Behind-the-scenes look at Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ released

Behind-the-scenes look at Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ released

It’s a tale as old as time and it’s about to be retold in a brand, new way. When Disney announced a live action version of “Beauty of the Beast,” I was definitely intrigued. With the the “Little Mermaid” and “The Lion King,” I vividly remember the first time I saw “Beauty and the Beast.” I could still get into the movies for a junior fare and was enthralled with how Disney presented the magical tale.

When it was confirmed that “Harry Potter” alumnae Emma Watson would step into the role of Belle, I was sold. She is perfect for the role in every way — she has the poise, intelligence and natural beauty synonymous with Belle. Renowned Disney composer  Alan Menken agrees, saying recently:

She’s really good! I can’t picture anyone else, honestly. She’s Belle for me now, entirely.”

So far, with the exception of the teaser trailer, few details about the March 2017 adaptation had been released. Last week, however, there was something there that wasn’t there before when we got our first sneak peek at Emma and her Beast (Dan Stevens) at a table read. And on Tuesday we were treated to more “Beauty”news as a sneak peek found its way to the Internet. The featurette is among the special features on the 25th anniversary edition of the “Beauty and the Beast” DVD and bluray.

Also, co-producer Jack Morrisey shared stills of Cogsworth and Lumiere and a still from the scene in which “Frozen” star Josh Gad (playing Gaston’s sidekick Le Fou) leads patrons at Gaston’s Tavern in a rousing rendition of “Gaston.” We also saw Stevens immersed into the Beast’s human form and it is spot on.

Josh Gad (Le Fou) and Luke Evans (Gaston) in a scene from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast."

Josh Gad (Le Fou) and Luke Evans (Gaston) in a scene from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”

Dan Stevens in the Beast's human form compared to his animated counterpart.

Dan Stevens in the Beast’s human form compared to his animated counterpart.

“Beauty and the Beast” was a crowning achievement in Disney’s animation Renaissance in the late ’80s and early 90s. It was the first animated motion picture to earn a Best Picture nomination at the 1991 Academy Awards and the score and soundtrack as captured the imagination of children and adults alike for the past two and a half decades. Despite advancements with CGI, to me, the ballroom scene with Belle’s glittering gold gown remains one of the most beautiful animated sequences I’ve ever seen. The glimpse of the empty ballroom gives me chills. I can’t wait to see Emma and Dan floating across the ornate floor. So far, it seems like director Bill Condon and the cast and crew love the classic as much as fans and have not taken the adaptation lightly.

Principal filming for the live-action version began in March 2015 and wrapped three months later. CGI effects will transform many of the orignal’s most memorable scenes into realistic movie magic. It will also feature new music from Menken and Sir Tim Rice. The star-studded cast also includes Ewan McGregor (Lumiere), Sir Ian McKellen (Cogsworth),  Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Stanley Tucci (the newly created grand piano Cadenza), Luke Evans (Gaston) and Kevin Kline (Belle’s father Maurice). “Beauty and the Beast” waltzes into theaters on March 17, 2017.

The 25th anniversary edition of the animated classic is available now on digital HD and out on blu ray on Sept. 20.