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Beauty and the Beast is widely considered the best animated Disney feature of the studio's 1980s/1990s renewal of the form. Based on the classic ...Show synopsisBeauty and the Beast is widely considered the best animated Disney feature of the studio's 1980s/1990s renewal of the form. Based on the classic French fairy tale, it tells the story of Belle (voiced by Paige O'Hara), an intelligent young woman scorned by her townspeople for being a bookworm, weary of fighting off the advances of the arrogant Gaston (Richard White), and dreaming of escape. When her father gets lost in the woods and captured by the forbidding Beast (Robby Benson), a once-handsome prince turned into a monster by a witch, Belle goes off to rescue him. Taken with her, the Beast agrees to release Belle's father if she agrees to stay with him forever. Initially repulsed, Belle soon finds much to appreciate in the Beast's hidden, tender nature. The Beast's servants -- a clock (David Ogden Stiers), a teapot (Angela Lansbury), and a candlestick (Jerry Orbach) -- see Belle as their salvation: if the Beast and a woman fall in love before his 21st birthday, he will be free from the curse. The songs are first-class, the tale is told with sincerity but not sentimentality, and the characters of Belle and the Beast, complex individuals who defy stereotyping and change over the course of the story, are more three-dimensional than in most live-action movies. The eye-popping animation is beautifully rendered, and Beauty and the Beast certainly deserves its place amongst Disney's animated classics. In 2002, a special 89-minute edition of the film was released in IMAX theaters with the addition of a newly animated song, ""Human Again."" ~ Don Kaye, RoviHide synopsis
B&B is an excellent movie for several reasons--story, music and characters. Let's look at each. The Songs are consistently strong with Belle, Gaston, Be Our Guest, and Something There offering fast-paced catchy tunes--Gaston being quite humorous--as well as the lovely title song Beauty and the Beast. The Mob Song is probably the weakest song, but it still captures the mood of a dark and dangerous chaos. The story flows nicely and builds to an exciting climax during the fight between Gaston and the Beast. Belle is a strong female character, Gaston is an appropriate villain, just scary enough to hint at evil but vain enough to show us that he will fail when confronted with good. The Beast does a good job of showing children the problems of acting on impulse and wanting everything immediately. One must delay gratification and work for what you want. The secondary characters are great additions and carry the story forward with the subplots--the banter between the clock and the candlestick parallels the battle of personality between Belle and the Beast. The only weak character in the story is Belle's father--a one dimensional man--, who is only used as a vehicle for getting Belle to the castle and then getting her out of the castle again. It is nice to see that in this classic battle between good and evil the good side, Beast, is not completely good and must work hard to overcome the bad side within himself. There is also the battle of brains vs. brawn with Belle loving books while Gaston loves killing animals. Finally, how can one not love a movie where Love wins out, especially a love that is based on the inner and not the exterior aspects of the character. This is on of the 10 must own Disney films.
This new Disney classic is still as beautiful and moving as it was in 1992. The bonus features on the DVD are excellent. There is a new song on this edition, which is a lot of fun. The director's commentary give a great deal of information on the animation process in those days and the beginnings of computer animation.