Tag Archives: Beauty and the Beast

My thoughts on Beauty and the Beast (2017)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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After a long month of delays and “life happening”, I was FINALLY able to go see Beauty and the Beast in the theater and see what all the hype and fuss is about. The short answer is: I liked it!! The long answer…well, keep reading, because I have some thoughts about all of this.

First I will start with what I liked.

The casting: Disney nailed the casting in my opinion, especially with Belle, Maurice, Gaston and Beast. Luke Evans in particular was very believable as the egomaniacal and downright despicable Gaston, though his singing style caught me by surprise (more on that in a minute). I really liked Josh Gad as Le Fou too. And while I initially wasn’t too sure about Le Fou being the first gay character in Disney canon, once I saw it, I realized that it worked super well and it isn’t “in your face” at all! And Gaston is so oblivious to it all that it is really quite funny.

An expanded story: I absolutely loved that Disney filled in some gaps in the story with this version. Showing the Beast’s transformation (including what came immediately before) was well done, as it gave a good idea of what life in the castle was like before the Enchantress came. And speaking of, I liked that we see more of the Enchantress beyond the prologue. Of course in the animated film we don’t get to “see” the Enchantress at all, we only see her depicted in the stained glass pictures. But when “Agathe” rescued Maurice and took him to her home in the woods, I knew instantly that this had to be the Enchantress in disguise, because witches and other magical types would be living in the woods with owls and other magical things, and the only witch in this story is the Enchantress.

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But most of all, I really love that we finally got a backstory for Belle as to where she came from and why she and her father had to come to “this poor provincial town” in the first place. In this version, Maurice used to be a painter living in Paris with his wife and newborn daughter, when his wife contracted the plague, forcing Maurice to flee with his daughter so they didn’t all die.

Another added twist (that actually comes from the Broadway play) that I liked is that every time a rose petal falls, the castle crumbles a little more and the enchanted servants become ever more object-like. And I have to say that the scene where our enchanted friends momentarily become regular objects made me cry, because for a moment I thought they were going to give us an unhappy ending.

Homage to the past: As I suspected, this film pays homage to Cocteau’s 1946 version of the Beauty and the Beast story, primarily with Maurice’s initial encounter with the castle, and also somewhat in the look of the castle too. For example, those lights out front that are held by stone arms? That image comes straight from the 1946 film. The rose pavilion out front with statues of the deer and hounds on top? That too is copied almost exactly from the film. In fact, the entire arrangement of Maurice being allowed to come in and help himself to food and shelter, only being attacked when he dares to take a rose, is the exact set-up seen in the 1946 film.

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The music: Of course I’m going to be all over this music, the original Beauty and the Beast soundtrack is one of my favorite film soundtracks ever, and I was happy to hear the music I loved largely unchanged. And the new songs were all beautiful, nothing felt out of place. I do have one gripe however; when Belle goes to the West Wing, the iconic “West Wing theme” is missing. I was really disappointed as that is one of my favorite musical cues from the animated film.

Now for what I didn’t like:

The fight between Gaston and the Beast: maybe I’m nitpicking, but the entire scene with Gaston, the Beast and Belle at the end of the film didn’t carry nearly the same emotional weight as the original did. I’m not sure why that is, but Gaston’s death didn’t feel nearly as satisfying, nor did his fatal attack on the Beast. For that last part, I think that had something to do with the fact that it was more shocking for the Beast to be stabbed in the side than to be shot in the back at a distance. Also, Gaston standing on the crumbling rampart felt something like an afterthought. Truthfully, when I saw that we were seeing more of the Enchantress, I was secretly hoping that she was going to punish Gaston by cursing HIM instead. Or, barring that, I was curious to see if Disney would use the original plan for Gaston’s death, which involved him being stalked and killed by wolves.

