Originally released in 1991, “Beauty and the Beast” was the 30th Disney animated film. It may be over 20 years old now but, like most Disney animated films, it’s timeless. And hey, this one is a tale as old as time, right??
Belle (Paige O’Hara) lives with her father Maurice (Rex Everhart) in a village in France. Everyone in their village thinks they are both crazy: Maurice because he is a crackpot inventor (he’s just a little eccentric!) and Belle because she’s a little odd, and she also enjoys to read. Gaston (Richard White) is the town brute. Everyone thinks he’s awesome while in reality he’s really boorish and brainless (as Belle tells him). Gaston is dead set on marrying Belle, but she wants nothing to do with him. Belle dreams of adventures and getting away from her village. She soon gets her wish when her father gets lost on his way to an inventors function and his horse Philippe finds his way back home. Concerned for her father’s safety, Belle hops on Philippe and he leads her to a castle in the woods.
But this is no normal castle, this castle is magical. Its residents include a Beast (Robby Benson) and his servants who have been transformed into enchanted objects. When he was a human prince, the Beast was mean and selfish and he made the wrong person mad, because she happened to be an enchantress who cast a spell upon the prince and his servants, turning the prince into a hideous Beast and his servants into objects such as a candelabra, Lumiere (Jerry Orbach), a clock, Cogsworth (David Ogden Stiers), a teapot, Mrs. Potts (Angela Lansbury), and a teacup, Chip (Bradley Pierce), to name a few. The prince and his crew were doomed to remain in their new appearances forever, unless someone falls in love with the Beast.
Easier said than done, as the Beast has a bit of a temper problem. He pretty much kidnapped Maurice and said he would keep him forever (because he trespassed in his castle, but only to escape a pack of wolves and rain), until Belle offers to take his place as the Beast’s prisoner. The enchanted objects are hopeful that Belle may be the one to break the spell, but to get Belle to fall in love with the Beast is a near impossible task.
The soundtrack to “Beauty and the Beast” features the fantastic songs “Belle”, “Gaston”, “Be Our Guest”, “Something There”, “Beauty and the Beast”, and “The Mob Song”. Each number is exciting and fun and definitely makes you want to sing along!!
While I’m not a huge fan of 3D in movie theaters (I feel that it belongs in theme parks), I have to mention that the 3D version of “Beauty and the Beast” looked amazing. It added depth and richness to the scenes in the forest. It made an already fantastic movie even better. Also of note, this version of the movie does not include the song “Human Again” which was featured on the Platinum Edition DVD release that came out in 2002.
Trivia: I did some research and although it’s never mentioned in the movie, according to imdb, it was revealed on a Disney CD-Rom game that the price’s human name is Adam. So now you know!!
One thing that always puzzled me: In the prologue, it states that the enchantress cast the spell and gave him a rose that would bloom until his 21st year. However in the song “Be Our Guest”, the enchanted objects state that they’ve been in their current non-human state for ten years. So was the prince 11 when the enchantress cast the spell on him? If so, he looked awful grown for 11 years old!! And, where were his parents?? Is this an error or am I missing something??
Before the movie, there is a short called “Tangled Ever After”, which continues the story of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider (Mandy Moore and the totally awesome Zachary Levi). I won’t spoil the plot but I will say that Maximus the horse and Pascal the chameleon totally steal the show!! It was a nice continuation of the “Tangled” story. Unfortunately, I did not notice if Rapunzel was wearing shoes this time.
It’s a two for one special you just can’t miss!!