My Favorite Movies #12 – Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

1991

Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise

Quick synopsis… In this modern-day Disney animated classic set in 18th-century France, young Belle yearns to escape her ordinary existence — and her village’s boorish suitors — until she becomes imprisoned in the mansion of a hideous, coldhearted beast. Can Belle help the monster revive the man within?

  • Vastly superior to the live action remake that came out in 2017.
  • Come at me.
  • Even the simplicity of the opening sequence, told through stained glass windows, is epic.
  • As with all musicals, feel free to sing along.
  • ‘Cause I’m gonna.
  • It’s as if they intended for this story to be told on Broadway from the start.
  • Gaston sure knows how to impress the brainy girl in town.
  • Insult her for reading then toss her favorite book into the mud.
  • Oh, and then on top of all that, make fun of her dad to her face.
  • I’m gonna go ahead and add those ideas to my list of how to pick up women.
  • Belle laments her situation to her father… how she just doesn’t fit in with anyone in town.
  • “Belle, you know what you need? A big, ugly fella who lives in a scary castle!”
  • Maurice, Belle’s father, heads off to the fair with his firewood cutting invention and blames the horse when they take the wrong path and get attacked by wolves.
  • Dude, you’re the one holding the reins.
  • Maybe Gaston wasn’t so wrong to mock Maurice to Belle’s face after all.
  • But then, I guess if Maurice hadn’t gone the wrong way, we wouldn’t have a tale as old as time to tell, would we?
  • After being abandoned by the horse, he’s chased by wolves in a rainstorm and happens upon an enchanted castle.
  • Maurice meets a talking candelabra and clock.
  • Quite out of the every day, you know.
  • Uh oh… something is lurking in the shadows and it does not look like it takes kindly to strangers showing up unannounced.
  • I mean, if the prince wouldn’t give a helpless old lady a place to stay, what makes the anthropomorphized knick knacks think he’ll be cool with crazy, old Maurice?
  • The Beast just assumes he’s come to get a good look at the freak in the castle and throws him in a tower cell.
  • Why would the Beast think anyone would come looking for him?
  • Have there been stories around town about a Beast in a castle nearby?
  • Belle’s home alone, leaving her vulnerable to a predator.
  • I mean… leaving her vulnerable to Gaston surprising her with a marriage proposal.
  • He wins more points by propping his muddy boots up on the table and Belle’s open book.
  • She rejects him… obviously.
  • Who would accept that jerk’s proposal?
  • See, that’s why I’ve always like Belle the most of all the Disney Princesses.
  • My friend, Caitlyn (whose blog you can find here) recently asked about favorite Disney Princesses on her Instagram story.
  • I said Belle because she’s well-read and she isn’t concerned with appearances.
  • Once Gaston and his lackeys leave, Bell sings about how she wants more than this provincial life once more.
  • As she wraps up her signature song, Philippe (the horse) comes back home in a panic.
  • Belle disconnects him from the cart carrying Maurice’s invention and rides off to her father’s rescue.
  • When the talking candelabra and clock discover Belle at the castle door, they decide she’s the one who could break the spell.
  • They sneakily lead Belle to the tower where Maurice is being held.
  • Just as she finds her father, the Beast confronts her.
  • She agrees to take Maurice’s place, promising to stay in the castle forever.
  • The Beast drags Maurice without giving him a chance to say goodbye to Belle, ordering a spider-like carriage to take him back to the village.
  • On his way back up to the tower, Lumiere suggests that he offer Belle more comfortable accomodations.
  • He takes her to an actual bedroom and gives her permission to go anywhere in the castle.
  • …Except the west wing.
  • That’s where the president does all the work of running the government.
  • Oh… no… IT’S FORBIDDEN!
  • The Beast demands that Belle join him for dinner, rather than inviting her as Lumiere suggests.
  • Back in town, Gaston is pissed about being rejected.
  • So Lefou sings about all of Gaston’s great qualities to cheer him up.
  • Maurice runs into the pub raving about how the Beast has Belle locked up in his castle.
  • Of course, they all believe him and form a posse to go and save Belle.
  • Just kidding… they toss Maurice into the snow outside and make fun of him a little more.
  • But this gives Gaston an idea…
  • He can manipulate Belle into marrying him by using her father’s perceived senility.
  • Like all Disney Princesses, Belle has thrown herself onto the bed so she can have a good cry.
  • But that’s interrupted when Mrs. Potts and Chip come by to offer her some hot tea.
  • Along with the wardrobe, they try to cheer her up.
  • Then they rush off before Belle even takes the first sip of her tea.
  • What a waste.
  • The wardrobe offers to help Belle dress for dinner, but Belle insists she won’t be going.
  • Seconds later, Cogsworth comes by to escort her to the dining room.
  • Things move quickly in this castle.
  • Downstairs, the Beast paces in front of the fireplace while Lumiere and Mrs. Potts try to advise him on how to win Belle’s affections.
  • Overall, he needs to control that nasty temper of his.
  • Which he proceeds to completely lose when Cogsworth arrives without the girl.
  • The Beast rushes upstairs and pounds on Belle’s door.
  • The three main household items try to coach him on asking her politely to join him, which looks physically painful for him.
  • The animators brilliantly even raise the Beasts hackles as he says please through clenched jaws.
  • When she still refuses, he makes the declaration that if she doesn’t eat with him, she doesn’t eat at all.