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How Gaston gets Maurice locked up, and Belle’s attempted rescue: In the animated original, Maurice really does come across (a little bit) as an insane person raving about a Beast taking his daughter. But in THIS version, Gaston tries to have Maurice killed by tying him up and leaving him in the woods, thinking the wolves will get him. When Maurice makes it back to town almost a week later, he tells the townspeople exactly what happened and they are all suspicious of Gaston (and rightfully so). But simply because Gaston says it didn’t happen, the townspeople just take his word for it? I know everyone is supposed to hang on every word Gaston says, but this really is pushing it. And then there’s when Belle comes racing in, still in her ball gown, to rescue her father. You would think everyone would take one look at the sumptuous clothes she’s dressed in and realize, “Oh my gosh, I don’t understand how, but she’s telling the truth!” Nope! Belle gets thrown in the padded wagon too.

But these are really only minor nitpicks for me. While I do admit that I still like the animated film better, I can also say that this Beauty and the Beast was a well-done adaptation.

Final thoughts:

Le Fou switching sides during the fight in the castle was just epic, as was Mrs. Potts comment “You’re too good for him (Gaston)”

The transformation scene was just wonderful/amazing/spectacular. And I loved the shot where the castle is restored to its former glory.

Once again, I did enjoy Beauty and the Beast, it is a good film, if not quite the equal of the animated original.

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Dual Roles Blogathon: Jean Marais in Beauty and the Beast (1946)

This post is part of the Dual Roles Blogathon hosted by Christine Wehner and Silver Screenings

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I finally got to see Jean Cocteau’s masterpiece this summer and I fell head over heels in love with the production. Long before Disney’s Beauty and the Beast took the world by storm, Cocteau created a film based very closely on the original fairy tale, using ingenious practical effects to bring the story to life. Jean Marais starred as the Beast who eventually wins Belle’s heart, but that’s not all. He also portrays the human Prince….AND Avenant, the villain who also loves Belle and wants her for himself!

If you watch this film without seeing the credits, it would be easy to miss that Marais plays a TRIPLE role in the film. As the Beast, he is hidden under a gorgeously complex makeup that completely transforms him from head to toe. The human Prince doesn’t appear until the last ten minutes of the film, and Avenant is just so…different from the other characters he plays.

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Let’s start with the Beast: It is revealed by the end that the Beast was a prince whose parents did not believe in spirits. As punishment, the spirits transformed their son into a Beast, and the castle was laid under a heavy enchantment. The Beast was then given several magical items (a magic mirror that could show you what you wished, a glove that could take you where you wished to go and the ability to create precious gifts at will.) The only way for the curse to be lifted is for the Beast to earn the willing love of a woman. But all the time the Beast is fighting the instinct to turn into a wild animal, and this is impeding his ability to fall in love with Belle (and also receive her love). Marais’ performance as the tormented beast is a sight to behold: he (as the Beast) truly wants to love Belle, but at the same time he doesn’t believe he deserves that love (because of his beastly nature).

As I said before, the makeup for the Beast is simply amazing! (It puts all CGI motion capture to shame). He is covered in fur so well that it looks completely natural!

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Eat your heart out Gaston, Avenant did it all long before you came around!

In his role as Avenant, Marais transforms into something else entirely (and not in a good way). He starts off innocently enough as a childhood friend of Belle’s who only wants to help since the family has fallen on hard times. He offers at the beginning to marry Belle, knowing this would help the family’s position (and it’s implied he’s offered before) but Belle politely refuses, as she wants to help her father. Avenant is angry about this gentle rejection (for the moment), and contents himself with helping the family however he can. Things become complicated after Belle disappears to be with the Beast and Avenant “helps” Belle’s brother Ludovic with his debts by introducing him to a moneylender, a deal that eventually leaves the family in near total poverty. Avenant feels no blame for the role he played in putting the family in this situation, showing a hint that he is not as good-natured as he appears to be.

Things get much worse when Belle returns for a visit, richly appareled in robes fit for a princess (complete with a crown!). Though Belle denies it (and simply isn’t aware of it yet), everyone else can see that the young woman is head over heels in love with the Beast, and Avenant becomes overwhelmingly jealous, to the point that he is nearly seething with rage. When Belle’s jealous sisters plot to keep Belle at home longer than her promise so the Beast will become angry and kill her, Avenant willingly goes along with the plan, initially hiding Beast’s horse Magnifique and then stealing the horse (along with Ludovic) so that they can ride back to Beast’s castle to steal the Beast’s treasure (and kill the Beast as well).

