We’ve been counting down the days for what feels like forever, but now there’s just a few months to go until the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast hits cinemas. And, as a thank-you to patient fans everywhere, Disney have released some exciting new footage of the film.
Up until this point, we’ve seen everything from ballroom dances, snowball fights, and baying mobs – everything, basically, except for Belle (Emma Watson) and Beast (Dan Stevens) having a conversation. Which, considering the fairytale’s feminist makeover, seems a bit of an oversight.
Thank goodness, then, for this brand-new footage, which finally shows Stevens and Watson’s characters sitting down to talk to one another.
Shortly after Cogsworth (Ian McKellan), Lumiere (Ewan McGregor) and Mrs Potts (Emma Thompson) have been seen begging their beastly master to “be kind” to Belle, we see that the Beast has taken their advice to heart.
Dressed in their winter finery, the pair’s chemistry quickly becomes apparent as Watson’s character thanks her furry friend for rescuing her from a pack of bloodthirsty wolves. As one does.
“I never thanked you for saving my life,” she says, smiling at him.
“Well, I never thanked you for not leaving me to be eaten by wolves,” replies the Beast – much to Belle’s amusement.
Watch the clip for yourself below:
Beast’s sense of humour may come as a shock to fans of the 1991 animated movie, as, in the original cartoon, he was shown to be gruff and ill at ease when conversing with others.
However, in a bid to humanise the enchanted prince, Disney decided to give him something of a character makeover.
“The Beast that’s in our version is incredibly kind of witty,” explained Watson during a Facebook Live chat. “He has this very dry, English sense of humour that Dan [Stevens] doesn’t have at all.”
It makes sense that they would want to update the Beast’s personality for a modern day retelling of the tale.
After all, Watson’s Belle has been given a feminist backstory – and, in the trailer, is shown to be confident, brave, and unafraid of anything… even when confronted by the Beast himself.
So, to ensure that their ‘tale as old as time’ romance feels believable, the Beast needs to have a personality engaging enough to earn the affections of the intelligent and independent young woman living inside his castle.
As we all know, Belle finds herself trapped in the Beast’s enchanted castle after offering herself in exchange for the freedom of her father, Maurice (Kevin Kline).
She initially loathes the Beast, seeing him as her captor, but is later entranced by his magical castle – and the mysterious rose hidden away in the west wing.
Belle eventually comes to realise that there is “something sweet and almost kind” about her new housemate (castlemate?), and, as an outsider herself, the young inventor comes to form a strong bond with Beast.
A friendship soon flourishes – thrives, even – with Belle spending more and more time with the former Prince Adam. From reading out loud to one another, to enjoying meals together (no small feat, considering she initially refused to join him for dinner), their behaviour soon gets their enchanted furniture friends excited.
And it’s not long before Belle herself notes that there is “something there that wasn’t there before” to their relationship.
We’ll let Watson explain it to you herself, through the medium of song:
Despite the fact that only a small snippet of the tune is available, a huge number of fans have taken to social media to praise Watson’s rendition of the iconic song.
The talented young actor – who took several weeks of singing lessons before beginning work on Beauty and the Beast – has chosen not to copy Paige O’Hara’s version of the tune.
Instead, she has added her own sweet, spoken-style twist to the lyrics, which has been dubbed by Twitter users as “perfect” for her character.
Beauty and the Beast hits cinemas 17 March 2017.