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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Disney, Why Can't You Make More Movies Like This!?

Author: alex979 from United States
3 October 2006

I still remember watching this movie when I was very little. I did not appreciate it as much then, but now because I am older, I can cherish this blessed masterpiece. The music in this movie is one of the best film scores ever and contains the catchiest Disney tunes. Who could ever forget the ever-popular ballroom scene? This movie, in my opinion was Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's best! I also think that this is the best Disney movie made after the great Walt Disney passed away.

I had the opportunity of seeing the Special Edition on IMAX. What an experience! The scenes were breathtaking to see on such a large screen. I even found the new song "Human Again" very entertaining.

It's such a shame that Disney hasn't made a movie like this since "Mulan". "Beauty and the Beast" will be forever remembered as the epitome of modern-day Disney movies (and should have won the Best Picture Oscar instead of "The Silence of the Lambs"). Bravo to Disney!

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

One word=F-L-A-W-L-E-S-S!

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
17 February 2009

This movie is without doubt the best animated movie of all time. The artistry was perfect. I was spellbound at the animated sequences to the songs "Be Our Guest" and "Beauty and the Beast" especially. The characters were very well drawn, and because of the dark and colourful backgrounds, the film looked beautiful. The songs are fantastic. Another movie with great songs is "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"(which has the best beginning to a Disney movie). In fact, all the Alan Menken scores are brilliant, with the exception of Home On The Range, which is one of the weaker Disney efforts. My personal favourites, were the songs I just mentioned, and "Gaston" was great fun too. The incidental music was the best in any Disney movie, and that is the same with the other Menken scores. The music in the transformation of the Beast was phenomenal, as well as the animation, and reminded me of the last movement of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, which is really frightening. Another Disney with great incidental music is "The Lion King". The story is quite simply one of the best love stories ever, and the characters are wonderful. Belle was voiced beautifully by Paige O'Hara, who has a beautiful singing voice. I love Belle, she is beautiful, clever and strong, and is one of the best Disney characters for those reasons. Gaston was made into a complex villain, and quite narcissistic(great idea Disney). When he was nasty he was quite frightening, and Richard White can really sing. Jerry Orbach and David Ogden Stiers were really entertaining as Lumiere and Cogsworth,(I just love how witty, elegant and debonair Lumiere is) and Angela Lansbury gives a brilliant rendition of the title song. The best voice over was that of the Beast, who was very frightening, and there were some parts that were truly sensitive. Why are some people fussed about him as a human? Remember, true beauty comes from within. In conclusion, an essential to your Disney collection with a very poignant ending. 10/10. Bethany Cox

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Film promotes the sensitive male of the 90s

Author: lindsay from new york
1 April 2002

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 story.

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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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

C'est Belle

Author: joliefille411 from United States
26 April 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is pure magic. I love Disney films, especially the traditionally animated ones. I sincerely hope that does not become a lost art form.

So, first point for the movie: it's French. I adore the language and the culture, so getting a smattering is a delight.

Secondly, it's a classic fairytale that is also quite dark. There is much tragedy woven into to castle and its surroundings. I like best the tales that aren't overly bubbly, and this one keeps the goofiness down pretty well.

Next, the heroine actually possesses some intelligence! She reads and has her own mind, and, unlike many, is flawed. It's nice that the film was taken seriously enough to have some dimension, even if it was "only" an animated movie. Plus, I really want to have her library someday.

Lastly- the movie is just so beautiful! The castle and the woods were gorgeous, the ballroom was beautiful, but the best was the breathtaking scene right after Belle dumps Gaston and runs out to the field behind her house. Sheer perfection. No wonder this movie was nominated for best picture. My only wish- I would have liked to have seen some more of the Beast as Adam. He was pretty cute!

Quote of the Film:

- Well YOU shouldn't have been in the West Wing!

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Romantic Masterpiece: Disney's Greatest Film

Author: FloatingOpera7 from United States
10 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Beauty and the Beast (1991): Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White, Rex Everhart, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Angela Lansbury, Jesse Corti, Bradley Pierce, Jo Anne Worley, Mary Kay Bergman, Kath Soucie Kimmy Robertson, Brian Cummings, Tony Jay, Alvin Epstein, Frank Welker, Scott Barnes, Bruce Adler, Jack Angel, Vanna Bonta....

