Beauty and the Beast (1991) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
416 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Be our guest
Smells_Like_Cheese24 November 2003
Beauty and the Beast is without a doubt one of Disney's finest classics. The first animated film to ever be nominated for best picture and after you see it, you could understand and agree with it's nomination. Beauty and the Beast is going to be one of those films that will always be remembered, I know that it's a movie that I will show my children one day. It has unbelievably terrific animation, a beautiful story, lovable characters, and is just over all a perfect movie. I really love this film so much, I don't think anyone couldn't fall in love with it.

Bell is just a simple girl in her town in France, she reads books constantly and her father is an inventor. They are sort of the outcasts of their town due to their "oddness". But Bell is being pursued by the town hunk, Gueston, simply because she's the one girl he cannot have. One day when her father's inventions are about to be displayed at the fair, he gets lost in the woods and stumbles across a castle and is held prisoner. Bell goes after him and comes to the castle; it turns out that her father is being held by a beast who is cursed with this hideousness unless he finds a true love before a rose he has welts. Bell trades places with her father; the house also has living objects, a candle holder, a clock, a tea pot, all who are also cursed until the curse is broken. They look at Bell as the perfect opportunity for the beast to find a true love, but he must learn to be a gentleman, but Bell brings out the best in him and it turns out that this might be a happy ending after all.

This was actually the first movie that I ever cried in, the ending was just so beautiful and heart felt, you'll have to see what I mean. The songs are just so lovely and perfect for the scenes that they are performed for. Beauty and the Beast, the song, was just one of the most touching songs ever. This films is a major recommendation for me, it's one of my favorite Disney films of all time, it's a timeless classic that is just perfect and reached a new level of great animation.

214 out of 239 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of my all-time favourite movies.
Victor Field2 January 2003
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.
195 out of 221 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of Disney's Best!
The_Orenda23 January 2005
Beauty and the Beast is an engaging movie with so much care and beauty fused into its core. Beauty is much more than just an influential animated classic. It is a grand and powerful fable, sugar coated with the best animation effort in a time where CGI was becoming a movie mainstay. In its finest moments, Beauty is a rousing musical, making your head move and getting caught up right in the mix. The score is unforgettable and the characters are so easy to get into. A movie that children and adults alike will love, Disney deserved its Academy Award nominations for creating such a joy.

Small town Belle longs for more than a local life, maintaining her imagination through books and taking care of her kind, yet eccentric father. But when their horse returns without papa, Belle sets out to find the awful truth in an enchanted castle.

You can see that so much time and care was spent in drawing this masterpiece. I cannot think of many other movies that show such meticulous background and animation. That such effort is woven effortlessly into its songs that make Beauty and the Beast the timeless classic Disney rightfully lauds itself over. 'Be Our Guest,' 'Beauty and the Beast,' 'Gaston,' you will be humming these songs at one point in your your life! Kudos to Disney for creating a charismatic, attractive villain in Gaston. He would not be a villain if he was not such a jerk. You must watch this movie at least once in your life, in a comfortable sofa and with the sound turned right up for the Broadway scores. You will enjoy it!
92 out of 106 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Transporting Experience
jhclues11 December 2001
Indeed, it's a tale as old as time, with a complex message that is as ageless as it is universal; but beneath all the layers it can be summed up very simply: love one another, and refrain from judging others who `seem' to be `different.' And leave it to Disney to present it in such a way that it can be embraced and understood by young and old alike as they have here, in one of their best animated features ever, `Beauty and the Beast,' directed by Gary Trousdale. When a young Prince fails the test of an enchantress disguised as an old hag, she transforms him into a hideous beast, as he is destined to remain until he opens his heart and learns how to love and be loved in return. And so that he'll know where he stands as time goes by, she gives him an enchanted rose, which will bloom until his twenty-first birthday, and he has only until the last petal falls from the flower to effect the change within himself that will be his salvation.

The beast, however, seems doomed, as he shuts himself away, alone in his castle, taking up a reclusive existence far from everyone and everything. Until, one day, a beautiful young woman named Belle shows up at his doorstep. Belle is searching for her inventor father, Maurice, who disappeared while taking one of his latest inventions to the fair; and his trail leads Belle to the castle of the Beast, where she discovers he is being held prisoner, having run afoul of the Beast by trespassing while lost during the night of his journey. Repulsed by the appearance of the Beast, Belle nevertheless strikes a bargain with him: If he will release her father, she will stay in his place. The Beast agrees, with the stipulation that she must remain with him forever. And as the Beast casts Belle's father from the castle and sends him on his way, Belle's fate seems sealed. The only hope now for either Belle or the Beast lies in the remote possibility that true love may somehow prevail before the last petal of the enchanted rose falls.

