Beauty and the Beast is an 48-minute animated film originally released on May 4th, 1992, and based on the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. Like all other Golden Films productions, the film featured a single theme song, "The Beauty in the Beast", written and composed by Richard Hurwitz and John Arrias. Produced by Golden Films and the American Film Investment Corporation, it was distributed to DVD in 2002 by GoodTimes Entertainment, as part of its "Collectible Classics" line.
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The story begins when an old gentleman, father of five children, finds himself amidst great financial troubles. He had received news of his numerous ships carrying his valuable cargo being caught and destroyed in the sea off China. Finding himself in great debts, the heartbroken old gentleman sees no other option but to sell all of his property and move then with his children to the countryside, where they may begin a new life, without any real luxuries or riches. Though his two spoiled daughters, Alicia and Pauline are not happy with the change, his three other children, the two boys Robert and Nathan and his beautiful daughter Beauty, have an easier time adapting. The old gentleman and his two boys spend their days working outside in the great fields, while Beauty spends her time helping in any way she can, bringing the men their lunch, looking after the farm animals and her two grouchy sisters.
One day, a messenger arrives bringing the working men great joy, for one of the old ships had made its way to the harbor in the city, the Golden Swan, and it possibly might be filled with valuable cargo. Excited, the two spoiled girls, Alicia and Pauline start asking for gifts, jewels and dresses, then the man asks of Beauty what she would like for herself and she humbly asks for a small rose. Without wasting any time, the old gentleman says farewell to his children and riding on horseback, makes his long way to the city.
In the city, the harbor master takes the old gentleman to inspect the ship which seems to be in very bad shape. The gentleman insists on looking inside the cargo hold where he finds all of his cargo to be trashed, spices, tea and even silk. The harbor master tells the man that the ship too is damaged beyond repair and advices him to sell what is left of it for scrap. The old gentleman, downhearted and depressed, makes his way back to his new home in the country. On his way through the woods however, he loses his way and after a long ride finds a magnificent castle in the midst of the forest he had not even known existed. The old gentleman leads his horse to the castle, where he finds all the doors open. He leaves the horse in a welcoming stable and then walks over to the great dining room, where a delicious meal has been laid out for him. After dinner, the old man finds a comfortable bed and spends the night inside the enchanted castle.
When morning arrives, the old gentleman loudly thanks his invisible, yet generous host and prepares to leave, for he realizes his children must be worrying. Remembering the promises made to his daughters, he knows he cannot bring the jewels and dresses Alicia and Pauline had asked for, but the castle gardens have many roses and the man decides to pluck one for Beauty. As soon as said rose is cut, the wind begins blowing hard and the man realizes that something strange is happening. Suddenly, a great ferocious beast appears and scolds the man for having cut one of the roses he cares for above anything else in the world. The old gentleman tries to explain himself, but the beast simply tells him that he must pay for having cut the rose with his own life. Still, the old gentleman tells the beast about Beauty and about how she had asked for a rose. The beast then tells him that he may return and ask Beauty if she would die in his place, and though the old gentleman hesitates, a roar from the beast sends him home again with the threat that if neither of them return, he shall search for them both and kill them.
The old man returns to his home bringing great disappointment to both Alicia and Pauline, and sadly gives Beauty the humble rose she had asked for, asking her to cherish the gift that will cost her father his life. Shocked, the five children gather around their father to hear the story of the horrible beast and the price the old man must pay for having cut one of his roses, however, the man does not tell them that Beauty may die in his place if she so chooses. The next day, the old man prepares to leave for the castle again, saying one last farewell to his children. His sons, Robert and Nathan insist on going with him, so that the three of them may destroy the beast, but the old gentleman tells them that the beast would likely have the strength of ten men. Beauty had prepared a small lunch for her father to eat along the way and when the old gentleman thanks her kindness, he accidentally lets out what he had tried to avoid confessing; Beauty now knows that she may die instead of her father, and for the welfare of her family, she insists that her father's life is more important for he is the head of the family and it had been she who had asked for the rose in the first place. The old gentleman rejects the proposition with all of his heart, but Beauty insists that if he truly loves her, he will let her be the one to choose.
