Beauty and Love

Beauty and the Beast (1991 film)

BATB redirects here. If you were looking for Back at the Barnyard, which is abbreviated as BATB, see here.
For other uses of Beauty and the Beast, see Beauty and the Beast (disambiguation).

Beauty and the Beast was a 1991 animated American family film. It is the thirtieth animated feature produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation. The film received its premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on November 13, 1991. This film, one of the best known of the Disney studio's films, is based on the well-known fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, about a beautiful woman kept in a castle by a horrific monster. It is the first and only full-length animated feature film to ever be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture (it lost to The Silence of the Lambs). Heightening the level of performance in the era known as the Disney Renaissance (1989-1999, beginning with The Little Mermaid and ending with Tarzan ), many animated films following its release have been influenced by its blending of traditional animation and computer generated imagery.

Beauty and the Beast ranked 7th on the American Film Institute's list of best animated films, #22 on the Institutes's list of best musicals, and #34 on its list of the best romantic American movies. On the list of the greatest songs from American movies, Beauty and the Beast ranked #62. The film was adapted into a Broadway musical of the same name, which ran from 1994 to 2007.

In 2002, Beauty and the Beast was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." In January of the same year, the film was reissued in IMAX format in a special edition edit including a new musical sequence. A two-disc Platinum Edition DVD release followed in October.

This film was rated G by the MPAA.


The movie was adapted to an animation screenplay by Linda Woolverton, based upon the version of Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont (uncredited in the English version of the film, but credited in the French version as writer of the novel). It was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, and the music was composed by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, both of whom had written the music and songs for Disney's The Little Mermaid. In interviews, Disney executives said they had felt that in recent years, but especially 1990 and 1991, American pop culture had been pockmarked by shallowness, the treatment of women as objects and items to be compared and ranked against each other, and that young men were being sent the message that the prettier a girl they marry or date, the more successful a man they are. Disney said that the moral associated with the film was that "in our looks-oriented society, looks are not everything."

It was a significant success at the box-office, with more than $145 million in domestic revenues alone and over $403 million in worldwide revenues. This high number of sales made it the third-most successful movie of 1991, surpassed only by summer blockbusters Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. It was also the most successful animated Disney film at the time and the first animated movie to reach $100 million at the domestic box-office.

Beauty and the Beast won two Academy Awards for Best Music, Original Score and Best Music, Song for Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's "Beauty and the Beast", sung in the film's most famous scene by Angela Lansbury, and at the end of the film by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson. Two other Menken and Ashman songs from the movie also nominated for Best Music, Song were "Belle" and "Be Our Guest", making it the first picture ever to receive three Academy Award nominations for Best Song, a feat that would be repeated by The Lion King, Dreamgirls, and Enchanted. Beauty and the Beast was also nominated for Best Sound and Best Picture. It is the only animated movie ever to be nominated for Best Picture.

There are also Disney versions of the story published and sold as storybooks and a comic book based on the film published by Disney Comics.

In 1995, a live-action children's series called Sing Me a Story with Belle started on syndication, running until 1999.

On November 11th, 1997, a midquel called Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas was released directly to videocassette. It was quickly followed by another midquel titled Belle's Magical World that was released on February 17th, 1998.


In the prologue, an old beggar woman arrives at the castle of a French prince. The woman asks for shelter from the cold, and in return, offers the young prince a rose. Repulsed by her appearance, the prince turns her away. The beggar warns him to not judge by appearances, but again the Prince turned her away. The woman then reveals that she is a beautiful enchantress, The Prince tried to apologize, but she saw there was no kindness in the Prince's heart. She conjures a powerful curse, transforming the young prince into a hideous beast, his servants into anthropomorphic household items, and the entire castle into a dark, forbidding place so that he will learn to not judge by appearances. The curse can only be broken if the Beast learns to love another and receives the other's love in return before the last petal of the enchantress's rose withers and falls; if not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for the rest of his life. As the years pass, the Beast sat in his castle wallowing in despair, convinced that no one would ever love a beast.

