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Monday, March 9, 2015

Movie Musical Challenge: Beauty and the Beast

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
In Movie Musical Challenge, I'm watching all 25 picks for AFI's Greatest musicals starting from the bottom.  Number 22 is the 1991 Disney film "Beauty and the Beast."  The only Disney film on the list!  When I first saw that this was the only one, I did puzzle over why this film above all of the Disney oeuvre made the cut. (I kinda think of The Lion King as semi-objectively the best Disney film)  I'm still not sure why, but it is one of the best, so I'm not complaining!  I was very happy to rewatch this film for the challenge!

As Quinn mentioned in her post about this film the prologue, where the narrator sets up what happened to the Prince to make him a Beast is gorgeous to watch -and such an interesting idea to include a prologue in a different style to set up the film.  From there, we get an opening song that is very much like a stage musical - because it introduces the main characters and tells a story with a lot of dialogue.  And it's very catchy - one of my top favorite songs from the film!

When it comes to the story, I went into this keeping in mind the original fairy tale.  And the additions and changes Disney made are wonderful.  As indeed I feel like I prefer most Disney-fied versions of fairy tales to the original.  But the humor in the enchanted furniture, dishes and knick knacks and the Beast as he tries to overcome his ferocious, jaded nature really adds so much charm to the story.  And having a strong despicable villain in Gaston also helped to add more suspense.  Gaston is the worst!  H's such an arrogant pig, and I just wish Belle was able to kick his ass a little bit!  I know she has it in her. :D

My favorite scene/song from this film has to be the title song and the scene in the ballroom.  Although I also really love the 'Something There' song and the sweetness of the scenes that go with it!  The ballroom though is so beautifully filmed/animated, and dancing is always such a romantic occupation - especially if you're in that ballroom!

Something new that I found when I rewatched this was that before I preferred the Prince in his beast form instead of his human one - somehow the human version didn't really match up to the character - but watching it now, I actually like the human version - not as much as the Beast, but I like him with Belle now.  Although I really think it would have been better if he had darker hair.  Anyways.

I love this film and watching it again has made me appreciate a lot more of the nuances I think.  In the touching moments between Belle and the Beast, in the terror Maurice must have felt to have lost his daughter and no one is willing to help him, in the true evil of Gaston who is so arrogant as to expect anything he wants to be delivered to him all the time, and in the humor, compassion and loyalty of the enchanted servants.

Just putting this here for fun (and THIS IS WHY I LOVE DISNEY!)

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