Disney entered the 1990's with "Beauty and the Beast", by far their most unabashedly romantic film and for many viewers, their all-time greatest achievement. There is so much to admire and love about this terrific film which was adored by the critics and hailed as an instant classic at the time of its release in 1991. It was so loved that it became the first animated film ever to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. The 18th century French fairy-tale is given a twist to cater to a more modern audience A selfish and heartless prince (Robby Benson) falls victim to an enchantress' curse and is transformed into a beast. His castle is bewitched and even his domestics are turned into household objects such as candelabras, clocks, feather dusters, teacups and kitchen utensils. Only the love of a woman can redeem the prince and only when she sees past the monster and into his humanity can he become human again. Enter Belle (Paige 0'Hara)the beautiful single daughter of an old and eccentric inventor Maurice (Rex Everhart) who lives in a small town in rural France. Belle stands out from the other townsfolk in her fondness for books, her individuality and her intellect. Bored of provincial life, she longs for "adventure in the great wide somewhere". She's pursued by Gaston (Richard White) a hunky but vain, self-absorbed and wicked hunter who wants to marry Belle and make her his "trophy wife". When Maurice sets off to sell his new invention to a fair, he becomes lost in the woods and stumbles into the Beast's castle. Before long he becomes his prisoner. Belle comes to the rescue but in order to save her father she must replace him as the Beast's prisoner. What ensues is a "tale as old as time". Despite his monstrousness, Belle learns to see past all that and in time tames the Beast herself. Their relationship is based on respect for one another as human beings, exemplified when Beast saves Belle's life and she in turn saves his. But it's not long before the villagers discover the Beast's existence and Gaston leads a murderous mob to attack the castle. The late Broadway singer Jerry Orbach provides comic relief as Lumiere, an amorous French candelabra and David Ogden Stiers portrays the stuffy British clock Cogsworth. Broadway icon and British actress Angela Lansbury portrays the kindly voice of reason, Mrs. Potts and young Bradley Pierce portrays her son Chip. Jesse Corti plays Lefou, Gaston's awkward and goofy sidekick. These minor characters, purely there for comic relief and cuteness, not only entertains younger audiences but they are so wonderfully portrayed by the actor's voices that even adults can enjoy them. It is through voices that can act as well as sing (Paige O'Hara, Richard White, Jerry Orbach and Angela Lansbury are all Broadway singers) in harmony with a solid plot and superior animation that this film truly shines. Beauty and the Beast still ranks as Disney's all-time greatest after 16 years. In fact, Disney does not make films like this anymore, owing to the excess use of computer graphics which can often dominate the story itself. Shortly after the success of the film, a Broadway musical was made, one that is still enjoyed to this date. And this film contains many wonderful song numbers: "Belle" - a gossip song as the villagers follow Belle on her way to the bookstore, "Gaston" sung by Gaston and his drinking buddies in his honor, "Be Our Guest" as the enchanted castle's staff entertains Belle for dinner, "Something There" a duet sung by the leads as they begin to fall in love and the title song "Beauty and the Beast" sung by Mrs. Potts as the newfound friends waltz beneath an opulent chandelier. This romantic song was popularized when a young Celine Dion, not yet a major star, sang a duet with Peabo Bryson for the soundtrack. With its theme of beauty found within, a woman's courage and virtue rewarded, the movie is also a sort of women's empowerment film for girls. Belle, the first Disney princess of the 90's, is strong, resourceful and dares to be different. Far from being a damsel in distress, it is she who rescues the Beast from doom and fights the villain Gaston by firmly renouncing him as a lover. Brilliant music and songs by Alan Menken and a splendid cinematography that used stunning computer-graphic art for such scenes as the ballroom waltz, this film was ahead of its time and marked the beginning of the great Disney films of the 90's - Aladdin, Lion King, Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame and others, all which used special effects made of computer graphic art. For this film, animators drew inspiration from Romantic 19th century art(Fragonard and Bouche) and from Loire Valley castles. Animators also drew from Cocteau's 1946 live-action version. The look of this film, the attention to detail, is a real winner and it's a pity that Disney does not return to pure animation. For me, this is the zenith of Disney animation and a representation of classic Disney at its best in the 1990's. This is a wonderful film for both young and old and looks as great as it ever did, thanks to restorations as seen on the new DVD version, where you can enjoy seeing how the film was made and scenes that were never part of the original theatrical release. Enjoy this romantic classic today with a date or with the whole family.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Tale as old as time...

Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
14 September 2005

This animated masterpiece is and will always stay one of the best romantic movies ever created.

This is one of those rare movies in which everything comes perfectly together. The characters, the music, the humor, the pace, the story everything in this movie is just perfect. It's a highly memorable movie that everyone should watch at least once in their lifetime.

