Thursday, September 29, 2016

'Beauty and the Beast' 25th Anniversary Round-Up (Part One)

Beauty and the Beast made its debut at the New York Film Festival on September 29, 1991 with a work-in-progress version of the film, which was met with a ten minute standing ovation as the film reached its happy ending. Beauty and the Beast made it theatrical debut a few months later on November 22, 1991 and over the last twenty-five years, Disney's animated classic broke box-office records, received a historic "Best Picture" Academy Award nomination, inspired a Broadway musical, nestled into a corner of the Magic Kingdom, and will soon make its way back to the big screen as a live-action film.

Disney has celebrated Beauty and the Beast's 25th anniversary over the past several months with screenings around the country, a D23 Fanniversary, complete with new interviews, and a new Blu-ray release with all new content. There was a lot to take in and now you have two convenient stops to find all the latest anniversary information.

The blog's 25th Anniversary Round-Up is divided into two posts. Part One includes: Beauty and the Beast Movie News Posts, video interviews, and other interviews with the original voice cast.

Part Two, which you can see here, includes behind the scenes videos, graphics, and more. Be sure to check back for updates.

Beauty and the Beast Movie News Posts:
'Beauty and the Beast' 25th Anniversary Screening Round-Up

Producer Don Hahn: "Angela Lansbury was the person. She had to do it."

Paige O'Hara to Emma Watson: "I just said to have a great time."

WATCH: Cast & crew discuss 'Beauty and the Beast' at 25th anniversary screening

Paige O'Hara reveals what she is most excited to see in the live-action film

'Beauty and the Beast' 25th anniversary Blu-Ray coming this September

'Beauty and the Beast' returns to the El Capitan Theatre in September

'Beauty and the Beast' Comic-Con 2016 Round-Up

Alan Menken: “The cast is just a dream cast, it’s ridiculous."

WATCH: Five new special features clips from the 'Beauty and the Beast' 25th anniversary release

D23 celebrates 'Beauty and the Beast' Fanniversary

Interviews (Video):

Beauty and the Beast's Paige O'Hara Shares Memories of Playing Belle (Parade)
You made a special feature for the 25th Anniversry release. Can you talk about that and the memories it brought back?

Paige O’Hara: When they came to my house, they made me remember a lot of things because we spent three days going back in detail. I even went back to my script. I have a different perspective now at 60 years old as opposed to in my early 30s. I never really appreciated then – I was too young –that Belle sacrificed her life for her father. As I get older and I’ve lost my parents, that scene really gets to my heart when I see it now. You see things different as you get older.

I certainly understand why it’s a classic. It’s as relevant now as ever in terms of beauty is found within, especially dealing with the prejudice and everything else going on now.

And yet they’re doing a live version of it. Is there any chance that you might do a cameo in that?

Paige O’Hara: That is so funny. They should have done that. I’ve had more people say, “You should have a cameo in this movie.” I don’t, but I’m excited for it. I think it’s going to be great. I feel like I’m sort of passing the baton on to the new one, but I think Emma Watson is perfect casting.

Do you think you had more freedom doing it animation than they will in the live action version?

Mark Henn: That’s a good question, because they’re two different mediums completely. The boundaries of what you can do only in animation and what you couldn’t do in live action are pretty much obliterated. So it becomes an aesthetic choice, an artistic choice. I’ll be curious to see what they do with it, the few little clips that I’ve seen it looks pretty much right out of our film. They’re taking cues from our film, which will be kind of neat.

I think in certain cases there’s a warmth and an accessibility to certain characters in animation that in a live action world may not be quite the same. It’s hard to explain but it’s just art versus live action. Again, like I said, it’s an aesthetic. I can draw a face on a teapot, or create a character like Belle that artistically people have a reaction to, an emotion. That’s just the artistic side of things as opposed to having a portrait, a photograph taken of a live action person, which would be just as equally gorgeous but you have different reactions to it.
Read the full interview here.

7 Secrets from the Cast of Beauty and the Beast (Vanity Fair)

Producer Don Hahn, along with the late Howard Ashman—the film’s lyricist and executive producer—worked on Beauty from a Residence Inn hotel in Fishkill, New York, where many of the movie’s hit songs were composed—including the title ballad. They also came up with key characters there: “For Mrs. Potts, we originally tried to find the most soothing possible association and we came up with Mrs. Chamomile,” revealed Hahn. “Chamomile is a very, soothing herbal tea, but nobody could pronounce it. So Howard said, ‘Let’s call her Mrs. Potts.’ Calling her Mrs. Potts was simple, and it was easy to rhyme with, and kids could say it. It was the same for Lumiere. He was Chandal for a while, like chandelier, but became Lumiere because Lumiere is easier to say. He was also named after the Lumiere brothers, who were early film and photograph guys.”

In the beginning of the film, Belle is drawn to look similar to Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. She is the only person we see wearing the color blue, while the rest of the townsfolk don gold, orange, and red clothes. “By the time you see her in the ballroom, she’s warmed up, and her colors represent that. She becomes no longer this blue character, both physically and emotionally,” explained Hahn. As for Belle’s iconic yellow ball gown: “We came up with it one night over a box of pizza. Brian McEntee, the art director, said, ‘Let’s make a blue and gold ball, the colors that represent Belle, and have her be in all gold to show her love and her warmth.’ It’s so weird at Halloween every year that little girls wear that ball gown. I go, ‘I know where that came from, and I know the night we figured it out over pizza!”
Read the full article here.

Beauty and the Beast Reddit AMA with Paige O'Hara and Richard White

A question for either or both of you, is there any part of your voice work for this classic that, looking back, you wished you would have voiced a little differently?

