Disney has unveiled the first full clip from the live-action Beauty and the Beast, and it features a very memorable musical number from the 1991 animated Best Picture nominee. In this clip we get a snippet of Emma Watson’s rendition of “Belle”, and it’s really good. The number, as envisioned by Dreamgirls director Bill Condon, still has the vibrancy and town-chorus of the animated film, but is brought into the live-action realm in an interesting way that maintains the theatricality of the beloved classic. Indeed, that’s been one of the biggest questions with regards to Beauty and the Beast: how with the musical nature of the animated film translate to live-action? This was sidestepped in Cinderella and Pete’s Dragon by not using songs, and The Jungle Book only featured a couple of very stripped down pieces of music, but Beauty and the Beast is a full-on musical in every sense of the word.
Disney’s track record thus far has me optimistic about Beauty and the Beast, and the talent of Watson as a performer bodes well. While I wasn’t entirely sold on the aesthetic before, this clip suggests everything works better within the context of the actual movie.
Check out the clip below, via Disney. Scripted by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos with music by Disney veteran Alan Menken, the film also stars Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen, and Emmat Thompson. Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters on March 17th.