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BMZ Review: Beauty and the Beast: Special Edition
By Ross Anthony


(c) Disney Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.

Beauty and the Beast: Large Format Special Edition
Written by: Ross Anthony
Source: Ross Anthony's Hollywood Report Card
Date: December 2001


Category: Reviews

Originally released in 1991, this was the first animated feature ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. But even more important than that -- we loved it. Ten years later, I loved it all over again.

Rich in blues and violet, this fairy tale sings to all members of the audience. Little kids will be enchanted; older folks will enjoy the tongue and cheek lyrics (and they'll also be enchanted).

Though only paint, these characters have a wide range of expression and emotion. The Beast toggles between brooding brute and tenderhearted love-struck fool. He's a rich character that will endear you, perhaps even deeper than the self-sacrificing, yet strong-willed Belle. Of course, your family will just love the talking furniture:

Belle, "But that's impossible."
Wardrobe, "I know ... but, here we are."

And then there's Gaston ... the cleft-chinned anti-hero, the perfect butt of the joke, the manly man with a Dudley Do-Rite voice. "No one takes cheap shots like Gaston, persecutes old crackpots like Gaston. What a guy - Gaston!"

Entirely captivating from beginning to end, save for the "Be our guest" musical montage that feels rather bland to me. The new song "Human Again," originally recorded, but left out of the first release, has been animated and inserted here.

And then of course, that magical ballroom dance scene! I'm not ashamed to admit that it choked me up just a bit.

As for the adaptation to bigger screen, "Beauty and the Beast" plays just fine. I'd anticipated excess graininess or insanely uncomfortable close ups or action shots slightly unbearable for such a humongous image. Yet, none of these problems existed, nor did the duration overwhelm. Just a bigger Beauty and a larger Beast.

Beauty and the Beast. Copyright © 2001. Rated G.
*Starring Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Angela Lansbury, Rex Everhart, Jesse Corti, Hal Smith.
*Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise.
*Animation Screenplay by Linda Woolverton.
*Produced by Don Hahn at Disney.

Copyright (C) 2001. 
Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.  For more reviews visit:

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