The old gentleman is accompanied by Beauty to the beast's castle, where the girl is startled by the appearance of the beast. Though a bit offended by her reaction, the beast understands that if Beauty came it is because she has chosen to be the one to be killed and as compensation gives the old gentleman a chest full of jewels. The man, angered by the thought that her daughter should be replaced with jewels, begs for her life, but is calmed down by Beauty and asked to go home and to think kindly of the beast. Father and daughter part, and though neither one of them sees it, the beast is momentarily touched by their mutual affection.
That night, Beauty finds herself in one of the many great rooms in the beast's castle waiting for the time in which he shall kill her; she tells herself that she is ready and has no regrets. Clara, a somewhat clumsy maid capable of doing magic, serves Beauty her dinner and the beast appears shortly after having had his own dinner "the way a beast should eat" as he says. The beast tells Beauty that he has decided to spare her life but that she shall not leave; the castle will be her new home and anything she wishes will be done or given to her, but she shall not be able to leave the castle. Beauty humbly thanks him for this great kindness and is later shown to her new bedroom by Clara. In her great new room, Beauty finds a wardrobe filled with the finest of dresses as well as a magnificent bed where she comfortably lays down to sleep. As she sleeps, Beauty is visited by a dark and sinister fairy who tells her to beware of the apparent kindness of the beast, for it is only to hide a heart of stone. Frightened, Beauty wakes up the next morning not sure if she had had a bad dream or if it had all been true.
Once inside the great castle greenhouse, Beauty asks Clara about the beast, but she refuses to give her opinion on him since it wouldn't be proper, however, she does tell Beauty that she should not listen to others' opinions about the beast and make up her own. Beauty explains that the beast had shown her nothing but kindness and a great friendship since the day she had arrived at the castle.
As time passes and the friendship between Beauty and the beast grows deeper, the beast begins to have a stronger feeling for the girl. One night after dinner and out in the balcony, the beast asks Beauty if she should like to be his wife. Beauty affectionately tells the beast that he means a lot to her and that even though she doesn't love him the way he loves her, she shall always be his friend. The beast does not find that to be enough and declares that he would grant Beauty anything in the world to please her. Beauty then asks of the beast to allow her to return for one week to her home and see her family. Though the beast believes that Beauty is just taking advantage of him in a weak moment, Beauty explains that she only means to keep him to his word. The beast agrees to let her go, but warns her that if she should stay away for longer than one week, he should then die of sorrow. The beast gives Beauty a simple ring that she only need to twist to be taken to her family. That night, Beauty goes to sleep knowing that she shall find herself at home when she wakes up the next morning, but as she falls asleep she begins to dream. Beauty finds herself running through the enchanted woods when the sinister fairy appears again telling her that this is her chance and that she must let the beast die for her own sake. The fairy tells her of the many young women who had come before her and asks Beauty to listen to their desperate spirits shrieking in the night. Beauty is frightened by the loud screams and yells of desperation, but soon awakes full of happiness and makes up her mind to forget about the dream.
When she gets up however, she does not recognize the room she is in as her own room; she is not in the old countryside cottage, but in a fine city mansion full of luxuries. Beauty walks down to the living room to find her beloved family. Everyone is glad and surprised to see Beauty safe and alive again, everyone except for Alicia and Pauline, who fear that all of her suitors will now wish to marry their sister instead of them.
Enjoying herself with her family, the one week flies fast and on the last day when Beauty must return to the beast, she is held back by desperate tears from her two sisters Alicia and Pauline, who are determined to let the beast die. The two sisters are jealous of the greater riches and attentions Beauty receives from the beast and both of them plan to keep Beauty long enough for him to die. Beauty, moved by her sisters' sudden show of sffection agrees that one extra day can cause no harm and goes out skating with Alicia and Pauline. After spending the day helping her clumsy sisters get up from numerous falls and breaking their quarrels, Beauty is surprised by the sudden appearance of Clara, the beast's servant. Clara angrily reminds Beauty of the promise she had made to her master and grabbing her hand twists the ring on her finger.
