Sunday, February 14, 2016

Oscar Movie Review: "Beauty and the Beast" (1991)

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Movie"Beauty and the Beast"
Year Nominated: 1992
Director: Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise
Rating: G
Running Time: 1 hour, 24 minutes
Did It Win?: No.

After her father is taken Prisoner upon wandering into the home of a monstrous Beast (Robby Benson), Belle (Page O'Hara) trades herself for his freedom. Now a permanent guest in the castle of the Beast she starts to discover not everything is as it seems on the surface, including the Beast.

Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" is one of our favorite animated movies. It also has the distinct honor of being the first animated film ever to be nominated for Best Picture. This was at a time when animated films didn't get much recognition because the Best Animated Feature category didn't even exist. Even today, "Beauty and the Beast" is part of an elite best of the best category with just two other entries to receive such a nomination, the other two being "Up" and "Toy Story 3." This film was released in what we would call the 'second golden age of Disney animation,' which began with "The Little Mermaid" in 1989 and continued through much of the 90's, right in the thick of my childhood. Of course, being a Disney film, this is a classic fairy tale that has had the wonderful, signature magical Disney spin placed on it, setting it apart from all the other adaptations of the past.

As with most musicals, one of the biggest aspects is well, the music. If the songs aren't great, the movie will suffer. If  this film has anything first and foremost, it's fantastic, memorable, now iconic songs. From the opening sequence, you know you are in for a good time with the Oscar nominated song "Belle." "Belle" introduces us to the protagonist in a fun, exploratory way and sets the tone for what's to come. Who can forget the grandiose dinner sequence, the also Oscar nominated song "Be Our Guest"? Don't believe us? ASK THE DISHES! And what would this movie be without its touching romance and the beautiful, heartfelt Oscar winning song "Beauty and the Beast." We're not kidding, when three of the five songs nominated are from one movie alone, you know it's bound to have some insanely good music. We don't feel like one song is out of place here, and the music as a whole is all strung together by a majestic score. Alan Menken took home a statuette for his original score composition as well.

What else is there to say about a tale as old as time? "Beauty and the Beast" has it all: excellent voice over work by the likes of Paige O'Hara, Angela Lansbury, Jesse Corti, Jerry Orbach, Richard White, and Robby Benson, the aforementioned music, pristine, gorgeous hand drawn 2D animation, and a tender love story for the ages. This is a beautiful, fun, heartfelt and sincere movie that any person of any age can enjoy, even 25 years later.

My Rating: 10/10
BigJ's Rating: 10/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!
One year ago, we were watching: "Roman Holiday"

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