Belle is a girl who is dissatisfied with life in a small provincial French town, constantly trying to fend off the misplaced "affections" of conceited Gaston. The Beast is a prince who was placed under a spell because he could not love. A wrong turn taken by Maurice, Belle's father, causes the two to meet. Written by
Tim Pickett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
'Beauty and the Beast' opened on Broadway at the Palace Theater on April 18, 1994 starring Terrence Mann, Susan Egan and Tom Bosley. It ran for 5,461 performances, closing on July 29, 2007. As of 2010 it was the seventh-longest-running play on Broadway, and was nominated for the 1994 Tony Award (New York City) for Best Musical. See more »
The scratch marks that the Beast makes in his portrait change direction and location throughout the film. 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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