  • In the west wing, the Beast utilizes his magic mirror to eavesdrop on Belle as she’s telling the wardrobe she wants nothing to do with him.
  • That no eating order is not followed by the servants.
  • As soon as Belle emerges with an empty stomach Lumiere puts on dinner and a show.
  • During “Be Our Guest,” a plot hole is kind of revealed, as Lumiere says, “10 years we’ve been rusting…”
  • This implies they’ve been under this enchantment for 10 years.
  • In the prologue, we’re told that the Enchantress’ magic rose would bloom until the Prince/Beast’s 21st birthday.
  • Does that mean he rejected the Enchantress as an 11-year-old prince?
  • Who puts a lifelong curse on an 11-year-old for being snotty?
  • Anyway, after dinner, Cogsworth and Lumiere take Belle on a tour of the castle, which goes awry once they point out where the west wing is.
  • Belle lets her curiosity get the better of her and sneaks away from the clock and the candles.
  • Fascinated by the floating rose under glass, she moves in for a closer look.
  • The Beast loses it again and screams at her to get out, though he immediately feels bad, knowing he just screwed things up.
  • So she leaves, breaking her promise to live there forever.
  • Riding off on Philippe’s back, she’s soon attacked by wolves.
  • But then she’s saved by the Beast who manages to fight off the pack, but passes out from the ordeal.
  • It’s here we discover that Belle is hiding some kind of super strength of her own because she somehow manages to get the Beast up on Philippe’s back before leading him back to the castle.
  • Belle tends to the Beast’s wounds.
  • She confronts him about his temper, but then thanks him for saving her life.
  • Back in town, Gaston and Lefou meet with a shady fellow from the asylum.
  • He wants to pay him to lock up Maurice unless Belle agrees to marry him.
  • Too bad by the time they get to the inventor’s house, Maurice has already set off to try and save Belle on his own.
  • The Beast is beginning to have feelings for Belle and wants to do something special for her.
  • He shows her his immense library, which is definitely the way to reach this woman’s heart.
  • This kicks off a montage of the two of them spending time together and basically falling in love.
  • Belle and the Beast have a quarantine date night.
  • By that, I mean they get all dressed up for dinner and dancing at home.
  • How many couples out there have done the same in the last few months?
  • The Beast is nearly ready to confess his love, asking Belle if she’s happy there with him.
  • She says yes… but her heart is still with her father.
  • He offers to let Belle see him through the magic mirror.
  • Unfortunately, it shows Maurice face down in the snow as he’s tried to get back to her on his own.
  • The Beast lets her go so she can rescue him, giving her the mirror so she can look back on him whenever she wants.
  • It breaks his heart, but he knew he had to release her.
  • None of the servants can believe what the Beast has done, as Belle was their last chance at becoming human again.
  • Chip sneaks into Belle’s things and follows her home.
  • It isn’t long before Belle and Maurice get back home that Gaston comes a-calling.
  • He’s got a mob led by Lefou claiming that Maurice is dangerously insane.
  • Belle uses the mirror to prove her father isn’t crazy, showing the villagers the Beast.
  • But that proves to be a mistake as Gaston can see she clearly has feelings for the Beast.
  • In his jealousy, Gaston whips the mob into a frenzy, leading them off to storm the castle.
  • Maurice and Belle are locked in their cellar, so Chip uses Maurice’s invention to hack his way through the cellar door.
  • When the villagers get to the castle, they break in the door and find all of the Beast’s servants in the vestibule looking like they’re ready for a garage sale.
  • Then the household items attack, driving away all but Gaston, who has sneaked away to take out the Beast.
  • Belle and Maurice rush back to the castle to save the Beast.
  • At first, the Beast is ready to just accept his fate and let Gaston kill him.
  • But when he sees that Belle has returned, he regains his will to live… and he fights back.
  • The Beast gets the upper hand and could easily drop Gaston to his death, but he pulls him back and commands him to leave instead.
  • Then he climbs up to the balcony where Belle is waiting for him.
  • Of course, Gaston seizes this opportunity to climb up behind the Beast and stab him in the back.
  • But then he loses his own footing and falls to his death.
  • Idiot.
  • Once again, we see Belle with the feats of strength as she grabs the Beast to save him from falling, too.
  • Just as the Beast breathes his last, she tells him she loves him.
  • And the final petal falls from the magic rose.
  • Suddenly, the rain becomes multicolored and the Beast begins to float.
  • …As he’s transformed back into a handsome prince.
  • And then Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts return to their human forms.
  • And they lived happily ever after…
  • After they went to Ikea to get new stuff for the castle as all the furnishings and utensils became humans.

What are your thoughts on Beauty and the Beast? Do you prefer the animated or live action version? I won’t hold it against you if you choose live action… it did make over a billion dollars. As long as we can all agree that Belle is the best of the princesses. Share your thoughts down in the comments!

Come back next week for something completely different! It’s a movie that many consider to be the best comic book movie ever made. Though, on my list, it won’t be considered my favorite.

2 thoughts on “My Favorite Movies #12 – Beauty and the Beast

  1. Pingback: My Top 100 Movies | The Confusing Middle

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