With the help of a richly textured screenplay (by Linda Woolverton) that invests the characters with a depth of humanity that is often lacking even in `non' animated films, and an Oscar winning score by Alan Menken, director Trousdale provides some real insights into human nature in this retelling of the familiar story of how true love can change even the darkest and coldest of hearts. There's magic in this film, which holds an enchantment of it's own, and the message is presented ever so subtly and with a sensitivity that draws you in gradually until you are so caught up in the story that you become immersed and totally involved without being consciously aware of it. It's a film that enfolds you and takes you where it will, and you go willingly. A beautifully rendered and realized film that successfully transcends it's genre, it is the first animated feature ever to be recognized and rewarded with an Oscar nomination for Best Movie (quite a feat in itself, as it received the nod over such films as `The Fisher King,' `Fried Green Tomatoes,' `Thelma and Louise' and John Singleton's `Boyz N the Hood' that year).

The talented cast supplying the voices of the characters includes Paige O'Hara (Belle), Robby Benson (The Beast), Richard White (Gaston), Jerry Orbach (Lumiere), David Ogden Stiers (Cogsworth), Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts), Bradley Pierce (Chip), Rex Everhart (Maurice), Jesse Corti (LeFou), Hal Smith (Phillipe), Jo Ann Worley (Wardrobe), Brian Cummings (Stove), Alvin Epstein (Bookseller) and Kimmy Robertson (Featherduster). There's a scene in this film that is so entrancing and so emotionally involving that it stands up against the best from any drama ever made: As Angela Lansbury (as Mrs. Potts) sings the Oscar winning title song, Belle begins to perceive the true nature of the man within the Beast; and it's no longer the cold-hearted Prince upon whom the enchantress cast her spell, because he has changed. And as they come together and the Beast takes Belle in his arms, sweeping her in dance across the elegant ballroom floor, it becomes one of those rare cinematic `moments' that are entirely transporting, and it does, indeed, take you away. It's a memorable scene that exemplifies the quality and craftsmanship of this film, as does the scene in which the Beast is at last transformed; that such emotion can be captured and expressed in an animated film is an exemplary accomplishment, and it's all a part of why `Beauty and the Beast' is one of Disney's all time greatest films.

One final note: Stay for the credits to hear Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's title song once again, this time performed by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson. Hypnotically beautiful, this version has a magic all it's own and makes the perfect ending to an enchanting experience. It's all a part of the magic of the movies. I rate this one 9/10.
82 out of 95 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
the story ever told
dys30 November 1999
a great movie story done with wondrous animation and lovely music. the pacing was perfect, the music blended extremely well with the action, and each character was developed charmingly. the contrast between the mean but insecure beast plays very well against the lovely but bright and secure belle. the animation was top notch: even now, after disney has had time to develop better computer animation techniques, it still has beautiful color and flow. except for pinocchio, I don't know any disney movie more lovely. It's a movie that appeals to children of all ages, especially adults : )

enough of the "technical stuff" let's get on to my emotional attachment to the movie.

I remember the first time I saw B&tB so vividly; I was completely enthralled by the movie that all I could do on the way home was smile and cry. I've seen it many, many times, yet the ballroom scene still gives me goose bumps. Angela Landsbury as Mrs. Potts sings the title song with so much feeling that every time I hear the song, I'm swept away back to that ballroom.

I was also moved by Belle's strength of self worth and generosity. She is a heroine I'd love girls to emulate. She knows what she wants, but yet is sensitive to others in trying to achieve that goal. She also learns to apologize and to forgive, no small task.

I've loved this movie from the start, and it has grown into an obsession. I collect everything I can now, and watch it when I need a lift. So I know my opinion is strongly biased : ) but I hope you get a chance to see this film and judge for yourself. I realize it is difficult to get access to the videos or laser discs (check out the spanish version cover imdb is using in B&tB's page) but it is well worth the search. The first time is most magical. I envy you.
125 out of 149 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Perfect mix of music and animation...a solid achievement...
Doylenf3 October 2002
I've not seen the newly added song sequence (Human Again) featured in the latest IMAX version so my comments are based entirely on the original theatrical and VHS release.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is Disney at its peak. From the stained glass window at the opening and the beautiful narration, the viewer is drawn into the story by the appealing music and clever lyrics ("Belle's Song") which gets the picture off to a bouncy start. The opening sequence showing Belle and the townspeople in song is masterfully handled and choreographed for maximum effect, setting the tone for the entire story.

The plot becomes thicker once Belle's father enters the castle grounds where the Beast resides. The castle interiors are brilliantly Baroque and the odd characters inhabiting the grounds are delightfully rendered by a perfect blending of art and voice talent. Cogsworth, Lumiere and Mrs. Potts are delightful creations, each with strong, consistent personalities. David Ogden Stiers, Jerry Orbach and Angela Lansbury cannot be praised enough for their contributions.

Two of the musical highlights are Orbach's dazzling job on "Be My Guest" (with French accent) and Angela's tender rendering of the title song, "Beauty and the Beast". Unforgettable movie moments. As Gaston, Richard White's robust baritone voice adds greatly to the effectiveness of his villainy.

It's no wonder the film was the first to receive recognition by the Academy with a Best Picture nomination. Outstanding in every department, including the end title song sung by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson in a more "modern" style.

