When people say what is the best Disney movie, they often say "The Lion King", "Frozen", "Aladdin", or "The Little Mermaid". Well, I do like these movies to an extent, I don't think it is. They often forget on little movie between "The Little Mermaid" and "Frozen". But riddle me this. What does the first Broadway touring show I saw and my favorite Disney animated movie have in common? It is that it's "Beauty and the Beast".
I know, I am a guy and I should like "Aladdin", "Hercules", "Wreck-It-Ralph", etc. But there is something about "Beauty and the Beast" that I find to be better than every animated Disney movie. For years, I have had trouble finding my favorite Disney Animated movie, my favorite animated movie in general is "Shrek", but I found out why. And guys, it's okay to admit this is a pretty good movie without losing your "Man Card".
I love everything about this movie, from Alan Menken's beautiful score to the animation to even the characters. Let's start with the characters
Let's get this out of the way, Gaston is the best Disney Villain from the First Disney Renascence. This is the definition of a man. Hairy chest, hunter, ladies man, and an all around alpha male. He even had a dorky sidekick. Admit it fellow bros, you wanted to be Gaston more than Aladdin. He's a Disney Prince, but without being prissy and having a cocky attitude. Also, he's not really the classic Disney prince, he is the bad guy. You even get your own song, you are literally stroking your own ego.However, some men may relate to The Beast, who is the most fleshed out Disney Prince ever. You know his backstory and has more of a change than Aladdin, Prince Eric, or that one guy who loves his Reindeer from "Frozen".
And let's be honest, Belle is the best Princess Disney has ever put to screen. She changes Beast with her kindness and rejects Gaston's many tries to marry her. Yes, she has some of the tropes of the Princesses before and after, but she changes the way she looks at people and changes the views of the world of a man who was a jerk.
The movie looks absolutely beautiful (no pun intended). Everything from the details in the fields for "Belle (Reprise)" to the fight with the wolves to the finale battle between The Beast and Gaston. The details in the animation is absolutely breath taking. The attention to detail from the scale of the castle to Belle being the only person wearing blue in her village is something that is missing in almost every Disney movie today. This is Disney at it's best. Speaking of best, the soundtrack is pretty incredblile also.
Alan Menken has written music for many Disney movies, including "The Little Mermaid" and "Aladdin". Outside of maybe two or three songs, no one really hums those songs. When have you had a person play "Arabian Nights" at a Disney party or "Fathoms Below" for kids? Exactly, you only play the memorable songs like "Whole New World" and "Under the Sea".
Menken's score to this movie is amazing. All the songs are memorable and don't bring a movie to a stop. "Gaston" is a fun villain song. "Belle" is the best opening song for a Disney movie ever. And "Beauty and the Beast" is well, it's timeless.
While the writing is nothing special, it was something that made the Academy Awards in 1992 recognize it for Best Picture. Yes, a movie with a talking candle stick and clock was nominated for Best Picture. And it's also animated. While it lost to "Silence of the Lambs", this is was something special that the Oscars recognized. And yes, this is getting remade
To make a final point, this is getting remade in March of next year and the cast is amazing. This is one remake that people who love the Broadway show to the cartoon can agree that this will be pretty awesome. It has Ian McKellan (Gandalf) and Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) will be in it.
So make fun of me all you want, I think this tale as old as time is timeless and the best animated Disney movie ever.