I find classic Disney movies one of those things you don’t really grow out of: like any true work of art you can enjoy it at any age for different reasons. Of course, not everything Disney comes up with fits the definition so join me on my judgment on
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Find it on: Amazon
What it is:
One of Disney’s princess movies. An animated story based on the French fairy tale, where a young girl displeased with her provincial life, trades her freedom for her father’s. She gets to live in an enchanted castle with the Beast and his magical reified servants and both she and the Beast learn to love one another for a happily ever after.
How I found it:
It wasn’t the first time I watched it but a podcast I heard recently reminded me of the movie and made me wonder if I would still be so disenchanted with it as I was when I rewatched it a few years ago.
No, I wasn’t. In fact, I greatly enjoyed the movie, it might be one of my favorite Disney princess stories (up there with Tangled and Little Mermaid).
Best things about it:
It has a lovely atmosphere. I particularly like the pretend “Frenchness” of it: the beautiful landscapes and how the songs allude to various kinds of French music.
Worst things about it:
The curse makes so little sense, the more you think about it, the less sense it makes. Why did the servants get turned at all? How many were there? Did they get turned based on their job descriptions or last names? What happened to the original brooms and closets? Wasn’t it extremely awkward to eat with live spoons that used to be your table maids? Did they all eat people or just the one turned into a chest? If so, who did they eat???
I’m normally not a fan of all the song interruptions in Disney movies but here they really work: I liked at least a half of these songs and the opening scene is quite brilliant. The story is enjoyable and does not meander into unnecessary places. Everything looks pretty great!
There are some problems with representation, especially when it comes to Le Fou and the asylum doctor: more sensitivity wouldn’t have hurt. To be fair, though – it was the 90s.
How it enriched my life:
It charmed me and trasnported me to a pleasant place.
We were watching the movie during our stay in Berlin and all the time we kept thinking: “Wish we were in France now.”
I will probably rewatch this movie some time in the future. I also plan on watching and rewatching some other Disney movies that somehow slipped through the cracks for me.
Girls who have dreams greater than marriage (but will settle for marriage, assuming it’s to a rich prince). People who like old-school, 2D animation. People who wish they were spending their holidays in Provence.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Next time: When Demons Walk