Years later, a beautiful young woman named Belle has moved to a nearby village. She is seen as strange due to her preference for reading books and dislike of being courted by the local hero, Gaston, whom she perceives as an egomaniac. At one point Gaston offers his hand in marriage to Belle, which she rejects. This serves a hard blow to Gaston's ego.

Maurice, Belle's father, is an eccentric inventor. While traveling to a fair Maurice becomes lost and loses his horse 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. The Beast discovers Maurice and, in a fury, locks him in a dungeon on top of the castle tower. Belle, who worries when her father's horse 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, throwing him in a spider-like stagecoach and ordering it to take him back to the village. He gives her permission to go anywhere in the castle except the West Wing, refusing to explain why. The Beast shows Belle her room and tells her that they must meet for dinner (at Lumiere's suggestion.) Belle later refuses to have dinner with the Beast, enraging him. He tells the servants that if Belle does not eat with him, she will have to starve. At that, the Beast storms off towards the West Wing. Ignoring the Beast's orders, the enchanted items welcome Belle warmly and entertain her with an elaborate dinner.

Back in the village, the citizens cheer up Gaston after Belle has rejected him. Maurice then bursts in and asks for help to rescue Belle from "a beast" but no one believes him. Gaston decides to force Belle to marry him by threatening to have her father thrown into the local madhouse. Maurice goes off to search for Belle, unaware of Gaston's plan.

After dinner, Belle asks the servants for a tour of the castle. Fooling Lumiere and Cogsworth into showing the library, Belle sneaks into the forbidden West Wing, discovering a slashed portrait with strangely familiar blue eyes, and the enchanted rose. The Beast catches her and loses his temper. Belle flees the castle and is chased by wolves. The Beast fights off the wolves; a grateful Belle returns to the castle and, while tending to the Beast's wounds, thanks him for saving her life. Over some time, the two start to become friends. The household items are excited and optimistic that Belle may fall in love with the Beast and cause them to become human again. The relationship reaches its climax with an elegant dinner and ballroom dance.

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. She finds Maurice and takes him back to the village, where a mob gathers to take him to the asylum. Gaston offers to have Maurice spared if Belle agrees to marry him but she still refuses. To prove that her father's claim of the Beast's existence is true, Belle uses the magic mirror to show the villagers an image of the Beast. The villagers become frightened as they realize that the Beast is real. Gaston rallies the villagers to storm the castle and "kill the beast," telling them that he is dangerous. To prevent Belle and Maurice from warning the Beast, they are locked in the house cellar.

With the help of Chip the teacup, Belle and Maurice escape from the cellar and rush back to the castle. The villagers force open the castle door and battle the servants. Gaston deserts the battle and finds the Beast alone in the West Wing and attacks him, throwing both of them outside on the balcony and rooftops. The Beast does not defend himself until Belle arrives. A heated battle ensues between Gaston and the Beast, culminating when Beast grabs his neck and threatens to drop him off the roof, but the Beast surprisingly relents. Instead, he tells Gaston to "Get out." and then throws him aside. when the Beast climbs back up to the balcony to greet belle, glad that she had returned, Gaston stabs the Beast in the back, only to lose his footing and fall off the high roof into the deep chasm below.

Belle tries to reassure the badly wounded Beast that everything will be fine, but he knows that his wound is fatal and believes he is about to die. Belle whispers in tears that she loves him, just before the last petal falls from the rose. He then is transformed to his human form--unrecognizable except for his blue eyes. When Belle and the prince kiss, the curse is broken, the castle becomes beautiful again and the enchanted objects turn back into humans. The last scene shows Belle and the prince happily dancing in the ballroom and they live happily ever after.

Divergence from the Beaumont Original

  • In the original, the servants are simply rendered invisible. In the film, they are turned into animated household objects.
  • Beauty's dreams, in which the Beast appears in his human form, are omitted from the film.
  • In the film, the Beast was cursed as a punishment from his having no love in his heart. In the original, it was after he refused to marry a cruel fairy.
  • Gaston was not in the original story.
  • Beauty's sisters, the villains in the original story, are omitted from the film.
  • The father was changed from a merchant to an inventor.

