Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Beauty and the Beast (1991) poster
Directed by Gary Trousdale
Kirk Wise
Produced by Don Hahn

Paige O'Hara
Robby Benson
Richard White
Jerry Orbach
David Ogden Stiers
Angela Lansbury
Bradley Pierce
Rex Everhart
Jesse Corti

Music by Alan Menken
Editing by John Carnochan
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release November 22, 1991
Running time 84 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25 million
Gross revenue $424,967,620

Beauty and the Beast is a 1991 American animated musical romance–fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on the French fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, Beauty and the Beast is the 30th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. Additionally, it is third in the Disney Renaissance period. Starring Paige O'Hara and Robby Benson, Beauty and the Beast focuses on the relationship between the Beast (Benson), a prince who is magically transformed into a hideous monster as punishment for his selfishness, and Belle (O'Hara), a beautiful young woman who he imprisons in his castle. The film also features the voices of Richard White, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers and Angela Lansbury, who occupy supporting roles.

Walt Disney first attempted to adapt "Beauty and the Beast" into an animated feature film during the 1930s and 1950s, but was unsuccessful. Following the unprecedented success of The Little Mermaid (1989), Walt Disney Feature Animation decided to adapt the fairy tale, originally conceived by then-director Richard Purdum as a non-musical. Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg eventually discontinued the idea and ordered that the film be a musical similar to The Little Mermaid instead, resulting in Purdum's resignation. Beauty and the Beast was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, with a screenplay by Linda Woolverton story first credited to Roger Allers. Lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken wrote the film's songs. Ashman, who additionally served as an executive producer on the film, died of AIDS eight months before the film's premiere. The film is dedicated to him.

Beauty and the Beast premiered at the New York Film Festival on September 29, 1991, followed by a theatrical release on November 22 to very positive reviews. The film was a major box office success, and has since garnered over $424 million worldwide. Beauty and the Beast was nominated for several awards, winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Famously, Beauty and the Beast became the first animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. The film received five additional Academy Award nominations, including Best Original Score, Best Sound, and three separate nominations for Best Original Song. Ultimately, the film won Best Original Score, while Best Original Song was awarded to its title song. In 2002, Beauty and the Beast was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

In April 1994, Beauty and the Beast became Disney's first animated film to be adapted into a Broadway musical. The success of the film spawned two direct-to-video midquels: Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997) and Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World (1998). This was followed by a spin-off television series, Sing Me a Story with Belle. An IMAX special edition version of the original film was released in 2002, with a new five-minute musical sequence, "Human Again", included. After the success of the 3D re-release of The Lion King, the film returned to theaters in 3D under supervision of John Lasseter on January 13, 2012.


An enchantress, disguised as an old beggar, offers a young prince a rose in exchange for a night's shelter in his castle but the prince declines. As a result of the prince's actions, the enchantress transforms him into a monstrous beast, his servants into household items, and his castle into a dark fortress. She gives him a magic mirror that enables him to view faraway events, along with the rose, which will bloom until his 21st birthday. In order to break the curse, the prince must learn to love and be loved in return before the rose′s petals have fallen off, lest he remain a beast permanently.

Years later, a beautiful young woman named Belle lives in a nearby French village with her father Maurice, an inventor. A bookworm, Belle longs for a life beyond the dull village. Her beauty and non-conformity attracts attention in the town and she is pursued by several men, particularly the arrogant and muscle-bound Gaston, who is set on marrying her. Despite Gaston being sought after by single females and admired by the male population of the town, Belle is uninterested in him.

While traveling to a fair to present his wood-chopping machine, accompanied by his horse Phillipe, Maurice gets lost in the woods. Chased by a pack of wolves, Maurice stumbles upon the Beast's castle, where he meets the transformed servants Lumière, a candelabra; Cogsworth, a clock; Mrs. Potts, a teapot; and her son Chip, a teacup. But soon after that, the ferocious Beast imprisons Maurice. Belle is led back to the castle by Phillipe, and offers to take her father′s place; the Beast accepts her offer over Maurice's protests. While Gaston is sulking in the tavern after a failed proposal to Belle, Maurice arrives seeking help to rescue her from the Beast. No one takes him seriously, so he sets out alone.

That night, Belle refuses to dine with the Beast, enraging him; Lumière disobeys his order not to let her eat. While Cogsworth and Lumière give Belle a tour of the castle, she wanders into the forbidden West Wing. When she finds the enchanted rose, the Beast angrily chases her away. Belle attempts to flee the castle with Phillipe, but they are attacked by a pack of wolves. The Beast comes to her aid and fights off the wolves, but is injured in the process. Belle nurses his wounds, and he begins to develop feelings for her. She thanks him for saving her life and he impresses her by giving her the castle's vast library. As they spend more time together, they grow closer. Meanwhile, a spurned Gaston pays Monsieur d'Arque, the warden of the town's insane asylum, to have Maurice committed if Belle does not accept Gaston's marriage proposal.

Belle and the Beast share a romantic evening together. Belle informs the Beast she misses her father, and he lets her use the magic mirror to see him. When Belle sees him dying in the woods in an attempt to rescue her, the Beast lets her leave to rescue her father, giving her the mirror to remember him by. Belle finds her father and brings him home. Gaston arrives to put Maurice in the insane asylum, but Belle proves Maurice's sanity by showing them the Beast with the magic mirror. Realizing that Belle has feelings for the Beast, Gaston warns the townspeople that the Beast is a man-eating monster that must be killed, and leads them to the castle. Gaston confines Belle and Maurice to their basement, but Chip, who had hidden himself in Belle's baggage, releases them with the aid of Maurice's wood-chopping machine.

The Beast's servants defeat the townspeople while Gaston sneaks away to confront the Beast. The Beast is initially too depressed to fight back, but he regains his will when he sees Belle returning to the castle. After winning a heated battle on the castle's rooftops, the Beast spares Gaston's life and orders him to leave. He is about to reunite with Belle, but Gaston stabs him from behind, only to lose his balance and die. Before the Beast's death, Belle professes her love for him just as the rose's last petal falls, and the spell is broken. The Beast comes back to life and is restored to human form, as are his servants. Now married, Belle and the prince dance in the ballroom with her father and the servants happily watching on.


  • Paige O'Hara as Belle
  • Robby Benson as the Beast
  • Richard White as Gaston
  • Jerry Orbach as Lumiere
  • David Ogden Stiers as Cogsworth
  • Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts
  • Bradley Michael Pierce as Chip
  • Jesse Corti as Lefou
  • Jo Anne Worley as the Wardrobe
  • Kath Soucie as the Bimbettes
  • Brian Cummings as the Stove
  • Alvin Epstein as the Bookseller
  • Alec Murphy as the Baker
  • Mary Kay Bergman as Babette
  • Frank Welker as the Footstool