Beauty and the Beast (Golden Films, 1997)

“One day a terrible storm struck and once the storm had cleared, Beauty’s father headed off to check on his ship. While returning home, another storm struck and raged all night, so he found shelter in a strange palace. The next morning, as the merchant was leaving, he picked a single flower from the garden for Beauty, which imprisoned him with the resident of the enchanted palace, the Beast. When his horse returned alone, Beauty set off to find her father, but what awaited her was a heart that matched her own”

– Beauty and the Beast DVD Description

Beauty and the Beast was brought to us by Golden Films, a production studio founded in 1988 that became known in the 1990s for producing direct-to-video animated films that competed with theatrical releases being put out by larger studios, such as Disney. Beauty and the Beast was Golden Films second attempt at the Beauty and the Beast story, the first being a collaboration between themselves and Jetlag Productions. To quote Golden Films’ website: “It’s a tale full of hope and the importance of inner beauty”. Charles Martinet, the current voice of Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi, lends his voice to one of the characters Beauty meets in her adventure.

Some thoughts from me (Potential spoilers below)…
Behold! The movie that started it all! Golden Films’ Beauty and the Beast popped up in my Youtube recommendations one day, I watched it, and immediately thought “I have to find more movies like this”.

Beauty and the Beast is a wild ride. Like most Golden Films animated movies, it clocks in at around 45 minutes in length, meaning that scenes go by at warp speed… save for a certain song, which takes forever and a day to conclude (And I say that in the nicest way possible, this song started the trend of me buying Golden Films’ movies based solely on the weirdness of the songs alone).

And while we’re talking about music, Beauty and the Beast makes use of several songs from the Swan Lake and Nutcracker ballets. Amusingly, the volume of the music sometimes blares so loudly that it overpowers the audio of the characters. I like to pretend the producers knew that Tchaikovsky’s music was the best part of the movie, and they wanted to give it time to shine. 

One of the things that I love to see in different versions of the Beauty and the Beast story is how they handle the Beasts transformation sequence. The transformation sequence in Golden Films Beauty and the Beast is about as good as you expect, though it’s actually not the worst I’ve seen! They do make an attempt to do something magical, it’s just pulled off with the same level as expertise as the rest of the film (So it’s awkwardly animated, poorly framed and ballet music is blasting while it happens). 

Beauty and the Beast is a great film to have for a Bad Princess movie night because there’s never a dull moment. There’s always going to be some sort of animation error, bad line delivery, weird song, etc., that should bring smile to your face. And in the off chance it doesn’t, just blink and you’ll be on the next scene already.


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