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Beauty and the Beast

September 29, 1991 was the day that Beauty and the Beast released in theaters.  At the time it may have felt like a fluke, but over the years to come it would prove that the resurgence of Disney was a real phenomenon.  This is one of the most beloved movies in the Disney Canon.  It has spawned straight to video sequels, plays, restaurants, a cacophony of merchandise, and a live action film.  It was a story that Walt himself tried to convert into a film and abandoned.  This film was nominated for many academy awards including best picture.

The story is great.  There is another abduction type idea that goes on, but in general the storyline is full of heart and understanding.  There is a great love story as well as the man versus beast conflict.  Like many of the early Disney films this story is a classic, but is better told than pretty much everything before it.

The characters are fun.  Belle is lovable although can be quite the brat.  There is an onslaught of sidekicks that keep the comedy fresh.  Gaston is a great villain that you can understand his side even if you stand against him in principle. 

The animation is great.  There is lots of personality both in the characters as well as the background images.  We see some classic Disney Easter eggs start to pop up here.  The sign between Anaheim and Valencia is a great nod to Disneyland vs. Six Flags.  But the difference in moods between the lighthearted Belle scenes in the town to the dark and scary scenes with the wild wolves really encapsulates the power of the animation.

The music is another highlight here.  Great songs that accompany nearly every Disney best of play list, but this is the first time that the music really pushes the story along.  We meet Belle through song, we understand Gaston’s motives through song, and we even understand the romance storyline through song. 

I don’t think there is any denying that this is the best all around film in the canon up to this point.  There are silly and unbelievable parts.  Even a character, Monsieur D'Arque, who is overly evil and does little to make the film better.  But, aside from the small things this is a great film with great messaging.


Run Time – 84 Minutes

64th Academy Awards – 6 Nominations – 2 Wins

Best Picture – Nominated

Best Original Score – Won

                Best Original Song – “Be Our Guest” – Nominated

                Best Original Song – “Beauty and the Beast” – Won

                Best Original Song – “Belle” – Nominated

Best Sound –Nominated


Disney Animated Canon so far in order of Quality

1. Beauty and the Beast 9-29-1991

2. Lady and the Tramp 6-22-1955

3. Peter Pan 2-5-1953

4. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 3-11-1977

5. One Hundred and One Dalmatians 1-25-1961

6. Dumbo 10-23-1941

7. The Fox and the Hound 7-10-1981

8. Oliver and Company 11-18-1988

9. Cinderella 2-15-1950

10. The Little Mermaid 11-17-1989

11. Pinocchio 2-7-1940

12. Sleeping Beauty 1-29-1959

13. The Adventure of Ichabod and Mr. Toad 10-5-1949

14. The Jungle Book 10-18-1967

15. The Great Mouse Detective 7-2-1986

16. Robin Hood 11-8-1973

17. The Rescuers Down Under 11-16-1990

18. Make Mine Music 4-20-1946

19. Fun and Fancy Free 9-27-1947

20. The Aristocats 12-11-1970

21. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 12-21-1937

22. Saludos Amigos 8-24-1942

23. The Sword in the Stone 12-25-1963

24. The Rescuers 6-22-1977

25. Alice in Wonderland 7-26-1951

26. The Black Cauldron 7-24-1985

27. Melody Time 5-27-1948

28. Bambi 8-13-1942

29. Fantasia 11-13-1940

30. The Three Caballeros 12-21-1944




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