Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"But what is dinner without a little music?"

This is part of the series Hit Me With Your Best Shot at The Film Experience.

Beauty and the Beast is my second favorite animated movie (Sleeping Beauty being my favorite).  The first time I saw this movie I was astounded at the animation, how the camera moved, the color palette used and the music.   As to the animation, in some instances we might be focused in the foreground, but the background would held beautiful images worth contemplating.  

Nonetheless, my favorite sequence in all the movie is Be Our Guest. This sequence includes not only a catchy song with beautiful lyrics, but also the energy, warmth, and strength of eating and drinking (and serving).  It is also a joyous and long awaited hiatus in the lives of the servants, as is put into song:  

Life is so unnerving
For a servant who's not serving
He's not whole without a soul to wait upon

Ah, those good old days when we were useful...
Suddenly those good old days are gone
Ten years we've been rusting
Needing so much more than dusting
Needing exercise, a chance to use our skills!
Most days we just lay around the castle
Flabby, fat and lazy
You walked in and oops-a-daisy!

A daisy, indeed.  And what joie the vivre!

But my favorite shot is actually in the reprise of the song Belle, when Belle has said no to Gaston's marriage proposal and she goes to the woods to sing her heart out.

She is definitely not Madame Gaston.  Belle also wants much more than her provincial life can provide (even though one might say that she is privileged to live in such a beautiful and luscious place- it all depends in one's circumstances, I guess).   

This sequence reminds me so of another of my favorite movies: the beginning of The Sound of Music, when Maria is also singing in the woods (even the music, to my untrained ears, sounds similar).

Come to think of it, Beast's castle reminds me of the von Trapp house.

What a marvelous library.  I've always been the nerdy type, so I fell in love with the Beast's library.  So much knowledge and so little time to read it all.

Tale as old as time, indeed.

A very deserved Oscar nomination for Best Picture.  


Jorge Rodrigues said...

Such a lovely post! BEAUTY AND THE BEAST sure has some fascinating musical scenes.

One thing I usually can't stand on some older Disney classics was this scene, usually in the middle of a musical number, where objects begin to multiply making funny patterns, mixing colors and shapes (I remember Dumbo especially ticked me off because of that scene - I think it had something to do with elephants).

In BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, they managed to make it very pleasant in 'Be Our Guest'. I also love that musical number and it's one eyecandy number for sure!

Love the post! Keep'em coming ;)

Pedro said...

Thank you, Jorge. Beauty and the Beast is my second favorite animated movie, and one of my favorite movies of all time. I was truly mesmerized when I saw it the first time at the movies.