Voice cast

Actor Role(s)
Paige O'Hara Belle
Robby Benson Beast
Richard White Gaston
Jerry Orbach Lumière
Angela Lansbury Mrs. Potts
David Ogden Stiers Cogsworth
The Narrator
Bradley Pierce Chip
Jesse Corti LeFou
Rex Everhart Maurice
Hal Smith Philippe
Jo Anne Worley Wardrobe
Kimmy Robertson Featherduster
Frank Welker Footstool
Mary Kay Bergman/Kath Soucie Bimbettes
Tony Jay Monsieur D'Arque

Non English versions

In the Chinese dubs of Beauty and the Beast, the voice of the Beast is provided by Jackie Chan. He provided both the speaking and singing voices in these versions. In September 2007, CCTV6 (a Chinese movie channel) aired a version of Beauty and the Beast in which the singing voice is provided by Nicholas Tse Ting-Fung, proximately to make Beast sound younger. In the French version, the Beast's singing voice is provided by Charles Aznavour. Two Spanish versions exist, one in Mexican Spanish for the Latin American market, the other in Castilian Spanish for the European market; in the Mexican version, the voice of LeFou is provided by the same actor who played the role in English, Venezuelan-American voice actor Jesse Corti.


Crew Position
Directed by Gary Trousdale
Kirk Wise
Produced by Don Hahn
Executive Producer Howard Ashman
Screenplay by Linda Woolverton
Songs by Howard Ashman
Alan Menken
Original Score by Alan Menken
Associate Producer Sarah McArthur
Art Director Brian McEntee
Film Editor John Carnochan
Artistic Supervisors Roger Allers (Story supervisor)
Ed Ghertner (Layout supervisor)
Lisa Keene (Background supervisor)
Vera Lanpher (Clean-up supervisor)
Randy Fullmer (Effects supervisor)
Jim Hillin (Computer Graphics supervisor)
Supervising Animators James Baxter (Belle)
Glen Keane (Beast)
Andreas Deja (Gaston)
Ruben A. Aquino (Maurice)
Will Finn (Cogsworth)
Nik Ranieri (Lumiere)
David Pruiksma (Mrs Potts/Chip)
Russ Edmonds (Philippe)
Larry White (The wolves)
Chris Wahl (Lefou)
Production Manager Baker Bloodworth


Generally hailed by the majority of critics as one of the greatest animated films ever made, it is regarded by many as Disney's true return to classic animated filmmaking. Positive reviews came from nearly every direction, with Roger Ebert giving it four stars out of four stars and saying that "Beauty and the Beast reaches back to an older and healthier Hollywood tradition in which the best writers, musicians and filmmakers are gathered for a project on the assumption that a family audience deserves great entertainment, too." As of now it has received a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The visual effects have also been praised "stunning early use of computer animation", regarding the spectacular ballroom sequence in which Belle and the Beast dance around a 3-D ballroom.

Awards and accolades

Academy Awards

Award Recipient
Best Music, Original Score Alan Menken
Best Music, Original Song ("Beauty and the Beast") Alan Menken & Howard Ashman
Best Picture Don Hahn
Best Music, Original Song ("Belle") Alan Menken & Howard Ashman
Best Music, Original Song ("Be Our Guest") Alan Menken & Howard Ashman
Best Sound Terry Porter, Mel Metcalfe, David J. Hudson & Doc Kane

Golden Globes

Award Outcome
Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy Won
Best Original Score Won
Best Original Song (For "Beauty and the Beast") Won
Best Original Song (For "Be Our Guest") Nominated

  • Beauty and the Beast was the 1st animated feature to win a Golden Globe for Best Picture - Musical or Comedy. This feat was repeated only by The Lion King and Toy Story 2.

