Wednesday, 10 March 2010

A Tale As Old As Time

Now that Pixar flicked has gone and rewritten history and whatnot Beauty and the Beast is not the only animated flick to earn a Picture nomination. It was a long time coming, and why waste words on the Oscars when I can celebrate an animated classic we all can enjoy? Just for arguments sake I would like to hear from someone who doesn’t like Beauty & the Beast. It’s become the quintessential Disney piece, it’s gone on to Broadway success and it’s spawned many (unfortunately) dubious sequels, prequels and franchises. Why? Because it’s that good.
Still, Beauty and the Beast is imperfect. There’s the (intentional?) error that says the Beast has been locked up for so many years and the spell breaks when he turns 21 which would mean he was a child when he turned away that Old Woman from his door. You have to be wondering where his parents are, but I suppose it points to my unprofessionalism that I let things like these go because sometimes things like these don’t matter. Sue me. I’ve always bean enamoured with this bit and Belle remains as the one of the premier characters that Disney has created. In fact, an argument could be made that Beauty & the Beast boasts Disney’s best ensemble. It is filled with nuanced characters, even the ostensible oaf Gaston is more than two-dimensional…pun intended. The role of parents (Mrs. Potts and Maurice), jealousy,'s all there and so well handled. But I don’t want to bore you with analysis. Let’s keep the thoughts on the good stuff…

…good stuff like the music. "Be Our Guest", "Belle", "Something There" and of course the lovely "Beauty & the Beast". The special edition hosts a new number "Human Again" which is just as lovely as the rest. I don’t think I can – or care to – review this classic. Why should I? I don’t think anything can be thrown in that needs to be since all has been said already. It’s as good as they come and with a whole lot of heart. It has a message, but it doesn’t overplay it and it is just so lovely to look at and listen to. No one does it like Disney, and even in Disney few did it as well as Beauty & the Beast


Luke said...

Ahhh! I saw the title of this and grinned with delight. I adore this movie... which you'll well know once my Top 100 countdown gets down to the final stretch. And even though I loved Up (and gave it top honors for the year) a part of me is bummed that my all-time favorite animated flick is no longer a distinctive entity for Oscar. :(

Kate Gabrielle said...

Probably my favorite animation! And I love that Belle is a bookworm - she's my favorite Disney princess! I wanted to be her when I was little.

By the way I love your comment message. That's exactly how I feel about comments on my own blog!

Mike Lippert said...

Well unfortunatly I can't say that I don't like this movie but I can say that I liked Cocteau's live action version better. Does that count for anything?

Walter L. Hollmann said...

looooove this movie, and it's my gf's favorite movie. since when it came out. she's a loyal one. :)

Alex in Movieland said...

One of the best, no doubt about it!

And what an incredible achievement to make it in the 5 BP line-up!!! cause we all know Up cheated :D

CrazyCris said...

You'll get no argument from me! ;o)

This is my favourite Disney movie after Sleeping Beauty (which probably placed higher due to having fallen in love with it as a child, those gorgeous tapestry visuals, a love of the historical period... and the "pink" vs "blue" duels! my verdict: BLUE!) :p

But yeah, I remember pondering all those years ago on the Prince's age... Doesn't Lumière say at one point in "Be our guest": "12 years we've been rusting, needing so much more than dusting"... so that would mean the prince would have been 9... one tiny "logic" flaw in an otherwise masterpiece!

Darren said...

I'm a Lion King man myself, but I love Beauty and the Beast. How come Disney can't make them like that anymore?

And I don't think it matters what age he was, that enchantress just seemed like a horrible person: she basically tricks people in order to punish them and sets a fairly sadistic punishment (as if she honestly believed he could earn true love) - she's like Disney's version of Jigsaw from Saw. I really don't think she woulda cared the guy was only a kid.

Castor said...

Definitely one of the most delightful Disney fare ever. Maybe my first and most beloved romantic movie? lol

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

luke i know you love this. i thought of you when i was writing this.

kate belle probably is the best for me too, next to ariel.

kate never saw the liveaction version.

walter she has good taste.

alex oooh. that'll placate me, top 5! :)

crazycris of course my favourite was blue too.

darren i love your reading on the enchantress. i am going to keep that in mind next time i watch.

castor it IS a great romance, better than many live-actions.