Avenant’s plan MIGHT have succeeded (the Beast is already half-dead of grief at this point) except he and Ludovic are unaware of the Beast’s warning to Belle that the treasury (dubbed Diana’s Pavilion) must ONLY be entered by the front door using the key, going in any other way has deadly consequences. This is because the treasure room is guarded by a living statue of Diana that fires a magic arrow on any intruder. In this case, the target is Avenant who, before the horrified eyes of Ludovic, turns into an exact duplicate of the Beast before toppling to the floor of the treasure chamber, presumably to his death, since he is not seen again.

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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, (aka ‘Belle et la bête, La’), Jean Marais, Josette Day, 1946

And then there is the brief appearance of the Prince. So different is this character that it wasn’t until I went back and checked the credits that I realized Marais was playing three roles! In fact, the dialogue teases the fact that the two roles are played by the same person when Belle admits that the Prince resembles someone from the village she might have loved once. But where Avenant was full of jealous rage, the Prince is gentle and patient, the perfect match for Belle.

Jean Marais is such a versatile actor in this classic film, it takes great talent to be able to play two roles in a film, let alone three! If you haven’t seen Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast, I highly recommend it 🙂 Thanks to Christine Wehner and Silver Screenings for hosting this great blogathon!!

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Beauty and the Beast “Transformation” (1991)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

At last we come to the end of Beauty and the Beast, but I had a lot of fun writing this series!

There is no denying that Disney is a master at pulling at our heart-strings, and the “transformation scene” is no exception. How can he audience not get upset? Sure, Gaston got what he had coming to him and then some, but the Beast has been badly injured and the magic rose is down to the very last petal!!

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While the enchanted objects watch in terror/horror, Belle and the Beast share their moment together. The Beast knows this is the end, but Belle is in denial, swearing that everything is going to be okay. It’s not though, and the Beast, relieved that he could see Belle one last time, (seemingly) dies!! And while Belle breaks down in tears (quitely confessing that she loves the Beast), the camera looks back to show the very last petal falling. Of course Lumiere, Cogsworth and Mrs. Potts didn’t hear Belle’s admission of love, so they believe that it’s all over, they’re trapped this way forever. But then…something wonderful happens!

Beauty and the Beast “Transformation Scene” (1991)

I always looked forward to this scene as a kid, because once the “magic rain” starts falling, you know something cool is going on. Animator Glen Keane was originally told that he would have only two weeks to complete this sequence, but he knew that wouldn’t be nearly enough time to do it properly.

So he went to producer Don Hahn and asked for more time and he as told “take as long as you need” and it really shows! On a quick side note, the smoke you see rising up around the Beast is real (that is, live action), it was left over from a scene in The Black Cauldron (1985) so the animators reused it here (though how I’m not exactly sure).

Beauty and the Beast “Transformation” (Soundtrack version) (1991)

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What’s really mind-bending about Beast’s transformation is that it’s all hand-drawn! You watch a hand, a leg, and finally the Beast’s face change into the Prince and the motion of change is so smooth (and at the same time so complex), it’s incredible work! Of course Belle (and the other enchanted objects) are spell-bound during this sequence (Belle has a perfect “What’s Happening?” look on her face).

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Mid-transformation

The transformation finishes in one glorious flash and now, instead of the Beast, we have this really handsome Prince laying on the balcony, but he’s not dead! He staggers to his feet, turns and faces a shocked Belle. And yes, that is Robby Benson’s real voice when the Prince speaks (hard to believe it’s the same person isn’t it?) Belle doesn’t seem too sure that this handsome guy is the same as the Beast she’s fallen in love with, but then she sees his eyes, those beautiful blue eyes that are identical to those the Beast had.

Now properly reunited, Belle and the Prince share that long-awaited kiss, which seems to fully break the enchantment over the whole castle. There’s fireworks everywhere and suddenly it’s day when it was previously night, and the castle is completely transformed (notably, the monster statues become angels), and then everyone begins changing back into their human forms and everything is happy and wonderful again.

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The story ends with Belle and the Prince happily dancing in the ballroom once more. Maurice is there also and everyone is going to live happily ever after. If this scene looks strikingly familiar to the ending of Sleeping Beauty (1959), that’s because it essentially is the same scene, and Aurora and Philip were painted over with Belle and the Prince and any other characters were altered accordingly.

