Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.
Preston Barta // Editor
This year marks the 25th anniversary of one of Disney’s beloved animated classics, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. The special anniversary edition releases next week on September 20, loaded with new content and features, but you can win a digital copy of it by participating in our contest.
Listed below are the details of the contest, along with the new features that are included with the release.
Given that it’s been 25 years since we first met these animated characters, one wonders what they’ve been up to all these years. Be our guest and give us your thoughts on what Belle, Beast and the merry gang are doing now, 25 years later.
All you have to do is email us your sequel in 200 words or less. Five winners will be selected on Friday, September 30 at 12pm CT. Creativity is key!
Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. Title your subject line “Fresh Fiction Beauty Contest.” Also include your write-up, name and mailing address.
· Original theatrical version
· New advanced sing-along version
· Extended version with “Human Again” song sequence
· Work-in-progress version
· Menken & Friends: 25 Years of Musical Inspiration – Get a front-row seat for an intimate discussion between legendary music composers from classic and future Disney films, including Alan Menken (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALADDIN), Stephen Schwartz (THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, POCAHONTAS), Kristen Anderson-Lopez (FROZEN, Disney’s upcoming GIGANTIC), Robert Lopez (FROZEN, Disney’s upcoming GIGANTIC) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Disney’s upcoming MOANA). Discover how the composers are personally connected, how they first experienced “Beauty and the Beast” and how they find inspiration for their own films. And watch as they pay tribute to the film’s award-winning music score and the man who has inspired them all—Alan Menken.
· Walt, Fairy Tales & BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – Long before BEAUTY AND THE BEAST became the instant classic we know and love, Walt Disney made two attempts—between the 1930s and 1950s—to adapt the famous fairy tale into an animated film. Discover what Walt and his team was dreaming up through Walt’s actual voice recordings, archived artwork, story notes, and learn why the project was sidelined for decades.
· Always Belle – The original voice of Belle, Paige O’Hara, reminisces about earning the role of the beautiful bookworm in “Beauty and the Beast” and recalls how the iconic character changed her life and continues to inspire fans both young and old.
· The Recording Sessions – Go in the recording booth with the cast of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and see what went into adding voices to the characters and the lines we know and love.
· 25 Fun Facts About BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – Disney Channel’s Gus Kamp and Kayla Maisonet host this entertaining countdown featuring little-known fun facts, anecdotes and hidden Easter Eggs (references to Disney animated films and characters) from one of the most cherished animated films of all time.
· BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017) Sneak Peek – An exciting first look into the live-action retelling of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs.
· Classic Bonus Features – These offerings from prior home entertainment releases include over five hours of bonus material, such as an alternate version of “Be Our Guest” and the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST music video performed by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson, and deleted scenes.
The 25th anniversary edition of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST releases on Tuesday, September 20, 2016.