The movie is beautifully animated and it features some of the best Disney characters. Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth, Lumiere and of course Belle and the Beast are highly memorable and very well constructed characters. Also the villain role Gaston which is always one of the most important elements of a Disney movie is a good one. However the villain isn't as prominent to the story as in most other Disney animated movies is the case. This movie truly is about love and the beauty inside. The movie its love story is nicely supported by the very good songs composed by Alan Menken and with lyrics by Howard Ashman. Unfortunately this was Howard Ashman's last project and he died before he could receive his well deserved Oscar for this movie. Unique fact is that this movie was also even nominated for the 'Best Picture' Oscar. Something that was really well deserved by the way. The story is quite 'mature' but also there is still plenty to enjoy for the little one's here. The movie is filled with lots of humor and imaginative characters. The movie is told in very good quick pace and features some of the best editing I have ever seen in an animated movie.

The voice cast consists out of some good actors; Angela Lansbury and Jerry Orbach are especially perfect for their roles.

The movie features some unforgettable classic moments and is a milestone in animated movie making. An highly recommendable animated romantic movie that shall always remain one of the best romantic movies ever made. This movie is recommendable to everyone, even those who normally don't like romantic stories and movies, thrust me, you'll love this movie.


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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The Best Disney movie of all questions asked

Author: thatdisappoints ( from Kansas City Kansas
3 April 2003

No other Disney movie in my oppinion, except for some of the classics from fifty years ago can compare to Beauty and the Beast. Disney hasn't made any good movies really in the past fifteen years except this. I recommend this movie to anyone who likes Disey, Musicals, or movies at all. It is a true classic!!!!!!!!!!

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A beautiful cinematic achievement

Author: andrewjkd from United States
20 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Beauty and the Beast tells the story of Belle, an unusual but beautiful girl, who goes in search of her inventor father and comes across a mysterious castle. She enters the castle in search of her father, to discover it is occupied by a beast. She becomes his prisoner. The beast is loveless and thankless, but she soon begins to fall in love with him, and he with her. The film's end is happy, satisfying, and inspiring, showing what the power of love can do.

Beauty and the Beast is a charming story of love and magic. It features lovely music. Songs like "Beauty and the Beast", "Be Our Guest", and "Belle" are catchy and fun to listen to. It features first-class characters: the quirky Belle; Gaston, the hateful attractive villain; the Beast, a character one can't help but feels sorry for; the enchanted objects - Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth, and Lumiere, characters that bring a lighthearted quality to the movie. Beauty and the Beast also features excellent executed animation. It isn't hard to tell all the talent, the sweat, and the heart that was put in this film. The ballroom sequence, and the sequence that shows when the beast becomes human are among the most outstanding animated sequences in recent cinema.

Beauty and the Beast is great in another aspect: it's ageless. Although it appears to be a children-oriented film, it doesn't take much for an adult to find it extraordinarily appealing. It's a fabulous film for the whole family to watch and enjoy.

When I first saw Beauty and the Beast, I fell in love with it. It's a beautiful tale, an engaging musical, and wonderful fable of romance. One of the greatest examples of traditional animation in recent years, it will go down in history with other beautiful Disney masterpieces, like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, and Cinderella.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Disney's most beautiful movie and my all-time favorite

Author: MissLadyLoki from United States
24 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I dunno about you, but this flick is without a doubt one of Disney's best and their most beautiful movies, which makes it my all-time favorite. The characters are very well-developed and have multiple dimensions to their personalities, not to mention particularly different to the typical Disney character. Belle's wanting to escape her life to see the world(which is the reason why, amongst other things, she is my all-time favorite Disney princess) and hate for Gaston, the best-looking guy in town, Gaston's vanity and lust for Belle's hand in marriage, and Beast's evolution in his hate for Belle to his love for her, which she experiences too, helped make this movie the beautiful masterpiece it is.

The music, which was by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, is without a doubt the some of the best music Disney has made. From the eerie, yet beautiful twinkling of the "Prologue", the introduction of Belle and Gaston's personalities and wants in "Belle", the the get-up-and-dance fun of the musical extravaganza "Be Our Guest", and the simply magnificent "Beauty and the Beast", amongst the other songs of the film, work together to push the story forward, express characters' inner-most thoughts and feelings, and are just plain entertaining. Menken's scores too were quite beautiful, especially the "Transformation" score, which conveys extremely well a range of emotions, from Beast's dying to the triumphant finale.

And what would this movie be without the animation? The sweeping of the camera to Belle and Beast dancing in the ballroom during "Beauty and the Beast", which gives me the chills every time, to the ominous darkness of Belle's trek into the forbidden West Wing, along side with the music, make it a treat for both the eyes and the ears.