Along with SNOW WHITE and SLEEPING BEAUTY, a top-notch fairy tale with its appeal evenly divided between adults and children--as well as the child in all of us.
87 out of 102 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The cream of Disney
marksul1 February 2005
This is a classic movie. We have breakthrough films like Snow White and Fantasia, and we have other greats like Aladdin and The Lion King, but this definitely tops them all. There is so much here that is missing in other Disney classics. This film has emotion, incredible music and animation, characters that you admire, laugh at, and despise. This movie is a fun ride from beginning to end. We can all relate with the suffering of the Beast (being an outsider), and we all know a Gaston in our lives. The way we can identify with the characters sucks us into the story. Don't miss this classic...the only animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
84 out of 99 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Monika-517 February 2000
Who can resist this beautiful story? I love the fact that even though Belle hated Beast at first, she saw underneath that he was a kind and gentle soul, and didn't care what he looked like on the outside! And what girl hasn't known a Gaston in their lives? I thought it was so great how he was put in his place! All the voiceovers are amazing, especially Robby Benson as Beast. Another Disney masterpiece.
56 out of 73 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Classy piece of animation
bob the moo27 March 2005
When an arrogant Prince turns away an old woman looking for shelter with only a rose for a gift, she warns him not to just take the surface appearance as being the all of a person; however he rejects her a second time – only for her to reveal herself as a beautiful enchantress. She casts a spell on him, turning him into a beast with the only hope of return being to fall in love with a woman and have her fall in love with him before the rose wilts and dies. Resembling a carpet stuffed with walnuts, the prince figures he has no chance and withdraws into his castle. When an elderly man wanders into the castle, the Beast holds him prisoner and only lets him go when his daughter, Belle, offers to replace him in the Beast's castle. With time running out, the Beast's staff hope that Belle will be the one to break the curse but the Beast cannot remember how.

Being quite a cynical, acerbic person I must admit that I prefer modern animated films that deliver lots of adult humour along with a good emotional story and often I struggle to enjoy films that take the more traditional Disney route. However with this film I was quite taken by how classy the whole affair was, with great effort being shown in every area from the animation, to the songs through to the emotionally involving story whose telling is touched with a nice sense of wonder throughout. The story doesn't really hit many bum notes (I thought Gaston's sidekick was a bit too obvious and half cooked) and it is interesting and enjoyable for the vast majority of the time. The story and comedy is aimed at both adults and children – but the stuff for kids is not basic pratfalls, nor is the adult material just a load of references or suggestive jokes. Instead the two are quite well blended with good physical comedy and plenty of wit. Again, it is the sense of spectacle and wonder that came through that I really appreciated.

The animation feels more impressive for the reliance on mostly traditional animation rather than computer effects – in fact the computer effects look a bit dated now, even if they do still produce the goods in some key scenes. Mainly it is the feeling that every frame has had a lot of effort and love put into it that makes the whole affair feel classy. The songs are also great and feature quite a few memorable songs that stick in the mind; meanwhile the choreography of these scenes is generally very imaginative (Be Our Guest was my favourite). The cast don't feature many big stars and perhaps this is good because the real people don't distract from their characters. That said, I thought that Benson, O'Hara, White and a few others were quite unremarkable even if they were good enough for the film. Orbach, Stiers, Lansbury and others provided comic work in the support characters and everything worked well.

Overall this is a really classy animated film that shows the effort and care put into it in many different regards. It does suffer a bit from cuteness and sentimentality but I didn't think this was a massive problem or something that was not to be expected from Disney and generally I really enjoyed the film and see it as one of the films that define Disney for people of my generation.
51 out of 66 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Beauty and the Beast
BenD255 August 2012
Only second to "The Little Mermaid" on my list of favorite Disney classics, I have been captivated by "Beauty" ever since seeing it in the movies in 1992 (I was 7). The film combines the best of Disney: stunning visuals, appealing characters, great music and a timeless story. The first thing you notice about B&B is the gorgeous artwork - the film opens with an eye-popping shot of a forest and remains a visual delight throughout its 90 minute run-time. B&B includes some of the best Disney songs as well, most notably "Belle", "Something There" and the title song. I own the soundtrack and the score is just as good ("The West Wing" and "Transformation" being my favorites). I also think Belle and the beast make a great couple. There's chemistry between them and their romance doesn't feel forced, but natural and genuine. I was very pleased with my 1993 LaserDisc so I was quite hesitant to obtain the blu ray, fearing it would ruin my enjoyment from the film (wasn't too familiar with the format just 2 years ago). Gladly, I was wrong and the film looks breathtaking in HD (although I do reduce the saturation, given the colors are a little too garish to my taste). Now we just have to wait for my other favorite Disney classic to arrive on Blu Ray, The Little Mermaid.
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Romantic Masterpiece: Disney's Greatest Film
FloatingOpera710 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Beauty and the Beast (1991): Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White, Rex Everhart, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Angela Lansbury, Jesse Corti, Bradley Pierce, Jo Anne Worley, Mary Kay Bergman, Kath Soucie Kimmy Robertson, Brian Cummings, Tony Jay, Alvin Epstein, Frank Welker, Scott Barnes, Bruce Adler, Jack Angel, Vanna Bonta....

