5 Reasons Why Beauty and The Beast is Disney’s Greatest Animated Film
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When Disney released its version of Beauty and the Beast to theaters back in 1991, it was a game-changer for the House of Mouse. Disney had made hit films before but it was Beauty and the Beast that really captured the hearts and imaginations of theatergoers, young and old alike. Along with its contemporaries, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast kicked off the Disney Renaissance, a movement that changed animation forever. Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. It actually won the Oscar for Best Musical or Comedy.
5) It Was a Story of Boy Meets Girl
One of the simplest, yet most effective stories to tell is that of ‘boy meets girl.’ It’s easy, relatable and, when told right, magical. Such was the case with Beauty and the Beast. It was a beautiful story of boy meets girl. It’s just, in this case, the boy was a beast who was put under an enchanted spell that could only be broken by true love. And the girl happened to be somebody the beast kind of kidnapped and held prisoner, after originally kidnapping her father and holding him prisoner.
4) The Songs Were Extremely Catchy
Admittedly, this could be attributed to most of Disney’s films. Still, the songs in Beauty and the Beast are memorable, catchy and oh-so-beautiful. Whether it’s the titular song, ‘Be Our Guest,’ ‘Gaston,’ or even ‘Belle,’ all of the songs in Beauty and the Beast will stay with you long after the credits roll.
3) The Voice Actors
The talent involved with Beauty and the Beast was incredible. Paige O’Hara voiced Belle while Robby Benson was cast as The Beast. The creators of the film said they chose Benson for the role because “you could hear the prince beneath the fur,” and that’s exactly right. In addition to the leads, Beauty and the Beast also featured Jerry Orbach (Lumiere), Richard White (Gaston), Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts) and more. All of whom brought something unique and delightful to the Disney table.
2) Belle Isn’t A Princess (In a Good Way)
A big reason why girls (and boys!) love Belle so much is that she’s so relatable. Most little girls aren’t princesses, or mermaids or ice queens. But there are millions of young girls who others might find “rather odd,” because they’d rather read books than settle down. Belle isn’t a princess. She doesn’t wear glass slippers, because she’d get them dirty. Belle is just a girl who has bigger dreams than what her current life consists of. She wants adventure and romance and stories to tell. Belle doesn’t want a tiara; she wants a book.
1) The Themes of Inner Beauty
And really, this is what it all comes down to. It’s an easy trope to use, but it’s cliché for a reason. Beauty and the Beast is about realizing we are capable of being both, but choosing to showcase our beauty. And that beauty has nothing to do with physical appearance. It has to do with the heart. Belle is beautiful because she is kind, thoughtful, funny and smart. The Beast had inner beauty as well — it just took him a while to find it. We all have both a beauty and a beast inside of us. It’s just up to us which one we show to the world.
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