When I found out that Disney was doing a live-action version of "Beauty and the Beast," I was initially uncertain. Skeptical. Perhaps even outright unsupportive. Most of the remakes being made today put very dark twists on classic movies, and I didn't know if making "Beauty and the Beast" darker was the way to go. Moreover, Belle is myprincess, the one I identify with the most: I didn't want her messed with. They'd have to find the perfect person to play her. Then I discovered that Emma Watson, a.k.a. Hermione Granger, a.k.a. my childhood (and now adult) role-model, would be playing Belle, and I started to resent Disney a little less for trying to remake my childhood favorite.
Oh, look, a moving picture as the official promo image. How positively magical.
I do still have my reservations, but I'm actually pretty excited about the movie's release on March 17, and I wanted to put together something to celebrate all the cool new stuff (that largely focuses on my favorite Disney princess) that's coming out along with it! So, without further ado, I present my five favorite "Beauty and the Beast"-related items from around the web! Enjoy!
5. Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
This was actually one of the reasons I had reservations, especially after I learned that they chose John Legend and Ariana Grande to do the pop/single version of the iconic title song for the new soundtrack.
I had less of a problem with one, more with the other. But that's another story.
What reassured me was the name "Alan Menken" appearing on this cover, and on most of the music and score for the film. That might not mean much to someone who isn't as much of a geek about film soundtracks as I am (though if the name "Little Shop of Horrors" rings a bell, he did write that, so you might know of his work), but Alan Menken is responsible for so many of my favorite songs that I've just about lost count at this point: "Part of Your World" from "The Little Mermaid," "Zero to Hero" from "Hercules," the entire original "Beauty and the Beast" soundtrack, and two seasons of the hilarious show "Galavant" on ABC, which you can now find on streaming services (I have so many "favorite" songs from that show that it's hard to pick just one). Menken's work is a regular part of my life, so having his name on this soundtrack--knowing that he was part of it--made me feel much more positive about a remade soundtrack.
Plus, we get to hear Emma Watson sing!
The standard version of the soundtrack is available on iTunes for $9.99 and Google Play for $9.49. The deluxe version of the soundtrack--which contains Menken's full film score--is available on iTunes for $15.99 and Google Play for $15.49. You can also find physical CD versions of both the standard and the deluxe soundtracks on Amazon.
4. Mrs. Potts and Chip Teapot and Cup Set
This is more like "oh-my-gosh-I-can't-believe-this-exists" than "drop-what-you're-doing-and-go-buy-this-now," because it's a pretty high price point, but it looks nice. It's so beautiful, and so true to the look of the 1991 original animated film. While I don't know that I would recommend actually using it--definitely don't put Mrs. Potts on a stove--it would be an amazing keepsake! This one is from Etsy and not, as far as I could find, officially-licensed Disney merchandise, but there are officially-licensed Beauty and the Beast tea sets, albeit for much more.
Find this on Etsy for $58.69.
3. Hand-Painted Wooden Ring/Jewelry Box
This beautiful box really showcases the talent that artists--fans--have. This is a small box: 3" x 3" x 2". Painting it with that level of detail was, I'm sure, not easy for the person who did it, but it turned out simply amazing.
In the interest of full discretion, the Etsy listing for this calls it an "engagement ring box." I've painted a couple of these in my day, and I can tell you that they do not need to be used for that, though they certainly could be (you could totally send this listing to your significant other if you want to drop a hint). Plus, the box would be a wonderful keepsake! I mean, look at it!
I think the stained glass rose under the see-through panel is my favorite part of this box. It must look even better in person! I keep staring at the detail and repeating "I can't believe an actual person did this!" It's absolutely fantastic.
Pick this up on Etsy for $25.00.
2. "Beauty and the Beast" Clothing Collection
Technically I'm cheating here because this isn't one item, but I know you guys will be cool about it. Every single piece of clothing I'm putting under this deserves to be here because they look that good. I mean, check out this gorgeous coat!
It's absolutely beautiful! Probably my favorite piece in the entire collection (yes, even more than their take on the iconic yellow dress, which I'll get to in a minute). Of course, they didn't leave guys out of the fun either: a stunning suit jacket is part of this collection, as well.
That lining is flawless. I kind of wish it wasn't hidden away inside the coat, but the detail on the outside--the scroll, the dark rain cloud--is elegant, and yet reflective of the nature of our Beast.
By the way, though Hot Topic offers this collection in plus sizes, Torrid also offers the women's options in their size range for us curvy girls, and they are every bit as beautiful.
Make the picture of the ball gown larger and you can see the detailing on the delicate sleeves. While other dresses in the collection are not, this is definitely a formal dress, and a creative take on the dress from the film. I'm not sure how it would look on me, but if nothing else, I'm going to stand back and admire from afar.
Find this elegant collection at Hot Topic starting at $34.90 and at Torrid starting at $44.90 (these are not sale prices, and these sites usually have sales, so you can probably find them for less than this!)
1. Beauty and the Beast Charms
There were a bunch of things I wanted to finish this list off with, but I ended up going with these, because they're so darn cute! I couldn't get them out of my head once I saw them. They do ship from Hong Kong, so if you get them it might take a while for them to get to you, but I might be awwww-ing about how adorable these are for a good week, so it might just be worth it.
They come with a lobster clasp attached to them so you can hook them to a bracelet, necklace, or keychain, though I'm sure you could ask for just the charms without the lobster claw clasp or request a jump ring so you could slip them onto a necklace cord. Whatever you decide to do, I hope at least seeing them here makes you smile like I did!
Pick up the set on Etsy for $7.93.