‘Tale as old as time’ retold

‘Tale as old as time’ retold

The new adaptation of The Beauty and the Beast, set to air Friday, March 17 is already predicted to break many of the traditional Disney stereotypes.

While Belle’s character is portrayed as a strong, independent and free thinking young lady, actress Emma Watson has taken her role as the brunette beauty to a whole new level. Watson adds a new dimension of what it means to be a Disney princess with a sense of self.

The viewer meets a stronger princess, who, not unlike the protagonist of the 1990’s animated feature, feels disconnected from her quiet, little town and distinctly out of place. While there may be a lot of similarities between modern and past Belle, in this remake, Belle is an inventor and her father, Maurice, played by actor Kevin Kline, makes music boxes.

“It’s not a massive reinterpretation,” said Jacqueline Durran, the movie’s costume designer, in an interview with USA Today. “She was always bookish, always engaged. But I think that’s moved forward. She’s more of an active heroine than she ever was before.”

Part of this princess reshaping was done through her wardrobe. Durran also told USA Today that Watson wished to portray an active princess, which meant leaving out the constricting wardrobe, including the corset.

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Watson expressed her confusion about never knowing more about why Belle did not fit in, other than her love for books. Her love of books takes the front seat in this retelling; a backstory was created for the heroine in which she created a rudimentary washing machine.

Another point of differentiation, and even public outcry, concerns the character of LeFou. The shadow of villain Gaston, LeFou appears to be the first openly gay character in a Disney movie. At a Beverly Hills press conference, director Bill Condon confirmed the rumors.

“And in a very Disney way, we are including everybody,” Condon said about the decision for LeFou’s character. “I think this is for everybody, and on the screen we’ll see everybody. And that was important to me.”

LeFou is being played by actor Josh Gad, 36, while Luke Evans, 37, is filling the role of Gaston. Public outcry has ensued and some theaters, like the Henagar Drive-In theater in Alabama, have promised not to play the film.

Even before Emma Watson has taken the silver screen as Belle, the buzz it has generated is already taking an “adventure in the great wide somewhere”.

Image Credit| imdb.com

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