Disney entered the 1990's with "Beauty and the Beast", by far their most unabashedly romantic film and for many viewers, their all-time greatest achievement. There is so much to admire and love about this terrific film which was adored by the critics and hailed as an instant classic at the time of its release in 1991. It was so loved that it became the first animated film ever to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. The 18th century French fairy-tale is given a twist to cater to a more modern audience A selfish and heartless prince (Robby Benson) falls victim to an enchantress' curse and is transformed into a beast. His castle is bewitched and even his domestics are turned into household objects such as candelabras, clocks, feather dusters, teacups and kitchen utensils. Only the love of a woman can redeem the prince and only when she sees past the monster and into his humanity can he become human again. Enter Belle (Paige 0'Hara)the beautiful single daughter of an old and eccentric inventor Maurice (Rex Everhart) who lives in a small town in rural France. Belle stands out from the other townsfolk in her fondness for books, her individuality and her intellect. Bored of provincial life, she longs for "adventure in the great wide somewhere". She's pursued by Gaston (Richard White) a hunky but vain, self-absorbed and wicked hunter who wants to marry Belle and make her his "trophy wife". When Maurice sets off to sell his new invention to a fair, he becomes lost in the woods and stumbles into the Beast's castle. Before long he becomes his prisoner. Belle comes to the rescue but in order to save her father she must replace him as the Beast's prisoner. What ensues is a "tale as old as time". Despite his monstrousness, Belle learns to see past all that and in time tames the Beast herself. Their relationship is based on respect for one another as human beings, exemplified when Beast saves Belle's life and she in turn saves his. But it's not long before the villagers discover the Beast's existence and Gaston leads a murderous mob to attack the castle. The late Broadway singer Jerry Orbach provides comic relief as Lumiere, an amorous French candelabra and David Ogden Stiers portrays the stuffy British clock Cogsworth. Broadway icon and British actress Angela Lansbury portrays the kindly voice of reason, Mrs. Potts and young Bradley Pierce portrays her son Chip. Jesse Corti plays Lefou, Gaston's awkward and goofy sidekick. These minor characters, purely there for comic relief and cuteness, not only entertains younger audiences but they are so wonderfully portrayed by the actor's voices that even adults can enjoy them. It is through voices that can act as well as sing (Paige O'Hara, Richard White, Jerry Orbach and Angela Lansbury are all Broadway singers) in harmony with a solid plot and superior animation that this film truly shines. Beauty and the Beast still ranks as Disney's all-time greatest after 16 years. In fact, Disney does not make films like this anymore, owing to the excess use of computer graphics which can often dominate the story itself. Shortly after the success of the film, a Broadway musical was made, one that is still enjoyed to this date. And this film contains many wonderful song numbers: "Belle" - a gossip song as the villagers follow Belle on her way to the bookstore, "Gaston" sung by Gaston and his drinking buddies in his honor, "Be Our Guest" as the enchanted castle's staff entertains Belle for dinner, "Something There" a duet sung by the leads as they begin to fall in love and the title song "Beauty and the Beast" sung by Mrs. Potts as the newfound friends waltz beneath an opulent chandelier. This romantic song was popularized when a young Celine Dion, not yet a major star, sang a duet with Peabo Bryson for the soundtrack. With its theme of beauty found within, a woman's courage and virtue rewarded, the movie is also a sort of women's empowerment film for girls. Belle, the first Disney princess of the 90's, is strong, resourceful and dares to be different. Far from being a damsel in distress, it is she who rescues the Beast from doom and fights the villain Gaston by firmly renouncing him as a lover. Brilliant music and songs by Alan Menken and a splendid cinematography that used stunning computer-graphic art for such scenes as the ballroom waltz, this film was ahead of its time and marked the beginning of the great Disney films of the 90's - Aladdin, Lion King, Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame and others, all which used special effects made of computer graphic art. For this film, animators drew inspiration from Romantic 19th century art(Fragonard and Bouche) and from Loire Valley castles. Animators also drew from Cocteau's 1946 live-action version. The look of this film, the attention to detail, is a real winner and it's a pity that Disney does not return to pure animation. For me, this is the zenith of Disney animation and a representation of classic Disney at its best in the 1990's. This is a wonderful film for both young and old and looks as great as it ever did, thanks to restorations as seen on the new DVD version, where you can enjoy seeing how the film was made and scenes that were never part of the original theatrical release. Enjoy this romantic classic today with a date or with the whole family.
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Disney, Why Can't You Make More Movies Like This!?
alex9793 October 2006
I still remember watching this movie when I was very little. I did not appreciate it as much then, but now because I am older, I can cherish this blessed masterpiece. The music in this movie is one of the best film scores ever and contains the catchiest Disney tunes. Who could ever forget the ever-popular ballroom scene? This movie, in my opinion was Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's best! I also think that this is the best Disney movie made after the great Walt Disney passed away.

I had the opportunity of seeing the Special Edition on IMAX. What an experience! The scenes were breathtaking to see on such a large screen. I even found the new song "Human Again" very entertaining.

