Beauty and the Beast (1991) Review

The classic tale of a hideous beast and a beautiful woman (later remade into a tv series called According to Jim).

We all know that this is a great movie. It was the first animated feature to be nominated for a Best Picture. It’s beautiful and sweet and holds up very well today. So today I’m going to focus on some of the fun details in the film.

First of all, the “Enchantress” that puts the curse on the Beast is a complete bitch, if not a total monster. Sure, the Beast was kind of a dick. So maybe… MAYBE he deserved the curse. But why the hell did she curse all of his servants too? And his servants’ kids? And pets? What the hell? Judging by the song “Be Our Guest”, there are THOUSANDS of servants. All innocent, except for serving a douchey prince. And now they are cursed to spend years as inanimate objects (and potential be that way forever).

On that matter… who the hell has thousands of servants? I could have a servant for brushing each individual tooth in my mouth, another ten for carrying me down the stairs, and a hundred just to fight for my amusement, and I still wouldn’t need a thousand of them.

And does the Beast really learn a lesson? He was cursed because he had to learn the value of inner beauty. He learns this by falling in love with Belle… the prettiest girl in the town. Umm… I don’t get it. Sure, Belle learned the value of inner beauty, but she was already really nice. The Beast just learned that it’s important to not be a douche-hole. An important lesson, but is it really one that requires cursing thousands of people? Because if that’s the case, the whole world would need to be cursed just to make up for the cast of the Jersey Shore.

But how much of a douche was the Beast? His curse is supposed to end on his 21st birthday (which occurs right as the film ends). And a line in “Be Our Guest” says that they’ve been cursed for 10 years. Assuming Lumiere wasn’t exaggerating, the Enchantress cursed the Beast when he was 11. How much of a douche can an 11 year old be? And are you really going to hold thousands of servants responsible for the actions of a bratty 11 year old? What the hell?

However, the movie does something extremely well. Look at the Beast’s character development. When you first see him, he’s extremely animalistic. He walks on all fours, he snarls, and his fur is wild and unkempt. By the end of the film, he’s walking upright, he’s wearing clothes, and he’s awkward and charming (like a furry Hugh Grant, but with better teeth). On the opposite side, Gaston becomes more and more primal, and by the last fight, he is much more animal in his movements than the Beast. It’s a great example of how little details can make a movie into a masterpiece.

Speaking of Gaston… what’s with that? Does LeFou want to do him? Because I think he does. Gross.

Final Verdict: This really is an amazing film. But, damn that Enchantress was a bitch.

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