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Beauty and the Beast is without a doubt one of Disney's finest
classics. The first animated film to ever be nominated for best picture
and after you see it, you could understand and agree with it's
nomination. Beauty and the Beast is going to be one of those films that
will always be remembered, I know that it's a movie that I will show my
children one day. It has unbelievably terrific animation, a beautiful
story, lovable characters, and is just over all a perfect movie. I
really love this film so much, I don't think anyone couldn't fall in
love with it.
Bell is just a simple girl in her town in France, she reads books constantly and her father is an inventor. They are sort of the outcasts of their town due to their "oddness". But Bell is being pursued by the town hunk, Gueston, simply because she's the one girl he cannot have. One day when her father's inventions are about to be displayed at the fair, he gets lost in the woods and stumbles across a castle and is held prisoner. Bell goes after him and comes to the castle; it turns out that her father is being held by a beast who is cursed with this hideousness unless he finds a true love before a rose he has welts. Bell trades places with her father; the house also has living objects, a candle holder, a clock, a tea pot, all who are also cursed until the curse is broken. They look at Bell as the perfect opportunity for the beast to find a true love, but he must learn to be a gentleman, but Bell brings out the best in him and it turns out that this might be a happy ending after all.
This was actually the first movie that I ever cried in, the ending was just so beautiful and heart felt, you'll have to see what I mean. The songs are just so lovely and perfect for the scenes that they are performed for. Beauty and the Beast, the song, was just one of the most touching songs ever. This films is a major recommendation for me, it's one of my favorite Disney films of all time, it's a timeless classic that is just perfect and reached a new level of great animation.
The only animated movie to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination, and it
Magic from the opening prologue to the final credit, "Beauty and the Beast" is the last real classic to come from the Disney crew before John Lasseter came along. This was one of the few movies I happily paid to see twice in the cinema, and sitting in a sparsely-populated Friday night audience (I was living in Barbados at the time, and it was hardly the most artistic place on Earth... it was a crying shame that there was hardly anyone there while "Home Alone 2" went through the roof) the second time, the magic remained.
You all know the story, so apart from pointing out the movie's one flaw (the prince's spell had to be broken before he turned 21 or he would remain a beast forever; so if it was cast ten years before the events of the movie, wouldn't that mean he was 11 when the spell was cast...?), let's look at how well the movie works. You have a monster who's more human than the movie's medallion-man villain; you have a heroine who's PC but engaging with it; you have a supporting cast of magic utensils who wisely never upstage the couple at the centre of this love story (and despite the Disney animated trappings, it IS a love story); and you have a captivating story, beautifully told.
The movie's also got wonderful design of its French setting and characters, with the ballroom scene a standout (the tiny but appreciative audience were impressed by the sight of the Beast and Belle in their evening wear - the only time I've ever seen cartoon characters get wolf-whistled in a cinema); and Alan Menken's score is his finest work for the Mouse, with matchless lyrics from the late and much lamented Howard Ashman - how many musicals can you name where ALL the songs are brilliant? But ultimately it's the movie's very real heart that makes it a keeper; the cliche "You'll laugh, you'll cry" is all too true in this case. A lot of movies called 'classic' don't deserve that appellation, but this one does.
I'll be slaughtered by anime fans, but what the hell... one "Beauty and the Beast" is worth a thousand "Akira"s. And "Shrek"s. And, I'm willing to bet, "Treasure Planet"s. This is a truly adult animated feature that's also one for the entire family. Forget "The Silence of the Lambs" - this is the real best picture of 1991.
a great movie story done with wondrous animation and lovely music. the
pacing was perfect, the music blended extremely well with the action, and
each character was developed charmingly. the contrast between the mean but
insecure beast plays very well against the lovely but bright and secure
belle. the animation was top notch: even now, after disney has had time to
develop better computer animation techniques, it still has beautiful color
and flow. except for pinocchio, I don't know any disney movie more lovely.
It's a movie that appeals to children of all ages, especially adults :
enough of the "technical stuff" let's get on to my emotional attachment to the movie.
I remember the first time I saw B&tB so vividly; I was completely enthralled by the movie that all I could do on the way home was smile and cry. I've seen it many, many times, yet the ballroom scene still gives me goose bumps. Angela Landsbury as Mrs. Potts sings the title song with so much feeling that every time I hear the song, I'm swept away back to that ballroom.