 

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This was done because the production was running short of time and money and this was a cost-effective way to complete the production without fully animating a whole new scene. Truthfully, I don’t mind, it’s a wonderful ending to a wonderful story. And the last refrain of “Tale as Old as Time” never fails to make me tear up. By the way, that last stained glass window is real!!! It exists somewhere in Disneyland (or so I’ve read) so, if anyone has a picture of the real window, I would love to see it!!

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And that’s it for Beauty and the Beast! I hope you are all inspired to go out and re-watch this dazzling piece of animation (and feel free to sing along). Tomorrow (if no tiebreaker is required) I will announce the next Disney film to be covered.

P.S.

While doing research for this last post, I came across a last piece of trivia that I wanted to share: a proposed death for Gaston involved him being eaten alive by wolves after falling from the balcony but surviving with a broken leg (this fate was eventually used for Scar in The Lion King, substituting hyenas for wolves). I’m not sure what’s worse, falling to your death with enough time to think about it, or falling, breaking your leg and THEN being eaten by wolves. It’s interesting to think about.

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

For more Beauty and the Beast, see:

Beauty and the Beast “Belle” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Belle (reprise)” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Gaston” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Be Our Guest” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Something There” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Human Again” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Beauty and the Beast/Tale as Old as Time” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “The Mob Song” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “The West Wing” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Battle on the Tower” (1991)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Beauty and the Beast “Battle on the Tower” (1991)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

From the moment Gaston saw the Beast in the magic mirror, it became clear that a conflict between the two was inevitable. And Gaston couldn’t ask for a more complacent target: ever since he let Belle go rescue her father, the Beast has been sunk in a deep depression, he doesn’t think Belle is ever coming back and so he doesn’t care if he lives or dies. Thus, when Gaston appears in the West Wing with an arrow cocked at him, the Beast doesn’t even twitch (that alone should’ve told Gaston that this was no ordinary “Beast” but we already know that he’s not one to think anything through), that is until he gets an arrow in the back.

Beauty and the Beast “Battle on the Tower” (1991)

Gaston is being deliberately cruel: clearly an an expert hunter, he’s deliberately taunting the Beast (as opposed to a swift kill) because (in his mind) “how dare this ugly thing claim Belle as his own in any way?” He’s so blinded by hate that he can’t see that the Beast is clearly heartbroken. But Gaston’s taken way too long; Belle comes riding up and when Beast sees that Belle has come back, the entire game changes (and not in Gaston’s favor).

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While Belle races to the West Wing, Gaston and Beast play cat and mouse on the roof tops of the castle. I mentioned in the post for “Tale as Old as Time” that this scene very nearly became the CGI scene (in which case the roof of the castle would’ve been computer generated), but the test images weren’t nearly realistic enough, so the idea was scrapped and animated traditionally.

Musically, this scene is a blending of several themes, most noticeably there are several lines from “Something there” but in an entirely different key (you can hear “for he’s no prince Charming” when Belle is seen running up the stairs, and “something there I didn’t see” when Gaston smashes the head of a statue by mistake).

Beauty and the Beast “Battle on the Tower” (Soundtrack version) (1991)

Gaston is delusional at this point, going so far as to say “Were you in love with her Beast? Did you honestly think she would want you? When she had someone like me??” It’s a total lie and the Beast knows it (if Belle had been attached to anyone in the village in that way, she would’ve surely said something to him), and he sneaks up for the attack. But Gaston believes he has him cornered until he goes one step to far and shouts “Belle is mine!!” This is too much for the Beast who, in two swift movements, knocks Gaston’s club away and leaves him dangling off the rooftop with one hand around his neck. What happens next is very, very important. Gaston (true to his character) is now a sniveling coward, pleading for his life. He’ll do anything, ANYTHING, just don’t kill/hurt him. I always knew that when the Beast did NOT kill Gaston, that he had learned mercy, embracing his inner humanity, but it only struck me last week that there was something more as well.

