#239: Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Got off track for a few days and skipped Papillon, hopefully temporarily. That one was too long for our fatigue to manage as of late, and Beauty and the Beast was ready to go.

When and how did I watch this?

September 1st, 2015, on a friend’s Plex account. Went crazy on carrot cake tonight.

Had I seen this film already?

No, much to the shock and dismay of many friends over the years.

What did I know about the movie before watching it?

I had a huge crush on a girl when the title song was making its way through adult contemporary charts and pop radio, so there’s a nostalgic attachment to the film.  I read a book about it (though it wasn’t based on the movie, per se), and I saw a production of it put on by a local high school drama group a few years ago. My wife also uses some of the music for her dance classes.  I’ve experienced just about everything surrounding the movie besides seeing the film itself.

What do I know about it now?

Superb animation and excellent musical score — made me miss hand-drawn stuff.  I had a mini-crush on Belle immediately. I used to think the supporting characters were obnoxious (without ever knowing why), but they’re really charming roles.  The dance and the death scenes made the movie work for me.

What are some themes in the film?

Love, commitment, jealousy, vanity, courage.

Did this affect me personally?

Indeed.  I wasn’t moved to tears, but it kind of tied together a gap in my childhood.  It’s a compelling story told in an efficient yet memorable manner.

Why is this ranked #239?

I think there’s a nostalgic element attached to this movie for some of the voters, if you conjecture the average age of who might be browsing IMDB. It’s hard to say it’s better than some of the films below it, but in terms of Disney hand-drawn animation films, it’s second only to the triumphant Lion King, which will be seen a few months from now, and that’s where it belongs.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She had seen it numerous times and was delighted I’d finally come around to enjoy it.  Of course, she loves the film.

Would I watch it again?

Yeah.  I was holding a restless baby, so there are probably little nuggets I missed, which every Disney animated feature contains within.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Since pretty much all of my friends have seen it, that seems unnecessary.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?


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