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J-Kitty's Review of Beauty and the Beast

rated it: posted: Feb 27, 2009
Reviews: 188 | World Class Animation Critic
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Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite French Fairy tales. I am terribly in particular about stories from different countries.

Based upon Madame Le Prince de Beaumont's famous fairy tale (with a few twists here and there), this film is about a beautiful young peasant woman named Belle is considered strange by the villagers because her preference for reading books and dislike of being courted by the local hero, Gaston, who is an egomaniac and 'positively primeval'. At one point Gaston offers his hand in marriage to Belle,but she rejects and this serves a hard blow to Gaston's ego.

While traveling to a fair, Maurice who is Belle's father and an eccentric inventor , becomes lost and loses his horse Phillipe in the night as wolves chase him. Cold and tired, he stumbles upon a mysterious castle and enters it. One by one, the enchanted household items, Lumière the candelabra, Mrs. Potts the teapot and Cogsworth the clock and head of the household warmly welcome him and shelter him from the cold. But a horrifying Beast discovers Maurice and, in a fury, locks him in a dungeon on top of the castle tower. Belle, who worries when Phillipe, returns home without him, decides to seek out her father. Eventually, Belle winds up at the Beast's castle. She finds him at the tower dungeon and tries to break him free, but the Beast catches her instead. She offers herself in exchange for her father's life, against his wishes. The Beast agrees and releases her father. That's all I could tell you folks, you will have to see the film for yourself how it ends.

I love the film's prologue, told in stained glass windows, with David Ogden Stiers' (Cogsworth) narration. And I also love the scene where Belle asks if she can see her father and the magic mirror reveals that Maurice is lost and sick in the forest. The Beast, having fallen in love with Belle, releases her to rescue her father; even though his heart is breaking and he would give up his humanity.

I do love Belle, beside being a bookworm (just like me, my mom and my grandmother), she is strong-willed, and not a slave to petty superficial things - being a house-wife and raising children. She is also independent and allow herself to see inner beauty without sacrificing her own values. Belle is a perfect role-model for girls. Beauty and the Beast was also the first animated movie to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Movie of 1991, and had an equally successful adaptation for Broadway in 1994.

Overall I love this film - from beginning to end, and you know, it's kind of hard to choose which film version of the story is the best I would say this version; the French version made in 1946 and the 1987 "Canon Movie Tales" version are the best to me.

animated movie Beauty and the Beast © Disney
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Beauty and the Beast
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