Grammy Awards

Award Outcome
Best Album for Children Won
Best Pop Performance by a Group or Duo With Vocal (For Beauty and the Beast) Won
Song of the Year (For Beauty and the Beast) Nominated
Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture Won
Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television (For Beauty and the Beast) Won
Best Song (For Beauty and the Beast) Nominated

Other Awards

Award Outcome
ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards: Most Performed Songs in a Motion Picture Won
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films: Best DVD Classic Film Release Won
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films: Best Music Won
Annie Awards: Best Animated Feature Won
BAFTA Awards: Best Original Film Score Nominated
BAFTA Awards: Best Special Effects Nominated
BMI Film and TV Awards: BMI Film Music Award Won
DVD Exclusive Awards: Best Overall New Extra Features, Library Release Won
DVD Exclusive Awards: Best Menu Design Nominated
Hugo Awards: Best Dramatic Presentation Nominated
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards: Best Animated Feature Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards: Best Animation Won
Motion Picture Sound Editors: Best Sound Editing, Animated Feature Won
National Board of Review: Special Award for Animation Won
Satellite Awards: Best Youth DVD Nominated
Young Artist Awards: Outstanding Family Entertainment of the Year Won


In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed its "Ten top Ten"—the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. Beauty and the Beast was acknowledged as the 7th best film in the animation genre. In previous lists, Beauty and the Beast also ranked #22 on the Institutes's list of best musicals and #34 on its list of the best romantic American movies. On the list of the greatest songs from American movies, Beauty and the Beast ranked #62.


  • "Belle" (Belle, Gaston, Chorus): The opening song of the movie, Belle makes her way to the local bookshop and the whole village erupts into song, describing how Belle is "different".
  • "Belle (Reprise)" (Belle): Sung by Belle after Gaston proposes to her, Belle repeats her plea of "wanting much more than this provincial life."
  • "Gaston" (Le Fou, Gaston, Chorus): Lefou (Gaston's sidekick) and the local drunkards sing Gaston's praises in a village tavern..
  • "Gaston (Reprise)" (Gaston, Le Fou, Chorus): After Maurice flees the Beast's castle, he enters the tavern pleading for help, only to be mocked by the townsfolk. It is here that Gaston thinks of the idea to blackmail Belle by sending her father to an asylum if she doesn't marry him.
  • "Be Our Guest" (Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, Chorus): A dinner cabaret of the castle's servants as crockery, flatware etc. entertaining Belle.
  • "Something There" (Belle, Beast, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth): Belle and the Beast begin to realize they have feelings for each other.
  • "Human Again" (Lumiere, Chip, Mrs. Potts, Mme. de la Grande Bouche, Cogsworth, Babette, Chorus): Sung by the castle's servants as they clean up the castle in preparation for the romantic dance they plan. Only in the Special Edition, and is also included on the Special Edition soundtrack.
  • "Beauty and the Beast" (Mrs. Potts): Sung by Mrs. Potts whilst Belle and the Beast dance in the castle ballroom.
  • "The Mob Song" (Gaston, Chorus): Sung by the villagers on their way to the castle to kill the beast.
  • "Beauty and the Beast (Reprise)" (Chorus): Sung by a choir as the movie ends.

All songs were the last complete works for a movie by Academy Award winner Howard Ashman. Ashman died eight months prior to the release of the film. There is a tribute to him at the end of the film:

"To our friend, Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice, and a beast his soul. We will be forever grateful. Howard Ashman 1950-1991"

On Classic Disney: 60 Years of Musical Magic, this includes Beauty and the Beast on the red disc, Be Our Guest, Something There, and Gaston on the blue disc, The Mob Song on the green disc, and Belle on the orange disc. And on Disney's Greatest Hits, this also includes Beauty and the Beast on the blue disc, Be Our Guest on the green disc, and Gaston on the red disc.


In the theatrical release, as Gaston plunged to his implied death and his face filled the screen, two frames showed skulls in his eyes. For the VHS and laserdisc release, these frames were altered to remove the skulls from his eyes. However, no such alteration was made for the DVD release. The Disney Company claims that the skulls determined Gaston's fate as fans were unsure whether he died or not at the end.


