Animation Monday: Beauty and the Beast

Welcome back to Animation Monday.  This week’s feature film is the Academy Award winning Beauty and the Beast.  This film won for both Best Original Score and Best Song.  In fact, Beauty and the Beast had three of the five nominations for Best Song.  The title track Beauty and the Beast was nominated along with Be Our Guest and Belle.

Celine Dion almost did not sing the title track for Disney.  She had recently been fired from the American Tail soundtrack and was hesitant to perform for another animated feature.


Beauty and the Beast was a groundbreaking Disney film.  It was one of the first animated movies to use a screenwriter instead of storyboard artists.  Disney, after seeing the initial version, scrapped the entire production and shifted its focus from a traditional story into a musical like the highly successful The Little Mermaid.

Since the tale is basically a two to three person story, the production team added depth to the “cast” by animating many of the household items inside the Beast’s Castle.  Jaime O’Hara was cast, as Belle, over the popular choice of Jodi Benson.  In true Disney fashion, the packed the supporting cast with loads of name actors.  Beauty and the Beast featured Jerry Orbach as Lumiere and Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts.

This highly popular movie has a large presence inside the Disney parks.

  • The Beast’s Castle is the centerpiece of the expansion of Fantasyland.  The castle is home the Be Our Guest restaurant.  The Beast appears during dinner service for pictures (no autographs, please).
  • As part of the Fantasyland expansion, the Enchanted Tales with Belle was added.  This attraction allows guests to act the story along with Belle.  Each young guest receives a picture with Belle and a bookmark as a memento.
  • Belle can be met in the France pavilion.
  • In Hollywood Studios, guests can enjoy Beauty in the Beast, Live on Stage! on Sunset Blvd.
  • Belle can also be met in the atrium on select Disney cruises
  • Upon occasion, Belle can be met on Main Street in Disneyland.
Beauty and the Beast had a budget of just $25 million and made $425 million at the box office.  The soundtrack won five Grammy Awards (Best Album for Children, Best Pop Performance with a Group or Duo with Vocal, Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture, Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television, and Best Pop Instrumental Performance).  The movie won three Golden Globes (Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Original Score – Motion Picture, Best Original Song – Motion Picture).  Beauty and the Beast is ranked by the American Film Institute as the #7 ranked animated film of all time and the #22 ranked musical of all time.  Beauty and the Beast, the Musical, had a 13-year run on Broadway which ranks as the 9th longest of all time.  In 2017, Disney will be releasing a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson as Belle.
Next week, we will be covering another Disney classic movie, Aladdin.
Thanks for reading!


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