Beauty and the Beast is a 1991 American animated film, the thirtieth animated feature to be released by the Walt Disney Company. It was made and produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and was originally released in theaters in November 22, 1991 by Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Distribution. The animated film, one of the best-known of Disney's many classics, is an adaptation of the well-known fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, about a beautiful woman kept in a castle by a horrific monster. To this date, it is the first and only animated picture to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Beauty and the Beast stars the voices of Robby Benson (Beast), Paige O'Hara (Belle), Richard White (Gaston), Jerry Orbach (Lumière), David Ogden Stiers (Cogsworth), and Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts).
Overview[edit | edit source]
The movie was adapted by Linda Woolverton from the story by Roger Allers, based upon the version of Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont (uncredited). It was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, and the music was composed by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, both of whom had written music and songs for Disney's The Little Mermaid.
It was a huge hit at the box office with more than $171 million in domestic revenues alone and over $377 million in worldwide revenues.   This high number of sales made it the third-most successful movie of 1991, surpassed only by summer blockbusters Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. It was also the most successful animated Disney film at the time.
Beauty and the Beast won Academy Awards for Best Music, Original Score and Best Music, Song for Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's "Beauty and the Beast", sung in the film's most famous scene by Angela Lansbury, and at the end of the film by Céline Dion and Peabo Bryson. Two other Menken and Ashman songs from the movie were also nominated for Best Music, Song are "Be Our Guest" and "Belle". Beauty and the Beast was also nominated for Best Sound and Best Picture. It is the only animated movie ever to be nominated for Best Picture.
In 2002 the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. In October 8 of the same year, Disney released the film as a Special Edition DVD.
This film inspired a Broadway stage musical, which earned tremendous commercial success in its own right and multiple Tony Awards, and became the first of a whole line of Disney stage productions. There are also Disney versions of the story published and sold as storybooks and a comic book based on the film published by Disney Comics.
In 1995, a live-action children's series called "Sing Me A Story With Belle" started on ABC, running until 1999.
In 1997, a midquel called Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas was released directly to video. It was quickly followed by another midquel titled Belle's Magical World that was released on February 17, 1998.
Plot summary[edit | edit source]
Once upon time in a faraway land, a young prince lived in a luxury castle, but he is unkind and loveless. One winter's night, an old beggar woman offers the prince a rose in exchange for shelter from the bitter cold. The prince was repulse by her appearance and turned her away. Despite her warnings, the old woman reveals herself to be a beautiful enchantress in disguise. As punishment for the prince's arrogance, the enchantress transforms him into a hideous beast and placed a powerful spell on the castle. Ashamed his monstrous form, the Beast concealed himself along with a magic mirror that allows him to view faraway events. The blooming rose that the enchantress had offered serves as an hourglass. To break the spell, the prince must learn to love another and earn her love in return before the rose's last petal falls on his 21st birthday. If he fails, he will remain a beast forever.
Ten years later, in a nearby village a young bookworm girl named Belle is bored of her life and seeks excitement. Because of her nonconformist ideals, she is scorned by everyone except the town's bookseller. Her father Maurice an eccentric inventor is always fruitlessly at hard work to reform their lives on various contraptions. Bell constantly confronts a narcissistic muscular hunter named Gaston who is determined to marry Belle because of her beauty. Despite Gaston being popular with the townsfolk, Belle rejects his advances. Maurice and his horse Phillipe get lost in the forest while traveling to a fair to present his latest invention, a wood-chopping machine. After being chased by a pack of wolves, he comes across the Beast's castle. Inside, he meets Lumière the maître d’/candelabra, Cogsworth the butler/clock, Mrs. Potts the nanny/teapot, and her son Chip the teacup who provide him service. However, the Beast is not very welcoming to visitors, and imprisons Maurice for trespassing. When Phillipe returns without him, he leads Belle to the Beast's castle, she offers to take her father's place. Over her father's objection, the Beast accepts taking Belle prisoner.
