Starring: Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson, Jesse Corti
Director: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Running Time: 87 mins
Beauty And The Beast is an American film about a young woman who agrees to remain imprisoned by a brutal monster in his castle in order to free her father, unaware that he is a cursed prince who can only have his spell reversed if she begins to love him for who he is.
Despite all of the acclaim surrounding this film, I don’t really think it’s a great Disney classic. Sure, it is integral in starting the incredible renaissance of the studio in the 1990s, and it has a fairly enjoyable fairytale story like the rest, but there’s nothing really attention-grabbing about this amidst the sea of princess tales in the Disney archives.
The main problem with this is that its story is just far too generic and predictable. Snow White and Cinderella have the same sort of plot, however they gain extra credit for creating these clichés and being more cinematically important, as well as a bit more exciting and engaging to watch.
If you like this age-old formula, this is a great film, because it brings together all the elements of the genre. There’s a beautiful and intelligent main character, old castles, anthropomorphic furniture (because who doesn’t love that), and a very elegant soundtrack that all fits into a somewhat more tasteful, but still not as entertaining take on the princess genre.
The soundtrack is another issue that I find with this film. Most Disney movies have got one or two big-hitting toe-tappers, and the collection of songs together all makes for a more enjoyable and upbeat movie. However, in this film, with the exception of the beautiful ‘Beauty And The Beast’, everything is based around two base melodies, with none of them really being a good listen, either because they go on too long, or just aren’t good enough, similar in part to 2012’s Les Misérables, where everything just sounds the same.
Overall, this gets a 7.3 from me, because despite its very generic and largely unimpressive story and soundtrack, this is still a moderately enjoyable watch, but it’s really nothing special as far as Disney movies go.