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  • Writer's pictureThe Screen Room

Beauty and the Beast (1991)


It’s funny how one thing leads onto another.

After all our chats about Disney films in the comments of my, The Lion King (1994) and The Jungle Book (2016) posts on Facebook last week, I felt a strong desire to watch my all time favourite animated Disney film yesterday.


Beauty and the Beast (1991)


As it happens I was off sick from work. I was convinced I had COVID, but after three negative tests over the past few days I’m happy to report that it’s just man-flu (which is far deadlier!)


If you somehow haven’t seen this classic, it’s a musical, fantasy romance based on the 1756 French fairytale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont.

It features the voice talents of Paige O'Hara (Enchanted), Robby Benson (Dragonheart: A New Beginning), Angela Lansbury (Bedknobs and Broomsticks), Jerry Orbach (Dirty Dancing) and David Ogden Stiers (M*A*S*H) among many others.


This is what it’s about in case you’ve been living on the moon:


An arrogant young prince (Benson) and his castle's servants fall under the spell of an enchantress who turns him into a hideous Beast until he learns to love and be loved in return. A spirited, headstrong village girl named Belle (O'Hara) enters the Beast's castle after he imprisons her father Maurice (Rex Everhart). With the help of his enchanted servants, including the matronly Mrs. Potts (Lansbury), Belle begins to draw the cold-hearted Beast out of his isolation.


I love this film sooo much!

Yes there’s a lot of nostalgia there for me but it’s just pure animated perfection from beginning to end!


Right from the opening credits you’re instantly enchanted by the beautiful score by Alan Menkel and the soothing narration by David Ogden Stiers (who also voices Cogsworth in the film). It’s like a warm blanket being draped over you. From that point on it’s 90 minutes of laughs, thrills, heart warming romance and brilliantly written songs like “Gaston”, “Be Our Guest” and the title song, “Beauty and the Beast (Tale as Old as Time)” sung by Angela Lansbury herself.



This film was made before autotune was invented and ruined music forever. That means, just like every other vocal performance prior to 1997, you’re hearing the singer’s real vocal performance on these songs.

If you’re unaware, autotune is a piece of software that automatically (or manually) tunes a singer’s vocal performance to make it sound perfect. When used in the right instances it can be a handy tool, but these days it’s over-used, not only on Disney movies but on just about every pop song you hear on the radio. If you’ve ever wondered why a singer’s voice sounds kind of robotic and unnatural…that’ll be autotune.


This was the first Disney animated movie I remember seeing digital animation in. If I remember rightly it’s on the ballroom scene where Beast and Belle are dancing. I vaguely remember it being used again in Aladdin during the magic carpet ride scene but it’s been a while since I last saw that film so I’d take that little nugget with a pinch of salt…

Who knew that within a few short years animation as we knew it would change forever with the arrival of Toy Story!


I’ve seen bits of the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast but I haven’t seen the whole thing. I’ve heard it’s pretty good but I can’t imagine it comes close to this one. Maybe I’m wrong…If I am, let me know.


If you’re not quite ready for Christmas films yet but fancy a film that’s great for the whole family (especially if you’ve got little ones), this movie is sure to give you that cosy, warm fuzzy feeling inside that might just get you in the mood in time for the big day...


Seen it? Let me know your thoughts.

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