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"Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends
Unexpectedly
Just a little change
Small, to say the least
Both a little scared
Neither one prepared
Beauty and the Beast"
— "Beauty and the Beast", Mrs. Potts (Angela Lansbury)
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Entry #30 in the Disney Animated Canon, from 1991.

This retelling of the old fairy tale Beauty and the Beast has Homages to Jean Cocteau's 1946 film, but in its tone diverges from both versions and becomes its own story. Belle is a bookish lass in a rural French village who lives with her genial dad Maurice, who tinkers with various inventions. She would be a total outcast if not for her loveliness, and the proud hunter Gaston wants her simply for her beauty as a trophy wife — but she has no interest in an oafish Jerk Jock.

When Maurice doesn't return from a trip, Belle searches for and finds him in the hidden palace of a creature who imprisoned him when he sought shelter there. She offers herself in his place and the monster accepts. "The Beast" is actually a cursed human Prince who hopes her love will break the enchantment on him and his many servants, who were transformed into living furniture. With time limited, the Prince must tame his temper and Belle must learn to see the goodness beneath his exterior...

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The film proved to be a great financial and critical success and is considered one of the greatest films of the Disney Renaissance. It became notable as the first animated film to be nominated for "Best Picture" at the Academy Awards.note  It was adapted into a stage musical in 1994. The feature also spawned a live-action educational TV series called Sing Me a Story with Belle, two Direct to Video midquels by decade's end, and is featured in the Kingdom Hearts series. In September 2020, the first ride based on the film opened at the Tokyo Disney Resort as part of its Fantasyland expansion.

See Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas and Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World for the Direct to Video follow-ups. For the Perspective Flip novel The Beast Within, see the A Tale of... series.

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A live-action remake was released in March 17, 2017.


NO ONE TROPES LIKE GASTON!:

Animated Film

Stage Musical

    Stage Musical 
  • Adaptational Badass: Babette gets to do more in the castle fight than she did in the film. In the film, a villager grabbed her and started ripping out her feathers, necessitating a rescue from Lumiere. Some stagings have her physically grappling with the invaders and distracting one with a Honey Trap flirting so that Lumiere can get into position. She then continues to do so despite having no weapons, not even herself.
  • Adaptational Expansion: Several more songs are added to the musical, including a duet where Belle and her father sing about a promise for a new life, Gaston proposes to Belle and "dances" with her, a lament from the Beast about winning Belle over, and the servants talking about their hopes about the curse being broken.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Gaston is even worse here. He manhandles Belle during his proposal, picks her up against her wishes and plans to keep seeing women on the side when they are married.
  • Age Lift: For pragmatic reasons, the prince is not eleven years old when he's cursed. Instead, he's an adult.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Belle lamsphades this; she said she wanted adventure, and she ends up trapped in a castle to save her father's life. It's not the adventure she wanted.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: While arguing with Lumiere, Cogsworth says it was unfair that the Enchantress cursed everyone as well, especially since a few unlucky servants are turning into permanent inanimate objects. After all, they didn't move to toss out a beggar woman. Lumiere sadly replies that they could have raised the prince better so he would understand Sacred Hospitality. After all, he, Mrs. Potts and Cogsworth are the closest thing to parents.
  • It's All My Fault: The servants believe that if they had raised the master better, he would not have been cursed. The Beast doesn't blame them, for what it's worth.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: More bronze at first; the Beast at first is rude to everyone and imprisons a man who says he'll leave and not trouble him, but it's noted that he doesn't blame Lumiere, Cogsowrth or Mrs. Potts for the curse. He's not so much of a jerk that he'll deny responsibility for his actions.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!:
    • The dancing napkins at first seem to be overwhelmed by the villagers. Then towards the end of the battle, they use their can-can line to subdue them.
    • Cogsworth dives straight into battle, giving an uncharacteristic, "Tally-ho!" as he gives chase to the invaders. No one attacks his home, or his friends.
    • The wardrobe doesn't just suit up for battle. She dons a Viking helmet, introduces herself with "Rise of the Valkyries," and lets out an operatic scream. The villager she confronts understandably runs for his life.
  • Really Gets Around: Gaston gallivants with all the ladies in the town. He tells them they won't stop seeing each other after he's married.


Alternative Title(s): Beauty And The Beast, Beauty And The Beast Belles Quest, Beauty And The Beast 1991

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