Beauty and the Beast (Bevanfield Films, 1991)

“While travelling, Monsieur Du Bois is again attacked by a highwayman and brought to a château to recover under the care of Madame Bombec. Du Bois picks a rose from the château’s gardens which angers Du Bois’ mysterious host, the Beast as each flower that is picked from the garden shortens the Beast’s life by one day. The Beast agrees to let Du Bois go on the condition that he gives the Beast the thing he loves the most- his daughter Beauty; and so Beauty goes to stay at the château where she finds magic in the most unlikely of places”

– Rachel, IMDB.

Bevanfield Films’ Beauty and the Beast was released the same year as Disney’s version. Bevanfield Films is a British company whose most successful production was the 1996 TV series What-a-Mess. In a 2007 interview, former animator Paul Gunson had this to say about Bevanfield Films’ productions:   

“None of the animation was intended for theatrical release, and I don’t know if anyone really thought of the feature length productions as anything other than a means to make a quick buck. I’ve seen them in pound shops and being given away free with the Daily Mail… In the case of Beauty and the Beast… the animation was post-synched, that is the mouth movements were ‘guessed’ by the director and the actors came in later, trying their best to match up.” 

Sir Christopher Lee appears in Bevanfield’s Beauty and the Beast as ‘Monsieur Renard’, the Beast’s rival to Beauty’s affection.  

Some thoughts from me (Potential spoilers below)… A lot of the early Princess movies I ended up finding were around 45 – 50 minutes in length. Meanwhile, Bevanfield Films’ Beauty and the Beast is around 67 minutes in length. This doesn’t seem like such a huge thing on paper, but the added run time mostly comes from boring padding.

The film has a lot to laugh at (Bad animation, bad voice acting, bad story, it’s a trifecta of terrible!), but the padding makes the film less fun to watch. There’s definitely some dull moments that could’ve easily have been chopped out to improve the pace of the film and improve the ‘laughs per minute’ rate. Honestly a group setting is probably the most ideal way to view Bevanfield Films’ Beauty and the Beast because it’ll make the duller parts a bit easier to get through. I would also try and avoid having this movie be the finale to your night, since it doesn’t have the manic energy of something like Golden Films’ Beauty and the Beast. 

So this one is a tentative recommendation for your own movie nights. I think the best thing to do is to preview the film yourself and see if it strikes your fancy. As of writing this post, the entire film is currently available on Youtube. So feel free to scrub through it and have a look for yourselves!

References

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