The Beast sulks in his room when Belle refused to have dinner with him that night. In spite of this, Lumière offers her a meal. While he and Cogsworth also give her a tour of the castle, she wanders into the forbidden West Wing. When the Beast inadvertently frightens her out into the forest, Belle encounters the wolves. The Beast rescues Belle but he gets injured in the process. Belle decides to nurse his wounds and she teaches him to control his temper. Perplexed of this new feeling, he delights her by showing his extensive library. While the two begin to bond, Gaston sulks over Belle's rejection, and when Maurice got forcibly sent back to the village he goes for help, but nobody believes him. Hearing Maurice's statements about the Beast, Gaston hatches a plan: He bribes Monsieur D'Arque, the warden of the town's insane asylum, to have Maurice locked up as a lunatic, if Belle refuses Gaston's proposal again. Before they can act, however, Maurice leaves for the castle to attempt a rescue alone.
Sharing a romantic evening dance together, Belle tells the Beast she misses her father. He lets her use his magic mirror to see him and finds Maurice collapsing in the woods trying to reach the castle. The Beast frees her go out to save him and he gives her the mirror to remember him by. She found Maurice and brings him home. As Gaston about to have Maurice taken to the insane asylum, Belle proves Maurice's sanity by showing the Beast with the mirror. Realizing Belle loves the Beast, Gaston convinces the townsfolk that the Beast is a man-eating monster and leads them to the castle to kill him.
Having stowed away in Belle's baggage, Chip frees Maurice and Belle from confinement. Gaston fights the Beast while the servants fend off the townsfolk. The Beast initially is too depressed to fight back, but perks up when seeing Belle return to the castle. He overpowers Gaston on the rooftops, and spares Gaston's life by ordering him to leave. Refusing to lose, Gaston mortally wounds the Beast, but loses his balance and fell into a deep moat to his death. Pulling him back up, Belle professes her love for the Beast, who dies before the last rose petal falls. With the spell broken, the Beast revives and reverts to his human form. The servants resume their human forms and the castle is restored to its former glory. Belle is last seen dancing with Prince Adam in the ballroom as everyone watches in delight.
Home media[edit | edit source]
- The movie itself was originally released on VHS and LaserDisc, as part of their Walt Disney Classics line on October 30, 1992. Beauty and the Beast: Special Edition, an enhanced version of the film in IMAX/large-format is called, was released on a 2-disc "Platinum Edition" DVD and VHS in October 8, 2002; the DVD set contains three versions of the movie (the extended "IMAX Special Edition" with an extra song added, the original theatrical release, and the New York Film Festival "work-in-progress" version). The movie itself was also released on October 5, 2010, as the second of Disney's Diamond Editions in the form of 3-disc "Blu-ray & DVD" combo pack, which represents the first release of "Beauty and the Beast" on home video in high-definition format; and of course, a two-disc DVD version of the movie itself was released on November 23, 2011. A 5-disc combo pack, featuring Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray 2D, DVD, and "digital copy", was released on October 4, 2011.
- In anticipation of the movie's upcoming entirely-animated theatrical motion picture spin-off, Belle's Enchanted Tales, as well as the upcoming Disney Princess Enchanted Moments series of theatrical short films, "Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment" has plans to re-issue the movie itself directly to DVD & Blu-ray Disc and Movie Download, when being part of the Walt Disney Special Editions line of DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, and "Digital Download" releases on May 12, 2015.
Characters[edit | edit source]
- Belle (voiced by Paige O'Hara) is a girl in either her late teens or early twenties. She has brown hair, brown eyes and a passion for reading. Very intelligent and self-assured, she desperately wants to escape the condition of life in the poor village where she lives. Her father, Maurice, appears to be the only living member of her family. "without repeating what I've done on Wendy Darling" from Peter Pan (1953), She is also an outsider, which can be seen from her habits (reading) and clothes (blue, while everything else is red and brown).
- Beast/Prince Adam (voiced by Robby Benson) who is actually a prince, was transformed into a Beast by an enchantress for his lack of compassion (and, to some viewers and fans, elicit sexism against women). Since falling in love with someone is the only way to break the spell, "without repeating what I've done on Peter Pan" from Peter Pan, he has desperately wished for a girl to fall in love with, though only (initially) so he can be turned back into his human form. When he finally gets one such person, his lack of patience and excess firmness prove to be obstacles to his goal.
- Cogsworth (voiced by David Ogden Stiers) is the head butler of the castle (always wanting to keep things orderly and ordained, and is very eager to please his master, the Beast), who ended up being turned into a grandfather clock when the spell was cast.