It's such a shame that Disney hasn't made a movie like this since "Mulan". "Beauty and the Beast" will be forever remembered as the epitome of modern-day Disney movies (and should have won the Best Picture Oscar instead of "The Silence of the Lambs"). Bravo to Disney!
13 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Should have won best Picture
psycho8798512 March 2006
The first and possibly last animated movie to be nominated for best picture, and it should have won. This is an absolutely beautiful movie, and it makes me miss the art of hand drawn animation. Don't get me wrong Scilence of the Lambs was great movie and its really a tough choice but i think this one should have won. I hate to admit it but it brings a tear to my eye every time I watch it. If only Disney could get back to the likes of this film, and stop dicking around with the boring cgi movies. I hope someday we will see an animated movie win best picture, but sadly i think it will not happen, the only one in my opinion that came close was spirited away, and thats still no Beauty and the Beast.
36 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A beautiful cinematic achievement
andrewjkd20 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Beauty and the Beast tells the story of Belle, an unusual but beautiful girl, who goes in search of her inventor father and comes across a mysterious castle. She enters the castle in search of her father, to discover it is occupied by a beast. She becomes his prisoner. The beast is loveless and thankless, but she soon begins to fall in love with him, and he with her. The film's end is happy, satisfying, and inspiring, showing what the power of love can do.

Beauty and the Beast is a charming story of love and magic. It features lovely music. Songs like "Beauty and the Beast", "Be Our Guest", and "Belle" are catchy and fun to listen to. It features first-class characters: the quirky Belle; Gaston, the hateful attractive villain; the Beast, a character one can't help but feels sorry for; the enchanted objects - Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth, and Lumiere, characters that bring a lighthearted quality to the movie. Beauty and the Beast also features excellent executed animation. It isn't hard to tell all the talent, the sweat, and the heart that was put in this film. The ballroom sequence, and the sequence that shows when the beast becomes human are among the most outstanding animated sequences in recent cinema.

Beauty and the Beast is great in another aspect: it's ageless. Although it appears to be a children-oriented film, it doesn't take much for an adult to find it extraordinarily appealing. It's a fabulous film for the whole family to watch and enjoy.

When I first saw Beauty and the Beast, I fell in love with it. It's a beautiful tale, an engaging musical, and wonderful fable of romance. One of the greatest examples of traditional animation in recent years, it will go down in history with other beautiful Disney masterpieces, like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, and Cinderella.
9 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Disney's most beautiful movie and my all-time favorite
MissLadyLoki24 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I dunno about you, but this flick is without a doubt one of Disney's best and their most beautiful movies, which makes it my all-time favorite. The characters are very well-developed and have multiple dimensions to their personalities, not to mention particularly different to the typical Disney character. Belle's wanting to escape her life to see the world(which is the reason why, amongst other things, she is my all-time favorite Disney princess) and hate for Gaston, the best-looking guy in town, Gaston's vanity and lust for Belle's hand in marriage, and Beast's evolution in his hate for Belle to his love for her, which she experiences too, helped make this movie the beautiful masterpiece it is.

The music, which was by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, is without a doubt the some of the best music Disney has made. From the eerie, yet beautiful twinkling of the "Prologue", the introduction of Belle and Gaston's personalities and wants in "Belle", the the get-up-and-dance fun of the musical extravaganza "Be Our Guest", and the simply magnificent "Beauty and the Beast", amongst the other songs of the film, work together to push the story forward, express characters' inner-most thoughts and feelings, and are just plain entertaining. Menken's scores too were quite beautiful, especially the "Transformation" score, which conveys extremely well a range of emotions, from Beast's dying to the triumphant finale.

And what would this movie be without the animation? The sweeping of the camera to Belle and Beast dancing in the ballroom during "Beauty and the Beast", which gives me the chills every time, to the ominous darkness of Belle's trek into the forbidden West Wing, along side with the music, make it a treat for both the eyes and the ears.

All in all, the movie is a pure masterpiece in many ways and forms and it clearly deserved all the awards and nominations it received, including the nomination for the Best Picture Oscar. This is a movie all Disney fans should watch and I guarantee you'll enjoy it.
9 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Like its heroine, Beauty and the Beast steps out of the comfort zone and thus it succeeds magically in taking people off into their hearts and children within.
stefanbe17 December 2007
It has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword, but when this age-old phrase is converted to modern times, it translates to "the desktop is mightier than the pencil." There's no denying that the computer has become a tool used across the world, whether for political reasons, or for business or especially for educational purposes. Computers have also been adopted by the film industry to give their works of art a shinier feel and along with the visual effects wizards, the filmmakers who use these electronic devices the most are the animators. After a while, it was uncertain whether the cel-based animation used to create such classics like The Little Mermaid and Pinocchio would be completely dropped in favour of the quicker and slicker style. While studios like DreamWorks may have given up on them, the folks at the world's pioneering animation studio are still behind the pencil-and-paper animation that has enchanted families for generations. Looking back at one of their essential works, Beauty and the Beast brings back memories of not only nostalgia, but also warmth. Quite possibly the greatest love story ever told, this "tale as old as time" has always been told by bringing pen to paper. From its candle-lit beginnings by a French writer many years ago to the Disney animators who brought joys to people of all ages, Beauty and the Beast has always touched the heart.