I was also moved by Belle's strength of self worth and generosity. She is a heroine I'd love girls to emulate. She knows what she wants, but yet is sensitive to others in trying to achieve that goal. She also learns to apologize and to forgive, no small task.
I've loved this movie from the start, and it has grown into an obsession. I collect everything I can now, and watch it when I need a lift. So I know my opinion is strongly biased : ) but I hope you get a chance to see this film and judge for yourself. I realize it is difficult to get access to the videos or laser discs (check out the spanish version cover imdb is using in B&tB's page) but it is well worth the search. The first time is most magical. I envy you.
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.
Beauty and the Beast is an engaging movie with so much care and beauty
fused into its core. Beauty is much more than just an influential
animated classic. It is a grand and powerful fable, sugar coated with
the best animation effort in a time where CGI was becoming a movie
mainstay. In its finest moments, Beauty is a rousing musical, making
your head move and getting caught up right in the mix. The score is
unforgettable and the characters are so easy to get into. A movie that
children and adults alike will love, Disney deserved its Academy Award
nominations for creating such a joy.
Small town Belle longs for more than a local life, maintaining her imagination through books and taking care of her kind, yet eccentric father. But when their horse returns without papa, Belle sets out to find the awful truth in an enchanted castle.
You can see that so much time and care was spent in drawing this masterpiece. I cannot think of many other movies that show such meticulous background and animation. That such effort is woven effortlessly into its songs that make Beauty and the Beast the timeless classic Disney rightfully lauds itself over. 'Be Our Guest,' 'Beauty and the Beast,' 'Gaston,' you will be humming these songs at one point in your your life! Kudos to Disney for creating a charismatic, attractive villain in Gaston. He would not be a villain if he was not such a jerk. You must watch this movie at least once in your life, in a comfortable sofa and with the sound turned right up for the Broadway scores. You will enjoy it!
Indeed, it's a tale as old as time, with a complex message that is as
ageless as it is universal; but beneath all the layers it can be summed up
very simply: love one another, and refrain from judging others who `seem'
to be `different.' And leave it to Disney to present it in such a way that
it can be embraced and understood by young and old alike as they have here,
in one of their best animated features ever, `Beauty and the Beast,'
directed by Gary Trousdale. When a young Prince fails the test of an
enchantress disguised as an old hag, she transforms him into a hideous
beast, as he is destined to remain until he opens his heart and learns how
to love and be loved in return. And so that he'll know where he stands as
time goes by, she gives him an enchanted rose, which will bloom until his
twenty-first birthday, and he has only until the last petal falls from the
flower to effect the change within himself that will be his salvation.
The beast, however, seems doomed, as he shuts himself away, alone in his castle, taking up a reclusive existence far from everyone and everything. Until, one day, a beautiful young woman named Belle shows up at his doorstep. Belle is searching for her inventor father, Maurice, who disappeared while taking one of his latest inventions to the fair; and his trail leads Belle to the castle of the Beast, where she discovers he is being held prisoner, having run afoul of the Beast by trespassing while lost during the night of his journey. Repulsed by the appearance of the Beast, Belle nevertheless strikes a bargain with him: If he will release her father, she will stay in his place. The Beast agrees, with the stipulation that she must remain with him forever. And as the Beast casts Belle's father from the castle and sends him on his way, Belle's fate seems sealed. The only hope now for either Belle or the Beast lies in the remote possibility that true love may somehow prevail before the last petal of the enchanted rose falls.
With the help of a richly textured screenplay (by Linda Woolverton) that invests the characters with a depth of humanity that is often lacking even in `non' animated films, and an Oscar winning score by Alan Menken, director Trousdale provides some real insights into human nature in this retelling of the familiar story of how true love can change even the darkest and coldest of hearts. There's magic in this film, which holds an enchantment of it's own, and the message is presented ever so subtly and with a sensitivity that draws you in gradually until you are so caught up in the story that you become immersed and totally involved without being consciously aware of it. It's a film that enfolds you and takes you where it will, and you go willingly. A beautifully rendered and realized film that successfully transcends it's genre, it is the first animated feature ever to be recognized and rewarded with an Oscar nomination for Best Movie (quite a feat in itself, as it received the nod over such films as `The Fisher King,' `Fried Green Tomatoes,' `Thelma and Louise' and John Singleton's `Boyz N the Hood' that year).
