Tuesday, August 28, 2012

EDBP: Movie Review - Beauty And The Beast

Well, here it is, folks! The last movie review for the EDBP! It's been a great party, and I've enjoyed every minute of it! Tomorrow I will be posting the answers to all the games, so if you haven't played them, I'd encourage you to go ahead and do that! 

Okay, onto my last movie review (for this party, I mean; I doubt this will be the last film review I post on Lianne Taimenlore)!

(Be my guest... there's something there... written by a most peculiar mademoiselle... SPOILERS!)

Now I actually haven't seen Beauty and the Beast in a long time, so when I choose it as one of the seven movies to review for the EDBP, I pushed it off until the last in the hopes that I might see it again before having to write a whole review on it. But sadly, that did not happen. No, my sister KT Bugs was far too interested in watching The Happiest Millionaire to even think about watching Beauty and the Beast. Have I mentioned that The Happiest Millioionaire is KT's favorite movie? She calls it George... :)

Anywho, I will do my best to write an honest and good review of Beauty and the Beast. I think that I remember it well enough... let's begin. *AHEM!*

Belle (the Beauty mentioned in the title) is the daughter of an eccentric inventor, and she herself is known as a most peculiar mademoiselle. She's always got her nose stuck in a book, and she longs for someone with whom she can really talk. She's bored of that mindless, endless, boring monotony of the small, simple town in which she lives. She wants something more. Although I can understand why Belle would want something other than what she currently has, not to mention the fact that her future doesn't look too promising either, I would caution her with this verse: “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” But yes, I understand that if she wasn't looking for an adventure, she probably wouldn't have found it. And therefore, we wouldn't have a movie at all.

Belle's father, Maurice, is working very hard on his invention, which is a... um, actually I'm not sure what it is. It's a big machine that chops, throws, and stacks firewood. Useful, I suppose, when one doesn't like to do those tasks manually, but I don't think that I'd need one for my house. Maurice takes his invention to the fair, intending to show it off and get a great prize and become famous, and thereby changing his and Belle's futures for the better, but on the way, he gets lost. And then becomes without transportation when Phillipe the horse runs off. And then he's scared when a bunch of wolves chase him... right to a large, daunting castle. Maurice finds shelter here and enjoys meeting the odd servants who appear in the forms of clocks, candelabras, and teapots, but only briefly. The master of the castle takes offense to Maurice's unannounced visit and locks him away without a second's thought.

And who is this master of the castle? A prince. Once full of himself, vain, seeking only what brought pleasure to himself, he turned an old woman away who offered him a single rose in return for shelter from the bitter cold. The old woman was really an enchantress who, when she saw the prince's cruel heart, cursed him and his castle. So now the prince is a beast. The only way for the spell to be broken is for the prince to freely love someone and earn her love in return before all the rose petals fell (and yes, that was the rose the old woman offered him earlier, which turned out to be an enchanted rose). Actually, did you know that his real name is Adam? Yep, the Beast's name really is Prince Adam. How's that for enlightening information? Anywho, the Beast is living with the humiliation of his curse and he is unwilling to trust any for fear they might mock him. That's why he locks Maurice away. The Beast thinks the world will be cold towards him, so he's prepared to be cold to the world.

So, we've got our heroine and her father and a hero... let's add a villain into the mix, shall we? “And his name's G-A-S... T... G-A-S-T-E, no! G-A-S-T-O... oh! Gaston!” Okay, sorry... I was just listening to that song. This is Gaston. And he's so full of himself I'm surprised he can... well, he doesn't have a horse, so yeah. He's just so full of himself. He has himself convinced he's the best man in town and Belle's the prettiest girl in town so they must marry. And he won't take no for an answer. By the way, I am so sorry this film did not include Gaston's song in which he proposed to Belle. It's entitled “Me” and it's downright epic. You can hear it in the Broadway Musical thingummy, but I really wish they had given the Gaston of the movie a chance to act it out. Gaston is just one of those villains who you enjoy hating, the more so by his acting.

Every villain has a sidekick, and sometimes they can be really stupid. This is Gaston's stupid (and rather short) sidekick: Lefou. He's totally dedicated to helping Gaston succeed in obtaining Belle's hand in marriage, even to the point of threatening Belle's father. Lefou is the type of person who wants to be evil and tries to act evilly, but can't quite make the right impression based on his personality and stature. Plus, his lines are some of the best. What? I can't help loving people who are quotable!! “Lefou, I'm afraid I've been thinking...” “A dangerous pastime.” “I know.”

But Belle doesn't want to marry Gaston. Oh, no. Why would she? And when Phillipe (the horse) returns home without her father, Belle goes in search of Maurice, just as any brave, loving daughter would. She finds the castle, and with the help of Lumiere, she finds her father who is growing sick in the cold dampness of his cell. The Beast discovers her there, and yields to her plea to allow her to take her father's place.

Now I really have to let loose a bravo! for Belle here. To take her father's place in the drafty dungeon so that he might leave and live, to put herself in submission to a Beast who was unlike anything she'd ever seen before, to pretty much give up everything... wow. That takes a lot of courage... and heart.

