Gifs, gifs, gifs, glorious gifs! Yes, it has been almost a week since the teaser trailer for Disney’s 2017 live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast dropped and fans everywhere have been exploding with giddiness ever since.
I could watch the trailer again, and I have. Then the ever-reliable giphy.com provided some lovely gifs from the teaser trailer. They help fill the time while waiting for this movie to hit theaters (2017 is still a bit far-off, after all) and provide some extra fodder for an extended analysis of that which we see before us. Let’s begin. In the order of appearance:
“And all who lived there.” Yes, Disney, we know it’s you, nice work there tying in the usual opening castle and logo scene with the story. I still can’t stop remembering Hogwarts in the winter time when I see this. But it’s nice to already get a view of the whole castle, or at least its front facade. That’s a lot of towers.
A circular room with what looks like a domed ceiling, sunlight shining through the windows and illuminating the most likely crystal parts of numerous festive chandeliers waiting for their moment. Gold, white, grey, maybe light-blue dominate what we can see of the interior here and a sleeping piano stands alone. Could this be the ballroom, and if yes, could the iconic dance scene accompanied by Mrs. Potts singing Tale as Old as Time take place here? Dimensions are a bit hard to tell, but judging by the number of chandeliers in this take alone and the several windows, the room must stretch on beyond what we can see. Of course, maybe it’s just the morning room or something like this, where the prince used to play piano regularly in his happier, selfish days, but then he stopped, and it’s been gathering dust ever since, until Belle came along, and as they start to thaw towards each other, they sit down at the piano together and he plays her a long-forgotten tune… My imagination is clearly more than fired up.
The entrance? The front hall? What Belle sees first as she sets foot inside this forsaken castle? Brown leaves flutter in through the open double doors. Swirling patterns on the powder-blue or white floor echo the curving gold and white molding on the walls. Brown and cobwebs continue on the upper level, though it’s obvious the castle is beautiful (with a good scrub or just some magic once everything is alright again this will actually be visible) and the interiors, while glamourous and speaking of nobility, also have something understated about them, stopping short of being gaudy or ostentatious.
More gold, and more candles, so many candles! This breathes a bit of Phantom of the Opera and the Phantom’s underground lair, Music of the Night etc. Luckily the castle is actually on the surface of the Earth and Belle is not descending in to the dwellings of an obsessive and murderous dude with a traumatic past and complicated history. She is entering the dwellings of an angry and lonely dude with an as yet unknown past and complicated history. She just doesn’t know what awaits her at all. But there are lots of scrolls here, and a desk, so maybe the people living here used to be interested in things and active in their pursuits.
A hint about the maybe once happy family who used to live here. We see more gold and curved lines, though the walls and interior around the portrait seem to have absorbed the oft present darkness and stillness that now inhabit the castle. Unlike the room above, a stronger sense of heaviness is apparent, accentuated by the weighty and slightly tattered curtain on the right of the painting. However, candles still burn in their high gold holders, giving sufficient light, because this corner is clearly visited regularly and provokes repeated strong feelings, judging by that make-you-jump growling slash across the canvas. Of course the green-blue eyes and blonde hair of the boy in the center of the portrait are immediately reminiscent of both the animanted prince’s and Dan Stevens’ own luminous peepers…
“It’s a girl!” – “I know it’s a girl!”- “She’s the one, the one we have been waiting for! She has come to break the spell!” What a gorgeous shot. The rose is, of course, perfect, the so far only thing among the preceding interior views that looks truly alive and well. We can tell that Belle is wearing blue, and a ring on the pinky of her right hand – wondering if there’s any story behind that one. Well done, Disney, making fans wriggle some more. Emma Watson bends down and tentatively reaches out a hand towards the rose. Her lovely visage becomes focused, while the rose blurs, but successfully blocks almost half her face as she is level with it. The perfect blend of the known and the mysterious.
But at least we are already invited. My RSVP is ticked off the list.