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Tale As Old As Time...

  • Oct 5, 2010
Beauty and the Beast

Title: Beauty and the Beast
Director: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Genre(s): Musical/Romance





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It’s hard to believe it’s been 19 years since Disney first released “Beauty and the Beast.” When it was released it was considered an instant classic. A movie for the ages. It became the first animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. 19 years later the movie is all that and more. Now that we’ve have time to sit on this film and reevaluate it multiple times I think we can all safely say this IS a classic and a movie for the ages! It properly holds itself next to “E.T.” and “The Wizard of Oz” as one of the best family films of all time. It’s just as good a musical as “The Sound of Music” and has equal (if not more) romance as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” How the studio managed this I’m sure I’ll never know.

By now everyone’s seen this “tale as old as time.” The movie revolves around Belle, a local girl who is considered the town oddball because she likes to read books and stay indoors rather then go to bars and mingle with men (hmm, sounds vaguely like a modern problem). After her father disappears on the way to the fair she tracks him down at an enchanted castle that is occupied by talking dishes, teapots, and a footrest for a dog. It’s also ruled by a Beast who is under a spell after refusing shelter to an enchantress disguised as an old woman. In return for her fathers freedom she agrees to become the Beast’s new prisoner. There is hope for everyone though: If the Beast can fall in love with a girl and earn her love in return the spell will be broken.

Well, THAT sounds simple enough right?! Not so. Though this is a fairy tale it’s sort of an odd one. No offense to the women of Disney’s past, but Belle really does seem to come from the age of the Women’s Rights Movement. She wants to tell stories. She likes to read. She’s independent. The idea that marriage is her career does not sit well with her. Come to think of it, the idea of falling in love seems to be an idea she resists more than anything. On the opposite end you have the Beast himself. Scary as hell with a bad temper to boot, the idea of falling in love with him seems to escape even his mind. He cares for her but doesn’t know how to express it. Plus he’s so ugly that even we can relate that getting past his looks might - for once - be difficult.

This is the heart and soul of “Beauty and the Beast.” It’s about two people who fall in love naturally and beautifully. Of course, this IS a Disney movie so there’s cute sidekicks in Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts who provide not only emotional support but practical support as well. Though I would not call these worthless characters, the movie was re-released in 2002 with a new musical number included called “Human Again” where the objects sing about their desires to be human again, thus adding more complexity to an already emotionally complex film. Then we have the films villain Gaston. With rippling biceps, a huge ego, and his sights set on marrying Belle, Gaston is everything the Beast is not.

If the Beast is the horrible looking monster with a heart of gold then Gaston is the Macy’s model with the heart of a pig. When it comes time for the two to fight Gaston’s attempts to kill the Beast do not come from a sense of danger, but because he knows who Belle has really given her heart to. With spectacular animation and wonderful songs, “Beauty and the Beast” is one of those movies that needs to be seen to believed. Rarely has an animated film touched so many people and them fall in love with drawings as if they were real people. Though Pixar largely does their own thing, I feel that the human emotion they put into their films is largely inspired by films like this one.

It’s amazing that this movie is as good as it is at all. The original story was simply two people going to dinner every night (a story that doesn’t lend itself well to a movie of any sorts). Walt Disney himself had tried to make this twice before giving up. What the new generation of Disney animators did was nothing short of masterful (most noticeably Glen Keanes excellent animation for the Beast). Despite it’s age it still feels as new as if it had just opened today. A movie that is timeless that can be enjoyed by anyone of any age and gender. A movie worth nothing less than my highest recommendation.

