Beauty and the Beast (1991)

G | 84-85 mins | 22 November 1991

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HISTORY

The film begins with voice-over narration by David Ogden Stiers, recounting how the “Beast” was once a spoiled, young prince who turned away a “beautiful enchantress” disguised as a beggar woman in need of shelter. According to the enchantress’s spell, the Beast was required to fall in love with someone, and win her love in return, before his twenty-first birthday, or he would remain a Beast forever.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files state the story of Beauty and the Beast originated in Greek mythology, with the first written account by Giovanni Straparola dating back to 1550. Walt Disney’s interest in producing an animated feature film based on the story was announced in a 25 Apr 1954 NYT news brief. The picture was expected to cost over $5 million and take four years to complete. The project went dormant, however, until the early 1980s, when a 3 Aug 1982 HR news item reported that Carroll Ballard was on board to direct what seems to have been anticipated as a live-action production. Ballard did not stay with the project and received no onscreen credit.
       In 1989, Beauty and the Beast went into pre-production, and was set to become Disney’s thirtieth feature-length animated film. A 17 Aug 1991 LAT item cited the budget as $15 million. Ten weeks of development took place in London, England, and the Loire valley in France, where producer Don Hahn traveled with several artists and animators.
       According to a 6 Oct 2010 LAT article, in Dec 1989, a year’s worth of development was scrapped when the decision was made ... More Less

The film begins with voice-over narration by David Ogden Stiers, recounting how the “Beast” was once a spoiled, young prince who turned away a “beautiful enchantress” disguised as a beggar woman in need of shelter. According to the enchantress’s spell, the Beast was required to fall in love with someone, and win her love in return, before his twenty-first birthday, or he would remain a Beast forever.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files state the story of Beauty and the Beast originated in Greek mythology, with the first written account by Giovanni Straparola dating back to 1550. Walt Disney’s interest in producing an animated feature film based on the story was announced in a 25 Apr 1954 NYT news brief. The picture was expected to cost over $5 million and take four years to complete. The project went dormant, however, until the early 1980s, when a 3 Aug 1982 HR news item reported that Carroll Ballard was on board to direct what seems to have been anticipated as a live-action production. Ballard did not stay with the project and received no onscreen credit.
       In 1989, Beauty and the Beast went into pre-production, and was set to become Disney’s thirtieth feature-length animated film. A 17 Aug 1991 LAT item cited the budget as $15 million. Ten weeks of development took place in London, England, and the Loire valley in France, where producer Don Hahn traveled with several artists and animators.
       According to a 6 Oct 2010 LAT article, in Dec 1989, a year’s worth of development was scrapped when the decision was made to turn Beauty and the Beast into a musical. Screenwriter Linda Woolverton, who had been recruited by Disney in 1987, attributed the shift to the recent successful release of The Little Mermaid (1989, see entry). She also credited Howard Ashman, whom she referred to as a “creative genius” in the 15 Nov 1991 LAT, with helping her start over. Woolverton had originally been hired to write the non-musical version with help from Richard Purdrum. However, Purdrum was not credited in the final film. As stated in a 19 Jan 1992 LAT article, Woolverton took inspiration for the character “Belle,” intended to be a feminist and “woman of the ‘90s,” from Katharine Hepburn’s portrayal of “Jo March” in Little Women (1933, see entry). For the Beast, supervising animator Glen Keane incorporated “the mane of a lion, the beard and head structure of a buffalo, the tusks and nose bridge of a wild boar, the heavily muscled brow of a gorilla, the legs and tail of a wolf and the big and bulky body of a bear.”
       The 14 Aug 1990 HR production chart announced principal animation began 1 Jul 1990 in Los Angeles, CA.
       A 10 Feb 1993 LAT article noted that a directional signpost encountered by Belle’s father, “Maurice,” in rural France points to the towns of “Newhall,” “Valencia,” and “Anaheim.” The American town names, legible only in freeze frame, were “inside jokes” referring to Valencia, CA, where numerous Disney animators attended school at the California Institute of the Arts; Newhall, CA, where Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch is located; and Anaheim, CA, home of Disneyland.
