(detailed information about this entry from Wikipedia)
- For other uses, see Beauty and the Beast (disambiguation).
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 to theaters in November 22, 1991 by Buena Vista Pictures. The animated film is an adaptation of the well-known Beauty and the Beast fairy tale of 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).
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 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 and is likely to remain so with the introduction of the award for Best Animated Feature.
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 on 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 November 11, 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.
One cold winter's night, an old beggar woman stumbles up to a prince's castle. She begs the prince for shelter from the cold and offers a single rose to give him as payment. Being selfish and heartless, the prince refuses her simply because she is ugly. The old woman warns him that true beauty is within one's heart, not in one's appearance. After the prince refuses again, the woman reveals herself to be a beautiful, and powerful, enchantress and, as punishment to the cruel and selfish prince, she transforms him into a beast and unleashes a spell on the castle that transforms the servants into household items and the castle into a dark, forbidding place. The cherub statues even turn into gargoyle statues. This spell can only be broken if the Beast learns to love another and receives the other's love in return before the last petal of the enchantress's rose withers and falls, or else he will remain the Beast forever. As the years go by, The Beast falls into depression as he wonders who could ever love such a hideous monster. A magic mirror is the beast's only window to the outside world.
The main story starts ten years later. The "beauty" of the title is a girl called Belle who lives with her father, Maurice, in a small French village in Provence. Maurice is known for his Rube Goldberg-type inventions. Even though the townspeople note Belle's beauty, they consider her odd because of her passion for books (most women at the time were believed to have to be brainless, in a sense, as quoted by Gaston in the line "It's not right for a woman to read. Soon, she starts getting ideas and thinking..."). Her beauty has attracted the attentions of local hunter and the hero of the village, Gaston, but Belle considers him 'rude and conceited' and therefore ignores him.
One day, Maurice decides to take his latest invention to a fair outside the village. On the way, he becomes lost in the woods. When wolves chase him, his horse Phillipe bucks him off in fear. Maurice flees from the wolves and eventually comes to the Beast's castle. The servants of the castle welcome Maurice, but when the Beast discovers him, he rapidly loses his temper and has him locked up in a tower dungeon, accusing him of trespassing.
Back in the village, Gaston proposes to Belle. He explains to her that she is going to be his "little wife", have 6 or 7 "strapping boys, like me", to quote the character, and makes a number of other chauvinistic comments. After she throws him out and humiliates him in front of the entire village, she is astonished to find her father's horse without its master. She traces her father to the castle. Once there, she offers to take the place of her father as the Beast's prisoner; the Beast agrees and sends Maurice back.
The Beast, realizing that Belle could break the spell, allows her to have her own room and permits her to go anywhere in the castle she likes, except the West Wing - the Beast's quarters, where he keeps the enchantress' magical rose. However, when Belle turns down his 'invitation' to dinner, he rages to the servants that "if she doesn't eat with me, she doesn't eat at all!" Belle, still sad after seeing her father leave the castle, doesn't want anything to do with the Beast.
When Belle eventually leaves her room, the various household items, including Lumière the candlestick and Cogsworth the clock and head of the household, entertain their guest with a fancy French dinner and all the comforts a team of servants can provide. The household items are, of course, eager for Belle and the Beast to fall in love so that they can become human again. Unfortunately for them, Belle and the Beast don't get along very well, mostly due to his appalling temper and spoilt, selfish nature.
Back in the village, Gaston is sulking in the village tavern over his rejection by Belle earlier that day. His lackey, LeFou, rallys the villagers to cheer him up with the song "Gaston". Suddenly, Maurice bursts in and calls for help to save Belle from the Beast. He is ridiculed and thrown out. Gaston comes up with a plan to force Belle to marry him by threatening to throw her father into the asylum. Meanwhile, Maurice has decided that if nobody will help him, then he'll return to the Beast's castle alone. Shortly after he leaves, Gaston and LeFou come to the house with the men from the asylum. When they find that both Belle and Maurice are gone, Gaston makes LeFou wait by the front porch until they come back.
During a tour of the castle, Belle curiously enters the forbidden West Wing. The West Wing describes the Beast's rage and self-hatred with broken mirrors and a ripped-up picture of his human form. Entranced by the enchanted rose, Belle moves to take it, but the Beast returns and flies into a rage. She flees from the castle, only to come across more wolves in the forest. At the last moment, the Beast shows up and defends her, but is badly hurt in the fight. Grateful for him saving her life, Belle takes him back to his castle where they become friends.
