Beauty and the Beast (1991)

beauty and the beast poster 1991 movie
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great looking, great music, fun for all

How the heck did the villagers not know about the giant castle walking distance from their village?

Movie Info

Movie Name: Beauty and the Beast

Studio: Walt Disney Feature Animation

Genre(s): Animated/Musical

Release Date(s): November 22, 1991

MPAA Rating: G


Got to say Beast, you’ve got a nice pad

Belle is an odd girl.  Most of the other girls in her small village fawn over Gaston, but Belle would rather spend her time helping her father or reading books.  When her father becomes lost in the woods, Belle is forced to sacrifice herself to the hideous beast that holds him hostage.  For Beast, Belle might be what he needs to break the curse over him and his castle.  Can a beauty learn to love a beast and what will happen if the villagers learn of the danger that lurks in the forest.

Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, Beauty and the Beast became a massive success and helped spur Walt Disney on for years.  The movie broke records and became the first animated film to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture (losing to Silence of the Lambs…a slightly different picture).  It also was nominated for Score, Sound, and three of its songs (both Best Score and Best Song—Beauty and the Beast won).


One of the best “boom” shots in animation

After the success of The Little Mermaid, Disney was looking for a big hit.  Beauty and the Beast was what it needed.  The movie was one Disney’s first movies to incorporate computer animation with its traditional animation (the first was The Rescuers Down Under).  This animation allowed flawless transitions and movements that allowed animators to really give dimension and depth to the 2-D environment.  Scenes like the dance in the ballroom are so clean and sweeping that it is easy to forget that it isn’t completely computer animated.

The characters of Beauty and the Beast (for the most part) make sense.  After the popularity of sidekick characters grew with Sebastian and Flounder in The Little Mermaid, Disney really seemed to pump these funny characters into the movie more and more.  In some cases, like in The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, these sidekick characters made a lot of sense.  In other movies like Hercules or Tarzan, they just seem like more of a distraction and an easy laugh with one line zingers instead of adding anything valuable to the plot.


No one’s got a swell cleft in his chin like Gaston!

The movie is full of memorable music and that is part of the reason that it has stuck around.  The smart lyrics with catchy tunes made them easy for adults and kids to remember but without being annoying.  The music helped propel Beauty and the Beast to the stage 1994 and it ran on Broadway until 2007.

While the story is good, there are some things that always bugged me.  One thing is a little thing that Disney does all the time.  It unnecessarily puts in references that aren’t accurate to the time the story is supposed to take place…In this case, they reference the Eiffel Tower in France…which was built in 1889.  I know this is a little thing, but it wasn’t necessary to reference the Eiffel Tower, it could have just talked about something else.  The other thing that always bothered me is that the villagers knew nothing of the Beast or his massive castle, which was apparently within walking distance since all they needed was the magic mirror to guide them to the location…a quick walk at that.  I know these are trivial complaints, but with such a smart script it feels like they should have brainstormed and noticed this.


Be Our Guest and Come (and See Us Again)

Beauty and the Beast still is one of Disney’s best films.  It is bright, colorful and enjoyable for kids and adults.  You don’t feel stupid by watching it and many younger kids might enjoy seeing a movie they’ve never seen.  The movie had a spin-off film in 1997 called Beauty and the Beast:  The Enchanted Christmas, and after the success of The Lion King 3-D, Beauty and the Beast was being released in 2012 in 3-D.   In 2017, the movie received a live-action remake starring Emma Watson.  Beauty and the Beast is a classic…do not be ashamed to enjoy it.

Related Links:

Beauty and the Beast:  The Enchanted Christmas (1997)

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast (1946)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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