Having lived a life in selfishness, a young prince is cursed by a mysterious enchantress to having the appearance of a monstrous beast. His only hope is to learn to love a young woman and earn her love in return in order to redeem himself. Years later, his chance shows itself when a young maiden named Belle offers to take her ill father's place as his prisoner. With help from the castle's enchanted staff, Belle learns to appreciate her captor and immediately falls in love with him. Back in the village however, an unscrupulous hunter has his own plans for Belle. Written by
Originally, the film was going to be more faithful to the original French fairy tale, which features a darker and more sinister theme; however, when Alan Menken and Howard Ashman joined the production, this idea was dropped. See more »
When Beast first brings Belle to her room, her bed has a rose in the center at the foot of it. In a later scene when Mrs. Potts meets Belle for the first time and bringing tea, the rose in the bed is gone. See more »
Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a young prince lived in a shining castle. Although he had everything his heart desired, the prince was spoiled, selfish, and unkind. But then, one winter's night, an old beggar woman came to the castle and offered him a single rose in return for shelter from the bitter cold. Repulsed by her haggard appearance, the prince sneered at the gift and turned the old woman away. But she warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found ...
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"To our friend, Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful. Howard Ashman (1950-1991)" See more »
Perfect mix of music and animation...a solid achievement...
I've not seen the newly added song sequence (Human Again) featured in the latest IMAX version so my comments are based entirely on the original theatrical and VHS release.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is Disney at its peak. From the stained glass window at the opening and the beautiful narration, the viewer is drawn into the story by the appealing music and clever lyrics ("Belle's Song") which gets the picture off to a bouncy start. The opening sequence showing Belle and the townspeople in song is masterfully handled and choreographed for maximum effect, setting the tone for the entire story.
The plot becomes thicker once Belle's father enters the castle grounds where the Beast resides. The castle interiors are brilliantly Baroque and the odd characters inhabiting the grounds are delightfully rendered by a perfect blending of art and voice talent. Cogsworth, Lumiere and Mrs. Potts are delightful creations, each with strong, consistent personalities. David Ogden Stiers, Jerry Orbach and Angela Lansbury cannot be praised enough for their contributions.
Two of the musical highlights are Orbach's dazzling job on "Be My Guest" (with French accent) and Angela's tender rendering of the title song, "Beauty and the Beast". Unforgettable movie moments. As Gaston, Richard White's robust baritone voice adds greatly to the effectiveness of his villainy.
It's no wonder the film was the first to receive recognition by the Academy with a Best Picture nomination. Outstanding in every department, including the end title song sung by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson in a more "modern" style.
Along with SNOW WHITE and SLEEPING BEAUTY, a top-notch fairy tale with its appeal evenly divided between adults and children--as well as the child in all of us.
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