Over the following months, the Beast becomes more human, showing more kindness as Belle sees a side of him she never saw before. He displays his kindness when he announces he wants to give her something special, acting on Lumière's astute suggestion to give her the castle's enormous library, which thrills her beyond belief. The improving realtionship reaches its climax with a fine dress dining engagement and ballroom dance while Mrs. Potts sings "Beauty and the Beast." He then takes her to the balcony where he manages to nervously ask her if she is happy staying in the castle with him. She readily agrees, but hesitantly tells him that her happiness would be complete if she could see her father once more, even for a moment. When he gives her his magic mirror that will show her anything she wishes to see, she asks to see her father. He is lost and sick in the forest, having been unable to find the castle again. The Beast, having fallen in love with her, does what he thinks is right and releases her to go rescue him. Belle finds her father and she takes Maurice back to their house in the village. Upon their arrival, a lynch mob arrives to take Maurice to the asylum. Gaston offers to clear up the 'misunderstanding' if Belle agrees to marry him, but she still refuses.
Eager to prove that her father's not crazy, Belle shows them an image of the Beast with the magic mirror and refers to him as her friend. When Gaston calls the Beast a monster, she accuses Gaston of being the monster. Gaston quickly convinces the villagers that the Beast is a threat and a menace to the community and leads the mob to the castle to pillage it, rallying with the cry "Kill the Beast!" Although most of the mob is fought and driven off by the enchanted artifacts of the castle, Gaston reaches the Beast and attacks him. The Beast, disheartened by the belief that Belle will never come back, doesn't fight back. Gaston is about to defeat him when Belle shows up, allowing the Beast to fight Gaston. However, as the Beast is about to finish him off, Gaston pleads that he will "do anything". These words strike a chord with the Beast, and the Beast realizes he can no longer find feeling in himself to kill. He releases Gaston and tells him to "Get out!" While the Beast and Belle are being reunited, Gaston stabs the Beast in the back with a dagger. Gaston then loses his footing on the roof and tumbles from the castle, taking the magic mirror with him (whether or not he is actually dead remains unknown). After Gaston is gone, Belle whispers to the dying Beast that she loves him, which breaks the spell. The gloomy castle becomes beautiful again, the enchanted artifacts of the castle turn back into people, and the Beast turns back into a handsome prince again.
The next day, a celebration ball is held. Lumière and Cogsworth try to let bygones be bygones, but they get into an argument over who knew first that Belle would break the spell. Maurice makes friends with Mrs. Potts, and with one last glance at the new stain-glass window, the film ends.
Spanish voice cast
- "Belle": 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": Sung by Belle after Gaston proposes to her, Belle repeats her plea of "wanting much more than this provincial life".
- "Be Our Guest": A luncheon cabaret of the castle's servants as crockery, flatware etc. entertaining Belle.
- "Gaston": LeFou (Gaston's sidekick) and the local drunkards sing Gaston's praises in a village tavern.
- "Gaston Reprise": After Maurice flees the Beast's castle, he enters the tavern pleading for help, only to be mocked by the townsfolk. It is here that Gaston thinks of the idea to blackmail Belle by sending her father to an asylum if she doesn't marry him.
- "Something There": Sung by Belle and the Beast when they realise they have feelings for each other.
- "Human Again": Sung by the castle's servants as they clean up the castle in preparation for the romantic dance they plan. Only in the Special Edition version of the DVD.
- "Beauty and the Beast": Sung by Mrs. Potts whilst Belle and the Beast dance in the castle ballroom.
- "The Mob Song": Sung by the villagers on their way to the castle to kill the beast.
The film was shown at the New York Film Festival in September 1991. Because the animation was only about 70% complete, the film was shown as a "Work-In-Progress" with storyboards and pencil tests filling out the remaining 30%. This version of the film proved so popular that it has been released on VHS, the September 1993 LaserDisc, and the October 8, 2002, Platinum Edition DVD.
Titles in different languages
- When Maurice is lost in the forest and comes to a group of faded signs, the bottom one says Anaheim. This is a reference to Anaheim, California, where Disneyland is located.
- Another sign, pointing towards a more unpleasant part of the forest, reads "Valencia", a reference to Valencia, California and home of Six Flags Magic Mountain
- In "The Mob Song", Gaston quotes Macbeth by William Shakespeare. "Screw your courage to the sticking place." (I, vii) Lady Macbeth's speech to Macbeth to tell him to kill Duncan.
- The mob's cries of "Kill the Beast" is, probably unintentionally, reminiscent of William Golding's Lord of the Flies. In both cases the people believe the "Beast" is evil, when it is they themselves who are really evil.
- The film was restored and remastered for its January 1, 2002 re-release in IMAX theatres. For this version of the film, much of the animation was touched up, a new sequence set to the deleted song "Human Again" was inserted into the film's second act, and a new digital master from the original CAPS production files was used to make the high resolution IMAX film negative. Beauty and the Beast: Special Edition, as the enhanced version of the film is called, was released on a 2-disc Platinum Edition Disney DVD in October 8, 2002.