The main part of what makes Beauty and the Beast such a brilliant film is the fact that the relationship between the two title characters doesn't feel artificial or one-dimensional, even though they're drawn on paper. Unlike other famous fairy tales, Beauty and the Beast feels quite realistic in its definition of love. The story breaks all conventions by not going the "love at first sight" route and letting the romance progress at a reasonable pace. Belle also proves to be the most interesting Disney heroine, as she doesn't fit the norm of typical princesses like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Unlike the aforementioned characters, Belle is not bland, but actually as a personality. She defines individuality and seeks to do more than just marry a prince. Her annoyance at Gaston is not only humorous, but also shows that her ideas of romance don't consist of "a rustic hunting lodge... my latest kill roasting on the fire... and my little wife, massaging my feet... while the little ones play on the floor with the dogs... we'll have six or seven," as Gaston puts it. The Beast is also a rather stubborn, but loving personality. Despite his tough exterior is a nice person at heart which Belle begins to realise the more into the relationship they enter.

Adding to the brilliance of the chemistry between Beauty and the Beast are the songs from Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman. Although both did terrific work on The Little Mermaid and their cult musical Little Shop of Horrors, the music in Beauty and the Beast stands as their best. The title theme song is quite possibly one of the most romantic songs ever written, combining beautiful lyrics with a very memorable melody. This song enhances the film's famous ballroom scene to ever impressive heights, already helped by the breathtaking animation in the sequence. "Beauty and the Beast" was not written as just a way to sell soundtracks and win Oscars. It adds another dimension to the characters as they continue to fall deeply in love with each other. It is both moving and deep. The other songs provided by the team also contribute wonderfully to the film, from a show-stopping Broadway number called "Be Our Guest" to the very funny ode to "Gaston." They're bursting with energy and humour made even more poignant by the fact they would feature the last lyrics written by Ashman (who had also already contributed some work to Aladdin). It's a brilliant way to end his career and the end credits homage him perfectly: "To our friend, Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful. Howard Ashman (1950-1991)"

Probably one of the most important ingredients that make Beauty and the Beast such a success is the startling animation. The animators at Disney did a terrific job at making everything absolutely perfect, from the character designs to the sets. Each character has their feel, whether comedic or dramatic, and the animators allow them to breath, seamlessly combining the actor's voice to the moving drawings. The sets are also worthy of mention, particularly the look of the Beast's castle. The Gothic castle is drawn and painted beautifully from top to behind, so much so you're forgetting you're watching an animated film. The film is bright and colourful, but also dark and dreary when necessary. As mentioned before, the ballroom sequence combines Menken and Ashman's music with the animation flawlessly, giving a completely magical feel to it. When computers are brought into the scene, it seams in perfectly, not feeling distracted in the least. Beauty and the Beast most certainly stands as Disney animation at its finest.

Some of the best animated films in the world have come from the Walt Disney studios and Beauty and the Beast is deservedly one of their crown jewels. At the film's release, it was honoured with an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, a rare feat for an animated film. It proves that like its heroine, Beauty and the Beast steps out of the comfort zone and thus it succeeds magically in taking people off into their hearts and children within.
9 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A classic fairy tale for everyone.
Chibi_Ice_Demon28 March 2007
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is one of the greatest Disney films to ever grace audiences. A personal favorite, the story of Beauty and her growing love for the Beast is one that people have enjoyed through the years, from the theater to Broadway.

I first saw Beauty and the Beast when I was a little girl, around the time that I watched the other Disney classics. And, like I did with the others, I fell in love. The stunning animation and soundtrack coupled with the captivating story kept me in my seat till the very end.

This movie is thrilling, with it's message of how love can happen even if the people in question aren't incredibly beautiful. Although the idea of the Beast changing to a prince doesn't sit well with me-- Beauty fell in love with the animal, not the man-- the film is a treasure from Disney.
9 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Chrissie10 April 1999
When I saw the first advertising for Beauty and the Beast -- a cardboard stand-up in a movie theater -- I nearly burst into tears. Just the ADVERTISEMENT was hauntingly beautiful, tapping into some deep human reality. Hasn't everyone, at some time, felt like a hideous beast hungry for someone to love us as we are and in doing so, transform us into something beautiful?

The film itself more than delivered. Belle was the first Disney heroine who wasn't either boy-crazy or a doormat/victim. She has brains, heart, and above all, character. The Beast's transformation from monster to hero is believable and poignant. In a world where possessiveness has become the norm (witness the selfish custody battles of birth parents tearing children from the only homes they've ever known), the Beast's heart-wrenching insistence that he had to let Belle leave because he loves her is a breath of fresh air.

The music is perfection, the animation astonishing. Together they raise filmmaking of any kind to new challenges. The ballroom scene is heartbreakingly beautiful.

