Beauty and the Beast just turned 25, and in honor of its release on Blu-ray, digital and DVD, we’re going to dive in deeper.
Well, maybe not that deep.
We all know the story of beauty and the beast–or do we? The original starts like this: A wealthy, widowed merchant lives in a mansion with his six children, three sons and three daughters. His daughters are beautiful, but the youngest, Belle, is the most lovely, kind, well-read, and pure of heart. The two elder sisters, in contrast, are wicked, selfish, vain and spoiled. They secretly taunt Belle and treat her more like a servant than a sister.
Sound more like Cinderella? We thought so too.
As it turns out, the 1991 Walt Disney version wasn’t a huge fan on the original plot either. Especially since the second act consists mainly of the Beast asking Belle to marry him, every night. When Belle says no and puts him in the friend-zone, the Beast is just like, “well I guess I’ll try again tomorrow!” You’d think he’d get the hint, but it turns out he’s the first documented case of Nice Guy syndrome (and Belle of Stockholm’s.)
Speaking of the friend-zone, in the original story, your ever favorite villain is not present. That’s right, Disney created Gaston.
You know who else is missing? Literally everyone in the castle:
Regardless of how it originated, the stuck-in-development film finally had a break through when they brought Howard Ashman, Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale onboard. The trio ‘broke the (decade-long) spell’ so to speak and turned it into the ‘tale as old as time’ that we all know and love. All of the songs are memorable, the characters are iconic and there are several moments in the film that will bring tears to your eyes.
Speaking of tears, Angela Lansbury touchingly sang the theme song during the special screening on September 18th at the Lincoln Center:
Happy 25th anniversary to one of the last remaining hollywood couples!