- Lumiere (voiced by Jerry Orbach) is the maitre d' of the castle who now ended up as a candelabra.
- Mrs. Potts (voiced by Angela Lansbury) is the nanny of the castle, who was transformed into a teapot and her children into teacups.
- Chip (voiced by Bradley Pierce) Mrs. Potts' son, who has been turned into a teacup. Originally intended to only have one line, the filmmakers were impressed with Pierce's performance and expanded the character's role significantly, eschewing a mute Music Box character. Pruiksma also served.
- Maurice (voiced by Rex Everhart) Belle's inventor father. The villagers see him as insane for crafting devices believed impossible to construct in reality, but his loyal daughter believes he will be famous one day. Ruben A. Aquino.
- Gaston (voiced by Richard White) is the film's villain. He is large, strong, handsome, and macho, and sees himself as highly desirable. Though he is scheming, amoral and cocky (not to mention sexist and chauvinist), he is not a typical Disney Villains: Captain Hook from Peter Pan (1953). lacks supernatural powers. In the words of Roger Ebert, Gaston "degenerates during the course of the film from a chauvinist pig to a sadistic monster."
- Lefou (voiced by Jesse Corti) Gaston's often abused yet, loyal lackey and his design was influenced by Mr. Smee from Peter Pan.
- Philippe (voiced by Hal Smith) Belle's Belgian horse. Russ Edmonds. Maurice's horse implied offer that the customer.
- Madame De Gardrobe (voiced by Jo Anne Worley) The castle's authority over fashion, and a former opera singer, who has been turned into a wardrobe. The character of Wardrobe was introduced by visual development person Sue C. Nichols to the then entirely male cast of servants, and was originally a more integral character named "Madame Armoire". The wardrobe is known as "Madame de la Grande Bouche" (Madame Big Mouth) in the stage adaptation of the film and is the only major enchanted object character whose human form does not appear in the film Tony Anselmo.
- The Bimbettes (voiced by Mary Kay Bergman and Kath Soucie) A trio of village maidens who constantly fawn over Gaston, known as the "Silly Girls" in the stage adaptation.
- The Stove (voiced by Brian Cummings) – The castle's chef who has been transformed into a stove. He is named Chef Bouche in 1998's Belle's Magical World.
- The Bookseller (voiced by Alvin Epstein) The owner of a book shop in Belle's home town.
- Monsieur D'Arque (voiced by Tony Jay) The sadistic warden of the insane asylum. Gaston's bribes him to help in his plan to blackmail Belle.
- The Baker (voiced by Alec Murphy) The owner of a bakery in Belle's home town.
- Plumette (voiced by Kimmy Robertson) A maid and Lumière's sweetheart, who has been turned into a feather duster. Plumette is known as Babette in the stage adaption of the film and the House of Mouse and Fifi in Belle's Magical World.
- Sultan (voiced by Frank Welker) the castle's pet dog turned into a footstool.
Songs[edit | edit source]
- "Belle":Template:Audio The opening song of the movie, Belle makes her way to the local bookshop and the whole village erupts into song, describing the oddness of Belle.
- "Belle Reprise":Template:Audio Sung by Belle after Gaston proposes to her, Belle repeats her plea of "wanting much more than this provincial life".
- "Be Our Guest":Template:Audio A luncheon cabaret of the castle's servants as crockery, flatware etc. entertaining Belle.
- "Gaston":Template:Audio LeFou (Gaston's sidekick) and the local drunkards sing Gaston's praises in a village tavern.
- "Something There":Template:Audio Sung by Belle and the Beast when they realise they have feelings for each other.
- "Beauty And The Beast (Tale As Old As Time)":Template:Audio Sung by Mrs. Potts whilst Belle and the Beast dance in the castle ballroom.
- "The Mob Song":Template:Audio Sung by the villagers on their way to the castle to kill the beast.
[edit | edit source]
- The Big Cartoon DataBase entry for Beauty and the Beast
- Disney's Beauty & the Beast: The Unofficial Pages - Site dedicated to the Disney animated feature. Contains extensive information on the film's characters, voices, animators and production background. Focuses on the pivotal role of Glen Keane (the supervising animator of the Beast) in the success of the film.
- Lyrics to the songs
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