The film was shown at the New York Film Festival in September 1991. Because the animation was only about 70% complete, the film was shown as a "Work-In-Progress." Storyboards and pencil tests were used in place of the remaining 30%. In addition, parts of the film that were finished were "stepped-back" to previous versions of completion. This version of the film has been released on VHS, the September 1993 LaserDisc, and the October 8th, 2002, Platinum Edition DVD.


References in Disney Theme Parks

  • Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, can currently be seen daily in Disney's Hollywood Studios, at the Walt Disney World resort in Florida. The production opened on November 22, 1991.
  • A show featuring the film's characters appeared at Disneyland's Plaza Gardens stage from November 1991 through April 1992; it was succeeded by a popular, full-scale production on the California park's Videopolis Stage from April 11, 1992 to April 30, 1995.
  • A version of the Florida production, presented in French, opened at Disneyland Paris in April 1992 and closed sometime in 1996.
  • Storytelling with the character Belle and a feature narrator was offered at Disneyland from 1993 through fall, 2006, when it was replaced by the present storytelling stage show. A similar show also appears in "Fairytale Garden" in the Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World.
  • Characters Belle and The Beast greet guests in Disney parks around the world, and appear in the two productions of the Fantasmic! nighttime spectacle. Gaston, the Triplets, Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts and Chip occasionally appear at special events and shows.

Disney on Ice

  • Disney on Ice began its touring production of "Beauty and the Beast" in Fall 1992. The production went on worldwide tour from 1992 - 1997, and again from 2000 - 2004. The ice production featured a pre-recorded soundtrack with all the film's songs and character voices.
  • In 1999, a shortened version of the story was presented in the Disney On Ice production "100 Years of Magic", in 2002 in "Princess Classics", and in 2006 in "Princess Wishes". All three shows are currently on worldwide tour.


On Tuesday, April 18, 1994, a stage adaptation, also titled "Beauty and the Beast", premiered on Broadway at the Palace Theatre in New York City. The show transferred to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 11, 1999. The commercial (though not critical) success of the show led to productions in the West End, Toronto, and all over the world. The Broadway version, which ran for over a decade, received a Tony Award, and became the first of a whole line of Disney stage productions. Many celebrities starred in the Broadway production during its thirteen year run including Kerry Butler, Deborah Gibson, Toni Braxton, Andrea McArdle, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Christy Carlson Romano, Ashley Brown, and Anneliese van der Pol as Belle; Chuck Wagner, James Barbour, and Jeff McCarthy as the Beast; Meshach Taylor, Jacob Young, and John Tartaglia as Lumiere; and Marc Kudisch, Christopher Sieber, and Donny Osmond as Gaston. The show ended its Broadway run on July 29, 2007 after 46 previews and 5,464 performances.

Other releases

Home Video

The film was released to VHS and Laserdisc on October 30, 1992, as part of the Walt Disney Classics series. Some of the prints contained two different video trailers for Pinocchio (1940). It was released on March 27, 1993, but it was for a limited-time only for it was dropped in print after it was put on moratorium. A Walt Disney Platinum Edition released in 2002 after success in IMAX & other giant screen theaters. It is going to have another Platinum Edition in October 2010.

IMAX release

The film was restored and remastered for its January 1, 2002 re-release in IMAX theatres. For this version of the film, much of the animation was touched up, a new sequence set to the deleted song "Human Again" was inserted into the film's second act, and a new digital master from the original CAPS production files was used to make the high resolution IMAX film negative.

Special Edition DVD

Beauty and the Beast: Special Edition, as the enhanced version of the film is called, was released on a 2-Disc Platinum Edition Disney DVD on October 8, 2002. A Spanish version of the title song is accessible from the menu only if Spanish language is selected when first inserting the disc. The Special Edition also includes the deleted song "Human Again", which was first shown in the IMAX version. Beauty and the Beast 2-Disc Platinum Edition went to the Disney Vault on Jan. 2003 along with its sequel (Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas).

Video Games

See also


External links

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