The talented cast supplying the voices of the characters includes Paige O'Hara (Belle), Robby Benson (The Beast), Richard White (Gaston), Jerry Orbach (Lumiere), David Ogden Stiers (Cogsworth), Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts), Bradley Pierce (Chip), Rex Everhart (Maurice), Jesse Corti (LeFou), Hal Smith (Phillipe), Jo Ann Worley (Wardrobe), Brian Cummings (Stove), Alvin Epstein (Bookseller) and Kimmy Robertson (Featherduster). There's a scene in this film that is so entrancing and so emotionally involving that it stands up against the best from any drama ever made: As Angela Lansbury (as Mrs. Potts) sings the Oscar winning title song, Belle begins to perceive the true nature of the man within the Beast; and it's no longer the cold-hearted Prince upon whom the enchantress cast her spell, because he has changed. And as they come together and the Beast takes Belle in his arms, sweeping her in dance across the elegant ballroom floor, it becomes one of those rare cinematic `moments' that are entirely transporting, and it does, indeed, take you away. It's a memorable scene that exemplifies the quality and craftsmanship of this film, as does the scene in which the Beast is at last transformed; that such emotion can be captured and expressed in an animated film is an exemplary accomplishment, and it's all a part of why `Beauty and the Beast' is one of Disney's all time greatest films.
One final note: Stay for the credits to hear Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's title song once again, this time performed by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson. Hypnotically beautiful, this version has a magic all it's own and makes the perfect ending to an enchanting experience. It's all a part of the magic of the movies. I rate this one 9/10.
This is a classic movie. We have breakthrough films like Snow White and Fantasia, and we have other greats like Aladdin and The Lion King, but this definitely tops them all. There is so much here that is missing in other Disney classics. This film has emotion, incredible music and animation, characters that you admire, laugh at, and despise. This movie is a fun ride from beginning to end. We can all relate with the suffering of the Beast (being an outsider), and we all know a Gaston in our lives. The way we can identify with the characters sucks us into the story. Don't miss this classic...the only animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
Who can resist this beautiful story? I love the fact that even though Belle hated Beast at first, she saw underneath that he was a kind and gentle soul, and didn't care what he looked like on the outside! And what girl hasn't known a Gaston in their lives? I thought it was so great how he was put in his place! All the voiceovers are amazing, especially Robby Benson as Beast. Another Disney masterpiece.
When an arrogant Prince turns away an old woman looking for shelter
with only a rose for a gift, she warns him not to just take the surface
appearance as being the all of a person; however he rejects her a
second time only for her to reveal herself as a beautiful
enchantress. She casts a spell on him, turning him into a beast with
the only hope of return being to fall in love with a woman and have her
fall in love with him before the rose wilts and dies. Resembling a
carpet stuffed with walnuts, the prince figures he has no chance and
withdraws into his castle. When an elderly man wanders into the castle,
the Beast holds him prisoner and only lets him go when his daughter,
Belle, offers to replace him in the Beast's castle. With time running
out, the Beast's staff hope that Belle will be the one to break the
curse but the Beast cannot remember how.
Being quite a cynical, acerbic person I must admit that I prefer modern animated films that deliver lots of adult humour along with a good emotional story and often I struggle to enjoy films that take the more traditional Disney route. However with this film I was quite taken by how classy the whole affair was, with great effort being shown in every area from the animation, to the songs through to the emotionally involving story whose telling is touched with a nice sense of wonder throughout. The story doesn't really hit many bum notes (I thought Gaston's sidekick was a bit too obvious and half cooked) and it is interesting and enjoyable for the vast majority of the time. The story and comedy is aimed at both adults and children but the stuff for kids is not basic pratfalls, nor is the adult material just a load of references or suggestive jokes. Instead the two are quite well blended with good physical comedy and plenty of wit. Again, it is the sense of spectacle and wonder that came through that I really appreciated.
