Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Dan’s Favorite Moment: “Under the Sea”


Beauty and the Beast (1991)


There are some good reasons you could call Beauty and the Beast the most acclaimed animated movie of the past quarter century. I’d go even farther and call it a contender for the greatest animated movie ever.

B&tB is a true delight, a fantastic success on virtually every level. It has the greatest villain in Disney history (sorry, Hades), a wonderful hero and heroine, lovable side characters, fantastic music, beautiful animation, and a story filled with conflict and adventure and romance and comedy. It’s just a tour de force of entertainment for kids and adults, boys and girls.

So few of the characters seem like they’re shoehorned in for the sake of advancing the plot. Everyone has their own motivations: Shallow, stubborn Gaston wants to marry the prettiest girl in town. Beast wants to break the spell, but falls for Belle anyways. Etc. This movie is full of marvelous storytelling, and that’s the source of its magic.

This remains a gold standard for animated movies, and few (if any) films have ever met that standard.

Verdict: Properly Rated

Dan’s Favorite Moment: “I’m especially good at expectorating”


I’m going to take Dan’s claim one step further and say Beauty and the Beast is THE best animated film of all time. It has defined the studio for decades to come. Princess and the Frog, Tangled, and Frozen all borrow elements from Beauty and the Beast, making their female lead drastically different than her love interest. What these films haven’t captured is the struggle. I’ve always found Disney’s two leads warming up to one another much too quickly. Beauty and the Beast is all about the struggle. The struggle of both Belle and the Beast to choose love over their dreams. In the end, hardworking and the spoiled, innocence and the cunning, extrovert and the introvert, all have much to owe to the truly enchanting and essential Beauty and the Beast.

Verdict: Properly Rated

Kevin’s Favorite Moment: The Beast’s transformation


Aladdin (1992)

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