       An unfinished version, with roughly thirty percent still in pencil test or story reel form, was shown on 29 Sep 1991 at Alice Tully Hall as part of the New York Film Festival (NYFF), making it the first animated Disney film to be included in NYFF’s program. The screening received a standing ovation, as noted in a 13 Oct 1991 LAT item, and inspired another showing, for AMPAS members, at Disney’s newly restored El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on 19 Oct 1991. In Jan 1992, after the mid-Nov 1991 theatrical release, the work-in-progress version was shown again at Glen Glenn Sound Studios, to raise money for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). According to a 25 Oct 1991 HR item, the final version was first shown on 24 Oct 1991 at ShowEast in Atlantic City, NJ, where exhibitors had an “overwhelmingly favorable” reaction.
       The film was a critical and box-office success, taking in $345.3 million worldwide in its original theatrical release, surpassing Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989, see entry) to become Disney’s highest grossing film in first-run release, and The Little Mermaid to become the highest grossing animated film in first release, as noted in 21 Apr 1992 LAT and 13 Jan 1992 DV items. The 6 Oct 2010 LAT listed the cumulative worldwide box-office gross, including subsequent releases, at $403 million.
       The home video version set records, as stated in 3 Dec 1992 DV and 12 Oct 1993 WSJ news items, becoming the best-selling home video release of all time with over 14.2 million copies sold, and the highest-selling international home video release, with over 10 million copies shipped overseas – two million more than previous record holder, Disney’s Cinderella (1950, see entry).
       Beauty and the Beast marked the first animated film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. The song “Beauty And The Beast,” with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman, won an Academy Award for Music (Original Song), and the score won an Academy Award for Music (Original Score). The film was also nominated for the Academy Award for Sound, and received Music (Original Song) nominations for the Menken/Ashman songs, “Be Our Guest” and “Belle.” The film was ranked #34 on AFI’s 2002 100 Years… 100 Passions list; #22 on AFI’s 2006 Greatest Movie Musicals list; #7 on AFI’s Top Ten Animated Films list; and the song “Beauty And The Beast” was ranked #62 on AFI’s 2004 100 Years…100 Songs list.
       Painted animation cels, based on scenes from the computer-animated film, fetched $1.25 million at a Sotheby’s auction, as reported in a 19 Oct 1992 NYT news item. The cel that brought in the highest bid, at $44,000, was painted by Disney artist Ron Dias, and depicted a ballroom scene with Belle and the Beast that did not appear in the film.
       As reported in the 5 May 1993 LAT, a stage production based on the film was set to debut at the Houston Music Hall in Houston, TX, in time for Christmas 1993, and would mark the first time Disney adapted an animated musical into “a full-fledged ‘legit’ production.” A 24 Feb 1994 WSJ article later reported the musical received “nightly standing ovations” during a six-week run. It went on to debut on Broadway on 18 Apr 1994 at the Palace Theatre. A 16 Sep 1996 Var item later reported the musical traveled to Los Angeles’s Shubert Theater, where it grossed over $56 million in seventeen months, making it the Shubert’s highest-grossing show to that time.
       A home video sequel, titled Beauty and the Beast: Christmas Belle, was produced by Walt Disney Animation’s Canadian arm. According to a 22 Apr 1996 LAT brief, the sequel was set for a Christmas 1997 release.
       An IMAX version of the film with an added sequence featuring the song “Human Again” – written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman for the original film but never animated – was set for a Mar 2002 release, as announced in a 15 Feb 2001 LAT item. Two months later, an 11 Apr 2001 LAT item reported the release date had been moved up to 1 Jan 2002. A 17 Jan 2012 LAT item noted the IMAX version grossed $23.5 million in its opening weekend.
       Disney sued French producer Proserpine and distributor Societe de Transactions Audiovisuelles (STA) for releasing a video titled La belle et la bête (French for “Beauty and the Beast”) before Disney was allowed to release its home video in France. A 29 Jun 1993 HR item noted the French companies were found guilty of “unfair competition and parasitism” and ordered to pay Disney 300,000 francs, the equivalent to $60,000 at that time. Disney had previously brought an unfair competition lawsuit against GoodTimes Home Video for releasing a home video collection of three animated short films under the title Beauty and the Beast, with a cover featuring a character said to resemble Belle, but who did not appear in any of the short films. The outcome of the lawsuit could not be determined as of the writing of this Note.
