Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World

  • Review Date: November 28, 2011
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Collection of so-so enchanted tales is redeemed by Belle.
  • Review Date: November 28, 2011
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Except for the lesson that a bird would rather be free than caged, these stories are purely for entertainment.

Positive messages

Each of the segments provides a different positive message, from the importance of forgiveness to the reminder that a good friend should try to cheer up their close pals to the lesson that it's never wise to let jealousy control your feelings.

Positive role models

Belle is, as always, selfless, sweet, and kind -- not to mention intelligent and willing to stand up to Beast for what she believes is important. She thinks of others around the castle, even though she's the one who's imprisoned there. Beast's beastlier moments are balanced out by his ultimate willingness to correct his wrongs and ask for forgiveness.

Violence & scariness

Beast loses his temper more than once and can be frightening, like when he pushes Webster off the table or when he growls or yells at Belle. Fifi and Lumiere almost take a dangerous fall before being rescued. Beast refuses to release a caged bird.

Sexy stuff

Flirting between Lumiere and Fifi, who's jealous of the relationship between Lumiere and Belle. The entire "Fifi's Folly" segment is filled with romantic overtones and jealousy before the couple reconciles. Belle and Beast also have a romantic subtext to their relationship.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Any of Disney's straight-to-video offerings are made to extend the original movie's popularity and merchandising tie-ins.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Disney direct-to-DVD spin-off of the classic Beauty and the Beast is a collection of four separate stories. Beast can be kind one moment and full of rage the next, but ultimately Belle's generous manner always persuades him to redeem himself. There are a few moments when Beast is mean that may frighten the youngest viewers, but for the most part the various shorts feature the castle's enchanted characters and are fine for older preschoolers. Each of the vignettes offers a different lesson about forgiveness, friendship, and love.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

This direct-to-DVD special includes four short tales that highlight different enchanted characters in Beast's castle. The vignettes include "The Perfect World," which shows how a dinner conversation between Beast (voiced by Robby Benson) and Belle (Paige O'Hara) escalates into a fight; "Fifi's Folly" is about how Fifi (Kimmy Robertson) thinks Lumiere (Jerry Orbach) has forgotten their anniversary and is smitten with Belle; "Mrs. Potts' Party" follows Belle as she plans a surprise party to cheer up a depressed Mrs. Potts (Anne Rogers); and "The Broken Wing" focuses on an injured bird that Belle is nursing to health but winds up locked in a cage by the Beast.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

BELLE'S MAGICAL WORLD is feature length at 92 minutes, but it's a collection of four different tales rather than one, and the short stories don't have anything do with each other. Viewers expecting the same level of animation, storytelling, or musicality as the original will be disappointed by the budget look of this installment, which takes place after Enchanted Christmas but before the spell is broken at the end of the original.
 

Since several key members of the original cast return, it's a treat to hear O'Hara, Benson, Orbach, and Cogsworth's David Ogden Stiers (among others) voice their beloved characters again. None of the stories is particularly memorable, but they're all amusing enough to delight Belle fans, who will also appreciate that O'Hara's lovely singing voice is highlighted in two original songs. Belle is one of the best Disney princesses, because she's not waiting around for a prince to save her -- she's the one who will eventually save the Beast; her charming personality and kind spirit save this otherwise forgettable quartet of friendship tales.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's focus on relationships. How does each short story highlight a different relationship and what it needs to overcome?

  • What is "The Perfect World" segment's lesson in forgiveness? Why must an apology be from the heart? Can Belle tell the difference between Beast's real apology and the fake one?

  • Do these straight-to-DVD movies live up to the original's standards? What's the appeal if they aren't as good as the first one? When you love a character, does it make you want to buy stuff with his or her face or name on it?

Movie details

DVD release date:November 22, 2011
Cast:Jerry Orbach, Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson
Studio:Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Princesses and fairies, Music and sing-along
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byadvocatewhat'sright December 30, 2012
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Cute but not necessary

Sorry but it's not the classic that the first is. It's cute enough and the messages are good, but the animation is low quality. Some scariness during the third part, and there's a bit of sexy stuff in the second part. Better than the first midquel, but not by a lot. Overall 4.5/10 Get the original instead!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old January 17, 2012
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Any age

Not so educational, many positive messages, flirting between Lumiere and Fifi, no product placement, great movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex

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