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Beauty & the Beast - Biography
|last update : 25-06-2007 16:20|
|Beauty and the Beast is a 1991 American animated film, the thirtieth animated feature produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation. The film was originally released to theaters on November 13, 1991 by Walt Disney Pictures. This film, one of the best-known of the Disney studio's films, is an adaptation of the well-known fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, about a beautiful woman kept in a castle by a horrific monster. It is the first and only animated picture to ever be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Heightening the level of performance in the era known as the Disney Renaissance (1989-1996, beginning with The Little Mermaid), all animated films following its release have been influenced by its new use of 3D technology.
Beauty and the Beast ranked #22 on the American Film Institute's list of best musicals and #34 on its list of the best romantic American movies. On the list of the greatest songs from American movies, Beauty and the Beast ranked #62. In 2002, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. In October 8 of the same year, Disney released the film as a Platinum Edition DVD.
The movie was adapted to an animation screenplay by Linda Woolverton, based upon the version of Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont (uncredited in the English version of the film, but credited in the French version as writer of the novel). It was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, and the music was composed by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, both of whom had written music and songs for Disney's The Little Mermaid. In interviews, Disney executives had said that they had felt the recent years, but especially 1990 and 1991; American pop culture had been pockmarked by shallowness, the treatment of women as objects and items to be compared and ranked against each other, and that young men were being sent the message that the prettier a girl they marry or date; the more successful a man they are. (See trophy wife). Disney said that the moral associated with the film was that "in our looks-oriented society, looks are not everything."
It was a significant success at the box office, with more than $171 million in domestic revenues alone and over $377 million in worldwide revenues.   This high number of sales made it the third-most successful movie of 1991, surpassed only by summer blockbusters Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. It was also the most successful animated Disney film at the time and the first animated movie to reach $100 million at the box office. 
Beauty and the Beast won Academy Awards for Best Music, Original Score and Best Music, Song for Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's "Beauty and the Beast", sung in the film's most famous scene by Angela Lansbury, and at the end of the film by Céline Dion and Peabo Bryson. Two other Menken and Ashman songs from the movie were also nominated for Best Music, Song are "Be Our Guest" and "Belle" making it the first picture ever to receive three Academy Award nominations for Best Song, a feat that would be repeated by The Lion King and Dreamgirls. Beauty and the Beast was also nominated for Best Sound and Best Picture. It is the only animated movie ever to be nominated for Best Picture.
This film inspired a Broadway stage musical, which earned tremendous commercial success in its own right and a Tony Award, and became the first of a whole line of Disney stage productions. It will close in June to make room for another production, The Little Mermaid. There are also Disney versions of the story published and sold as storybooks and a comic book based on the film published by Disney Comics.
In 1995, a live-action children's series called "Sing Me A Story With Belle" started on syndication, running until 1999.
In November 11, 1997, a midquel called Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas was released directly to video. It was quickly followed by another midquel titled Belle's Magical World that was released on February 17, 1998.