This one's a Must-see!

The enchanted characters observe as our two leads start to bond, meaning the curse might very soon break.

Miraculousl; Disney at its most wonderful

Yes, yes. I know that The Nostalgia Critic is currently doing what he calls Disneycember, but I don’t believe in the rule that once one Internet reviewer has reviewed a film, it is forbidden that another one reviews the same film. I think it’s silly, hence why I am also reviewing a Disney film. If you have a problem with that… okay.

This film is most definitely Disney at their finest. With movies like The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Lion King, Aladdin and of course Beauty & The Beast, I’d say that the 90’s was a pretty glorious decade for the company (yes, I actually like Pocahontas), even if that was when Pixar showed up and would eventually become much more beloved. Still, Beauty and The Beast, directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, as well as written by 12 different people, is one of Disney’s proudest moments.

Based, of course, on La Belle et la Bête by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, the movie tells us of someone who was once a spoiled, arrogant and mean prince, but when he infuriated a beautiful enchantress, disguised as a hideous old woman, he and everything in his castle was cursed as punishment for his mean tendency to judge people by their appearance. Some objects come to life, servants are transformed into living furniture and he himself becomes a grotesque Beast, voiced by Robby Benson. The curse will be broken if someone falls in love with him, but he refuses to believe someon could actually love a beast.

The ‘Beauty’ of the title is Belle (Paige O’Hara). She lives in a small, unidentified (but seemingly French) town where everyone agrees she’s the most beautiful thing ever, but still view her as weird because of the bizarre experiments her loony inventor father Maurice (Rex Everhart) conducts all the time. One day, however, Maurice builds an invention he believes to be his key to fame, so he takes it into the woods on his way to a market, but gets lost and ends up in the castle of the Beast. Belle soon goes searching for him. Arriving at the castle, she finds her father imprisoned and begs that the Beast lets him go and keep her in his stead. The Beast agrees and keeps Belle in the castle. The two are on very bad terms at first, but as soon as the Beast realizes he has feelings for her, he begins to develop inner beauty and learn its true value.

The enchanting, beautiful ballroom scene. Who could ever forget this part?

Meanwhile, Maurice alerts the townsfolk of the Beast, but they refuse to believe him as they still think he is a loon. The strong and handsome Gaston (Richard Wise), who is obsessively in love with Belle, decides that he shall have Maurice put in an asylum, unless Belle agrees to marry him. Gaston is a despicable and evil person, although his looks indicate that he is a good guy. Did I mention this film is about understanding inner beauty?

Villainous Gaston, going after the Beast after learning of Belle's feelings for him.

The supporting characters are all fun. The castle is inhabited by a rebellious candlestick named Lumiere (Jerry Orbach), a loyal and obedient clock named Cogsworth (narrator David Ogden Stiers), a kind teapot named Mrs. Potts (Angela Lansbury), her teacup son Chip (Bradley Michael Pierce) and many more. Gaston’s dim-witted sidekick LeFou (Jesse Corti) and his three blonde, gorgeous fansgirls are also fun. Voice-acting legend Tony Jay is also in the film, providing the voice of the sinister Monsieur D’Arque, the asylum owner who does not hesitate to agree on Gaston’s evil plan. Jay’s amazing performance is what made Disney cast him as the evil Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame a few years later.

There is indeed a good reason Beauty And The Beast was the first animated movie to get nominated the for Oscar for Best Picture; one of the year’s (1991) most miraculously good films it certainly is. Like most Disney-films, the strongest parts are not just the great story and the superb animation but the music and songs, created in this case by legends Alan Menken and Howard Ashman.

At this point everything has been said about the theme song, “Beauty and The Beast” which has since the film’s release been sung by the likes of Celine Dion, but I actually don’t intend to talk about that one. The track that has always stood out to me is the tune from the film’s intro, which reminds me in a way of the music in a very good episode of The Twilight Zone called Walking Distance. It is fitting because Walking Distance was about nostalgia and longing to return to your wonderful childhood, which is exactly what I feel when hearing that beautiful intro music: nostalgia. Everytime I heard it as I child I knew that I was about to witness a great and adventurous film.

The sinister Mr. D'Arque.

Of course the rest of the film’s music is wonderful, as well. If you’re wondering, I am one of those opposed to adding the “Human Again”-song for the re-release, but everything else is first-rate. “Belle”, “Be Our Guest”, the underrated “Mob Song”; it’s all positively delightful.

Beauty & The Beast is a glamoursly made film with spectacularly pretty animation, endearing characters, magnificent music and an engaging, beautiful story with a good message, especially for the young, learning audience. I encourage parents to make this film a gift for their young ones this Christmas. I’ve seen the DVD and Blu-ray in quite a few stores.

Again, I hope the fact that I’m merely writing my thoughts on a Disney-movie doesn’t make you think I am stealing an idea from The Nostalgia Critic, but I trust you aren’t that dumb.

5/5 whatever.

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