The animation feels more impressive for the reliance on mostly traditional animation rather than computer effects in fact the computer effects look a bit dated now, even if they do still produce the goods in some key scenes. Mainly it is the feeling that every frame has had a lot of effort and love put into it that makes the whole affair feel classy. The songs are also great and feature quite a few memorable songs that stick in the mind; meanwhile the choreography of these scenes is generally very imaginative (Be Our Guest was my favourite). The cast don't feature many big stars and perhaps this is good because the real people don't distract from their characters. That said, I thought that Benson, O'Hara, White and a few others were quite unremarkable even if they were good enough for the film. Orbach, Stiers, Lansbury and others provided comic work in the support characters and everything worked well.
Overall this is a really classy animated film that shows the effort and care put into it in many different regards. It does suffer a bit from cuteness and sentimentality but I didn't think this was a massive problem or something that was not to be expected from Disney and generally I really enjoyed the film and see it as one of the films that define Disney for people of my generation.
This timeless fairy tale has been reworked to respond to specific gender
preoccupations of the day. Disney's Beauty and the Beast addresses the
contest between two types of masculinity, aggressive and gentle, targeting
young boys to socialize into the new sensitive male of the 90s. The
representation of femininity plays a minor part in the
Because Disney films are targeted to a younger audience, the sexual implication of the `Beast' is replaced with a coarse, boorish and unrefined type of masculinity. This film is about the socialization of young boys, and the audience learns through textual analysis what behavior the film deems appropriate. The Beast is 11 when he is put under the spell and 21 by the time it is broken, which covers the formative years of the transition from boyhood to manhood. The most obvious lesson he has to learn is to love, and to be good enough to have that love returned. Heterosexual love sets everything right and is the definition of the manhood he has to attain. The rest of the film reads as a transcript of proper behavior, and Lumiere, the dating etiquette expert, is his teacher. The Beast is expected to find more suitable accommodations than the dungeon, walk Belle to her door, say something to fill the awkward space on the trip to her room, and invite her to dinner. As a man, he is expected to control his temper, eat in a civilized manner, and learn gentleness with the birds. In the scene depicting his table manners, Belle switches from the role of date to that of nurturing, instructive mother. Belle recognizes his effort with the spoon and compromises with him by sipping her broth from the bowl. All of the characters have a part in his instruction. Especially informative is the scene when Belle sings about how he was course and unrefined, and now he is dear to her because he is unsure. It is the self consciousness and insecurity, in eating and getting dressed in bows, that sets the Beast apart from Gaston and makes him the ideal 90s (less masculine) man. In fact he has physical prowess but he represses it, and appeals instead to Belle's mind with the library. The film reassures boys that one can be both gentle and manly. The key to winning the girl lays in his evolution; he overcomes his selfishness. The Disney film leaves no room for competing versions of masculinity. Only one would survive; the bad guy dies.
Gaston and the Beast are quite similar rivals, analogous in their social worlds. Either the entire town or all of the appliances cheer their respective protagonist. Gaston is beastly as shown by his shadows, bestial shape, and pride that every last inch of him is `covered in hair.' Their fight in the tower marks the emotional high point of the film and is essentially a rivalry between two types of masculinity. The sensitive male that the audience has witnessed evolving, or the 100% pure testosterone laden Gaston who is aggressive, has a thick neck, eats to excess, is not an intellectual (he knocks over a chess table) and is a model to which all those in the village aspire to. Belle drops out of the equation entirely, as the major lesson of the film is the contest between two versions of manhood, with the sensitive male of the 90s the victor.
To a lesser degree, the film is also about the new woman of the 90s. Belle is the new heroine that Disney produced, though she is just as skinny and wide eyed as the heroines before her. She does read books, but they are fairy tales and her idea of `something more than this provincial life' is prince charming. She is really not all that intellectual. She does have two physical saving scenes, when the Beast is attacked by wolves, and before he falls off the tower and she catches him. However, overshadowing Disney's attempt to create a modern, liberated woman, Belle ends up faced with a choice that is really no choice at all. She has to get married in the end whether it is to one man or another.
Belle simply settles for the best type of masculinity, what she a `new woman' is looking for in a `new man.' She has little choice, since she doesn't like Gaston and she does want to get married. The lesson is that one type of masculinity not only triumphs and survives, but it also gets the girl. It is surprising that a more recent film, after the women's movement, and one self-consciously trying to create a new heroine, actually takes more power out of the female's hands then older versions of the tale. Animations oftentimes reinforces stereotypes, and the `happily ever after' genre conflicts with any real independence Belle could have shown, resulting in no choice other than marriage.
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