       End credits include “Special thanks” to the Los Angeles Zoo and Vance Gerry, and the following dedication: “To our friend, Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful. Howard Ashman 1950-1991.” Ashman died of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) related causes on 14 Mar 1991. He had recently completed songwriting work on Beauty and the Beast and Disney’s subsequent animated feature, Aladdin (1992, see entry). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 Jan 1992.
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Daily Variety
15 Jan 1992.
---
Daily Variety
30 Oct 1992.
---
Daily Variety
3 Dec 1992
p. 1, 17.
Daily Variety
26 Jan 2012.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Aug 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Oct 1991
p. 3, 83.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Nov 1991
p. 9, 13.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 1992
p. 4, 17.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Mar 1993
p. 4, 32.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jun 1993
Section I, p. 4, 8.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Apr 2001.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 Aug 1991
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
13 Oct 1991
Calendar, p. 23.
Los Angeles Times
15 Nov 1991
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
19 Jan 1992
Calendar, p. 38.
Los Angeles Times
21 Apr 1992
Calendar, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
10 Feb 1993
Metro, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
5 May 1993
Calendar, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
22 Apr 1996
Calendar, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
15 Feb 2001
Calendar, p. 58.
Los Angeles Times
11 Apr 2001
Calendar, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
6 Oct 2010
Calendar, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
17 Jan 2012
Calendar, p. 4.
New York Times
25 Apr 1954.
---
New York Times
13 Nov 1991
Section III, p. 17.
New York Times
19 Oct 1992
Section C, p. 16.
Variety
30 Sep 1991.
---
Variety
11 Nov 1991
p. 53.
Variety
16 Sep 1996.
---
WSJ
12 Oct 1993
Section B, p. 5.
WSJ
24 Feb 1994
Section B, p. 1.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Walt Disney Pictures presents
In association with Silver Screen Partners IV
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Prod mgr
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
Anim scr
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
MUSIC
Songs by
Songs by
Orig score by
Songs produced by
Songs produced by
Songs arr by
Songs arr by
Songs and score orch
Addl score orch
Vocal arr and mus cond by
Supv mus ed
Mus ed
Songs rec and mixed by
at BMG Recording, New York
Score rec and mixed by
at Evergreen and Sony Studios
Orch contractors, New York
Orch contractors, Los Angeles
SOUND
Assoc ed, backgrounds
Sd eff
Sd eff
Spec sd eff
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Addl sd eff by
Foley by
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley artist
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Dubbing rec
PDL
ADR mixer
ADR mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Opt supv
Opt consultant
Opt cam
Titles and opticals by
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Asst to the prod
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod secy
Florida prod secy
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
New York casting assoc
ANIMATION
Story, artistic supervisor
Layout, artistic supervisor
Background, artistic supervisor
Cleanup, artistic supervisor
Visual effects, artistic supervisor
Computer graphics images, artistic supervisor
Story
Story
Story
Story
Story
Supv anim, Belle, character anim
Anim, Belle, character anim
Anim, Belle, character anim
Anim, Belle, character anim
Anim, Belle, character anim
Anim, Belle, character anim
Anim, Belle, character anim
Florida supv anim, Belle, character anim
Supv anim, Beast, character anim
Anim, Beast, character anim
Anim, Beast, character anim
Anim, Beast, character anim
Anim, Beast, character anim
Anim, Beast, character anim
Anim, Beast, character anim
Supv anim, Gaston, character anim
Anim, Gaston, character anim
Anim, Gaston, character anim
Anim, Gaston, character anim
Anim, Gaston, character anim
Anim, Gaston, character anim
Supv anim, Lumiere, character anim
Anim, Lumiere, character anim
Anim, Lumiere, character anim
Anim, Lumiere, character anim
Supv anim, Cogsworth, character anim
Anim, Cogsworth, character anim
Anim, Cogsworth, character anim
Supv anim, Mrs. Potts and Chip, character anim
Anim, Mrs. Potts and Chip, character anim
Anim, Mrs. Potts and Chip, character anim
Supv anim, Maurice, character anim
Anim, Maurice, character anim
