Beauty and the Beast twirls into theaters on March 17th with a tale so many of us grew up. With an incredible cast that includes Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, and Emma Watson. Speaking of, did you know Emma Watson will be playing Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns?! I’ll be telling you all about that soon, but for now, lets head inside the movie set of Beauty and the Beast with these fun facts!
Inside the Movie Set of Beauty and the Beast
Let’s jump right into the mammoth sets of Beauty and the Beast. I’m not sure how tall The Beast is, probably like 17ft tall which requires a lot of headroom to say the least. A production crew of more than 1,000 people worked around the clock to design, build and decorate the sets. With this movie set being set in a specific time period vs an undated time in a fairytale universe, the sets, props, costumes, and hair and make-up were authentic to 18th Century France.
I’ve worked on films before where the craftsmanship has been amazing, but this film has been really special because they’ve taken something which is so well known and loved and somehow managed to keep what we know and love but also expand on it and give it more detail and more depth and more layers. Everyone felt there was so much more to explore, and fortunately that was something we could do with the current technology and craftsmanship and means of storytelling that we didn’t have before. – Emma Watson
I wonder how hot the Beauty and the Beast set got with over 8,700 candles being used to decorate?! That’s 104,400 inches of wax to be exact!
While we are talking numbers, the ballroom floor in the Beast’s castle is made from 12,000 square feet of faux marble, and there are 10 glass chandeliers in the ballroom, each measuring 14 feet by 7 feet. Those chandeliers are based on actual chandeliers from Versailles which were then frosted, covered in fabric and candlelit. There were also approximately 1,500 red roses grown or purchased during production, for use as research or set decoration. When it comes to the enchanted forest surrounding Beast’s castle, there were 20,000 icicles, real trees, hedge, ad a frozen lake which all took 15 weeks to complete.
Belle’s infamous yellow dress is one little girls love twirling in as they play princess. Heck, I’d twirl in it as an adult and still feel that wonderment of a child. It’s downright gorgeous and made of approximately 180 feet of feather light satin organza. Wow! It required 3,000 feet of thread, 2,160 Swarovski Crystals, and over 12,000 hours to create this stunning piece of fashion.
One thing I found awesomely interesting, is the costume department challenged itself to design and create ethical and sustainable costumes made from fair-trade fabrics (the use of organic materials from suppliers
that pay their employees a fair wage and are considerate of the environment). They achieved that, and worked in tandem with Eco Age and the Green Carpet Challenge, to use natural and low impact dyes, carefully disposing of any waste water, and printing with traditional wood blocks.
The animals on the set of Beauty and the Beast include horses. One of those horses is Philippe, Belle (Emma Watson) and Maurice’s (Kevin Kline) horse, who is played by three different horses. You may have a hard time telling though, because they painted two of them on a daily basis. You will also meet Froufrou, the dog belonging to Madame de Garderobe (Audra McDonald) and Maestro Cadenza (Stanley Tucci). Froufrou is played by Gizmo, a rescue from one of the U.K.’s oldest and most famous animal rescue centers. Love!
Keep your eyes peeled for the coat of arms in the Beast’s castle. Featuring a lion and a boar with a WD anagram, the WD is meant to represent a fictional character, William Devereaux, but could also stand for Walt Disney! Another thing to look out for are the lend-a-hand lights on the terrace and staircase in the Beast’s castle and the rose colonnade on the castle grounds. Both are a homage to Jean Cocteau’s 1946 Avant Garde film, “La Belle et le Bête, which was a source of inspiration for Bill Condon who directed Beauty and the Beast.
Join me for dinner and get ticket to Beauty and the Beast in theaters on March 17th!