Having lived a life in selfishness, a young prince is cursed by a mysterious enchantress to having the appearance of a monstrous beast. His only hope is to learn to love a young woman and earn her love in return in order to redeem himself. Years later, his chance shows itself when a young maiden named Belle offers to take her ill father's place as his prisoner. With help from the castle's enchanted staff, Belle learns to appreciate her captor and immediately falls in love with him. Back in the village however, an unscrupulous hunter has his own plans for Belle.Written by
This is one of the few animated Disney productions released in the 1990s where Frank Welker doesn't provide all the animal vocal effects. Specifically, while he did voice the footstool and the wolves, Hal Smith was given the role of Philippe. Welker did, however, take over the part in the sequel, which was made after Smith's death. See more »
In his song, Gaston fires his blunderbuss three consecutive times. This firearm must be reloaded after every shot from the forward end. See more »
Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a young prince lived in a shining castle. Although he had everything his heart desired, the prince was spoiled, selfish, and unkind. But then, one winter's night, an old beggar woman came to the castle and offered him a single rose in return for shelter from the bitter cold. Repulsed by her haggard appearance, the prince sneered at the gift and turned the old woman away. But she warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found ...
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The opening prologue and end title appear within stained glass windows. See more »
This film was re-released in IMAX and other large format theaters on January 1, 2002. The following changes were made to the film for this release:
The "In Association with Silver Screen Partners IV" credit is replaced with "The Special Edition Of--" on the opening title sequence. The 2002 Platinum Edition DVD omits this credit and the Walt Disney Pictures Presents credit stays on screen.
The 2002 Platinum Edition DVD omits the Beast's "stutter" ("You wan-wanna stay in the tower?").
The animation in some of the scenes went back through the clean-up animation department a second time, to correct problems such as wavering lines and missing details, which, while not very noticeable during a traditional 35mm showing of the film, would have been discomforting on a much large IMAX screen. Small details, such as the blood in Beast's wound after his fight with the wolves, were also added.
At the end of the "Something There" sequence, the background has been changed from Belle and Beast in front of the fireplace to an empty hallway, and a bit of the character animation has also been altered in this shot.
Six minutes of new footage was added between the songs "Something There" and "Beauty and the Beast," most of which is made up of a new musical sequence, "Human Again." This song was written by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken for the original version of the film, but cut for continuity purposes. After Alan Menken altered the song to make it work for the Broadway stage version of Beauty and the Beast, the song was worked back into the film.
During the "Human Again" song sequence, the household objects clean up the Beast's castle, which necessitated having the background artists go back and digitally re-paint the backgrounds for the castle scenes that followed so that the castle was clean.
The animation for Cogsworth's line to the Beast after Belle is freed ("Yes-yes-yes, but...why?") was completely re-done, as the directors never liked how the animation looked in the original version.
New sound effects are added to the shot where Belle and Phillippe leave the castle to find Maurice, which are supposed to suggest that the Beast trashes his room in anguish (and also so that the backgrounds from this point on would not have to be repainted).
The ending credits are longer to necessitate the addition of an additional passage of score music, the version of the 'Transformation' theme that was cut out of the original film, to the end of the film.
The only animated movie to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination, and it deserved 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.
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