Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

By Erin

The day that’s been long-awaited is finally here. The classic tale of “Beauty and the Beast” – and its empowering message that true beauty comes from within – dates back to 18th century France and the first published version of the fairy tale, “La Belle et la Bête,” by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. Today the story continues to enthrall storytellers, resulting in countless interpretations across all forms of media. One of Disney’s most treasured titles, this new live-action adaptation version is just as spellbindingly romantic as it is comedic and tells the unforgettable tale of love and friendship that transports readers to a magical fairy tale world where good triumphs over evil.

Enchanting audiences once again, and Emma Watson says it nicely, “Any time I hear music from ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ it connects me with that childlike feeling that everything is going to be okay and that there’s hope in the world, and it just gives me this sense that everything’s fine.”

By now I think most of us have seen the animated version of the film, so you already know what to expect and what will ultimately happen so I want to leave you with some fun facts about this new version and what new things to look out for.

*New songs!* The live-action version of Beauty and the Beast will still have the songs you know and love, but  there are a few new tunes as well. Composer Alan Menken, who worked on the original Beauty and the Beast with the late Howard Ashman, penned three new songs for the movie with composer Tim Rice. So look for these new numbers, “How Does a Moment Last Forever,” “For Evermore,” and “Days in the Sun.” Some of the original lyrics written by Howard Ashman for the songs “Gaston” and “Beauty and the Beast” that were not used in the animated film have been added to the live-action adaptation.

*So many Red Roses!* Approximately 1,500 red roses were grown or purchased during production for use as research or set decoration.

*Horse Doubles?*  Philippe, Belle (Emma Watson) and Maurice’s (Kevin Kline) horse, is played by three different horses, two of which had to be painted on a daily basis.

*The Enchanted Forest* Surrounds the Beast’s castle and features real trees, hedges, a frozen lake and 20,000 icicles, took 15 weeks to complete.

*The Ballroom Floor* Beast’s castle has a ballroom floor made from 12,000 square feet of faux marble and its design is based on a pattern found on the ceiling of the Benedictine Abbey in Braunau, Germany. The 10 glass chandeliers in the ballroom – each measuring 14 feet by 7 feet – are based on actual chandeliers from Versailles which were then frosted, covered in fabric and candlelit.

*Over 8,700 candles (or 104,400 inches of wax) were used as set decoration during production.

*Belle’s Dress*  Approximately 180 feet of feather light satin organza was used to create Belle’s yellow dress. The dress, which required 3,000 feet of thread and took over 12,000 hours to create, was accentuated with 2,160 Swarovski crystals.

*Emma Watson (Belle), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Luke Evans (Gaston) and Nathan Mack (Chip) all share the same birthday, April 14, which was also the date of the cast read through.

*Froufrou, the dog belonging to Madame de Garderobe (Audra McDonald) and Maestro Cadenza (Stanley Tucci), is played by Gizmo, a rescue from one of the U.K.’s oldest and most famous animal rescue centers.

*The coat of arms in the Beast’s castle is 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).

Beauty and the Beast is a beautiful movie filled with some catchy tunes both new and old. Audiences of all ages can enjoy this beloved classic. Be sure to go see it now! I know you’ll love it just as much as I do! Follow the magic at #BeautyAndTheBeast and #BeOurGuest.

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Meeting the Cast of Beauty and the Beast

Meeting the Cast of Beauty and the Beast

By Erin

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in Disney’s live-action adaptation “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. One of my all time favorite Disney movies ever, I am beyond excited for this movie to finally make it to theaters. Meeting the cast was a wonderful experience that I am happy to share about with you here. Before the junket started we got to view the costumes and the enchanted rose.

One of the best things about the film is the music, and the songs, wouldn’t you agree? Take a listen for yourself.

Now imagine getting to listen to  some of the music from the movie LIVE? As the junket got set to start, we enjoyed a beautiful musical presentation by Alan Menken himself. He created a gorgeous compilation from the songs of the movie to preform for us to enjoy. It was a treat to watch him perform and guess who joined in on the fun?

Once this fantastic presentation ended, everyone took their seats and it began.

Those in attendance were:

·         Emma Watson (“Belle”) 

·         Dan Stevens (“Beast / Prince Adam”)

·         Luke Evans (“Gaston”)

·         Josh Gad (“Le Fou”)

·         Audra McDonald (“Garderobe”)

·         Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Plumette”)

·         Bill Condon (Director)

·         Alan Menken (Music)

Some of the interesting facts we learned during this time were:

  • Bill Condon told us that when he was approached to adapt the movie for the live action film that he needed to “get over the terror first.” He knew he needed to investigate and learn more about the movie. “There are questions maybe you never asked before that you want to know about, like how did Belle and Maurice wind up in this village where they’re outsiders. That leads to new songs and suddenly you are creating something new.”
  • Alan Menken told us that he thinks he has benefited from his association with Disney and what it’s like to add songs into an animated film. “You look at it like architecture. Where do we need the emotional support? Sometimes the songs will respond to a moment. Sometimes you’ll go, I feel like we need a song in this spot, and we will massage the story so a song could fit there. I mean, I could spend five hours talking about this right now, but essentially a lot of thought and a lot – again, use the word collaboration – a lot of collaboration goes into what song is going to come, where’s it going to go, what does it need to accomplish and how will it interact with the song that preceded it and the song that came after it? What will be the overall effect of it? What character is underrepresented in songs? You know, and there’s so many factors.”