But staying at the castle isn't as bad as Belle had thought it would be. Or some of it isn't as bad as she thought it would be. The Beast allows her to stay in a nice room and then invites commands her to join him for dinner. He's gruff, and it's gonna take a lot on his part particularly if he wants Belle to be the girl who breaks the spell. For which, by the way, is what everyone at the castle is hoping.

Alongside to help brighten the mood at the castle are all the servants-turned-knickknacks. Lumiere (a candelabra) and Cogsworth (a clock) are two of the best, being more or less at the top of the servant pyramid, and are pretty much the best characters in the movie, being funny, antagonistic toward each other, and overall epic (well, this IS an Epic Disney Blog Party... I have to use the word “epic”). Mrs. Potts (is her enchanted form hard to guess? She's a teapot... no surprise there) is lively and welcoming, and her young curious teacup son is Chip. Of course, there are many other servants, but I don't feel like mentioning all of them right now.

Time for some music! I love the music in Beauty and the Beast! :)

Belle” is the first song sung in this film, and it's one of my favorites. In it you meet Belle (duh!), Gaston, Lefou, and all the little townspeople who have no further part in the movie until Gaston coerces them into attacking the Beast's castle at the big climax. Right smack dab here in the beginning you learn what everyone wants: Belle yearns for adventure, something other than the humdrum of this poor provincial town; Gaston desires Belle's hand in marriage and is determined to get it whatever it takes; and the townspeople want what every town wants, whatever it is that you want it to be.

“Gaston” is all about, duh, Gaston. When Belle rejects his proposal, Gaston goes back to his tavern to pout. However, Lefou doesn't like Gaston to sulk, so of course, he breaks out into song! Breaking out into song is an easy way to completely change a person's attitude in less than 5 minutes. Really. It happens in so many movies. And everything that Lefou sings about is praise to Gaston.

“Be Our Guest” and listen to the most epic song on this whole soundtrack. No, really. Please go listen to it. Belle is feeling a little depressed at being in the castle, so Lumiere takes the opportunity to entertain her over a small meal. “What is dinner without a little... music?” “MUSIC!” I don't know how to describe this song in such a small paragraph, so I won't even try.

Ah, another one of my favorites! “Something There.” I love the light notes at the beginning of this song; they just sound so delicate and Christmasy... or snowy, rather, as I don't think they celebrated Christmas. Well, not in this movie, anyway. *ahem* This song is important because it's when Belle realizes that maybe there's more to the Beast than a gruff exterior. And of course, he responds in song and entertains the same thoughts about her. The castle inhabitants are overjoyed that Belle and the Beast finally seem to be getting along, but poor Chip has no clue as to what's going on.

The next song is actually not in the original movie, but as it's pretty good, I think it bears mentioning. It's actually a deleted song that Disney stuck back into the movie when they had their big anniversary-whatnot edition released. I really like this song as it shows the perspective of the servants, stuck in knickknack form and yearning to return to their human selves. What's it called? "Human Again." Love it. I don't understand why they took it out of the movie in the first place, but I'm really glad that they put it back in. It just makes Beauty and the Beast that much more better. :)

Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme... “Beauty and the Beast.” The big song in which... oh, I don't think I'll give you an in which this time. You all know what happens in it anyway. While Mrs. Potts may not have the best vocals in the movie, I'd much rather hear her sing it than whoever it is who sings it in the end credits. Ugh. Beauty and the Beast gone pop? I won't get on my soap box. This song is the timeless, enchanting, griping melody of the movie. The song everyone knows... or at least can pick out. I've discovered that not everybody knows all the words. Epic fail. The soft melody, the rich orchestra, the stunning lyrics make this song... say it with me, peoples, epic. You just knew it was coming, didn't you?

The last song that is sung is bluntly titled “The Mob Song,” but I don't know if I remember it well enough to really have an opinion on it. It's where Gaston riles up the townspeople with false tales of the Beast, and they're all determined to protect their wives and children against this supposedly vicious, dangerous monster.

Time for final thoughts (and I just realized that I didn't give a rating to any of the other movies that I reviewed; how mortifying; go check back – I've added a rating):

Rating out of 5 stars: Probably a 4.5. This is a good movie, but I wouldn't classify it as my-all-time-favorite-that-I-would-watch-every-single-day type of movie. Just every other week. :)

Did I enjoy Beauty and the Beast? Yes, I did. If you really couldn't tell with this review. ;)

Would I watch it again? Even if Belle wasn't my second favorite Disney princess (sorry, Belle, but I think Rapunzel gets first place), I don't think that with two younger sisters I could avoid watching it again.

Would I recommend it to other people? Yes, not as my absolute favorite movie, but it is rather enjoyable, and quotable, and.... epic. :)

As always,


  1. I must say that Beauty and the Beast was well developed, though I can't say that it's my favorite movie all time. I'm not even sure I've ever seen it all the way through. I probably have, though.

  2. Pretty much my favorite Disney cartoon EVER!!!!!!! :) Well...that and Aladdin!

    Lovely post!