All in all, the movie is a pure masterpiece in many ways and forms and it clearly deserved all the awards and nominations it received, including the nomination for the Best Picture Oscar. This is a movie all Disney fans should watch and I guarantee you'll enjoy it.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Like its heroine, Beauty and the Beast steps out of the comfort zone and thus it succeeds magically in taking people off into their hearts and children within.

Author: Stefan Ellison from Canada
17 December 2007

It has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword, but when this age-old phrase is converted to modern times, it translates to "the desktop is mightier than the pencil." There's no denying that the computer has become a tool used across the world, whether for political reasons, or for business or especially for educational purposes. Computers have also been adopted by the film industry to give their works of art a shinier feel and along with the visual effects wizards, the filmmakers who use these electronic devices the most are the animators. After a while, it was uncertain whether the cel-based animation used to create such classics like The Little Mermaid and Pinocchio would be completely dropped in favour of the quicker and slicker style. While studios like DreamWorks may have given up on them, the folks at the world's pioneering animation studio are still behind the pencil-and-paper animation that has enchanted families for generations. Looking back at one of their essential works, Beauty and the Beast brings back memories of not only nostalgia, but also warmth. Quite possibly the greatest love story ever told, this "tale as old as time" has always been told by bringing pen to paper. From its candle-lit beginnings by a French writer many years ago to the Disney animators who brought joys to people of all ages, Beauty and the Beast has always touched the heart.

The main part of what makes Beauty and the Beast such a brilliant film is the fact that the relationship between the two title characters doesn't feel artificial or one-dimensional, even though they're drawn on paper. Unlike other famous fairy tales, Beauty and the Beast feels quite realistic in its definition of love. The story breaks all conventions by not going the "love at first sight" route and letting the romance progress at a reasonable pace. Belle also proves to be the most interesting Disney heroine, as she doesn't fit the norm of typical princesses like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Unlike the aforementioned characters, Belle is not bland, but actually as a personality. She defines individuality and seeks to do more than just marry a prince. Her annoyance at Gaston is not only humorous, but also shows that her ideas of romance don't consist of "a rustic hunting lodge... my latest kill roasting on the fire... and my little wife, massaging my feet... while the little ones play on the floor with the dogs... we'll have six or seven," as Gaston puts it. The Beast is also a rather stubborn, but loving personality. Despite his tough exterior is a nice person at heart which Belle begins to realise the more into the relationship they enter.

Adding to the brilliance of the chemistry between Beauty and the Beast are the songs from Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman. Although both did terrific work on The Little Mermaid and their cult musical Little Shop of Horrors, the music in Beauty and the Beast stands as their best. The title theme song is quite possibly one of the most romantic songs ever written, combining beautiful lyrics with a very memorable melody. This song enhances the film's famous ballroom scene to ever impressive heights, already helped by the breathtaking animation in the sequence. "Beauty and the Beast" was not written as just a way to sell soundtracks and win Oscars. It adds another dimension to the characters as they continue to fall deeply in love with each other. It is both moving and deep. The other songs provided by the team also contribute wonderfully to the film, from a show-stopping Broadway number called "Be Our Guest" to the very funny ode to "Gaston." They're bursting with energy and humour made even more poignant by the fact they would feature the last lyrics written by Ashman (who had also already contributed some work to Aladdin). It's a brilliant way to end his career and the end credits homage him perfectly: "To our friend, Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful. Howard Ashman (1950-1991)"

Probably one of the most important ingredients that make Beauty and the Beast such a success is the startling animation. The animators at Disney did a terrific job at making everything absolutely perfect, from the character designs to the sets. Each character has their feel, whether comedic or dramatic, and the animators allow them to breath, seamlessly combining the actor's voice to the moving drawings. The sets are also worthy of mention, particularly the look of the Beast's castle. The Gothic castle is drawn and painted beautifully from top to behind, so much so you're forgetting you're watching an animated film. The film is bright and colourful, but also dark and dreary when necessary. As mentioned before, the ballroom sequence combines Menken and Ashman's music with the animation flawlessly, giving a completely magical feel to it. When computers are brought into the scene, it seams in perfectly, not feeling distracted in the least. Beauty and the Beast most certainly stands as Disney animation at its finest.

Some of the best animated films in the world have come from the Walt Disney studios and Beauty and the Beast is deservedly one of their crown jewels. At the film's release, it was honoured with an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, a rare feat for an animated film. It proves that like its heroine, Beauty and the Beast steps out of the comfort zone and thus it succeeds magically in taking people off into their hearts and children within.

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