Beauty and the Beast (1991)

This entry is part 2 of 14 in the series Disney Princesses

Beauty and the Beast

A review by C J Dee

Belle is a sweet and imaginative girl tired of her life in a ‘poor provincial town’. Beast is a self-centered prince whose castle has been enchanted until he can overcome his selfish ways. To break the spell Beast must learn to love another and earn their love in return. When Belle agrees to stay in the castle so her father will be freed, Beast attempts to win her affections with the help of his servants. Can she learn to love a beast?

I may be biased

Beauty and the Beast is hands down, no contest, without a doubt, my favourite Disney movie. I remember seeing it in the cinema for the first time as a young’n and being transfixed by the idea of a castle where all of the people are every day objects. As an adult the concept is still transfixing.

Sidekicks or stars?

Lumiere, Cogsworth and Mrs Potts are three of the best sidekicks in any movie. They bring comedy, logic and heart respectively to a film that could have been very dark without their varying personalities brightening it.

Gaston is everything that little girls should dislike. He’s a misogynistic, bigoted, unimaginative oaf and he is almost as despicable as all the wicked queens and evil fairies in Disney’s rogue gallery. Which makes him a fantastic villain.

I know I’ve said this on every review throughout the Disney Princess Film Festival 2014 but … if you can revisit Beauty and the Beast on the big screen, on the small screen, on DVD, through digital download, or picture book, I can’t recommend it enough. Be their guest and put their service to the test.

Overall thoughts from the Disney Princess Film Festival 2014:

Beauty and the Beast marks the end of the Disney Princess Film Festival 2014.

Over the past five weeks, I have walked once upon a dream with Sleeping Beauty; painted with the colours of the wind alongside Pocahontas; been part of The Little Mermaid’s world; waited with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for her prince to come; and experienced Beauty and the Beast’s tale as old as time.

To say the past five weeks have been magical would be understating the overall experience. I have revisited movies I loved as a child and, while maintaining that love for them, I have found humour in looking at them from an adult perspective. That’s not to say I haven’t watched them as an adult, just that watching a film in the cinema — particularly one that you have seen often — lends itself to a certain degree of analysis that isn’t found in your home where other distractions abound.

The best example I can provide of this humour was the climax of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs when [spoiler alert on a 77 year old movie] Snow’s prince kisses her and she awakens from a death-like sleep. I was enthralled and enchanted when the beautiful princess awoke to true love’s first kiss. Then the part of me that has watched a lot of The Walking Dead recently piped up with ‘Snow is pretty darn lucky her prince wasn’t a zombie movie fan’.

The wrap

Overall the experience was fun, nostalgic and one that Disney fans throughout the world should experience. I will absolutely be keeping an eye out for the Disney Princess Film Festival 2015. Don’t let me down, Mickey!

Movie details

Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5
Director:
Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Starring: Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Angela Lansbury
Other notable appearances: Richard White, Rex Everhart, Bradley Pierce
Running time: 84 minutes
Watch this if you liked: Aladdin, Tangled, The Little Mermaid 

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