The live-action version of Beauty and the Beast will still have the songs you know and love like “Be Our Guest”, “Gaston”, and “Belle”, but Bill Condon’s upcoming film will also throw in a few new tunes as well. Composer Alan Menken, who worked on the original Beauty and the Beast with the late Howard Ashman, penned three new songs for the movie with The Lion King composer Tim Rice.
Speaking to EW, Menken revealed that while “Beauty and the Beast” was the song that ran throughout the original, the live-action version is built around a new number called “Our Song Lives On”:
“The first time it’s sung, it’s Belle’s father singing as he’s completing a music box, and basically it’s [about], ‘How does a moment live forever? How do you hang on to precious moments?’ Then, it’s reprised by Belle, and then it’s the song that’s actually over the end credits at the end of the movie. Disney hasn’t announced it yet, but there’s going to be some wonderful singer on the end credits song.”
There’s also the song “For Evermore”, which comes when the Beast finally has an understanding of what it means to love another person:
“‘For Evermore’ is this moment where the Beast now loves Belle, and he realizes that she misses her father, and he acknowledges she’s no longer a prisoner, and when she sees her father’s in trouble, he says, ‘Go to him, go.’ And he voluntarily lets her go,” Menken continues. “He’s basically singing about how he now knows what love is, as he watches her leave, and he’s climbing up the turret of the castle as she recedes into the distance, just watching her go further and further away.”
Finally, there’s the song “Days in the Sun”, which producer David Hoberman says is so good it might net Menken his ninth Oscar. Menken responded to that prediction by saying:
“Well, that’s great of him to say that,” admits Menken. “ ‘Days in the Sun’ is a moment when all of the objects in the castle —and Belle — are going to sleep. Basically, everybody in the castle is having memories of what it used to be when they had their days in the sun. It’s sort of a combination of a lullaby and a remembrance of happier days for everybody.”
So will these songs make the movie any better? On the one hand, I understand Disney wants to sell new soundtracks and also offer something fresh other than turning an animated film into live-action. That being said, these new songs have to match up to not just one or two classic tunes. This isn’t like “Colors of the Wind” where that’s the only song you can name from Pocahontas. These songs have to be as good as “Gaston”, “Belle”, “Be Our Guest”, “Beauty and the Beast”, and “The Mob Song”, and while I have faith in Menken and Rice, they definitely have their work cut out for them.
Beauty and the Beast opens March 17, 2017.