Posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2017 by Angie Han
It’s a tale as old as time, or at least as old as Disney’s original Beauty and the Beast. The 1991 film kicked off Disney’s long-running tradition of commissioning pop versions of their own songs for their soundtracks — think Demi Lovato’s “Let It Go” on the Frozen soundtrack, or Alessia Cara’s “How Far I’ll Go” on the Moana one. Now the studio’s coming full circle with their new live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, bringing in John Legend and Ariana Grande to record a new take on the title song.
Disney announced the big news via press release this week, adding that Grande and Legend’s “Beauty and the Beast” will get a new music video directed by David Meyers. Six-time Grammy winner Ron Fair, who is producing the new “Beauty and the Beast,” is pretty sure it’s going to be great:
Stepping into the shoes of an Oscar and Grammy Award-winning classic is not small potatoes. But with today’s two greatest plutonium singers – John Legend and Ariana Grande – we are bringing the song back with a new school-old school fresh treatment that shows the soulfulness and power of what a great melody and lyric can inspire.
“Beauty and the Beast” was written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, along with the rest of the 1991 soundtrack. In the animated film, Angela Lansbury, as Mrs. Potts, sings the song during the famous ballroom sequence. You can hear that version of it below:
As beautifully as her rendition of the song works in the movie, it’s not exactly the stuff of radio hit singles. So Disney hired Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson (apparently the Ariana Grande and John Legend of the early ’90s) to record a poppier take that would play over the end credits and hopefully dominate the airwaves. You can hear that one here:
There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that Grande and Legend are up to the task of singing this song, but I do hope they put a new spin on it instead of just trying to recreate the original. Beauty and the Beast is in theaters March 17, 2017.
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The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.