Three kid-created short films inspired by Beauty and the Beast have premiered on Disney’s social channels, thanks to a new partnership with creative crowdsourcing platform Tongal and L.A.-based nonprofit Young Storytellers.
Live-action Beauty and the Curse, puppet-based Pug in a Cup and claymation short LeFouston (pictured) are now live across YouTube and Facebook as part of the series Beyond the Castle: Stories Inspired by Beauty and the Beast.
The shorts were created after select students from the Young Storytellers program got a sneak preview of Disney’s latest blockbuster and the chance to write scripts inspired by their favorite characters from the film with professional mentors. Tongal then enlisted its network of creators to turn the scripts into live-action and animated shorts.
The first film of the series, Beauty and the Curse, tracks the origin of The Enchantress’ spell. It is written by Tamara Sims and is based on her short story Changing Ways. Actor Maya Rudolph (The Emoji Movie, Bridesmaids) is the film’s director.
Pug in a Cup, meanwhile, follows the misadventures of Chip and Gumbo the Pug at a local market outside of the castle. The story is by Hana Morshedi with film direction from Tucker Barrie.
The third and newest spinoff in the series, LeFouston, is written by 12-year-old Robert Nelson and directed by Kevin Ulrich. The claymation song explores the first meeting of LeFou and Gaston.
Combined, the three films have more than 450,000 views to date.
The series piggybacks on the massive box-office success of Beauty and the Beast, which just delivered the fourth-largest second weekend of all-time in North America. Its US$88.3 million trails only Star Wars: The Force Awakens (US$149 million), Jurassic World (US$106 million) and Marvel’s The Avengers (US$103 million).
The Tongal partnership also follows a similar digital project in 2016 that saw Disney produce a dozen short-form movies for its Free Period film collection on YouTube and the WATCH Disney Channel app.