A Tale as old as time… These words couldn’t be any more true! 25 years since Beauty and the Beast was first screened and it’s still as popular. Most Disney fans will have BATB in their top 5, and some, like me would class it as their favourite of all time.
A beautiful love story which will always be relatable to society, no matter how old the tale may be. With social media being the “norm” today, judging someone by how they look is a very common mistake. SO the fantasy of someone beautiful falling in love with someone “not-so-beautiful” being brought to life, makes the fantasy seem possible in reality.
But apart from the moral behind the story, what else is it about BATB that makes it one of Disney’s best animated movie? I mean it was the first animated feature film to be nominated for Best Picture in the Golden Globes and The Academy Awards. This proves it wasn’t just the public that loved the movie, but it’s peers too.
First off, I definitely think the music has a huge part to play in why this film is so popular. Legendary writers Alan Menken and Howard Ashman wrote the music after winning the Academy award for The Little Mermaid, and also writing the music for Aladdin. The title song “Beauty and the Beast” one Best Song at the academy awards, along with Alan Mencken winning Best original score for the film as well. I used to have a cassette of the title song which had the Celine Dion and Peobo Bryson’s version.
My favourite song is the opening number “Belle”. Introducing the first main character and her home town with such a catchy song. You can’t help but try and do all the different voices: “Bonjour!” hehe. Meeting the towns people and the villain of the story also during the number, which is brilliant, I love Gaston!
Which brings me to the next point… Disney is known for creating memorable villains, more so than the heroes themselves. Gaston is no exception. He is the opposite to The Beast in almost every way, and yet you love him as a great character. Plus his song in the middle of the film is hilarious and so cleverly written!
The supporting characters also bring a lot of love and humour to the story, with the charming candlestick Lumiere, his obedient sidekick Clogsworth, and the caring Mrs Potts and her curious son Chip. There’s a nosey wardrobe, a French feather duster and a furry footstool as well, all part of the fun.
The ballroom sequence! This scene in which our two main characters are finally brought together through their affection for each other, that’s been growing for some time. It’s the most beautiful and romantic scene in the whole film, accompanied by Angela Lansbury’s performance of the title song “Beauty and the Beast”. Apparently Angela didn’t think the song was right for her, but the film makers asked her to perform anyway, and she did it in one take! She recently performed the song with Alan Mencken on Piano, in front of a live audience at a special screening of the film for the anniversary, which you can watch below:
Along with the ballroom scene, the film also gives us one of the most romantic kisses I’ve seen on the big screen. When I think of “the” kiss, I always think of the scene when Belle finally realises the man standing in front her is in fact The Beast, as human form. “It is you” she says, he stroked her hair and pulls her in for “THE” kiss! Ugh, so dreamy!
Magic is another key ingredient to what makes this Disney animated film one of the best. Between all the talking house-hold objects, and the red rose which holds the power to bring the characters back to human form. Disney classics are known for their magic, but BATB especially because along with MAGIC, there’s also LOVE, and the two together gives us a spectacular fairytale ending.
25 years is a long time, I mean so much has happened to my life in the last 25 years! I know in another 25 years, BATB will still be timeless. And we have the live action version coming out next spring, so we have that to look forward to as well. I really don’t think anyway can find fault with this Disney classic. It will always be my favourite, I will always sing the songs, and try and mimic the voices while repeating the lines.
Happy 25th anniversary Beauty and the Beast, you truly are a “Tale as old as Time”.