Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Princess Project - "Beauty and the Beast" Commentary

Tweets originally posted on 2/7/14.  And this one's going to be very picture heavy because it is my favorite ever.

Thanks Internet for not having a video of the insane early Friz Freleng "Beauty and the Beast" Merry Melody short so I can get the damn song out of my head

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Well, let's just cut to the chase then. (And bring my Off-Model Belle avatar back cause why not?)

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For the "Beauty And The Beast" DVD commentary, you have to watch the George Lucased version. Gaston's face matches my own.

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O.O I did not know the "Workprint" version was an option...

Okay, okay. For consistency's sake, I'm going to live-Tweet the 90's "MY CHILDHOOD!!!" theatrical version. But oh my God...

Full confession: I've never seen the Workprint version. I will have to watch that later.

It begs the question though: why isn't the Workprint the version w/the commentary track? Seems to make the most sense?

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Since they Lucased out the 90s logo for the new one, I might as well point out that Donald Duck is mooning us.

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This. Opening. Sequence.

As a kid I knew right here that, while I really loved "The Little Mermaid", this was going to be on a WHOLE other level.

Just the whole thing. The pan through the forest, the stained glass, our first view of Beast. Effing GORGEOUS.

"The Lion King" has it's moments but when I think of Bronze Age/Renaissance Disney at the top of their game, it's "Beauty and the Beast".

This may sound silly but if you're in Walt Disney World, visit Enchanted Tales With Belle if you haven't before.

It's a "one and done" attraction if you don't have kids in your party, but it is worth seeing once just for the part that recreates this scene.

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I'll be succinct. The Enchantress should hook up with Magic Man from "Adventure Time". Magical jerks...

Me as a Kid: "OMG THE LEAD CHARACTER IN THE NEW DISNEY MOVIE IS A NERDY GIRL!!!"

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Me, IRL. Always

I did try to ride a library ladder thing once. It ended in tears.

These lyrics, man.

So, we all secretly agree that Lafou is to Gaston as Mr. Smithers is to Mr. Burns, yes?

This movie is so freakin' good it have to remind myself to pause and comment on stuff!!!

Like holy sh*t at the wolf who races past in only 14 frames!

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I'll be saying this pretty much every time a screenshot makes it through but This. Whole. Scene...

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Weird Personal Note: These dudes were in my imagination while reading Jurassic Park the first time.

Also, if I am not mistaken, this may be Disney's House Attack Dog Crew, first seen in "Lady and the Tramp"...

...and later re-animated, literally, for the "Escape to Witch Mountain" opening credits, "Oliver and Co", and -maybe- here.

Note: I'm totally okay with repurposed animation, as long as you take the effort to make it hard to notice initially.

Okay, let's try to save the (long) discussion about the Enchanted Objects until after the film. For now...

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...I love their gradual reveal! Very reminiscent of "Brave Little Toaster" in a way.

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A) That looks unpleasant. B) I'm gonna have a hard time holding off discussing these poor sods.

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Oh man. This movie.

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Enter Glen Keane's Crowning Moment Of Awesome.

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Oh my good God, Gaston. What in the actual eff?

Watching all the Princess movies thus far, maybe it's just me but it looks like we already got ourselves a subversion...

...of the "OMG I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS CHICK AND NEED TO MARRY HER IMMEDIATELY I HOPE SHE IS COOL WITH THAT!" thing. Huh.

In hindsight it is a damn good thing for Cinderella that Prince Charming was not a raging Dudebro McAsshat...

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I don't even want to know what's happening inside the tuba... O_o

I'm guessing this is why Disney doesn't really go for this kind of gag often...

Ugh, I never noticed how Goddamn *gross* Gaston really was, especially in this scene.

"Marry me! I will keep cornering you against walls until you say yes!"

Thankfully we got brain bleach in five, four, three...

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Honestly. Whole other level from "Little Mermaid". Almost on par with "Snow White" in fact.

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The LIGHTING in this movie! This was only the second or third feature they used CAPS and boy are they showing it off!

Important: Belle saves her father by offering to take his place as prisoner. Times Belle has rescued a male character: 1

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Even Beast is like, "Woah..." We also get our first hint of his true nature here.

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Glen

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Keane

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Is

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My

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Freakin'

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Hero!

