'Beauty and the Beast' a live-action retelling of the Disney classic

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Back in 1991, the animated "Beauty and the Beast" became a blockbuster, and was even nominated for a best-picture Oscar.

All these years later and it is back.

Only this time, it's a live-action telling of this tale as old as time. The Disney film stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the title roles.

"The whole point of this movie really is to spread joy," Watson said. "What I hope people come out with is just to feel thrilled and heart-warmed and to be made to laugh and to come out and want to go and do a waltz in the street!"

"There's thrills and there's a bit of peril sprinkled in there," said Stevens. "But at the end of the day, it's a great big romantic movie musical."

While both stars may consider these roles of a lifetime, they did come into this project having to face some challenges, especially for Stevens.

"Emma was wearing high heels. I was wearing 10-inch stilts. So we both had our discomfort in the foot department," laughed Stevens. "I'd never done anything like it before - puppeteering a muscle suit on stilts like that and then doing the facial capture separately. It was a combination of so many different technologies that have never really been used this extensively before."

Also incredible to these stars: the fact that preview audiences applauded after some of the musical numbers, just as they did back in 1991.

"When there is spontaneous applause in the cinema, you're feeling good about things," Watson said.

"Beauty and the Beast" is in theaters March 17.

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