflower on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The pair recreated iconic dances from Grease, Dirty Dancing and Perks of Being a Wallflower. Click below for a clip of her adorable dance with Jimmy Fallon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GS_NZUKTMc

8. Acting as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Watson recently interviewed Hamilton star and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda for HeforShe. The two discussed Hamilton, Harry Potter, and even used beatboxing to talk about feminism. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkNECA499R8

9. Dan Stevens, who will play the Beast in the upcoming film, has given us a peek at his musical skills in the past. Downton Abbey fans will no doubt remember the touching scene from season 2 episode 4 in which Matthew reunites with Mary in song at a benefit concert for the soldiers at Downton. Jump ahead to 1:33 to hear Stevens sing! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuhq8nzXb9c

10. Ewan McGregor, the film‟s new Lumiere, wowed us with his vocals in 2001‟s Moulin Rouge. Although the film is set in France, McGregor‟s accent is decidedly British. For a sneak peek of the French accent we have all come to associate with the suave candlestick click the link below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8WWByP8u1o
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11. Luke Evans, familiar to us as Bard the Bowmen from The Hobbit franchise, shows off his vocal skills in a Gaston-Off with Hugh Jackman on the Jonathan Ross Show. Jackman, who played Gaston in the Australian production of the Broadway musical, hands the torch to Evans in this hilarious musical clip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTB0LjvKMwY skip to 2:52 for the sing-off!


12. Josh Gad will be playing Gaston's hilarious henchmen LeFou. Gad is most recognizable as the loveable snowman Olaf from Frozen. In the animated film LeFou not so stealthily hides as a snowman while keeping watch on Belle's house!

13. Gad has also appeared on Broadway, having starred in The Book of Mormon with HBO‟s Girls Andrew Rannells.

14. Belle‟s eccentric father will be played by Kevin Kline. Kline has two Tony awards under his belt, the first he won for "On the Twentieth Century" and the second for "The Pirates of Penzance."

15. 90's kids will most likely remember Kline for his role as Tulio in Dreamworks‟ Road to El Dorado. Tim Rice, who is working with Alan Menken for the live-action Beauty and the Beast, also wrote the lyrics for the songs in Road to El Dorado.

16. Emma Thompson will be Mrs. Potts in the live-action film. Angela Lansbury voiced the prim teapot in the animated feature 25 years ago. Both women have appeared in Sweeny Todd as Mrs. Lovett.

17. The diva-like wardrobe from the animated film will be brought to life by Broadway royalty Audra McDonald. She has 6 Tony Awards to her name and will be recognizable from James Corden‟s recent Broadway carpool karaoke video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YshgmStEZh0

18. In addition to singing our favourite songs from the original, Alan Menken and Tim Rice have composed three new songs! 

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