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But let us not sell James Baxter short. This reaction...

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So when this thing comes waltzing into the village...?

Hell yeah, they didn't George Lucas the "Y'wanna - you want to stay in the tower?!"

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This. Production. Design.

Yup. LaFou is ABSOLUTELY Gaston's Smithers equivalent.

Should clarify I mean that in more the "Misaimed, unquestioned devotion to a really sh*tty human being" sense...

...than the "is he or isn't he..." sense. (Okay maybe a little in this sense.)

In any case, are they drinking LaFou's Brew? If so, there's going to be a mess in the fountain later...

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There's going to be a REALLY big mess in the fountain later...

I can assure you all that frame-by-framing this bit forwards is great and backwards is f***ing GOLD.

Mad, mad props to Andreas Deja. Deja antagonists = best.

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"Guys! Build this in real life!"
"But, like, CITES exists..."

That is not what "evolving" means you Dudebro Asshat!

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All I hear is Hoppo...

~*~Or...~*~

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"Oh don't mind me! I was just in here all this time watching you cry!"

(Somebody helpfully informs me that Hoppo and Madame Wardrobe were both voiced by Jo Anne Worley in 3, 2...)

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I want to consider the logistics of Chip's trick even less than I do LaFou's tuba...

Beast's pacing animation = so Goddamn great.

Note: Lumier is, "You two fall in love and the spell's broken by tonight!" Potts is, "You're an idjit."

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Those... aren't all Chip's brothers and sisters are they?

Cause... Mrs. Potts is Chip's mother, right? So...............

Oh God, I wish to consider the logistics of this least of all...

Oven-guy is the most terrifying thing in the whole castle.

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Oh yeah. Totally subscribing to The Rotoscopers' West Wing Time Warp/Beast's Moving Batcave theory.

This is where we get the "Ten years" line. As I said, we'll address this situation later. In the meantime, O_o

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"Look at what we can do NOW!!!"

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"FML."
"You mean FORK My Life, oui? Ha ha ha!"
(Stabs Lumier in the eye.)

Hell, I'd enjoy Cogsworth's tour!

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And here we are. The West Wing scene. Which is awesome. And, more importantly, which happens.

Now this may surprise you coming from one of Belle's staunchest defenders, but everything that happens from here on? Her fault

She deliberately ignores Beast's warning out of sheer curiosity - and THAT IS WHY she's an awesome heroine! She's FLAWED as F!

We've discussed this before but flawless characters are boring, cause they've no reason to grow and change and learn. They're also impossible to relate to.

Furthermore: This right here is the turning point of the entire story! Everything in the castle would be stagnant w/out it.

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Bonus: Because Zach wanted to see Beast's skeleton. Voila!

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Where were we? Oh yes, the densest, most important, and most misremembered part of the whole film.

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Love this little moment. I wonder if Belle starts to suspect this is Beast's true identity here?

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On the one hand, God (and magical jerks) knows what could have happened here, BUT...

...On the other, much larger and hairier hand, if there happens to be a magical thingy tied to a curse you are under...

...and there's a new person in your home, just TELL them about it! Don't be like, "NEVER GO INTO THIS ONE ROOM!"

If you just do the second thing, guess what the FIRST THING the newbie is going to want to do? Yeah.

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Well, Beast, you done effed up. Hope you're happy.

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The most important thing to note in this sequence, however, is that Belle leaves the castle.

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Belle. Leaves. The. Castle. Of her own free will. Beast doesn't even stop her.

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Pictured: Belle leaving Beast's castle. This happens. Twice, in fact, but we'll get to that.

Get the point? Good. Let's dance with wolves. (By "dance" I mean "fight" but let's return to the awesome scene in progress.)

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Because then, this happens.

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Big damn turning point in the movie right here.

I shall now cut the drama with a hilarious thing I found while freeze-framing...

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"Oh, you don't know what you just got yourself into, pooch."

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"You just got into a glorious minute and a half of Glen Keane Glen Keanin' it up. Er, I mean, ROAR!!!"

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"A real human being / and a re-al he-ro..."

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"The EFF just happened...?"

I jest, but this part is crazy-important.

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Because then, this happens. (Times Belle has rescued a male character: 2.)

Belle could've left Beast in the snow to rot. Instead, she takes him home, tends his wounds...