Anim, Maurice, character anim
Anim, Maurice, character anim
Supv anim, Lefou, character anim
Anim, Lefou, character anim
Anim, Lefou, character anim
Supv anim, Philippe, character anim
Anim, wolves, character anim
Anim, Wardrobe, character anim
Anim asst
Anim asst
Anim asst
Anim asst
Anim asst
Anim asst
Anim asst
Rough inbetweener
Rough inbetweener
Rough inbetweener
Rough inbetweener
Supv char lead, Belle, clean-up anim
Key asst, Belle, clean-up anim
Key asst, Belle, clean-up anim
Key asst, Belle, clean-up anim
Key asst, Belle, clean-up anim
Key asst, Belle, clean-up anim
Key asst, Belle, clean-up anim
Key asst, Belle, clean-up anim
Key asst, Belle, clean-up anim
Key asst, Belle, clean-up anim
Key asst, Belle, clean-up anim
Key asst, Belle, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Belle, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Belle, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Belle, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Belle, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Belle, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Belle, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Belle, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Belle, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Belle, clean-up anim
Breakdown, Belle, clean-up anim
Breakdown, Belle, clean-up anim
Breakdown, Belle, clean-up anim
Breakdown, Belle, clean-up anim
Inbetweener, Belle, clean-up anim
Inbetweener, Belle, clean-up anim
Supv char lead, Beast, clean-up anim
Key asst, Beast, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Beast, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Beast, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Beast, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Beast, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Beast, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Beast, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Beast, clean-up anim
Breakdown, Beast, clean-up anim
Breakdown, Beast, clean-up anim
Breakdown, Beast, clean-up anim
Inbetweener, Beast, clean-up anim
Inbetweener, Beast, clean-up anim
Inbetweener, Beast, clean-up anim
Inbetweener, Beast, clean-up anim
Supv char lead, Gaston, clean-up anim
Key asst, Gaston, clean-up anim
Key asst, Gaston, clean-up anim
Key asst, Gaston, clean-up anim
Key asst, Gaston, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Gaston, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Gaston, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Gaston, clean-up anim
Breakdown, Gaston, clean-up anim
Breakdown, Gaston, clean-up anim
Inbetweener, Gaston, clean-up anim
Inbetweener, Gaston, clean-up anim
Inbetweener, Gaston, clean-up anim
Inbetweener, Gaston, clean-up anim
Inbetweener, Gaston, clean-up anim
Char lead, Lumiere, clean-up anim
Key asst, Lumiere, clean-up anim
Key asst, Lumiere, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Lumiere, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Lumiere, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Lumiere, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Lumiere, clean-up anim
Breakdown, Lumiere, clean-up anim
Breakdown, Lumiere, clean-up anim
Inbetweener, Lumiere, clean-up anim
Supv char lead, Cogsworth, clean-up anim
Key asst, Cogsworth, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Cogsworth, clean-up anim
Breakdown, Cogsworth, clean-up anim
Breakdown, Cogsworth, clean-up anim
Inbetweener, Cogsworth, clean-up anim
Char lead, Mrs. Potts, clean-up anim
Key asst, Mrs. Potts, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Mrs. Potts, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Mrs. Potts, clean-up anim
Supv char lead, Maurice, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Maurice, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Maurice, clean-up anim
Breakdown, Maurice, clean-up anim
Breakdown, Maurice, clean-up anim
Char lead, Lefou, clean-up anim
Key asst, Lefou, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Lefou, clean-up anim
Asst anim, Lefou, clean-up anim
Supv char lead, Philippe, clean-up anim
Breakdown, Philippe, clean-up anim
Inbetweener, Philippe, clean-up anim
Char lead, wolves, clean-up anim
Key asst, wolves, clean-up anim
Asst anim, wolves, clean-up anim
Inbetweener, wolves, clean-up anim
Supv char lead, objects, townspeople, and others,
Char lead, objects, townspeople, and others, clean
Key asst, objects, townspeople, and others, clean-
Key asst, objects, townspeople, and others, clean-
Key asst, objects, townspeople, and others, clean-
Key asst, objects, townspeople, and others, clean-
Key asst, objects, townspeople, and others, clean-
Key asst, objects, townspeople, and others, clean-
Key asst, objects, townspeople, and others, clean-
