Beauty and the Beast
Disney fave has great music, strong messages, some scares.
Based on 70 reviews
Based on 105 reviews
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Beauty and the Beast
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Beauty and the Beast (remade in live action in 2017) is one of Disney's most beloved "princess" stories -- and the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Beast's (voiced by Robby Benson) initial ferocity might scare younger viewers, though once they've seen his gentle side, scenes of him being hunted and stabbed by Gaston (Richard White) are likely to be emotionally upsetting. The sequence in which a mob comes after Beast is also quite intense, and there's some flirting and innuendo, as well as a kiss between Belle (Paige O'Hara) and Beast. But characters demonstrate positive traits like compassion, curiosity, empathy, humility, and self-control. Kids mature enough for feature-length stories will find this one of the best Disney movies they could spend time with in terms of intelligence, quality, and originality -- not to mention having one of Disney's smartest, most independent heroines.
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This movie is magical as a child, but becomes more problematic as you age (not for the reasons others are giving here, hear me out). G movie really should be PG.
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What's the Story?
In BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, curious young Belle (voiced by Paige O'Hara) leaves her village in search of her missing father, arriving at an enchanted castle where a prince has been cursed to live as a hideous Beast (Robby Benson) and his servants as living objects. Only true love can break the spell, but with Beast holding her prisoner and the townspeople plotting to kill him, can Belle see beyond his terrifying appearance in time to save him from his fate?
Is It Any Good?
Stellar music, brisk storytelling, delightful animation, and compelling characters make this a great animated feature for the whole family. Beauty and the Beast may not be Disney's most iconic movie, but it stands as one of the studio's crowning achievements, earning a Best Picture Oscar nomination (the first animated film to achieve that honor) and a Golden Globe for Best Picture.
In essence, all great stories are about transformation, and this one beats out even Cinderella as the ultimate makeover story, with Beast's inner transformation preceding his outer one. Belle remains as strong a role model now as she was when she was first created: She's confident to be herself and stick to her beliefs, even when they don't fit in with others' expectations.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Belle and Beast's first impressions of each other in Beauty and the Beast. What did they discover about each other as their relationship grew and as Beast learned humility and self-control? What message does that send to viewers?
As one of the popular Disney princesses, how is Belle similar to Cinderella and the Little Mermaid? How is she different? Do you consider her a role model?
How do the characters demonstrate compassion and empathy? Why are those important character strengths?
Why do you think Gaston was so surprised that Belle didn't want to marry him? How does their relationship poke fun at fairy tale clichés?
- In theaters: November 22, 1991
- On DVD or streaming: October 4, 2011
- Cast: Paige O'Hara, Richard White, Robby Benson
- Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Fairy Tales, Great Girl Role Models, Music and Sing-Along
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Curiosity, Empathy, Humility, Self-control
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- MPAA explanation: nothing that would offend parents for viewing by children
- Awards: Academy Award, Golden Globe
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
The Princess and the Frog
First African American Disney princess is a good role model.
Gross-out laughs meet a marvelous fairy tale mix.
Anne of Green Gables
Faithful, sensitive take on classic novel is great for kids.
Charming take on Cinderella tale has strong heroine.
Disneyfied but dignified tale of Chinese warrior.
For kids who love fairy tales
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