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...and tells him to stop acting like a big dumb immature brat.

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"Yes, but..."

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"... ... ... ... ... Ah, damn."

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"She's right."

From here on, the focus shifts a little to Beast, now that he's less mysterious and more sympathetic.

In truth, although we've spent a lot of time with Belle (which is fine, since she's still awesome, of course)...

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...this is really Beast's journey. He's the one who has to grow and change the most if he wants Belle to rescue him.

Come to mention that, I wish I could remember more of the "Beauty And The Beast"-based sermon I heard once a LONG time ago.

Anyway, on behalf of all of us who love "Beauty And The Beast", please stop remembering this movie wrong. Thank you.

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Best face. Beast face. Best Beast face.

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WANT.

(I mean, sure, I'll take the big sensitive dude with the pretty eyes too but... GIANT LIBRARY... O_O )

CONFIRMED: Chip is Mrs. Pott's son. He calls her "Mom".

And this is why it both sucks and blows that we're going to have to discuss the Enchanted Objects tomorrow.

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Never mind that now, LOOK AT THESE BIRDS!!! :D

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18 years of bird watching/feeding and this has never happened to me. Beast succeeds in 10 seconds.

(I mean, yeah Folktale Logic, but still...)

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Oh my God...

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Whoever storyboarded this, and whoever left it in the final film, I love you.

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"Look at what we can do NOW!!!"

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Freaking blown away by this scene in 1991.

Fun fact: if the CGI in this scene didn't work out, Belle and Beast would've been dancing in a black void. Um...

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And here's a neat nuance I never noticed until now: Beast has invited Belle into the West Wing!

He's no longer into keeping his dark, angsty secrets from her! She's welcome in his world!

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And Beast tells Belle to go save her father.

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Once again, Beast. Tells Belle. To leave him. So she can rescue her father. This happens.

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Pictured: Beast not stopping Belle from leaving the castle. Again.

Times Belle has rescued a male character: 3

Man, the townsfolk turned on Maurice quickly.

Gaston's -the VILLAIN'S- whole plan here is based on the idea that somebody trapped in an inescapable situation...

...will just shrug and comply with his demands. There's your Stockholm Syndrome. Yup.

You know what's upsetting? The fact that Gaston was so quickly able to get the entire town to want to murder a guy...

...who they've never even HEARD of up until this moment and who never bothered them besides. Damn.

You know what's even more upsetting? The subtext. "We don't like what we don't understand / in fact it scares us"? Yeah...

Entire battle in the castle is great. Then you realize LaFou is pulling out parts of Fifi's body...

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"I've lost the only person who ever cared for me. Eff it."

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"What... Belle's back?! Well then let me rephrase that."

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"Eff. *You*."

Getting a real "Gargoyles" vibe off this rooftop fight. Then again, this came first... I think...?

Oh no, Beast, don't ever turn your back on a Deja villain!

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Oh no... oh...

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"Well, maybe it won't be SO bad being like this forever."
"Easy for you to say, you have ARMS."

I'm not screenshotting the whole Beast transformation because I am human and it is three in the effing morning. But...

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The whole scene is Glen Keane saying, "I am best at anatomy let me show you!"

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AAAAAAHHH???!!!???

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".......who the hell is this guy?"

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"Well now these people I recognize. Still not sure about Uncomfortably Perfect Man though..."

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A) Human!Chip looks a little like Bill Watterson's Calvin.

B) His "Do I still have to sleep in the cupboard" line is adorable/hilarious. Leave it to the interquels to ruin it.

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Awww...

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This is what credits in animated films ought to look like. Yes.

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Though of course, sadly we must end on a bittersweet note.

We are not done with "Beauty and the Beast" though!  Next post, discussion time!

2 comments:

Brian Malbon said...

http://youtu.be/diU70KshcjA

This is "after ever after", a video this kid did and absolutely nailed, singing what happens to the Disney princesses after the movie ends. I thought you would enjoy it.

Vyrmis said...

Been years (decades?) since I saw this film but all of what TV Tropes would call 'crowning moments of awesome' are still lodged in my head. Now they're back to the surface and they have the name Glen Keane to join them. Ta. :)

On that note, what's that Beast turnaround/orthographic from? I *need* it.