When the Disney Studios began releasing new feature-length animated films in the 1990s, I think most people had the idea that they would not be quite as good as the “classics” of the 1940s – 1960s era. Any movie touched by Walt Disney himself was simply magic, or so it seemed. Nonetheless, “The Aristocats” left some people cold (although my sister and I saw it 6 times when it first came out in 1971 — I think our parents feared we were going to move into the theater). My best friend and I spent many days singing “Everybody wants to be a cat”. “The Aristocats” wasn’t quite as popular as “The Jungle Book” but it marked the end of an era of Disney animated features for me. I didn’t see another one in the theaters for many years afterward.
And I should say I didn’t see “Beauty and the Beast” in the theater, although I wished I had once I saw the movie. I thought it would be just another kiddie film. I was wrong. Well, anyway, if I start out talking about Aristocats I need to share some of the magic.
But great though that movie was, as I said, it was the last animated Disney flick I saw in theaters for … oh, decades. But back to “Beauty and the Beast”.
If you have been reading this blog (or the other SF-Fandom blog) for any length of time, then you know by now that I have a soft spot in my heart for student films. Well, this next video is more like a parent’s proud clip. It’s a middle school staging of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” — I don’t know from what year but I suppose it cannot be too long ago.
Amateur and professional stage adaptations of the animated film have taken place all over the world. This video shows the ballroom scene from an amateur Australian production filmed sometime in 2007:
Here is the original take (although this is probably not the best available copy of it) on the ballroom scene from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”. I’ve always preferred Angela Lansbury’s version of the song to the Peebo Bryson/Celine Dion version. That’s just me, I’m sure.
And that, dear friends, concludes this week’s trip down fantasy dance-and-song lane. I’m sure there are many, many more videos out there. I won’t get to watch them all any more than you, but I’m doing my best to get through them one by one.
I’m doing my best.