Asst anim, objects, townspeople, and others, clean
Asst anim, objects, townspeople, and others, clean
Breakdown, objects, townspeople, and others, clean
Breakdown, objects, townspeople, and others, clean
Breakdown, objects, townspeople, and others, clean
Breakdown, objects, townspeople, and others, clean
Breakdown, objects, townspeople, and others, clean
Breakdown, objects, townspeople, and others, clean
Breakdown, objects, townspeople, and others, clean
Inbetweener, objects, townspeople, and others, cle
Inbetweener, objects, townspeople, and others, cle
Inbetweener, objects, townspeople, and others, cle
Inbetweener, objects, townspeople, and others, cle
Inbetweener, objects, townspeople, and others, cle
Inbetweener, objects, townspeople, and others, cle
Corrections, objects, townspeople, and others, cle
Corrections, objects, townspeople, and others, cle
Corrections, objects, townspeople, and others, cle
Supv eff anim, spec eff
Supv eff anim, spec eff
Supv eff anim, spec eff
Supv eff anim, spec eff
Eff anim, spec eff
Eff anim, spec eff
Eff anim, spec eff
Eff anim, spec eff
Eff anim, spec eff
Key eff asst, spec eff
Key eff asst, spec eff
Key eff asst, spec eff
Key eff asst, spec eff
Asst eff anim, spec eff
Asst eff anim, spec eff
Asst eff anim, spec eff
Asst eff anim, spec eff
Asst eff anim, spec eff
Asst eff anim, spec eff
Eff breakdown/inbetweener, spec eff
Eff breakdown/inbetweener, spec eff
Eff breakdown/inbetweener, spec eff
Eff breakdown/inbetweener, spec eff
Eff breakdown/inbetweener, spec eff
Eff breakdown/inbetweener, spec eff
Eff breakdown/inbetweener, spec eff
Eff breakdown/inbetweener, spec eff
Eff breakdown/inbetweener, spec eff
Key layout/workbook
Key layout/workbook
Key layout/workbook
Key layout/workbook
Key layout/workbook
Key layout/workbook
Key layout/workbook
Key layout/workbook
Key layout/workbook
Layout asst, key layout/workbook
Layout asst, key layout/workbook
Layout asst, key layout/workbook
Layout asst, key layout/workbook
Layout asst, key layout/workbook
Layout asst, key layout/workbook
Layout asst, key layout/workbook
Layout asst, key layout/workbook
Layout asst, key layout/workbook
Blue sketch, key layout/workbook
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Asst backgrounds, backgrounds
Asst backgrounds, backgrounds
Asst backgrounds, backgrounds
Asst backgrounds, backgrounds
Asst backgrounds, backgrounds
Asst backgrounds, backgrounds
Visual development, backgrounds
Visual development, backgrounds
Visual development, backgrounds
Visual development, backgrounds
Visual development, backgrounds
Visual development, backgrounds
Visual development, backgrounds
Visual development, backgrounds
Visual development, backgrounds
Prod consultant, visual development, backgrounds
Prod consultant, visual development, backgrounds
Pre-prod scr development, backgrounds
Pre-prod scr development, backgrounds
Pre-prod scr development, backgrounds
Pre-prod scr development, backgrounds
Pre-prod scr development, backgrounds
Pre-prod scr development, backgrounds
Assoc ed, backgrounds
Asst ed, backgrounds
Asst ed, backgrounds
Asst ed, backgrounds
Florida ed staff, backgrounds
Florida ed staff, backgrounds
Scene planning supv
Anim check supv
Col models supv
Ink and paint mgr
Final check/paint supv
Digitizing cam supv
Scene planning
Scene planning
Scene planning asst
Anim checking
Anim checking
Anim checking
Anim checking
Col model asst
Col model asst
Layout, artistic supv Florida unit
Background, artistic supv Florida unit
Cleanup, artistic supv Florida unit
Visual eff, artistic supv Florida unit
Prod mgr, artistic supv Florida unit
Pre-prod mgr, artistic supv Florida unit
Prod admin, artistic supv Florida unit
Ed, asst prod mgr
Layout, asst prod mgr
Anim, asst prod mgr
Eff/computer graphics, asst prod mgr
Background/col model/checking, asst prod mgr
Compositing & retakes, asst prod mgr
Florida unit, asst prod mgr
Ink & paint asst mgr, asst prod mgr
Computer anim
Computer anim
Computer anim
Computer anim software eng
Computer anim software eng
Computer anim software eng
Digital painting
Sr. prod coord
CGI mgr
Engineering mgr
Engineering mgr
Eng development
Eng development
Eng development
Eng development
Eng development
Eng support
Eng support
Eng support
Eng support
Eng support
Eng support
Eng support
Eng support
Eng support
Eng support
Eng support
Eng support
Eng support
Pixar
Pixar
Char sculptures
Char sculptures
Stained glass des by
Digitizing mark-up
Line repair
Digitizing cam op
Digitizing cam op
Digitizing cam op
Digitizing cam op
Digitizing cam op
Digitizing cam op
Digitizing cam op
Digitizing cam op
Asst paint supv
Asst paint supv
Col model mark-up
Col model mark-up
Col model mark-up
Paint mark-up
Paint mark-up
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Final check
