Cartoons—and especially Disney and its Pixar cronies—have taught us that there’s nothing more delightful than inanimate objects coming to life and singing catchy, Oscar-winning songs. But—outside Woody’s “Play nice” monologue at the end of Toy Story—they rarely cover how unsettling it would actually be to be constantly watched by the objects in your life.
Never have we felt that unease more keenly than today, when we came across some concept art for Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of Beauty And The Beast, posted by producer Jack Morrissey, and featuring “close but not final” renderings of the beloved clock-and-candle duo Cogsworth and Lumiere. Played by David Ogden Stiers and Jerry Orbach in the original, the pair were the lively Odd Couple at the heart of the enchanted castle’s domestic staff, trading banter and whimsy in equal parts. And now they look like this:
Look, we’re sure Ewan McGregor (Lumiere) and Ian McKellen (Cogsworth) will do fantastic work bringing these characters to life. And really, Lumiere just looks like an elaborate candelabra. But Cogsworth… Christ, Cogsworth. It’s not just the beady eyes, or the slumping, broken posture. For us, it’s the gears, jumbled in his stomach like so many miles of ruined intestine, an uncanny simulacra of an abdomen in decay. (And is that a smaller pocketwatch sitting in his gut? Has Cogsworth, noble Cogsworth, resorted to cannibalizing his smaller clockwork kin?)
The future-crime-scene photo is apparently part of a sneak peek at the new film, filmed for the 25th anniversary DVD edition of the 1991 original. That comes out next month, while the live-action film—and its attendant clockwork horrors—is set for March 17, 2017.