Beauty And The Beast

*Disney's short film Tangled Ever After, will screen before the main feature.*

With The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, Disney in two strokes reinvented the animated feature, and the movie musical. Both genres were languishing in the 1980s - musicals seemed like a lost art - and these two films brought them to a new kind of life.

The story involves a beauty named Belle, who lives in the worlds of her favorite library books and is repelled by the romantic advances of Gaston, the muscle-bound cretin in her little 18th century French village.Belle's father sets off on a journey through the forest, takes a wrong turn, and is imprisoned in the castle of the Beast. And Belle bravely sets off on a mission to rescue him.

There are some wonderful musical numbers in the movie, and animation sets their choreography free from the laws of gravity. A hilarious number celebrates the monstrous ego of Gaston, who boasts about his hairy chest and the antlers he uses for interior decoration, and there is the haunting title song, sung by Mrs. Potts in the voice of Angela Lansbury.

Roger Ebert