Final check
Compositing
Compositing
Compositing
Cam mgr
Film rec supv
Film rec op
Film rec op
Film rec op
Anim cam supv
Anim cam
Anim cam
Anim cam
Black and white processing
Black and white processing
Eff graphics
Live-action reference
Live-action reference
Live-action reference
Dance seq models
Dance seq models
Live-action video crew
Live-action video crew
Projection
Modeling software by
Digital film recorders by
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Prod and distributed on
SOURCES
SONGS
“End Title Duet ‘Beauty And The Beast,’” by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, performed by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson, produced by Walter Afanasieff, arranged by Walter Afanasieff and Robbie Buchanan.
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 November 1991
Premiere Information:
New York Film Festival screening: 29 September 1991
New York opening: 13 November 1991
Los Angeles opening: 15 November 1991
Production Date:
began 1 July 1990
Copyright Claimant:
The Walt Disney Company
Copyright Date:
20 November 1991
Copyright Number:
PA542647
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Animation
Prints
Prints by Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
84-85
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
36638
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Once upon a time, a spoiled young prince turned away an old beggar woman when she offered him a rose in exchange for shelter. The woman warned him not to be deceived by appearances, then transformed into a beautiful enchantress. The prince apologized, but it was too late. The enchantress turned him into a beast, and put a spell on his castle and its inhabitants. She gave him the rose and told him it would wilt by his twenty-first birthday. If he did not fall in love with someone, and win her love in return, by that time, the spell would never lift and he would remain a beast forever. Sometime later, in rural France, a bookworm named Belle dreams of finding adventure outside her small town. She is seen as a misfit, as is her inventor father, Maurice. However, because she is the prettiest girl in town, she is pursued by a handsome, brutish man named Gaston, who intends to marry her. One day, Gaston follows Belle home from the library, and suggests they go to the tavern to view his hunting trophies, but she rejects the offer. Belle finds her father, Maurice, working on his latest invention, an automated wood-cutter he plans to unveil at a fair the next day. Belle’s father leaves for the fair that evening, but gets lost in a forest. He and his horse, Philippe, are chased by wolves to the gates of a dark castle. He wanders inside and is startled by Lumiere, a talking candlestick who invites Maurice to warm himself by the fire. Maurice soon discovers a host of household objects that talk, including a clock named Cogsworth, a teapot ... +


Once upon a time, a spoiled young prince turned away an old beggar woman when she offered him a rose in exchange for shelter. The woman warned him not to be deceived by appearances, then transformed into a beautiful enchantress. The prince apologized, but it was too late. The enchantress turned him into a beast, and put a spell on his castle and its inhabitants. She gave him the rose and told him it would wilt by his twenty-first birthday. If he did not fall in love with someone, and win her love in return, by that time, the spell would never lift and he would remain a beast forever. Sometime later, in rural France, a bookworm named Belle dreams of finding adventure outside her small town. She is seen as a misfit, as is her inventor father, Maurice. However, because she is the prettiest girl in town, she is pursued by a handsome, brutish man named Gaston, who intends to marry her. One day, Gaston follows Belle home from the library, and suggests they go to the tavern to view his hunting trophies, but she rejects the offer. Belle finds her father, Maurice, working on his latest invention, an automated wood-cutter he plans to unveil at a fair the next day. Belle’s father leaves for the fair that evening, but gets lost in a forest. He and his horse, Philippe, are chased by wolves to the gates of a dark castle. He wanders inside and is startled by Lumiere, a talking candlestick who invites Maurice to warm himself by the fire. Maurice soon discovers a host of household objects that talk, including a clock named Cogsworth, a teapot named Mrs. Potts, and her son, Chip, a teacup. Although they are very welcoming, the servants cower at the sight of their master, the Beast, a hulking monster who reprimands Maurice for trespassing and takes him captive. The next day, Gaston surprises Belle with a marriage proposal, but she turns him