Disney's revival as a major animation studio began in 1989 with the release of THE LITTLE MERMAID and reached its pinnacle with BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (the only animated film ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar). As much as the film is a visual delight, its also a musical feast for the ears. People had said for over a decade that the musical movie was dead, but BEAUTY AND THE BEAST proved otherwise and paved the way for later big-screen adaptations of famous stage musicals. Some of my favorite songs on the album include: "Be Our Guest"--this song revived the huge dance numbers that were once commonplace in movie musicals.
"Something There"--BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is a love story and though that love is often brought to mind by the title song, it is this number that truly captures the essence of what happens between Belle and Beast.
"The Mob Song"--out of all the songs on the album, this is the one with the most masculine appeal. It's a song about burning down castles and killing an unfamiliar creature that poses no threat. There's nothing like a dash of good old violence to get the blood flowing.
This is a great soundtrack for any Disney fan, any patron of musicals, and people who love the film.
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After the success of their score forThe Little Mermaid, the songwriting team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken returned to Disney for their second fairy-tale adaptation. Sadly, it was the duo's last completed score before Ashman's untimely death at age 41. This soundtrack contains more-conventional show music thanThe Little Mermaid, owing in large part to Broadway stalwart Angela Lansbury and to Jerry Orbach's Yves Montand impersonation. Most of the songs here were included in the subsequent Broadway adaptation and its cast album, but this disc is superior in its studio polish and cast, which is better suited to the score.--John Sanchez