Why you should collect The Beast.
Back in the day, I took my little boy to the movies. It was 1991, a Saturday, and we took in the matinee. My boy is legally blind and we always sat on the front row so he could see better. He could also discern cartoons better than real actors and he had already developed a love of music. He was 6 years old when we took in Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
I didn't expect much (just a kid"s movie and all) but I totally fell in love with the movie. Utter LOVE! We saw it three times that first weekend. Over time, I got the boxed set, collected a Mrs. Potts tea set, a Beast watch, and every year I still hang Christmas ornaments of Lumiere and Cogsworth upon my tree. If you've never seen the original Beauty and The Beast on the big screen, you've missed the detailed art that helped give the film its magic. On the big screen, it's a different film than on your TV.
This movie grossed $425 million worldwide on a $25 million budget. It has been selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. The movie uses 1,295 painted backgrounds and 120,000 drawings. It IS a work of art. The beast had an amazing voice. The producers used real growls of panthers and lions to enhance Robbie Benson's voice. (Oh how it shivered my timbers at the theater.)
The movie won a golden globe and two oscars. (I predicted it and was laughed at. It was sooo satisfyingly validating when it won. I laughed right back) It was the first animated film ever to do so. Belle was the first brown-haired Disney princess and she was purposely portrayed as "intelligent." (and a little Judy Garland.) They used a love of books to underscore her bright mind. She eschewed the handsome, popular guy while 3 other shallow girls, known as the Bimbettes, swooned over him and his gorgeous looks. Belle ended up falling for the Beast, even though he was "mean and coarse, and unrefined." She looked past his exterior and saw in him something sweet and kind. The villagers, however, didn't see anything but an animal and they were afraid. Led by their handsome hero, they moved to kill the beast. The beast fought back and won.
The moral of the story was to not judge a book by its cover. "Not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within."
So don't be a shallow villager.
I still love this movie more than all the other Disney movies. The music, the illustrations, the sounds all merge into animated art. It’s never been children’s movie for me.
I’m glad to know I’m not the only person who loves this tale. (A tale of as old as time.) Some of these collectable items are priceless and pricy! (I must gleefully report that I still have the full set of Mrs. Potts tea service. Of course. It’s not Iron Feather TEA for nothin’ honey. )
As grandparents, I want you to consider these collectibles for gifts. These are super investments to tuck away for the day a little granddaughter weds her prince.
This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my work (at no additional cost to you). Thank you.