down. Maurice’s horse returns home alone, and Belle panics. She instructs Philippe to take her to her father, and they ride back to the Beast’s castle. There, Belle is frightened by the Beast, but offers to take her father’s place as his prisoner. The Beast complies, and throws Maurice out. Belle weeps over her father’s abrupt departure. The Beast tries to control his temper as he shows Belle to her quarters. He invites her to explore the castle but forbids her from going to the west wing. That evening, Belle is supposed to join the Beast for dinner, but she refuses. In turn, he forbids Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts from serving her dinner. Meanwhile, Maurice goes to the tavern and announces his daughter has been taken prisoner by a beast. Gaston and the other patrons ridicule him and ignore his pleas for help. In his quarters, the Beast regards the magical rose, which has begun to wilt. He looks into his magic mirror and asks it to show him Belle. In the mirror’s reflection, he sees Belle saying she wants nothing to do with him. Although Belle is his only hope for breaking the spell, he worries she could never fall in love with a Beast. Late at night, a hungry Belle wanders into the kitchen, and although the Beast instructed them not to, the servants treat her to an elaborate meal. Afterward, Belle sneaks into the west wing. In the Beast’s quarters, she sees a torn portrait of a handsome young man and discovers the magical rose. The Beast appears and flies into a rage. He immediately regrets losing his temper, but Belle has already fled the castle. She rides Philippe into the forest, but they are cornered by wolves. The Beast appears and fends them off, but is wounded in the fight and loses consciousness. Back at the castle, Belle tends to his wounds. They argue over his temper, but Belle eventually thanks the Beast for saving her life. Gaston bribes Monsieur D’Arque, owner of an insane asylum, to commit Maurice, and release him only if Belle agrees to marry Gaston. In the meantime, the Beast begins to fall in love with Belle. As a romantic gesture, Lumiere suggests he take her to the castle library. There, Belle admires the collection of books, and the Beast tells her the library is hers. When they dine together, Belle is appalled, then amused, by Beast’s lack of table manners. They play outside in the snow, and she realizes she is growing fond of him. He plans a romantic evening, and the two dress up and dance together in the ballroom while the servants look on, hopeful that Belle and the Beast will fall in love and break the spell. Later that night, the Beast asks Belle if she is happy. She tells him yes, except she wishes she could see her father again. He grants her wish by offering her the magic mirror. Belle sees Maurice in the mirror’s reflection, alone in the woods and looking unwell. She frets over his safety, and the Beast tells her she is free to go. He gives her the magic mirror so she will always have a way to remember him. After Belle leaves the castle, Cogsworth asks why the Beast let her go. He explains that he had no choice because he loves her. Belle finds Maurice and takes him home. There, she discovers Chip, the teacup, among her things. Outside, Gaston arrives with Monsieur D’Arque and an angry mob. When D’Arque throws Maurice into his carriage, Gaston offers to have him released in exchange for Belle’s hand in marriage. Belle defends her father’s sanity, but the townspeople insist he is crazy for claiming she was held captive by a Beast. Using the magic mirror, Belle proves the Beast exists. Gaston senses that she cares for him, and incites the angry mob to storm the castle. Belle and Maurice are locked in the basement of their home, but Chip frees them with the help of Maurice’s wood-cutter. Gaston and his cohorts attack the castle, and the household items fight back. Heartbroken and resigned to failure, the Beast does nothing when Gaston forces him onto a ledge. Just then, Belle arrives, giving Beast the inspiration to fight for his life. He overpowers Gaston, but takes pity on the brute when he begs for mercy and lets him go. Belle summons the Beast to a balcony, but just as she grabs his hand, Gaston stabs him in the back. Gaston falls to his death, and Belle embraces the Beast as he loses consciousness. Believing he is dead, she cries and says she loves him. At that moment, the magical rose loses its last petal, and the Beast is transformed back into a handsome prince. The castle is returned to its former glory, and the servants become human again. Maurice joins them in celebration as they watch Belle and the prince dance in the ballroom. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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