My opinion right after watching movie
My opinion right after the film is that while the music is nice, I do not like that it almost completely distorts the continuity of Beauty and the Beast, and it makes both of the main characters worse without even intending to do it. There is a great concept somewhere, but the poor execution held it back.
After seeing how much revenue The Return of Jafar, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, and the TV series was bringing, the studio decided to milk off of Beauty and the Beast next. This film was made in Vancouver, only for the studio to be closed down 5 years after this film’s release.
This film was supposed to be a sequel with Gaston’s brother being a villain (so a rehash of the first film), but since no one cares to see human beast and the human ornaments, they changed the story to what we know it is now.
The film starts off with people entering the castle, and I can tell that they got most of the outer and inner exterior of the castle incorrectly. It is Christmas evening, and the workers Lumiere (Jerry Orbach), and Cogsworth (David Ogden Stiers) are arguing about saving Christmas the year prior, and Chip (Haley Joel Osment) wants to hear the story, which causes Mrs. Potts (Angela Lansbury) to recap it.
So this is apparently supposed to take place after the wolf incident in the predecessor, and during the Something There segment (which was only really a day or 2) *eye roll*.
Belle (Paige O’Hara) goes outside to skate, and the Beast (Robby Benson) falls when he sees her. Belle is overly nice and is trying to get the Beast to skate with her. Wait; wasn’t she still a bit annoyed with the Beast, and it was HIM reaching out to her at around this time?
Belle and Chip are talking about Beast’s grumpy attitude, and then she speaks to Chip about Christmas, and the concept that everyone gets presents. She soon comes up with the idea of creating a book for the Beast for Christmas, and sings a song called “Stories”m which is actually a nice song, and connects the Belle in the movie from its predecessor. So she wants to kill his demons, and so he can get away from the troubles of his life. The animation in this song is really nice too. It is really bothersome that Belle left the castle in her first day in the castle, and like…..a day or two later, she wants to get to know him.
Cogsworth is not pleased with Belle’s plan to revitalize Christmas, since it was Christmas when he was cursed and turned into a beast. Cogsworth eventually gives up, and tells them to plan Christmas quietly, so the Beast will not find out and complain.
Belle gets everyone to sing As Long as There’s Christmas, which will get their spirits
about capitalism and Corporate America up, and even I have to admit that this is another good song. The entire castle is decorated now, and soon enough, Beast finds out. I am assuming that Fife told Forte, who told him.
We get a badly animated scene, that actually showed how the Beast turned into a beast. So the brat with no parents and no sort of monarch opened the door, and snubs the old hag, causing him to turn into a beast. At least they established that he was a preteen or a teenager.
The Beast storms into the wood room, and lashes out at Belle for planning Christmas behind his back, and that her stupid wishing logs won’t work, since he is sure last year, she did not wish to be here. He tells her that there will be no Christmas, and she runs off, saying that she will never give up.
As Belle and Chip are out cutting trees, Forte plays a solemn song, and Fife plays a whistle, which gets the dog to enter their room. She meets them, introduces herself to Forte, and they talk about her plans. He convinces her to go to the Dark Forest, which she has doubts about, since she is not supposed to leave the castle, but Forte tells her that the beast loves big trees, and tells her that he will not tell Beast that she left.
So the Beast set up a date for Belle, and is waiting for hours. Eventually, he snaps, and asks Mrs. Potts where Belle is, but she refuses to answer the question, but eventually tells him that they cannot find her. He looks in the mirror to see her not in the palace, and loses it. Forte tells him that Belle affected him, and that love is a bad thing.
So all of the tools enter her cell, and Angelique sings a rehash of the Christmas song to cheer Belle up. Forte is trying to keep Beast in a crappy mood, but the Beast suddenly changes his mood when he sees the present that Belle got him. He opens it, and reads the book that she created for him, which gives him hope, and he leaves. Beast enters her cell, apologizes, and asks for her forgiveness, which she gives him, and they all want to give Belle the Christmas she wants. *eye roll*
So Forte loses his shit, and plays so the entire castle can break, and everyone can die. Fife tries to stop him, but when his solo (which Forte used on Fife to get him to do his dirty work), Fife cries, and Beast enters the room to lose his shit. We have this over the top climax, and the Beast does something to the keyboards to have Forte self-destruct. I am going to make a list of murderers of the Disney Princes.
- Prince Phillip
- Prince Eric
- John Smith
- Shang (I am sure he killed some military people during the war)
We fast forward a year, where the human Beast and Belle come to the ballroom to celebrate Christmas with everyone.
Not impressed with the characters in the film. Flanderization, pointless characters, so on and so on.
The animation is not pleasing to the eye. The character designs are horrid, the continuity is a bit off, and it just looks……weird. The coloring is not as sharp as it needs to do, and the blend between the foreground and the background is not that good.
The music is honestly not even really bad. The songs are pretty good, and have some clever lyrics, and while some of the songs are pointless, it does sound like something that would come from the world of Beauty and the beast. Probably one of the better things about the film.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on November 17th, 1997, it became the fourth highest grossing direct-to-video feature, right behind King of Thieves. This film made $186 million dollars.
From what I have seen around the internet, this film has received negative reception for derailing the characters, having little to no effort put into it.
It actually won 2 WAC awards for being the best direct-to-video film, so it has that going for it.
So………. people hate this film 18 years later, and I think the hate grew instead of diminished for this film.
23.5/40 = 59%