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“Human Again” is a musical number created by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman that originally occupied the position that “Something There” now does. Written in the tempo of a fast waltz, the song features a number of enchanted objects (led by Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, and the Wardrobe with her own verse) singing about how they could be human again now that Belle and Beast are growing closer together.
This song was ultimately cut from the original version of the film because of pacing issues and length (the entire sequence was approximately 11 minutes long!!). It also presented an issue because the number implies that a very long passage of time is occurring, which doesn’t make sense since it’s already been established that Maurice is out in the woods looking for Belle (and it wouldn’t make sense for him to be out there alone for months). So the decision was made to cut “Human Again” and replace it with the shorter and to-the-point “Something There.”
The number was first restored for the Beauty and the Beast Broadway production in 1994 and ultimately was restored to the film for the 2002 Special Edition DVD release (it is placed between “Something There” and the ballroom scene).
For the restoration, all the original cast members from the film were reunited to record the song and careful work was done on the animation to ensure it merged in seamlessly with the rest of the film. I’m glad they did this when they did, as Jerry Orbach (the voice of Lumiere) sadly passed away two years later.
I like “Human Again,” it’s a fun musical number (and Lumiere’s and Cogsworth’s verses are particularly funny) and features some great shots of different areas of the castle being cleaned up. In fact, re-inserting this sequence does help to explain why the West Wing is suddenly much tidier when Beast takes Belle to see the magic mirror after their dance (because various servants are shown cleaning the room up). There’s also a hysterical moment when the footstool-dog comes across a pillow-cat and gives chase, tracking dirt into the newly cleaned ballroom!
Run pillow-kitty, run!!!
Believe it or not, we’ve actually made our way through all the songs of Beauty and the Beast, but I’m not done with this film just yet. There’s a few musical moments that I still want to explore: “The West Wing”, “Battle on the Tower”, and especially “The Transformation.”
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