  • Audra McDonald told us that as a parent she thinks the Beauty and the Beast has a great message for kids. “When I heard Emma Watson was going to be Belle, and knowing how much Emma has affected girls of my daughter’s age, and my daughter is someone who now asks for people to donate money to charities for her birthday gifts instead of presents. And that’s because of you, Emma. And so knowing full well that Emma was going to make sure that Belle was somebody who was independent, who was strong, who was educated, who was sticking up for girls and women, and who does all the rescuing in the film. That’s why I knew it was going to be important for me to be a part of and for my kids to see.”
  • Emma Watson tells us how proud she was to be able to play a character like Belle. “I think that Belle is this ultimate kind of symbol of the fact that books can be rebellious, they can be incredibly empowering, liberating. They are a means to travel to – you can travel to places in the world that you would never be able to under other circumstances. I was just really proud to play a character that has a certain earnestness about her, honestly. She’s not in any way kind of ashamed of that, and it’s not easy being an outsider and it’s not easy to pick battles, it’s not easy to try to move and work against a system, to work against the grain, to move against the status quo. But she does so with kind of this amazing fearlessness. And you know, with the support of her father, but really I think it’s something that she weathers on her own, really, at the end of the day. I’m very grateful that this character exists and that I get to bring her to life. It’s fantastic.”

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Ontario Mills Lights Up the Lunar New Year

Ontario Mills Lights Up the Lunar New Year

By Erin

*This is a sponsored post*

California’s largest outlet and value retail shopping destination, Ontario Mills, is celebrating the Year of the Rooster with traditional performances, activities and giveaways on January 28. This Spring Festival is to commemorate the Lunar New Year. On Saturday, January 28th, guests will be treated to sensational performances by cultural lion dancers, Kung Fu masters and towering stilt walkers in addition to fun activities and exclusive giveaways to ring in The Year of the Rooster. I am looking forward to all of this year’s festivities.

As January 28th officially kicks off this year’s Lunar New Year, Ontario Mills joins in the celebration. Starting at 1:30 p.m. in Fashion Alley, guests will be treated to face painters, balloon artists, a themed photo booth and a special Teavana tea station with cookies, all available while supplies last.  The performances will begin at 1:30 p.m. with theatrical stilt performers, dressed in ceremonial costumes, walking and greeting guests. To follow, five professional Kung Fu martial artists will perform individual routines at 2:30 p.m. For the grand finale, the Ane Thanh Lion Dance Group will perform a traditional and honorary lion dance show with live drumming and cymbals at 3:30 p.m.

“From the diversity of the Inland Empire to the international guests hailing from over 80 different countries worldwide, we’re proud to host an event celebrating culture and custom,” said Lisa Restaino Morony, Director of Marketing at Ontario Mills. “As Ontario Mills has celebrated countless milestones this past year, we’re looking forward to what fortunes The Year of the Rooster will continue to bring.”

The festivities continue throughout the day with exclusive prizes from 1 p.m. through 4 p.m. Guests who spend $55 or more and present their receipts at the Lunar New Year informational table in Fashion Alley, will receive either a Lunar New Year tote or special hand-fan, while supplies last. Ontario Mills will also be distributing Lunar New Year Offer Guides featuring over 20 special retailer offers from January 27 through February 19.

For more information and further updates, visit http://www.ontariomills.com, and follow Ontario Mills on Facebook, on Twitter and Instagram.

About Ontario Mills

Ontario Mills, California’s largest outlet and value retail shopping destination, offers the ultimate shopping experience with more than 200 outlet and value retail stores, including Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Coach Factory Store, UNIQLO, Ulta Beauty, Tommy Bahama Outlet, Nordstrom Rack, H&M, Forever 21, J.Crew Factory, Tommy Hilfiger Company Store, Abercrombie & Fitch Outlet, Hollister Co. Outlet, Michael Kors, Tory Burch Outlet and Nike Factory Store. Shoppers can enjoy dining and entertainment venues such as Market Broiler, Rainforest Cafe, Dave & Buster’s, Blaze Pizza, Johnny Rockets, GameWorks, Improv Comedy Club & Dinner Theatre and AMC 30 Theatres.

For more information on Ontario Mills, please call (909) 484-8300, visit www.OntarioMills.com or follow Ontario Mills on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OntarioMills, Twitter at www.twitter.com/ShopOntario and Instagram at www.instagram.com/shopontario.

About The Mills®, A Simon Company

The Mills®, one of Simon Property Group’s five real estate platforms, offers a unique brand of shopping with a mix of popular name brand outlets, value retailers and full-price stores, plus family-oriented dining and entertainment concepts. The Mills’ are well located in major metropolitan markets and many are recognized as leading tourism destinations. Notable properties include Arundel Mills (Baltimore), Gurnee Mills (Chicago), Grapevine Mills (Dallas), Ontario Mills (Los Angeles), Opry Mills (Nashville), Potomac Mills (Washington, DC) and Sawgrass Mills (Ft. Lauderdale/Miami).

About Simon 

Simon is a global leader in retail real estate ownership, management and development and an S&P100 company (Simon Property Group, NYSE:SPG). Our industry-leading retail properties and investments across North America, Europe and Asia provide shopping experiences for millions of consumers every day and generate billions in annual retail sales. For more information, visit simon.com.