On the Music of Beauty and the Beast

I was an early Disney consumer; I hesitate to say fan because I’ve never been to the theme parks and it wasn’t like I sought Disney productions out specifically. Yet, I’m not sure I can count the number of times I watched Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, my anglophenia well indoctrinated through these movies. My grandmother also took us to see every Disney revival when it hit the movie theaters. I saw Cinderella for the first time on a big screen. Also the Great Mouse Detective and Oliver and Company, roundly panned animated films from the 1980s, although I like both. I was just at the right age–late tween/early teen–for the Disney revival lead by Howard Ashman and Alan Mencken, who turned animated film into Broadway quality musicals. Beauty and the Beast is the culmination of their efforts. It takes the problematic parameters of the fairy tale and turns it into a believable journey for both Belle and the Beast. Get a hanky for this lovely tribute to Ashman, who was dying of AIDS as he completed work on the film. 

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