Top 100 Movies of All Time Beauty and the Beast

Top 100 Movies of All Time Beauty and the Beast
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Top 100 Movies of All Time Beauty and the Beast. Wherein we at THiNC. are doing our homework, eating our peas, and attempting to learn from Hollywood’s on list of the 100 best movies of all time. If I were to make a list of the one hundred best movies of all time, almost none of these movies would be on this list. And definitely NOT this one… although, I will admit, I was, and am, and will always be smitten by Beauty and the Beast. No, not the “live” action version – the Disney original, 1991 version.

Top 100 Movies of All Time Beauty and the Beast Walkthrough

We’ve all seen this movie, haven’t we? Maybe the Lilliputian among us haven’t? What is line drawn animation after all anyway? (I could literally riff for an hour on the horrors of the animation world’s abandonment of hand drawn animation. Yes, free market capitalism. Yes, people didn’t buy it anymore when they could watch CGI instead. But the art, man!?!? The gloriousness of the craft?!?! Heck, I have a couple animation cels (which were drawn and painted on celluloid sheets – actually, more literally, they were drawn on paper, cleaned up by another artist, and in-betweened by a tweener. Those drawings would then be transferred to a celluloid sheet, and then hand painted on the reverse side. That cel would then be laid on hand painted background, and a photo of that single sheet would be taken, and that would be one frame of your film. Or, more accurately, 1/24th of a second of the finished film.) that were in actual Disney movies. I’ve told this story before, but, growing up in Los Angeles, my family would regularly (occasionally?) go to Hollywood, where the stores on the strip would have, in back rooms (never on display), animation cels that you could ask to see. I mean, back in the day, cels were so undervalued as an art unto themselves, that the movie houses would regularly wash off the art, and paint, in order to reuse the celluloid itself.

Not sure if it’s coming through or not – but I am a MASSIVE fan of animation as an art. Animation as a skill-set and as a medium for communication and story telling… all of it. Literally, I thought, Rochester Institute of Technology would be where I would go to school just so I could study art, animation, and eventually get into the world of animation at some level. So, when I say this, I am not saying it lightly – I believe, Beauty and the Beast to be the most technically perfect animated movie of all time. And, to top it off, I totally, wholeheartedly agree with this being the very first animated film nominated at the Oscars for best movie of the year. And I almost said, “And it should have won too” except that I just remembered that Silence of the Lambs won that year, and yeah, no… Beauty and the Beast should not have edged out Silence. No one thinks that. Literally no one.

Beauty and the Beast Story

Disney took the original story, La Belle et la BĂȘte fairly tale, which was written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (come on, coolest name ever) and modernized it. It tells the story of a bookish Belle who was unmoved by the local handsomes advances in the town, and instead, spent all her time with her father, and yearning for far away places she learned about in books. One day, Belle’s father goes to submit one of his inventions to a competition… but loses his way, and is captured in an enormous castle. Determined to never let him go, The Beast – a cursed prince – eventually agrees to trade Belle her freedom for her father’s.

The setup of the story is simple… The Death Star will be within range within only a few days (few petal drops), and will annihilate the planet unless the rebels are able to undermine the deathstar’s defenses and get the deathstar to fall in love with his one true love. Wait, WAAHT? Something like that. The key here being that the prince sinned… how? He wasn’t kind to an old woman, who was actually a fairy in disguise. And as a result, was cursed to a life as a beast. And unless he was able to convince someone to love him, he would die a beast.

Similarly, the Beast refuses to let Belle go… ever. But in time, the two begin to share a relationship of honesty and love for one another that transcends physical attraction (well, for her anyway.) Eventually, it’s clear that they will fall in love, and will barely pull it off before the time runs out. So in order to up the narrative conflict, and increase the over all dramatic tension, the people of Belle’s home town find out that a Beast has captured Gaston’s one true love… and they all go together to free her from the terrible monster. They assault the castle, the cursed castle staff all fight to save their beleaguered master. But ultimately, the Beast is stabbed by Gaston… and in the middle of the chaos, Gaston falls to his death. And just as the last petal falls off of the rose, Belle kisses the Beast, transforming back to his normal human form.

Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast

This is the real heyday of Disney animation and creativity. Yes, they were creative when they purchased Pixar, that is a given. But since Beauty and the Beast they have been spending most of their time milking the Intellectual Properties they already own. I’ll give you Frozen, but that was in the works long prior to Beauty and the Beast. Walt Disney even worked on trying to crack that particular nut. And I would argue Frozen 2 was a dumpster fire, in an avalanche, getting hit by a tornado, while in an earthquake. It was horrifically bad. I literally will not listen to anyone argue differently. Trust me on this one. And I submit to you, all the “live versions” of the old movies as just another retread of the famous movies they’ve built their reputation on as evidence to the point that Disney is done creating, and are instead only repurposing now. Take for example Coco… Coco is one of the best modern animated movies… and it’s created by Pixar, and distributed by Walt Disney. Right? To Disney’s credit, they left well enough alone, and let Pixar do its thing. So kudos there for the mouse’s hands off posture?

But the one thing I am desperate to talk to is this idea of the Prince’s sin. The lack of kindness to those in need. An ugly old hag wasn’t worth his time or his pity. And therefore he was cursed to a life as a beast… he lost his handsomeness. He became as ugly on the outside as he was on the inside. But this is just a metaphor for the brutality and fierceness of man. Man is selfish, crude, and a sexual rampaging animal that needs to be tamed by the domestic woman. Right? Sure, Belle wasn’t one of the ditzy blondes running around and throwing their breasts at Gaston. For certain. But she was about manners, and civility. She was about serving her father, and caring for him. And so we watch as the Beast has to learn how to be compassionate and giving like Belle is.

It’s just a trite view of the moral issue we are all faced with… become good, or remain cursed. In the church of public opinion, we are to at least appear like we care about the widow, the orphan and the infirm. It is a social justice message. And the Beast learns what he is, and fights to save Belle from attackers that have come for him. Today this is cliche. (Frozen showed us that Anna could love herself, and in so doing, give herself her own redemption.) Personally, I agree, I need saving from myself. But I can only be saved by a perfect God that has extended salvation in spite of the perfidiousnesses. And that threw no single act of goodness or kindness could I really bridge that gap that I have created. But that is all beside itself at this point. The logic is flawed. But the story telling and the character narratives are spot on. I loved this movie as a teen, and I love the movie now, even in spite of its messed up moralizing.

Want to see the other movies I’ve already covered in the top 100 list… check them out right here.

Edited by: CY