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Beauty and the Beast (1991 movie)
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Beauty and the Beast (1991 movie)

Beauty and the Beast is a 1991 animated film produced by Disney which tells an adaptation of the well-known fairy tale story of a beautiful woman kept in a castle by a horrific monster. It was the first animated picture to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. It stars the voices of Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers and Angela Lansbury.

The movie was adapted by Linda Woolverton from the story by Roger Allers and Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont (uncredited). It was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise. The music was by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman.

It won Academy Awards for Best Music, Original Score and Best Music, Song (for Alan Menken and Howard Ashman for "Beauty and the Beast"). Two other Menken and Ashman songs from the movie were also nominated for Best Music, Song ("Be Our Guest" and "Belle"). Beauty and the Beast was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Sound.

In 2002 the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

This film inspired a Broadway stage musical which earned tremendous commercial success and multiple Tony Awards, and proved to be the first of a whole line of Disney stage productions. There are also Disney versions of the story published and sold as storybooks.

In 1997, a midquel called was released directly to video.

Plot summary

Warning: Plot details follow.

When a prince refuses to let an ugly woman enter his castle with only a rose as a gift, she reveales herself to be a powerful enchantress and, finding no love in the prince's heart, transforms him into a Beast and the servants in the castle into tea cups, candles, furniture, etc. This spell can only be broken if the Beast learns to love another and receives her love in return by his 21st birthday.

The "Beauty" of the title, a girl named Belle in a French village, is the daughter of a loony inventor. She works hard to avoid the unwanted attentions of local hunter and muscleman Gaston. When Maurice, Belle's father, sets out to bring his latest invention to a fair, he gets lost in the woods and finds the Beast's castle, where he is made the Beast's prisoner.

Belle, back in the village, politely but firmly resists Gaston's offer of marriage. She is astonished later to find her father's horse without its master. She traces her way to the castle with her father's horse. Once there, she offers to take the place of her father as the Beast's prisoner; and the Beast agrees and sends Maurice back. Maurice tries to tell people back in the town what has happened to Belle, but the villagers, including Gaston, think him insane and rebuff him, so decides to set off to get her back on his own.

Back at the castle, the various dishes and accessories, including Lumiere the candlestick and Cogsworth the mini-clock, entertain their guest with a fancy French dinner and all the comforts a team of servants can provide. They are, of course, eager for Belle and the Beast to fall in love, so they can be turned human again. Unfortunately for them, Belle and the Beast don't get along very well and are constantly at each other's throats.

However, Belle and the Beast eventually fall in love and over the following days the Beast becomes more human. When he gives her a magic mirror that will show her anything she wishes to see, she requests to see her father and sees him sick and dying. The Beast releases her to go rescue him, and she takes him back to their house in the village. However, Gaston arrives with a lynch mob to take Maurice to the asylum unless Belle agrees to marry him. Eager to prove her father sane, she ends up showing them an image of the Beast with the magic mirror.

Enraged and feeling betrayed, Gaston convinces the mob that the Beast is a threat to the community and leads the mob to the castle to pillage it and 'Kill the Beast'. Most of the mob is fought and driven off by the enchanted artifacts of the castle, but Gaston reaches the Beast and begans to fight with him, though the Beast dosen't fight back until Belle shows up. After Gaston is killed, Belle tells the Beast she loves him, and the spell is broken. The Beast turns into a handsome prince again and the enchanted artifacts of the castle are turned back into people.

Trivia