The most beautiful love story ever told
Running Time: 84 minutes
UK Certificate: U
Country: United States
For many, this is still considered the crowning glory of Disneys animated back catalogue. Upon its release in 1991, it was even nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. Personally, having watched it several times, Im still not sure its THAT good. But its certainly got more than enough big sing-along numbers, fairytale enchantment and token morality to fill anyones recommended daily allowance.
Were all familiar with the story. An old crone who, typically, turns out to be a young sorceress turns a Prince into an ugly man-beast as punishment for being spoiled, selfish, unkind and having a rubbish hairstyle. Unless he can love and be loved before the last petal of a magical rose falls, hell be doomed to beastliness for all time. A bit like Keith Chegwin.
Step forward beautiful intruder Belle, who arrives at the monsters place looking for her missing dad. Before this mystery guest can say Dear God youre ugly, hes imprisoned her in the castle never to see her pop again – so we can add knows how to treat the ladies to his list of character traits mentioned above, then.
Of course, its not really giving anything away to say that the pair of them somehow fall in love though, given that shes a prisoner and hes got a face like a bag of spanners, they keep the dates to a minimum. And dont get her started on the amount of hair left in the plughole every morning.
Its all good fun, particularly the scenes involving burly bodybuilder Gaston, the wicked yet entertaining village dolt. Its Be Our Guest, the big production ballroom number featuring a candlestick on lead vocals, that tends to take the plaudits, but its Gastons early song that always gets me chortling.
Its a little sickly in places, but kids will lap it up and theres never a dull moment. If Disneys your thing, this is a must-have for your collection.
It's Got: Some of the best pre-Pixar animation youll find.
It Needs: A haircut.
DVD Extras A making of feature, the story behind the story from Cinderella to The Lion King, Maurices invention workshop game, break the spell game, 2 music videos featuring Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson, karaoke sing-along track. DVD Extras Rating: 8/10
Alternatives:Shrek, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Not perfect, but good family entertainment with a few laughs and plenty of lovey-doveyness along the way.