Disney’s hyping like crazy as the days count down to the release of “Beauty and the Beast,” the live-action remake of the original 1991 animated film. There were trailers, teases of the musical numbers in the movie, a bombshell about the orientation of one of the characters, and also a preview of the theme song revival. While its pop version heard in the credits was originally sung by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson, the new version has been given to Arianna Grande and John Legend. The song sample itself has thus far received a lukewarm reception, but the House of Mouse hopes to change things with the release of the official music video for the song.

Epic production

The 1991 music video of the theme with Celine and Bryson, if Disney fans can recall, was shot with the singers performing together during their actual recording session intercut with footage of the musical recording and scenes from the animation. For the new version, Director Dave Meyers went whole hog on the production design and special effects from the film, interpreting Grande and Legend as performing the song in the ballroom of the Beast’s castle (CGI zoom shot and all). Dressed in jazzed up recolors of Belle and the Beast’s ballroom clothes, with Arianna moving freely around and Legend on the grand piano, the cinematography does a great deal in adding visual elements to the lyrics as they sing it; a more fast-paced cadence compared to the original.

Also impressive is the fact that while Grande and Legend are in the middle of the number, Belle and the Beast (that is Emma Watson and the CGI stand-in) actually make an appearance in the video as background characters, dancing the waltz number as in the movie, intercut with actual film footage as well. The only other performers appearing are backup dancers in red performing an interpretative dance of their own evoking the image of the enchanted rose that figures in the Disney story for “Beauty and the Beast.

” All in all a magnificent production that premiered March 5 on Freeform.

The other version

While the release of the official music video may have improved reactions for the new “Beauty and the Beast” rendition by Arianna Grande and John Legend, there’s still a sizable fandom who are not entirely convinced, most especially as they have heard an alternate take of the theme, also sung by the two as background music in the final theatrical trailer.

That version was slower-paced and backed by more orchestra-like sounds, with the musical beats synching with the sound effects in the featured scenes. Some are hoping that this other take on the theme will have a full version included in the Disney soundtrack. Time will tell.