Once upon a time, there was a magician who discovered the profitability of turning his characters into a brand. He first drew them, then triumphed with them, and then came up with the brilliant idea of locking them in a park. Walt Disney created not only an empire but also a legacy from his imagination.
His disciples, who continued the legacy, continued to exploit the brand. The studio has discovered the business of turning cartoon stories into ribbons with real-life actors, and more than 20 films of this type are expected in the next four years. Disney has discovered a new hen with golden eggs and her closet bottom is so extensive that she can afford not to re-sign an original screenplay for decades.
Hollywood is lacking originality, and to make box office, the industry has not hesitated to rely on characters already created in comics, animation, or classic fables. Innovation today is reduced to technological effects because nobody seems to care about the narrative. Everyone goes to the cinema to see tricks, and quite frankly, who cares if they already know the story?
That’s why Disney now pulls the flesh-and-blood version of Beauty and the Beast out of the hat. The story of Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, inspired by Cupid and Psyche, returns to the big screen. A hybrid that combines special effects with real actors, the movie features cups, teapots, candelabras, clocks, and other digital artifacts as they sang around the protagonists in their desperate fight against time. The 1991 animated classic reinvents itself for the new generation.
The protagonist, Bella, embodies the archetype of the young rebel and intellectual who prefers solitude and their books to emancipate themselves with the fort of turn. Emma Watson, the heroine of Harry Potter and the banner of intellectual feminism, is in charge of the cast.
Behind the mask of the Beast is Dan Stevens, the hero of Downton Abbey. Gaston is played by the great Luke Evans. The new version of Beauty and the Beast was made by filmmaker Bill Condon, which had a budget of fifty million euros. Analysts expect the box office to surpass the billion mark, gauging that the original animation, restarted in 3D in 2012, reached six hundred million euros, the result is almost assured.
The trend that began in 2010 with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which raised a whopping billion euros worldwide, continues its course, exponentially multiplying the value of the studio’s actions. Disney wants to continue with its harvest and take advantage of its invaluable catalog.
Among the next titles that the company will premiere soon are Mulan, The Lion King, Dumbo, The Sword in the Stone, Aladdin, 101 Dalmatians, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, and The Little Mermaid. It should not be forgotten that Mary Poppins Returns is also in production for release on December 25, 2018.
Is LeFou Gay?
Two weeks ago, director Bill Condon revealed in a magazine that LeFou, the underling of Gaston played by actor Josh Gad, is gay. This was a disproportionate tsunami by those who understood LeFou’s erotic admiration as irresponsible.
Josh’s performance is fabulous, so subtle. Does LeFou idealize Gaston or love him? “Well, people haven’t seen the movie. They have to see the movie, and they’ll understand that it’s not what it’s about,” said Condon. But the consequences of declaring LeFou gay did not seem very favorable especially after the announcement that the Henagar Drive-In cinema in Alabama will not premiere the film. Similar responses have sprouted up in Russia.
Well, LeFou is YOUR first gay Disney character. I've got a few others. pic.twitter.com/xLn63y5L8p— Cameron Esposito (@cameronesposito) March 3, 2017
Disney executives opened the door to sexual diversity with Elsa, the independent princess of Frozen (who will have a good friend in the sequel), and have taken beyond their decision to adapt to the times with Beauty and the Beast.
The filmmaker, who is openly gay, described LeFou as “someone who one day wants to be Gaston and another to kiss Gaston. He is confused, he is discovering that he has certain feelings.” However, the original composer of the themes of the film, Alan Menken, does not end up sharing the opinion of the filmmaker. “I do not see it that way, LeFou has always looked at Gaston with admiration. Their sexual orientation does not seem to me to be an issue to be discussed, it is absurd. ” Who really is clear is Ewan McGregor, who gives life to the candlestick in the English version: “I think he is a gay character. It’s just like… he’s a gay character and it’s 2017, for f**k’s sake.”
[Featured Image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios]