While the first two trailers for Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast were nearly identical to the original teasers for the animated classic that came out in 1991, there is actually quite a lot more story to tell. The runtime has been announced. And as it turns out, this new version of the iconic Fairy Tale is nearly twice as long as the Oscar-winning cartoon version.
Beauty and the Beast is inarguably one of the most beloved Disney classics of all time, and helped rejuvinate the studio's fledgingy animated slate back in the 90s alongside other gems such as Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. All of these movies clock in at under 90 minutes long. So it makes sense that a live-action version of any of these movies would pad the runtime for modern audiences who are paying quiet a lot more at the box office than they did two decades ago.
Emma Watson (Harry Potter) and Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) headline this new take on Beauty and the Beast, with both of its trailers breaking records shortly after their debut late last year. With just a little bit of footage and a couple of well received posters that play heavily on the nostalgiaia of the original, this next Disney classic in the making is already generating unprecedented buzz.
So far, the movie has come across as a beat-for-beat live-action re-imagining of the original. Though in this version, Belle is the inventor, not her father, who instead helps bring the girl's ideas to life, including a washing machine. It isn't known what other new scenes have been added to this version of the tale, but it should be fairly significant. Fandago has announced that the new take on Belle and Beast clocks in at 123 minutes (two hours and three minutes for anyone who doesn't want to do that math).
The original Beauty and the Beast was just 84 minutes long (an hour and twenty-four minutes including credits). We know that the new movie will have quite a few new songs, which obviously helps push up the runtime. It will also be bringing back the original's most classic tunes.
Just because the live-action version is longer doesn't mean it's better. The first is considered to be one of the most perfect animated movies ever released. So it's kind of hard to say if adding new material will help or hurt the story. One aspect that may be expanded, which was shown in montage during the original, is Belle and Beast's burgeoning romance. And it is noted that this will be a slightly more mature version of the material, while still suitable for the whole family. It is rated PG where the first had a G rating.
With its stated runtime, those who weren't interested in the movie, thinking it was just a carbon copy of the original, may now be more intrigued. It's clear that Disney has another blockbuster on its hands. But will purists love the new material? Or reject it? We'll have to wait until March to find out. A new trailer arrives this week.