This weekend sees the opening of the highly anticipated live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. When the original animated musical was released in 1991, it was not a guaranteed hit as Disney was in the midst of regaining its mantle of animation juggernaut. Two years earlier, the Mouse House had a hit with The Little Mermaid, but by no means did it mean that the follow-up was a guaranteed hit.
As it turned out, Beauty and the Beast became one of Disney’s biggest hits and was the first ever animated movie to be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. Two years later, it was adapted into a Broadway musical, adding seven songs that were not in the animated original. It ran for 13 years becoming the tenth longest-running Broadway production in history and has also had productions in 115 cities around the world.
For the live-action movie, producers have combined elements from both the original movie and the stage play to create something that will be very familiar but will have songs and story elements that will be new to many. Music composer Alan Menken has said that it will not include the songs written specifically for the Broadway musical, but does include four new songs written for the film. Belle is played by Emma Watson (the Harry Potter series), the only woman in her town that will not give the arrogant Gaston (Luke Evans) her affections. When her father Maurice (Kevin Kline) is taken prisoner by a Beast (Dan Stevens) in a castle, she must become the Beast’s prisoner to free him. She discovers the castle is enchanted with familiar characters like Lumiere (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth (Ian McKellen) and Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson) plus a new character, a harpsichord called Maestro Cadenza (Stanley Tucci). Expect Beauty and the Beast to continue the huge success of Disney’s live-action remakes like Cinderella and Jungle Book and pave the way for more like The Little Mermaid, The Lion King and Dumbo.
In 2011, Jay Baruchel, Seann William Scott (American Pie), Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan), Alison Pill (The Newsroom), Kim Coates (Sons of Anarchy) and Eugene Levy (Schitt’s Creek) teamed up for the Canadian hit Goon, about a nice but dimwitted man who becomes the enforcer for a minor-league hockey team. The team is back in Goon: Last of the Enforcers, in which a pro lockout has reunited old teammates and brought a crew of new players to the Halifax Highlanders. However, Doug “The Thug” Glatt (Scott) has been sidelined by one too many hits plus he is married with a baby on the way. But when his nemesis Anders Cain is made captain of the Highlanders and new ownership threatens to tear his team apart, Doug is laces up his skates again.