Beauty and the Beast (1991)

(In French, on Blu-ray, September 2016) I’m usually a good daddy-audience for Disney movies, and it’s difficult to forget that Beauty and the Beast is widely acknowledged as one of the best. (It was, after all, nominated for a Best Picture Oscar) Plus, literature-loving Belle should align with my own preoccupations. Why, then, am I not so enthusiastic about the movie? I’m not sure, but I’m not feeling much love for the movie at the moment. Some of the songs are fine; others drag. Much of the “romance” material looks like an abusive relationship. There are some tremendously icky implications to the entire back story if you dig down a bit. At least the animation is gorgeous. I’m not sure if Disney has fiddled with the film for its 25th anniversary reissue, but the integration of the CGI with the traditional animation looks fantastic and the rest of the film also looks great. Otherwise, Beauty and the Beast feels simplistic and not-especially charming. I’m nearly certain to revisit this assessment, as Disney movies usually end up playing over and over again in my house. We’ll see if I grow fonder of it in time.

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