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October 10, 2010
I remember this being one of the biggest deals EVER for Disney. I've only seen it once but I feel like I've seen it a millions times cause of all the times I've heard that Angela Lansbury song. This to me is also the major turning point for Disney when along with this and The Little Mermaid, Disney really started pouring on the songs and cute characters.
October 10, 2010
thank you for this review. I had a strong sense of nostalgia; I saw this numerous times on VHS and I now own the dvd.
More Beauty and the Beast (1991 mov... reviews
review by . January 14, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
All Beauty
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 3D Written by Linda Woolverton Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise Voices by Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson, Jerry Orbach and Angela Lansbury   Mrs. Potts: Tale as old as time, true as it can be.   From the moment the film opens on a spectacular view of a majestic castle through a forest filled with bustling foliage and sparkling waterfalls, the wave of love I felt for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST back in 1991, came rushing back over me when I saw it’s …
Quick Tip by . October 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Enjoyed it. The kids enjoyed it, apart from the one who needed to go out before the ballroom scene, making me miss the most classic bit of animation.
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Another great disney classic with great music and songs :)
Quick Tip by . June 13, 2010
Easily the most well-crafted animated film since Walt Disney passed away. A beautifully rendered modern interpretation of the classic French fairy tale featuring a talented voice cast, stunning visuals, and one of the best scores in recent film history.
Quick Tip by . June 03, 2010
My second favorite Disney Film of all time, that transcends animated storytelling and stands alone as a GREAT movie, period.
review by . November 04, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Animation, music, characters, and of course, the story!     Cons: None!  (ok, so I don't like that new stuff they added)     The Bottom Line: Need a good Disney movie? Hard do better than Beauty and the Beast.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. I ought to be writing about something else, like the books I just finished or the new movies I saw.  Instead I'm writing about a movie …
review by . November 15, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Beauty and the Beast (Platinum Edition) is a two disc set; the first disc contains several versions of the film and some bonus features, while the second disc is comprised entirely of bonus features.    The menu for the first disc is in a street sign motif (the street sign is designed to be like one from the little village where Belle and her father lived). From here, you can choose to play the movie (which will automatically default to the Special Edition version), setup (choose …
review by . February 07, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
I don't know why I've waited so long to review this film. It is simply one of the greatest animated features of all time. From the wonderful songs to the wonderful cast to the lovely animation, this film hits on all cylinders. It's a moral story as old as time itself: Beauty lies not upon the face, but within the heart. If you haven't seen this movie, please consider renting or buying it soon. It doesn't matter what age you are because this movie appeals to all age groups.    Our …
review by . December 12, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: It's an animated film from Disney      Cons: Disney hasn't made one as good yet      The Bottom Line: Some classics never die.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.       So I was sitting, watching Beauty and the Beast one fine day, and my brain is in overdrive... Very unusual for me while watching Disney movies. Anyway, after awhile, it hits me that the Beast …
review by . October 30, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
Just when we thought nothing could top last year's deluxe edition of SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, Disney have outdone themselves. This sparkling new 2-disc of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST has been well worth the wait, and features an impressive print.The first disc features three (count 'em) three versions of the film; the original theatrical release, the new IMAX version (featuring the restored "Human Again" musical sequence) and the work-in-progress version that was shown to standing ovations at the …
About the reviewer
Kevin T. Rodriguez ()
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
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The film that officially signaled Disney's animation renaissance (followingThe Little Mermaid) and the only animated feature to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination,Beauty and the Beastremains the yardstick by which all other animated films should be measured. It relates the story of Belle, a bookworm with a dotty inventor for a father; when he inadvertently offends the Beast (a prince whose heart is too hard to love anyone besides himself), Belle boldly takes her father's place, imprisoned in the Beast's gloomy mansion. Naturally, Belle teaches the Beast to love. What makes this such a dazzler, besides the amazingly accomplished animation and the winning coterie of supporting characters (the Beast's mansion is overrun by quipping, dancing household items) is the array of beautiful and hilarious songs by composer Alan Menken and the late, lamented lyricist Howard Ashman. (The title song won the 1991 Best Song Oscar, and Menken's score scored a trophy as well.) The downright funniest song is "Gaston," a lout's paean to himself (including the immortal line, "I use antlers in all of my de-co-ra-ting"). "Be Our Guest" is transformed into an inspired Busby Berkeley homage. Since Ashman's passing, animated musicals haven't quite reached the same exhilarating level of wit, sophistication, and pure joy.--David Kronke --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Director: Gary Trousdale
Genre: Animation
Release Date: November 22, 1991
MPAA Rating: G
DVD Release Date: October 8, 2002
Runtime: 84 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
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