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Remember in the prologue when, just before his initial transformation, the Beast tried to apologize to the Enchantress? It occurred to me, just then, that the Prince must have begged for mercy in the exact same way that Gaston begged for his life. And the Beast paused (with a magical theme echoing in his ears no less), not just because he was choosing mercy, but because he can see the person he was (a spoiled young man) in Gaston. And so, he’s granting Gaston the mercy that the Enchantress did not show him (the Prince) in the hopes that he will learn something from it, merely telling him to “Get out!”

 

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Just at that moment, Belle appears on the balcony, and the Beast only has eyes for her. Gaston watched him climb towards Belle, but neither of them care; the Beast is awestruck that Belle really did come back and there’s a beautiful moment as the two grab hands, and you can tell they’re both happy to be together again. But just as the moment is building to a romantic climax…Gaston intrudes for the last time. Not content to run away with his life, Gaston has fully embraced the “if I can’t have her, no one can” mindset, snuck up from behind and STABBED the Beast in the back! Anyone who’s seen the movie knows what comes next, but would you believe me if I said the ending used to be a whole lot darker?

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Don’t get me wrong, Gaston was always going to die, but it was the how of his death that was changed. In the original script, after stabbing the Beast, Gaston was going to shout something cruel to Belle and then throw himself laughing off the balcony down to his own death. And I can hear people saying Disney wanted to do this?? While it is incredibly shocking and dark, bear in mind that this is the same studio that originally planned for Bambi to come back and find his death mother in a pool of blood (Disney himself vetoed that idea once he got wind of it). Thankfully for all concerned, the animators and writers felt that this really was too dark and Gaston’s death was re-animated to the version we know today: the Beast thrusts Gaston aside and he falls screaming to his death. But you can actually see a few frames of the original ending (because the animators were running out of time and money): look at Gaston’s face and body posture just before he gets knocked off and begins to flail. See that insane grin? You can tell he’s positioned to jump, but in the very next shot, he’s in a slightly different spot.

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No one dies like Gaston (I couldn’t resist)

And there we have the end of Gaston, and also the end of the Beast as Belle knows him. Next time, the final entry for Beauty and the Beast: “The Transformation”

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

For more Beauty and the Beast, see:

Beauty and the Beast “Belle” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Belle (reprise)” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Gaston” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Be Our Guest” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Something There” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Human Again” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Beauty and the Beast/Tale as Old as Time” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “The Mob Song” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “The West Wing” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Transformation” (1991)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Beauty and the Beast “The West Wing” (1991)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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From the moment Beast informed Belle that she could go anywhere in the castle except the West Wing (with no other explanation than “It’s forbidden!”), it was a foregone conclusion that Belle would go to the West Wing and that she would get caught. This is a long-standing trope in film that when something is explicitly forbidden, the character will go anyway and get caught by somebody at some point (case in point: Ariel was forbidden to have anything to do with humans, but she kept a grotto full of human things, and we all know how that turned out; Simba was forbidden to go to the elephant graveyard, Quasimodo couldn’t leave the bell tower, etc.)

Beauty and the Beast “The West Wing” (Film Version) (1991)

I absolutely love the music for this scene. Purely orchestral, it highlights the danger of what Belle is doing (because we have no way of knowing where the Beast is right now), and also the growing curiosity to see what IS in the West Wing. As Belle walks down the hallway, she passes by a lot of broken statues that all resemble different beasts. Actually, that’s by design: practically every “beast” statue you see in the castle comes from a concept drawing when the animators were designing the look of the beast. My personal favorite is a statue of a giant snake (when Belle is looking in horror at all of the ugly statues in the hallway, just before she bursts into tears, look to the right and you’ll see it in an alcove).

Beauty and the Beast “The West Wing” (Soundtrack version) (1991)

Finally, Belle comes to a large door and for a moment there’s a breath of tension, as if the Beast might appear at any second, but Belle’s curiosity wins and she pulls the door open to reveal the forbidden West Wing. It’s in a shambles, but Belle presses forward anyway (as a child, my heart would always stop when she knocked the table over). And it’s here that she discovers two things: a heavily ripped portrait of a handsome man, with very familiar blue eyes (in reality a portrait of what the Beast really looks like), but just as Belle seems to make the connection, she notices something else, it’s the magic rose!!

