Per FTC disclosure: This site contains affiliate links.  Walt Disney was a storyteller who had an amazing ability to take a story and make it unforgettable. During his time on earth, he performed his brand of magic on many stories transforming them into masterpieces. This Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Review will compare the original book with the movie. This movie happens to be one of my all-time favorites from the studio that continues to bring you the best in movie entertainment. (And I don’t get paid to say that.

After Walt’s death, the Walt Disney Studios lost the ability to entertain audiences for many years. However, at the end of the 80’s, there was a comeback that was truly spectacular with The Little Mermaid. I remember thinking at the time that anyone could have a one-hit wonder, but Disney Studios has continued to wow audiences with amazing movies to this day. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is a movie with a lot of WOW Factor.


The original tale of Beauty and the Beast is known as “La Belle et le Bete” was written in France in the 1700’s. Most online sources will tell you that the story was written and published in 1756 by Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont, but the original story was penned by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. The original version is novel length and gives much more detail regarding the histories of both the Beast and Beauty.


In Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s 1740 version, the Beast is a prince. His father died while he was still young, and his mother leaves to defend their kingdom. The Beast is left with an evil fairy. When The Beast becomes an adult the fairy tries to seduce him when he refuses she transforms him into the beast. To break the spell he needs to marry someone without them knowing his past. In a neighboring kingdom, another fairy falls in love with a king. Beauty is their daughter. Because Beauty’s mother fell in love with a human, Beauty has been sentenced to marry a beast when she grows up. The Beast’s castle is enchanted, and the story is laced with more fairies and protection for both The Beast and Beauty. 

After de Villeneuve’s death, Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont rewrote and published the most-well known story of Beauty and the Beast leaving out many details including the fairies and the enchanted castle. However, many of the same elements appear in both versions. Beauty’s father is a rich merchant with 3 sons and daughters. His 2 older daughters spend lavish amounts of money. He loses his fortune and goes to live in a cottage with his family. He receives word that his one of his vessels was found, and before going to attend to business asks his daughters what they would like upon his return. The two sisters want fine clothing and jewelry, but Beauty only wants roses. And the rest of the story follows along with the movies.


Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Animated Movie from 1991 leaves out the storyline of a rich merchant and instead paints him as a poor inventor who will someday make his mark on the world. Belle is his only child and she attends to the affairs of the household and farm animals. Gaston, the town’s most eligible bachelor wants to marry Belle, but she flatly refuses time after time. 

In addition, one of the greatest Disney additions is the storyline of the enchanted castle. The characters of the castle, Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumiere, and Cogsworth all add such a delightful merriment to this animated version. It is apparent that Disney has made a great contribution with the wondrous music in this film. The creative talents of lyricist, Howard Ashman, and composer, Alan Menken, wonderfully blended their music with the voices of Angela Lansbury, Paige O’Hara, Robbie Bensen, and Richard White.


This is one of my very favorite Disney movies. The music is fantastic. The characters are fun and entertaining. I love Lumiere and Cogsworth. I love Beauty and the Beast. Belle’s father is great in his role. Furthermore, Gaston is the character that you love to hate, and he plays the part well. This entire movie works and is such a classic that it makes me want to watch it over and over.

There is little bad to say about this movie. Now although I think it is suitable for all ages, I do recognize that some children may be frightened by the Beast. He is loud and does yell. There is a scene with wolves attacking Belle and the Beast that could be scary. When Gaston convinces the townspeople to storm the castle that could be scary too. In addition, there is the fight between Gaston and the Beast that ends in the Beast being stabbed and Gaston falling to his death. 


This is a must see movie. If you have never seen Beauty and the Beast, stop what you are doing right now and watch it. You will thank me!!

Thanks, Patty @ A Mother’s Random Thoughts

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Sources: Wikipedia and DisneyWikia.com



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