The En­chanted World of BEAUTY and the BEAST

DAN STEVENS and EMMA WAT­SON star in “a tale as old as time”

Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - Front Page - BY LAMBETH HOCHWALD COVER PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY ART STREIBER

There’s some­thing about Beauty and the Beast and its story of true love and courage that’s made it beloved for gen­er­a­tions, es­pe­cially since Dis­ney brought the 1700s French fairy tale to the big screen as a sweep­ing an­i­mated movie mu­si­cal in 1991. This week, Emma Wat­son and Dan Stevens star—as the Beauty and the Beast—in a brand-new Dis­ney ver­sion com­bin­ing live ac­tors, real set­tings and eye-pop­ping computer an­i­ma­tion.

The an­tic­i­pa­tion has been mount­ing since the project was first an­nounced: More ad­vance tick­ets for this Beauty and the Beast have been sold than for any other fam­ily film in his­tory, ac­cord­ing to on­line ticket ven­dor Fan­dango. As fans count down the days to March 17, they’ve been stream­ing ad­vance sound­track tunes, such as Ari­ana Grande and John Leg­end’s new ver­sion of the movie’s theme song. (See “New Mu­sic in the Air,” page 12.)

The 1991 Beauty and the Beast was the first an­i­mated fea­ture to re­ceive an Academy Award nom­i­na­tion for best pic­ture. (It ac­tu­ally won two Os­cars, for orig­i­nal song and orig­i­nal score.) That set the bar high for the new ver­sion, which was care­fully reimag­ined to honor and ex­pand on its pre­de­ces­sor.

The tale of Beauty and the

Beast en­dures be­cause it’s uni­ver­sally ap­peal­ing, says the new film’s Os­car-win­ning di­rec­tor, Bill Con­don, 61, whose ré­sumé in­cludes Dream­girls, Gods and Mon­sters and two movies in the Twi­light fran­chise. “The idea of look­ing be­yond the sur­face of things and find­ing the beauty un­der­neath is one of the film’s lega­cies,” he says.

For Stevens, 34, who was Down­ton Abbey’s Matthew Craw­ley, the process of retelling a well-known, cen­turiesold tale—and em­body­ing the Beast—was mag­i­cal.

“It’s an al­chem­i­cal process,” he says. “The orig­i­nal was a land­mark film that con­tains a lot of the big ques­tions about our iden­ti­ties, who we are, what we’re afraid of and what parts of our na­ture we should act on. It cov­ers big themes and it’s able to

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