If you've been in a coma for ten years or have some other excuse for never having seen this gem of a movie, correct that omission as soon as possible. And have a hankie nearby.
9 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The most beautiful love story ever told.
Lady_Targaryen22 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
'' The Beauty and The Beast'' is one of the greatest stories ever told and one of the best movies from Disney that I watched in my life. I always identified myself with Belle, the girl who does not belong the place where she is lives and also with a big taste of reading lots of books. Our story takes part in France in 18 century, and our main character Belle is the prettiest girl in the city she lives, being the object of the affection and interest of Gaston, an arrogant man that has the sympathy of the people of the region.(And also considered a big catch for the girls of the city)But Belle is not interested in him and always imagined her life different from the domestic life people always imagine for her.One day, Belle's father, an inventor, was going to sell one of his inventions and lost his ways, being attacked by wild animals and entering in a big dark mansion apparently without a owner. He stays there for a time, but soon the Beast comes up and attacks him,making him a prisoner in his castle.Belle stays worried and goes after her father in the mansion and there she sees the violent and awful beast who locked her father. She then makes a deal: Belle agrees to stay in the dark castle with the horrible beast in return to her father's freedom. But with the time, Belle is going to discover all the magic that is beyond the castle, including the talking objects and even a nice side that the Beast has.

This story is very inspiring and very beautiful! =)
10 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Best Disney movie of all questions asked
thatdisappoints3 April 2003
No other Disney movie in my oppinion, except for some of the classics from fifty years ago can compare to Beauty and the Beast. Disney hasn't made any good movies really in the past fifteen years except this. I recommend this movie to anyone who likes Disey, Musicals, or movies at all. It is a true classic!!!!!!!!!!
10 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One word=F-L-A-W-L-E-S-S!
TheLittleSongbird17 February 2009
This movie is without doubt the best animated movie of all time. The artistry was perfect. I was spellbound at the animated sequences to the songs "Be Our Guest" and "Beauty and the Beast" especially. The characters were very well drawn, and because of the dark and colourful backgrounds, the film looked beautiful. The songs are fantastic. Another movie with great songs is "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"(which has the best beginning to a Disney movie). In fact, all the Alan Menken scores are brilliant, with the exception of Home On The Range, which is one of the weaker Disney efforts. My personal favourites, were the songs I just mentioned, and "Gaston" was great fun too. The incidental music was the best in any Disney movie, and that is the same with the other Menken scores. The music in the transformation of the Beast was phenomenal, as well as the animation, and reminded me of the last movement of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, which is really frightening. Another Disney with great incidental music is "The Lion King". The story is quite simply one of the best love stories ever, and the characters are wonderful. Belle was voiced beautifully by Paige O'Hara, who has a beautiful singing voice. I love Belle, she is beautiful, clever and strong, and is one of the best Disney characters for those reasons. Gaston was made into a complex villain, and quite narcissistic(great idea Disney). When he was nasty he was quite frightening, and Richard White can really sing. Jerry Orbach and David Ogden Stiers were really entertaining as Lumiere and Cogsworth,(I just love how witty, elegant and debonair Lumiere is) and Angela Lansbury gives a brilliant rendition of the title song. The best voice over was that of the Beast, who was very frightening, and there were some parts that were truly sensitive. Why are some people fussed about him as a human? Remember, true beauty comes from within. In conclusion, an essential to your Disney collection with a very poignant ending. 10/10. Bethany Cox
15 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Best Disney Cartoon Movie Ever Made!
True_sherwindsa2 July 2008
Words fail me as I try to express my feelings about Beauty and the Beast, the best cartoon movie ever made! Praise is all that I can find for it and anything that I or any fan writes about it simply cannot do justice to this tour-de-force of top-class animation and elegant story-telling.

Beauty and the Beast marks one of the first and best uses of digital animation for the range of human emotions that it captures. Even today, there is no sequence as memorable as the ballroom sequence where Belle and the Beast dance to the strains of the title tune. Speaking of tunes, no mention of this movie's artistic merits is ever complete without a mention of the songs. The lyrics written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman are absolutely poetic (Tale as old as time/Song as old as rhyme) and the voicing of the songs by Angela Lansbury, Celine Dion, Peabo Bryson and others is simply incredible!The two best song sequences in the movie are 'Be My Guest' and 'Tale as old as time'.

The script is excellent taking the old but fairly well-known fable and developing it into something modern yet touching and poignant. The new innovations of the scriptwriters to the original story such as putting a feminist touch on Belle, the development of the relationship between Belle and the Beast, the talking cutlery are fully fleshed out and have been integrated into the pace, moving the story forward and never slowing it down.

The characters are sharply developed. Belle is a vibrant bookish girl who lives in a world of fairy tales, yet dearly loves her wacky but likable inventor father. Also it is worth mentioning that she is shown to have an individualistic bent of mind who sees the handsome but shallow Gaston for what he is and spurns his advances. She has the spunk to wear the type of clothes and act the way she wants unlike the other dumb village girls.At first she fears the Beast, but when he saves her she appreciates him and finds the prince within the Beast. She is intelligent, compassionate and has a mind of her own. She's also very outspoken and courageous as is evidenced by her opting to take her father's place in the Beast's castle and in her tirade of reason against the Beast when he rebukes her for putting herself into danger by trying to run away from the castle. With her strong personality, she makes a terrific role model for young girls everywhere. Long before Titanic, this was the first successful attempt at female empowerment. The Beast is a fierce ape-like creature whose short temper stems from his frustration at being unable to find true love. Gaston the narcissistic village champion who thinks that brawns are more important than brains is ridiculed by the movie and eventually exposed as its villain. Even minor supporting characters such as the clock, the lamp and the teapot are fleshed out and will enchant both kids and adults alike.

