A Beast of a Brand

Beauty and the Beast

The movie remake of Beauty and the Beast is all the buzz.

You know, the story about beautiful girl (‘Belle’) rejects handsome prince (‘Gaston’) for ugly and awkward but tender-hearted prince (‘the Beast’). The prince’s name is Adam, but never mentioned in the movie.

The remake is the same plot and dialogue — only live-action (Emma Watson as ‘Belle’) not animated.

It’s hard to get excited about movies and their over-hyped stars anymore — but anyone over age 3 still loves Disney.

In fact, depending on the study, either Apple or Disney is the ‘most powerful global brand’ –

Yes, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ v2 is a spectacular hit — and that’s saying a lot, since v1 is a hard act to follow. It has already earned $750 million worldwide.

In 1991, it was the first animated film to earn over $100 million *and* be nominated for Best Picture. It was a serious year at the Oscars (losing to ‘Silence of the Lambs’).

Now people who watched the movie as a child are making sure their own little ones experience the magic of Belle.

As of today, the official trailer has gotten 93 million views on Facebook, and another 56 million on YouTube. Take a stroll on Pinterest and you’ll come across multiple boards created by adoring fans of the story.

Still — there are critics. All you need do is visit the official Beauty and the Beast Facebook fang page:

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“I feel as If I am the only person who was dissapointed with this film? Maybe not the film as such but I had high hopes for Emma as belle, but I found her very wooden and she lacked compassion and just general emotion in her role. I felt there was no chemistry between her and the beast…It just felt so wrong? Hoping someone agree’s…It kinda felt like too much? Over the top and that it was not entirely believable??”

“I’m convinced that critics were paid or blackmailed to say “#1 movie in the world”. There’s no way that even this movie, despite its positive reviews, can be that good. Some people don’t like it, so it can’t possibly be the best movie ever. Not even Disney can please everyone.”

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All this means is that when you have a brand as strong as Disney’s, it’s a double-edged sword. Fans have higher expectations.

It reminds me of something I learned as a young news producer who worked for an overly critical boss. It made me feel better when a colleague shared, “People are hardest on the ones they expect the most from.”

Disney always delights — except when it doesn’t.

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