- As with all of Disney's other films, the film has been translated into several different languages, the most notable being the French and Japanese versions. Only the French version, however, was included onto the DVD. A clip of the Japanese version can be seen on the Mulan special edition DVD, however.
- As Belle walks through the village she is the only character wearing blue. This emphasizes on how Belle is different from everyone surrounding her, and she stands apart from the rest. Later in the film she meets the Beast, another social outcast, who also is wearing blue.
- Belle is French for beautiful.
- Belle was modeled after actress Sherri Stoner. However, Belle's designers also based some of her appearance and attributes on earlier movie heroines. Belle's peasant dress was loosely based on Judy Garland's (Dorothy) attire from The Wizard of Oz 1939. Additionally, Belle was also inspired by Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music (1965). The scene where Belle runs to the hills singing ("Belle Reprise") is an homage to the opening scene of The Sound of Music.
- Gaston is one among few characters in modern Disney films to make chauvinistic comments about women. He calls Belle his "little wife", says that they will have six or seven "strapping boys" like himself and also says that it is inappropriate for women to read books.
- Gaston seems to have little regard himself for the value of literacy: he briefly examines Belle's book and then drops it into the mud, complaining that it has no pictures. (He holds it sideways to look at it, suggesting that the "picture" he's looking for might be an anachronistic Playboy-style centerfold illustration.)
- When Gaston places his feet on Belle's table, the mud coming off the boots strongly resembles Mickey Mouse's head, following the long standing Disney tradition of having "Hidden Mickeys" in their movies.
- Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film to win the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy. The only other animated films to win this honor were The Lion King and Toy Story 2.
- Beauty and the Beast is the last Disney movie where the entire main cast perform both their speaking parts and their singing parts.
- The final animation of Belle and the Prince (Human Beast) dancing in the restored ballroom is recycled from Sleeping Beauty.
- In the video game Kingdom Hearts, its sequels Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, and Kingdom Hearts II, Belle is one of the seven Princesses of Heart central to the game's plot. She is kidnapped when their world is destroyed by the Heartless, and the Beast, through sheer strength of will, follows her to Hollow Bastion, where Sora helps him defeat Maleficent and rescue Belle. In KH2, his world has been restored, but Xaldin, a member of Organization XIII, is manipulating Beast into forsaking Belle and his servants, in an attempt to turn him into a Heartless, so they can recruit the resulting Nobody that forms. All the voice actors for included characters reprise their roles with the exception of the late Jerry Orbach, who is replaced by Jeff Bennett as Lumière. Gaston is absent.
- A Nintendo Game Boy Color game was released due to the populartiy of the movie. It consisted of a mini-game featuring the characters of the movie. Some games were a wood-chopping game, featuring Maurice, "Beast's Battle," which recreates the scene where Beast fought the wolves, and Belle's ride, which puts Belle on Phillipe the horse to avoid potholes, wolves, logs, and bats.
- Angela Lansbury, who voiced Mrs. Potts, also recorded a version of the song Beauty and the Beast. This version was used during the actual film when Belle and the Beast dance. Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson's duet is played during the credits. However, at the Academy Awards, all three performed live on stage.
- The beginning portion of the song “Transformation” in the American original soundtrack, up to the point where magical stardusts begin to fall down from the sky, differs from the actual music used in the film, while foreign versions, including Korean, Japanese and French, match the actual film.
- For the later Broadway production, the feather duster was named "Babette" and the wardrobe was named "Madame de la Grande Bouche."
- Kevin and Kell briefly parodies Beauty and the Beast. When Martha Dewclaw (formerly Fennec) returns from the human world as still a human (rather than a red fox), she is distressed by what has happened to her appearance, and therefore considers herself ugly. She finds that only a gold-colored dress is left among her clothing; Ralph dresses up in clothing similar to what The Beast wears, and they dance in the foyer of their mansion to a parody of "Beauty and the Beast" on July 7, 2002, the joke being that in the anthropomorphic world of Kevin and Kell, the human Martha, subject of the song, would be the beast. Interestingly enough, Martha's development as a character is somewhat similar to that of the Beast; she is initially portrayed as selfish and arrogant, being reluctant to let Rudy date Fiona, uncaring that her mansion threatens the Dewclaws' treehouse, and dumping Ralph for having a daughter (even though she has one as well). During the course of the storyline, she makes ruthless business moves under the influence of her human personality, but comes to realize that her presence is causing instinct loss and leaves to end it. When she returns, by accident, as a fox once again, she is portrayed in a more positive light.