I actually started crying during the movie's finale when the Beast dies after the struggle with Gaston and my sorrow was turned into joy when the curse is broken and the Beast gets transformed into a handsome prince. The transformation effects are simply mind-blowing (for a cartoon movie!).

Some eighteen years after its release this movie only gets better with time. Cynics who normally dismiss cartoons and G-rated fare should see this movie and experience a change of heart. If this movie does not move them, then they should go admit themselves into a morgue!

My Grade:A+!
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Can Disney Make A Movie As Fantastic As Beauty And The Beast Again?
greenvolume_6563 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
wow,this is amazing,and one of the best Disney's movies.I believe Beauty and the beast,Pocahontas and The little mermaid are the peak of all of the Disney's great it shows love,humanity,abomination and so on. And the songs are just wonderful,specially "Beauty and the beast".when this movie was made I was just 2 years old,when I watched this movie I was only 10 and now I'm 18 but still count it as my favorite movie. and this is the best dialog of the movie: Cogsworth: Well Your Highness, I must say everything is going just swimmingly. I knew you had it in you, ha ha! Beast: I let her go. Cogsworth: Yes, yes, - You... what? How could you do that? Beast: I had to. Cogsworth: Yes, but, but... but... why? Beast: Because... I love her.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Funny, Frightening, and Powerful....Oscar Worthy In Every Way....You Too Will Fall Instantly Under The Spell Of This Beautiful Story
RavenFilmsAndReviews18 November 2005
This is Disney's greatest achievement. From the first shot of the castle right on to the end view of the stain glass window it is funny, frightening, and powerful. Every shot is even more enchanting and fantastic than the last. Walt Disney would be very proud of this film.

Howard Ashman and Alan Menken have done what most composers can only dream of. To create a "script" in every lyric and every note that is heard. This film is nothing short of spectacular.

Every voice is flawless. Robby Benson in particular reminds us all that you do not have to be in front of the camera to give off a believable and touching performance.

The film is Oscar worthy in every way. The viewer would be well advised to bring a box of tissues during some of the films more tender moments. The ballroom scene is an example of how seamless the animation really is. Other tearjerker moments include a fight between Belle and The Beast which ends with the Beast leaving the protection of his castle to rescue the one who could break the spell from a pack of savagely monstrous wolves, the transformation of a monster into a man, and a dedication to the late Howard Ashman. You too will fall instantly under the spell of this beautiful story. If there is ever anything you will miss out on don't let this movie be it.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The best of Disney
sandi_glendinning11 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers

Before approaching Beauty and the Beast it is worth mentioning that this is a movie which Disney himself had always intended to make before his death. The finished product I should imagine would fail to disappoint even he himself the most intimidating of perfectionists.

What separates this particular Disney offering from the usual litany of animated boy meets girl stories previously is the particularly deft and mature characterisation. We have always come to expect charming and technically leading animation from Disney, but the characters themselves are what sets this movie apart as a jewel in the studio's crown.

Belle is a truly contemporary and cerebral heroine, beset by a life that offers little to her aspiring imagination and intelligence. The small village in which she lives with her father seems to be a place in which she does not fit. She is looked upon as a crank because her passion is reading. Her father is viewed as insane because of his quirky inventions.

Beast is by far the most deep and complex Disney character to date. He is not a perfect prince, far from it- but rather a fallen man, and the product of his own misfortune. Filled with bitterness and cynicism, he exists in a damned world of his own creation and must endure the limbo that surrounds him as a result of his selfish choices in life. Pride has led to his great fall and hope has deserted him.

From the outside the viewer feels the plight of both of the lead characters and it is a joy to watch both characters come together, not in the usual Disney formula of a magic kiss, but a real relationship with real pitfalls and real emotional challenges.

We witness lonely bookworm Belle finding that books can not be judged by their cover, finding a true friend for the first time in her life, and ultimately true love. Beast's gradual redemption ensues and he discovers the error of his ways, and abandons his defences and even his sense of self in order to truly love Belle.

The music delights and the animation charms with a surrounding plethora of delightful supporting characters which appeal to both children and adults alike. Villain and all round sexist boor Gaston adds some comic relief and grotesque cave-man charm in his desire for Belle whom he views as another beautiful hunting trophy for the wall of his lodge.

The musical aspect of the movie is astoundingly well written and performed. Each song lends something unique to the movie as a whole without detracting or seeming unintuitive to the storyline.

One of the most charming things about this movie is that its French origins have not been eliminated by Disney, but incorporated into a colourful backdrop for a story that will stand the test of time.

This movie has so many personal high points for me that I wish I could mention them all. It contains one of the greatest pieces of animation I have ever seen in the Beast's transformation at the end of the film. Beast emerges from his seeming demise magically and changes to his staggeringly beautiful human form almost resembling Michaelangelo's David emerging from the marble. This ending is a fitting climax to a great work of both animation and storytelling.

In conclusion this is an unmissable slice of classic animation, served up so beautifully that future generations will keep coming back for more. Beauty and the Beast was well deserving of it's Best Picture nomination, for here at last is a Disney story which will stand the test of time and melt the heart of even the most cynical beast.

7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed