Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

North American DVD cover
Directed by Andy Knight
Written by Flip Kobler
Cindy Marcus
Bill Motz
Bob Roth
Starring Paige O'Hara
Robby Benson
Angela Lansbury
Jerry Orbach
David Ogden Stiers
Bernadette Peters
Tim Curry
Andrew Keenan-Bolger
Studio DisneyToon Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s) November 11, 1997 (1997-11-11)
Running time 72 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Beauty and The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas is a 1997 animated holiday special produced by The Walt Disney Company. It is a midquel that takes place within the timeline of the original Beauty and the Beast (after the fight with the wolves, before the Beast gives Belle the castle library, and before the fight with Gaston). In this movie the Beast forbids Christmas (because his transformation from the Prince occurred on Christmas) until Belle, Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, and Chip convince him that Christmas is a good holiday. The film also shows the time that the enchantress put the spell on the castle in the first film in more detail.

Contents

Plot

Belle and Prince Adam throw a Christmas party for the local villagers at their castle. Lumiere and Cogsworth argue who brought Christmas back to the castle, whilst Mrs. Potts insists of explaining the true story behind Christmas' return to the castle. The film then switches into a lengthy flashback, during the events of the first film after the Beast saved Belle from a wolf pack. Belle is excited for Christmas but is shocked when the castle servants reveal the Beast has forbidden Christmas from occurring. Belle finds the Beast outside in the snow and offers to teach him ice skating, but the Beast storms off when he crashes into the snow.

Belle decides to throw Christmas, Lumiere and Chip accompanying her to the castle attic where they meet Angelique, one of Lumiere's lovers who objects to the reintroduction of Christmas, due to the Beast's curse occurring on Christmas when he rejected the Enchantress entry into the castle. The Beast consults the court composer Forte, who was transformed into a giant pipe organ. Forte would prefer to remain as an ornament than rely on Belle, enjoying his manipulation over the Beast's anger. The Beast confronts Belle in the castle's boiler room, but they come to blows over their argument over Christmas. Belle eventually meets Forte, who advises her to venture into the deepest part of the forest to cut down a giant Christmas tree. However, Belle finds the tree is near impossibe to cut down and eventually falls under a sheet of ice. The Beast learns what has happened and goes to rescue her with Lumiere, Cogsworth, Forte's humble minion Fife, and carpenter Axe. However, knowing she was planning Christmas against his wishes, he imprisons Belle in the dungeons.

The servants visit Belle, Angelique apologising for her rude attitude. The Beast finds a present, a storybook, from Belle and reads it. Moved by the book's words, the Beast has a change of heart and frees Belle, offering to celebrate Christmas after all. Forte is furious and uses his music in an attempt to destroy the castle. The Beast confronts Forte, but is overwhelmed by his music. Fife points out Forte's keyboard is his weak point, the Beast tossing it at Forte who collapses and dies. Belle, the Beast and the servants celebrate Christmas together. The film ends at the party, with Prince Adam taking Belle aside and giving her a rose as a Christmas present.

Production

After the success of Beauty and the Beast, another film was inevitable. The film was put on a direct-to-video release after The Return of Jafar and other sequels based on theatrical films were having success on the direct-to-video market. The film was the first product of a subsidiary of Walt Disney Television Animation's Vancouver Studio. The studio was shut down in 2002 because of studio cutbacks.

In the early stages of production, the film was going to be a sequel to the original film. The film would feature Avenant, here depicted as Gaston's younger brother, as the villain. Avenant's goal was to avenge Gaston by ruining the lives of Belle and Prince Adam and threatening to kill them. Although he was cut out of the story and the plot had changed, this trait was given to Forte, the pipe organ, who did not want the Beast to become human again. This plot was inspired by the 1946 film, which inspired the first film. Avenant was the inspiration for Gaston.

It was later decided that the film should be a midquel instead of a sequel. Its original title was going to be Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Belle.

Cast and characters

Release

The film was first released on VHS on November 11, 1997. It is the fourth highest grossing direct-to-video animated film, surpassing the $180 million mark. The film is right behind Aladdin and the King of Thieves at $186 million. A bare-bones DVD was released on October 13, 1998. Both editions were quicky taken out of print and the film remained unavailable until Disney released the Special Edition DVD and VHS on November 12, 2002, just after the studio released the original film's Special Edition DVD release. The new DVD featured a remake music video of the song "As Long As There's Christmas" by Play. Also featured was a game titled Forte's Challenge, a 10-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, Disney Song Selection, and Enchanted Environment, where it shows the Beast's Castle during the different seasons. The original film's Special Edition and this one's were taken out of print at the same time in January 2003. The Special Edition DVD is set to be re-released, following the release of the 'Diamond Edition' of the first film in the United Kingdom in Region 2 PAL format in November 2010. It was released in Region 4 Australia on November 3rd with the same features on the original Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas DVD. It will be re-released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 22, 2011.

Reception

According to the film reviewer website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a score of 0% "Rotten" on the Top Critics list. On the RT Community, the film has a 73% "Fresh" rating. Reviews for the film were mixed, but it has been called better than its sequel, Belle's Magical World.

Awards

The film won two of its eight nominations.

Award Result
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films: Best Home Video Release Nominated
Annie Award: Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production for director Andrew Knight Nominated
Annie Award: Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production for "As Long As There's Christmas" by Rachel Portman and Don Black Nominated
Annie Award: Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Feature Production for Tim Curry Nominated
Annie Award: Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Feature Production for Jerry Orbach Nominated
Annie Award: Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Feature Production for the Writers Nominated
WAC Award: Best Direct to Video Production Won
WAC Award: Best Director of Home Video for Andrew Knight Won

Soundtrack

Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released September 9, 1997
Genre Soundtrack/Christmas
Length 46:44
Label Walt Disney Records
Producer Bambi Moe
Jay Landers
Harold J. Kleiner

The original score and songs were composed by Rachel Portman with lyrics written by Don Black. The film's songs were recorded "live" with an orchestra and the cast in a room, similar to the first film. "Stories", sung by Paige O'Hara, is about what Belle will give the Beast for a Christmas: a story book, and is heavily based on the motif in the finale of Sibelius' symphony no. 5. "As Long As There's Christmas", the theme of the film, is about finding hope during Christmas Time. The song was sung by the cast of the film with a back-up chorus and is sung when Belle and the enchanted objects redecorate the castle for Christmas.

"Don't Fall in Love", sung by Tim Curry, displays Forte's plan on keeping the Beast away from Belle to stop the spell from breaking. "A Cut Above the Rest", also sung by the cast, is how teamwork and friends are very important in life. "Deck the Halls" is performed during the opening title by Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Bernadette Peters, and the Chorus. A soundtrack was released on September 9, 1997. The album serves as the film's soundtrack and also as a Christmas album of traditional carols sung by Paige O'Hara.

  1. Deck the Halls (Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury, Chorus)
  2. Stories (Paige O'Hara)
  3. As Long As There's Christmas (Paige O'Hara, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury, Chorus)
  4. Don't Fall In Love (Tim Curry)
  5. As Long As There's Christmas (Reprise) (Paige O'Hara, Bernadette Peters)
  6. A Cut Above the Rest (David Ogden Stiers, Jerry Orbach, Paige O'Hara)
  7. As Long As There's Christmas (End Title) (Peabo Bryson, Roberta Flack)
  8. We Wish You A Merry Christmas (Paige O'Hara)[1]
  9. Do You Hear What I Hear (Paige O'Hara)[1]
  10. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel/Joy To The World (Paige O'Hara)[1]
  11. O Christmas Tree (Paige O'Hara)[1]
  12. The First Noel (Paige O'Hara)[1]
  13. What Child Is This (Paige O'Hara)[1]
  14. The Twelve Days of Christmas (Paige O'Hara)[1]
  15. Silent Night (Paige O'Hara)[1]
  16. Belle's Magical Gift (Instrumental)
  17. Fife's Yuletide Theme (Instrumental)
  18. The Enchanted Christmas Finale (Instrumental)

In the beginning of the NTSC VHS, the album was advertised before the feature.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Recorded specifically for album; not used in the film.

External links


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