Richard: Over two and half years, we had so many opportunities to edit and reconsider that we're all very satisfied with the final version, I think.

Paige: I agree totally with Richard.

What is your favorite line/song that was not used by your character?

Paige: "Flowers, chocolates, promises you don't intend to keep". Ha, David Ogden Stiers is the funniest!

Richard: "Gaston, you're positively primeval"

How long does it take to voice an entire movie? On average, how many takes did you need for one scene?

Paige: We can record the movie entirely in one day. However, it was constantly changing and the animators would draw from us for a few months and then we'd return. Sometimes there were new lines. The whole film took four years to make and the voice actors worked on it for two and half years.
Read the full Reddit AMA here or check out Oh My Disney's recap.

How Belle from Beauty and the Beast Became Once of Disney's Most Iconic Princesses (Moviefone)
Moviefone: This film was a big game changer for Disney. Mark, you've been with the company for a while, and you'd seen what "The Little Mermaid" had set the table to do, and then this movie took it a step further. Tell me what was going on inside with the animation team as this project was bubbling to the surface.

Mark Henn: I think we had gotten over the hump. In the early '80s, there was definitely a period of finding ourselves. Actually late '70s, towards the end of "Fox and the Hound," through "Black Cauldron" days, there was just a lot of turmoil just in terms of leadership and power struggle -- however you want to label it. But I think we had clearly gotten over that.

So we had a big success, which most people kind of forget, with "Oliver & Company," which was at the time was the biggest box office for an animated film of its day. But what you started see was kind of the stepping stones -- so we came out with "Great Mouse Detective," which was kind of the beginning of that upward turn. We were definitely on an upward tick.

We couldn't quite see that. You can see it now as you look back, of course. A lot of those power struggles, kind of the older generation, the new generation, those things kind of started settling out. Our leadership was, again, settling out. So things were clearing the way for us to just focus on making good movies.

So, starting with "Great Mouse Detective" and "Oliver," then "Mermaid," incrementally each one performed better and better, was a better movie, we got better with our craft. So things were on an uptick for us. We were certainly on the rise. We kind of had fallen in love with this whole idea of doing musicals and [lyricist] Howard [Ashman] and [composer] Alan [Menken] were setting a new bar for us to maintain a standard. Then "Beauty" came along -- and, typical of our films, had its kind of a false start in its early development. After they recognized that happens a lot with our films, they regrouped.

How did you find that particular look? She has the qualities of the archetypal Disney heroine, and we also see Paige in there: bits and pieces of her personality come through pretty strongly. How did you assemble that and end up with "Ultimate Belle"?

Henn: "Ultimate Belle." Sounds like a reality show! It's very collaborative, and we spend a lot of times in rooms not too dissimilar to this, and there's just walls plastered with drawings and images. It's just kind of wide open. What could Belle look like? It's just this free-for-all, so it slowly gets whittled down from there.

Once the voice talent, Paige, was brought on board, and we're starting to hear her, automatically pictures start coming to mind in terms of who this character is. You start looking at the designs that we have, and you start trying to match those two and marry those two.

We do a lot of tests. It's a lot of, do a test, show it to the directors, and they're like, no, I don't like that. This works, but I don't like that, and we go back. You just keep constantly refining the process until eventually somebody says, the picture's due out next year, we need to settle, come up with something. But it usually comes together pretty quickly, and everybody feels good about what they're seeing.
Read the full article here.

Jesse Corti (Le Fou) – Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Interview (CineSnob)
What do you remember the most about how you got the role to play LeFou 25 years ago? 
I remember I was doing “Les Misérables” on Broadway. We had just opened. [Disney] was looking to audition people [for “Beauty and the Beast”] who could sing and act. What I remember most is doing the show and going to the auditions at that time. “Beauty and the Beast” was the first voice over work I did for Disney. I was also able to do the voice work for the Spanish version of the film. That was a neat thing for me to do.

What did you think the first time you saw an image of what LeFou was going to look like back in the early 90s? 
At the time when I was doing “Les Misérables” on Broadway my hair was very long. I did have a ponytail like LeFou has. I’m short. Well, I’m not as big as Gaston, who is like 6’5. I’m barely 5’7. Originally, the character, at least the way they drew him, was sort of a big doofus kind of guy. I kept that illustration. He was a big doofy guy. I did his voice for them and then asked if I could do something else. They were like, “Yes, whatever you wan to do!” You try to come close to a voice that matches the character they’ve illustrated.

Next year, we’re going to get a live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast.” We’ve seen this before, of course, with “Cinderella” and “Maleficent.” How do you feel about these classic films getting re-imagined in this way? 
I think it’s great. I love those movies you just mentioned. I have really enjoyed them. I think it’s a neat way for a younger audience to see it. I think LeFou looks the least human of all the humans in “Beauty and the Beast.” But I like that they’re going to do a live version. Why not? If they do it well, hooray! The trailer looks awesome. I think it’s going to be very, very successful. It only helps “Beauty and the Beast,” the animated film. 
Josh Gad is going to be playing LeFou in the live-action version. What do you hope to see from the new LeFou? 
Josh is such a wonderful performer and a funny guy. I’ve never seen him do anything bad. I remember when I first saw him on stage in [The 25th Annual Putnam County] Spelling Bee. He was wonderful. I think he’s going to be great as LeFou. I can’t wait to see it. Everyone brings their own style. I brought my own thing to LeFou and he’ll bring his own to the live-action. So, I can’t want to see it. And if he’s not good, I’m going to let him know about it!
Read the entire article here.

Check out Part Two here

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