When Beauty and Clara make their way back to the castle, Beauty is shocked to find the very different state of things; the beautiful roses in the greenhouse are wilting and the beast is nowhere to be seen. Scared, Beauty runs up to the balcony where she finds her dying friend. The beast tells Beauty that she had forgotten the promise she had made to him, and with a forgiving last farewell, dies. Beauty begins to cry hopelessly, wishing to tell the beast that she loved him and that if only he would return to her, she would agree to marry him. Then, she hears the beast's voice again, glad of having heard her say the words he'd longed for. As he gets up, however, the horrible body of the beast disappears revealing instead a handsome prince. He explains to Beauty that an evil fairy had cast a spell upon him and that only if a woman of good heart agreed to marry him, he would return to normal. Clara walks in bringing the evil fairy by the ear, the same sinister fairy who had warned Beauty those times in her dreams. Clara blesses Beauty and the prince and tells them that they shall rule this land as long as they live.
- Beauty - The heroine of the story, Beauty is one of the daughters of a once rich gentleman. The complete opposite of her two sisters, Alicia and Pauline, Beauty enjoys spending time with the less fortunate and bringing them happiness. She is often criticized by her sisters for wearing simple clothing and for helping her two brothers, Nathan and Robert, while they work. When she learns that her father's life is in danger for plucking a red rose she had asked for herself, Beauty feels guilty and decides she should be the one to die instead.
- The Beast - The beast is a handsome young prince who has been turned into an ugly, detestable monster by an evil fairy. He lives in an enchanted castle which he opens to the old gentleman when he loses his way in the woods. When the gentleman cuts one of his roses, the beast feels betrayed and tells the gentleman he will die unless he brings his daughter to take his place. The beast is charmed by the girl and decides not to kill her, instead she keeps her as a prisoner in his castle, however, her every wish is granted, except for that of leaving. The Beast has the body of a gorilla, the mane of a lion, the snout and tusks of a warthog, and the tail of a bull.
- The Old Gentleman - Referred to as "father" by his five children, the old gentleman was once rich and had everything he and his children could wish for, unfortunately, when the ships in which his valuable goods are sailing are caught in a typhoon and destroyed, his family is left in debt which eventually leads to their misery. On his way back from the harbor, heartbroken having thought one of his ships had survived, the old gentleman loses his way and is brought inside a magnificent enchanted castle, not knowing its owner is a terrible beast. The man remembers his promise of bringing one simple rose to Beauty and cuts one from the Beast's rose bushes, an offense which puts his life in danger.
- Alicia and Pauline - They are two spoiled ugly women, sisters of Beauty. Their biggest concern is whether they're dressed properly and whether men have interest in them. To the both of them, wealth is more important than the well-being of their father or their sister. When Alicia and Pauline learn about the beast, they feel an immediate hatred for him and will do whatever they can to see him die of loneliness.
- Clara (voiced by Susan Silo) - Clara is the beast's servant at the castle and she is sister to the Evil Fairy who had cast a spell over the young prince. Clara is a bit clumsy and rather grouchy but she soon takes a liking for Beauty and becomes her best friend in the castle. Just like her sister, Clara has magical powers which make her chores a lot easier.
- Nathan and Robert - Beauty's two brothers.
- The Evil Fairy (voiced by Susan Silo) - Clara's sister who casts a spell over the prince
- The Harbor Master - A man who informs the old gentleman of the tragedy revolving his ships.
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- Beauty and the Beast at the Internet Movie Database
- Beauty and the Beast at AllRovi
- Beauty and the Beast at the Big Cartoon DataBase