A young woman encounters a young prince trapped under a
monstrous curse, and together they realize their love for one another.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise
Written by Linda Woolverton
Starring Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White, Rex Everhart, Angela Lansbury, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Jesse Corti
Based on the fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont
Oscar Wins - Best Original Score (Alan Menken),
Best Original Song (Beauty and the Beast)
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Sound, Best Original Song (Be Our Guest), Best Original Song (Belle)
Beauty and the Beast was the true beginning of Disney's unforgettable 90's run, and it's the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture. To date, only three have ever done it: This film, Up, and Toy Story 3. Considering how many incredible animated films have come out between 1991 and 2020, the fact that only three have been up for the big prize is pretty amazing. Beauty and the Beast is one that wholly deserved that nomination. It's one of the sweetest love stories ever told and remains one of Disney's greatest triumphs.
Our heroine is Belle (O'Hara), a freethinking, independent woman who refuses the advances of the handsome but arrogant and dangerous Gaston (White). When her father goes missing in the woods, Belle goes to find him and becomes trapped by a fearsome Beast (Benson), who lets her father go and takes her instead. While at first frightened, Belle soon grows to care for the Beast, who is actually a cursed prince desperate to find love. Together, Belle and the Beast grow closer and fall in love, prompting Gaston to lead a mob to kill the Beast. It's a timeless love story with great characters, beautiful animation, and some of their most iconic songs like "Be Our Guest, "Gaston," and of course "Beauty and the Beast."
It's hard not to fall in love with Beauty and the Beast. It opened the floodgates for an unbelievable run of classic family films from Disney, and proved that animated movies have the heart, soul, and emotional resonance to make big waves at the Oscars. This is one of the most important animated movies in cinema history because of that, and it will always hold a special place in my heart.