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Beauty and the Beast
Reviewer: Torrence Fallen
Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Cast: Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Angela Lansbury

Only Disney can bring back a movie to theaters over the decades and keep the magic as moving and real as they do. Beauty and the Beast originally came out in 1991. 21 years later they bring it back to the theaters, this time for a new generation and in 3D. I was 21 when this movie originally came out. Now, at 36 I bring my 2.5 kids to experience the timeless Disney magic.

“Tale as old as time”….the classic story of a vain egotistic prince, whose selfish uncaring ways brought a disguised enchantress to cast a spell upon him and all who live in his castle. If he cannot love and be loved in return, he would forever remain a beast, and all living things in his castle would forever remain household objects.

Belle is a beautiful, smart young lady, who sees a life in the books she reads, as being greater than the ordinary life found living in her small town. Gaston, the local dimwitted hunk is after her affections. Belle wants nothing to do with Gaston.
Maurice, Belle’s inventor father, has become lost in the forest on his way to show his latest invention in another town. He stumbles, wet, cold and frightened from being chased by wolves onto the grounds of the castle of the Beast. The objects in the house, that were once human, welcome him. The Beast however, throws him in the dungeon! Maurice’s horse Philippe returns to Belle, without her father. She immediately demands the horse take her to her father. She arrives at the castle, and heroically exchanges her imprisonment for her father’s freedom.

The Beast realizes that this could be his chance, to love and be loved in return, whereby breaking the enchantresses spell. We fawn at the love story that unfolds between Belle and the Beast. The two become quite happy together. The Beast becomes very giving and frees Belle to find her sick father, who has been searching for her in the woods.

Belle finds her father, and brings him home, only to encounter Gaston, who threatens Belle. If she does not agree to marry him, he will have her father committed to an insane asylum. Belle, amidst her desire to prove her father sane, shows the townspeople a magic mirror that holds an image of the Beast. The townspeople flee to the Castle to kill the beast.
The Beast, heartbroken and lifeless….does not defends himself or his castle when the masses arrive. He is stabbed by Gaston. He lays defeated, until he sees Belle, she begs for the Beast not to be hurt any further. The Beast thrusts forward, knocking Gaston off the castle to his doom. The stab wound however, is too deep….he begins to die. Belle cries….”No, please don’t leave me….I love you…” upon her words, the Beast is lifted into a magic swirl….taken into the air and transformed back to his human, princely state. All the household objects return to their human state as well. The Beast and Belle truly love one another, and their love has broken the spell!

Pure magic…..flash back to me, sitting in the audience, both my daughters, sit in silence on my lap, as I try desperately not to get them too wet from my tears of joy and emotion. I feel fulfilled, entertained, and moved….all from a movie….well not just any movie….a Disney classic.