Disney’s new live-action film, Beauty and the Beast, opens in theaters today. The story is an updated version of the classic Disney animated film of the same name. The story focuses on what happens to Belle after a Beast living in a castle takes her father prisoner. In order to save her father, Belle decides to take his place. While at the castle, she discovers that the Beast and the castle’s staff are under a spell. As they spend more time together, Belle begins to look beyond the Beast’s looks and realizes that there is more than meets the eye.
TFK Kid Reporter Priya Bhakta sat down with actor Dan Stevens who stars as Beast; Audra McDonald, who voices Madame Garderobe; and Bill Condon, the director of the movie, to learn more about the magical remake.
TIME FOR KIDS:
How do you think Belle and the Beast relate to each other?
They’re a real match for each other. They both love books, and they really connect over reading. She helps remind him of all the nice things he has.
What makes this movie stand apart from other movies?
It’s a big movie musical, and we haven’t seen a movie musical at quite this scale for a while. It’s also uses technology to create the Beast that we haven’t really seen before.
What was your favorite part of the movie?
AUDRA MCDONALD: The end when everybody comes together, and they all become human, and everybody dances around. That was my favorite part because it was the most joyous part.
Which other animated films do you think would be fun to see as a live action movies?
I feel like they’ve got to do The Little Mermaid now, right? I want to play Ursula!
How was directing Beauty and the Beast different from directing other movies you’ve done?
I’ve done movies that are like this one, horror movies with monsters, and I’ve done musicals before. It was like taking different parts of different movies and putting them all into one.
What do you think was the hardest part to direct?
The “Be Our Guest” scene because there was no one there except for Emma Watson. It was great because it’s pure imagination but also because it had to feel like it was real. We wanted to make the environment feel as real as possible - the camera move and all the lights, that was complicated.
Why should kids watch Beauty and the Beast?
Kids and grown ups should watch this film because it contains a lot of important messages that we need to keep telling ourselves, particularly about looking beyond the surface, and looking beyond your immediate surroundings as well.
It’s a classic story with a beautiful message about loving not only other people, and looking past the surface and loving yourself too.
I think the message of it is so important; people shouldn’t be distracted by what everyone thinks is beautiful. Gaston in the beginning says, “Belle is the most beautiful girl in town which makes her the best.” That’s a terrible, terrible message, and he turns out to be the villain. I think it’s important because no matter how much we tell people that [physical beauty is not the most important thing], they forget it.