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The shot of Belle walking up to the bell jar is just beautiful, and for a moment, it almost looks like the rose is rotating to “look” at her (and maybe it is, it IS a magic rose after all). Of course, Belle then does the worst possible thing she could do, which is to remove the jar and try to touch the rose itself, and that’s when everything goes wrong in a hurry.

 

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When I was young, I didn’t quite understand the magnitude of what Belle almost did. I knew that Beast was angry because she’s gone where she wasn’t supposed to, but something was going over my head. It was only when I was older that I realized that the reason Beast kept the rose in a jar was to protect it from any outside force inadvertently knocking off the petals more quickly and thus shorten the time he has left to break the spell. If Belle had touched the rose, she might have done just that, and that is what really infuriates Beast, who as expected, appears just as Belle is reaching out, and he is beyond angry!

Now, while Belle is in trouble and Beast does have a right to some anger (since she did disobey him), it’s also true that Beast never told Belle why she couldn’t go into the West Wing, so Beast’s roar of “Do you realize what you could have done??” can never be answered because no, Belle doesn’t realize what could have happened because Beast didn’t tell her! All of this is too much for Belle to take and she runs from the castle (literally), swearing “Promise or no promise, I can’t stay here another minute!”

I’m sure there will be a counterpart to this scene in the live-action version of the film (and I can’t wait to see how it plays out!)

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

For more Beauty and the Beast, see:

Beauty and the Beast “Belle” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Belle (reprise)” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Gaston” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Be Our Guest” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Something There” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Human Again” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Beauty and the Beast/Tale as Old as Time” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “The Mob Song” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Battle on the Tower” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Transformation” (1991)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Beauty and the Beast “Human Again” (1991)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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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.

Beauty and the Beast “Human Again”

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.”

 

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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!

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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.”

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

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For more Beauty and the Beast, see:

Beauty and the Beast “Belle” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Belle (reprise)” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Gaston” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Be Our Guest” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Something There” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Beauty and the Beast/Tale as Old as Time” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “The Mob Song” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “The West Wing” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Battle on the Tower” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Transformation” (1991)

For more great Disney songs check out the main page here: Disney A-Z

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Beauty and the Beast “Something There” (1991)

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Beauty and the Beast “Something There” (1991)

“Something There” is a fun, if brief, interlude for our main characters before the romance of the ballroom scene and the drama that follows afterward. Before the song proper commences, there’s a funny scene where Belle and Beast are meeting for breakfast and Belle discovers that Beast is…slightly out of practice using silverware, let’s just put it that way. However, Belle finds a compromise and we next shift to the pair taking a walk through the snow covered garden while Belle feeds the birds.

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Neither Belle nor Beast sing aloud, this song is really an expression of their thoughts regarding each other. Belle is finding that Beast is really sweet and is just on the cusp of recognizing that she feels love for him as well, even though he’s “no Prince Charming.”

Beast, at the same time, is delighted that Belle isn’t scared of him anymore, though he still doubts that romance could develop between them. At the same time, he does admit that Belle is looking at him somewhat differently, so maybe there is hope after all.

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Then Lumiere, Cogsworth and Mrs. Potts get into the act and they sing a verse of their own as they observe the pair in a rather one-sided snowball fight (Belle wins), with their own hope growing that soon the enchantment will be broken. Poor little Chip though can’t figure out why everyone is so excited and Mrs. Potts shushes him with “I’ll tell you when you’re older.”

It really is an adorable moment, you can tell that something is building between the pair, and it might just be love, but neither will say as much yet.

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I really like the moment where Belle sings “New, and a bit alarming!” Just the way she emphasizes that last word shows how unsure she still is about this (which is understandable, Beast doesn’t fit the traditional mold of a sweetheart). And I absolutely LOVE the moment when Belle looks back and discovers that Beast is covered in birds!!!

For next time, I’ll look at a song that initially didn’t make the final cut, but thanks to the special edition, we have it now! Get ready for “Human Again” !

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

For more Beauty and the Beast, see:

Beauty and the Beast “Belle” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Belle (reprise)” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Gaston” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Be Our Guest” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Human Again” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Beauty and the Beast/Tale as Old as Time” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “The Mob Song” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “The West Wing” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Battle on the Tower” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Transformation” (1991)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