Beauty and The Beast
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
This animated adaptation of the timeless classic is a multiple Academy Award winning film. In it we are introduced to Belle (voice of Paige O'Hara), the daughter of a tireless inventor. She is not the type to be happy with just any man. The avid bookworm dreams of a romantic hero, and is not much impressed by the local, most eligible bachelor, Gaston (voice of Richard White). However, her good looks have prompted this vainglorious town bully to announce his intentions for marriage.
Meanwhile, a business excursion leads her Dad (voice of Rex Everhart) into a dangerous magical forest. Narrowly escaping attacking wolves, the distraught designer finds himself in graver danger within the fortress where he has taken refuge. When Belle hears that her father has been taken prisoner by a hideous beast (voiced by Robbie Benson), she sets off to rescue him. But the creature will only release the man if the maiden will take his place. Putting aside her freedom and hopes for the future, the selfless girl agrees.
While the agitated parent tries (without much success) to get help from the pride-wounded Gaston and the villagers, Belle settles into her captivity. Fortunately the castle's enchanted furniture and dishes are far more hospitable than her host. The amicable bunch secretly hopes the young woman may be the one to break a horrible spell that binds them. The biggest obstacle they all face is the Beast's bad manners.
Parents of young children should be aware that the hairy main character appears very frightening at times, as do some vicious biting wolves. Attempts to lighten the mood by including a loud-mouthed boasting villain--who constantly beats upon his sidekick (voice of Jesse Corti) --only add more annoyance than humor. The stereotypical depiction of a womanizing Frenchman (voiced by Jerry Orbach) may also cause brief concern.
Yet these faults are overshadowed by superb animation (which successfully simulates the camera work found in live action films) and an exceptional score (even if the story lags a little during the "Be Our Guest" musical sequence that serves only as a technical showpiece). Beauty And The Beast also demonstrates the value of loyalty and sacrifice, and the need to looking beneath the surface of people to appreciate the qualities found within.