Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
|Beauty and The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas|
North American DVD cover
|Directed by||Andy Knight|
|Produced by||Lori Forte
John C. Donkin
|Written by||Flip Kobler
David Ogden Stiers
|Music by||Rachel Portman|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Home Entertainment|
Beauty and The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (also known as Beauty And The Beast 2) is a 1997 holiday animated film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation. It is a direct-to video sequel to the 1991 animated film of the same name. In this movie, the Beast forbids Christmas (because his transformation from the Prince occurred during that time of year) until Belle, Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, and Chip convince him that Christmas is a good holiday. The film also shows the time that the enchantress put the spell on the castle in the first film in more detail.
The film starts out with everybody getting prepared for Christmas. Lumiere and Cogsworth argue about who saved Christmas last year. Chip begs Mrs. Potts to tell the story. After hesitating she agrees. Soon everyone is gathered around Mrs. Potts as she tells the events of what happened after Beast saved Belle from the wolves... Belle is still a prisoner in Beast's castle. All the servants are trying to figure out a way for them to fall in love with each other, and with Christmas coming up, they look at this as a great opportunity to bring them together. Belle is excited about Christmas, but Beast is not happy seeing how it is the anniversary of his spell being cast upon the castle.
Meanwhile, in an unknown part of the castle (through a secret door in the West Wing), an enormous pipe organ is playing very creepy music while a small piccolo applauds. The organ is Forte, the court composer for the musicians during his human years. The organ player though is not in the mood to be mortal again, so he decides to figure a way for the beast to steer clear of falling in love with Belle. He believes that "humanity is overrated" and that he has more use and power in his enchanted form.
He tells Fife that he has written a solo for a piccolo in his opera, which persuades Fife to aid him in breaking up the merriment between Belle and Beast. Fife manages to interrupt Belle and Beast's skating, and when Belle makes a snow angel, Beast sees his "angel" as a "shadow of a monster" and swipes at the snow. Then he leaves in fury and depression.
Believing that Christmas will brighten Beast's mood, Belle creates a wonderful new book for him, and with a little persuasion for Cogsworth, Christmas is officially being prepared. The gang goes to the highest tower in the castle, which serves as a storage room for old decorations. In one of them lies Angelique with a number of other animated baubles, who once served as the Royal Decorator. However, she is not pleased to hear about Christmas, arguing that she will not raise her hopes again in a belief that they could all get together in celebration, only to have them destroyed by Beast's foul temper and hatred for the holiday. Belle sings to them about how "hope is the greatest gift", saying that there is always hope, even for breaking the spell, and there will "always be a time when the world is filled with peace and love". Eventually, Angelique reluctantly agrees.
However, Fife has been overhearing all this and rushes off to tell Forte. When Beast finds out, he is not at all pleased. Forte plays along, saying that "the girl doesn't care how you feel about Christmas", separating the two even more. Beast reflects on his past: Christmas was the day he was most selfish, and it was on that day that the Enchantress put the spell on him and the castle.
Belle enters the boiler room and meets Axe (Jeff Bennet), head of the boiler room. She tells him she needs a Yule Log and he tells her to help herself. Beast finds her and demands to know what is going on. She explains that it is a great tradition: "one log is chosen, then everyone in the house touches it, and makes a Christmas wish". Beast however, claims that wishes are stupid, and bellows at Belle, "You made a Christmas wish last year! Is this what you wished for?!" He shouts that she has no idea what it is to be a true prisoner, but she knows all too well. Finally he forbids Christmas and storms out.
Belle will not give up, and concludes that they will have Christmas with or without Beast, but not before sending him her gift, the storybook. Belle and Chip take Axe with them to go look for a Christmas tree, but none on the grounds are very promising. Beast finds his gift, but Lumiere will not allow him to open it as it is not yet Christmas. He explains that everyone understands how Beast feels about the holiday, but giving a gift to another is a way of saying "I care about you". Beast gets in the mood, and demands Forte to compose a song as a present, who agrees unhappily. When he leaves, Forte puts his plans in motion, and plays beautiful music, attracting Belle to his room. Forte quickly manipulates the situation, telling her that the tree has always been Beast's favorite part of Christmas, and that she would find a much better tree lies in the Black Forest, the woods outside the castle.
Getting the tree would break Belle's promise never to leave the castle, but she wants to make Beast happy, so she agrees to go, taking Chip and Axe. Forte orders Fife "to make sure they don't come back". Beast is still waiting for Belle to show up, but Forte claims "she's abandoned you!" and feeds Beast's anger, trying to persuade him to forget her, but he races out anyway. In his anger, Beast destroys the decorations in the dining room where Angelique was on his way out, leaving Angelique hopeless. Meanwhile, Belle and the others look for a tree but Fife startles Phillipe on the ice, creating a chain reaction that leads to Belle nearly drowning, and being rescued by the furious Beast.
Belle is locked in the dungeon for breaking her promise, but Angelique comes to visit with the other baubles and admits that she was wrong to believe that Christmas could never come. They all agree that they do not need decorations or gifts to celebrate Christmas, they have each other, and that is the best gift they could ever ask for. Meanwhile, prompted by Forte, Beast threatens to destroy the rose, but one of the flower petals fall on the present. Beast then remembers the gift Belle gave him, opens it and reads it. Remembering there is hope to break the spell, he ignores Forte and asks her for forgiveness and plans to have the best Christmas ever.
Enraged at the failure of his plans, Forte plans to bring the whole castle down with the rationale that they cannot fall in love if they are dead. This horrifies Fife, who finds it far too extreme and then he learns that his promised solo is blank. Beast manages to get into the room, but Forte's powerful music confounds him as he has no idea what to strike at. With Fife's advice, he destroys Forte's keyboard, causing him to come crashing down, and Beast laments the death of his old confidence.
Still, together they continue to have a happy holiday, which brings us back to the actual party, but of course, if anyone actually saved Christmas, it was Belle. The others celebrate as the Prince gives Belle a gift, a single rose.
Cast and characters
- Robby Benson - Beast
- Paige O'Hara - Belle
- Jerry Orbach - Lumiere
- David Ogden Stiers - Cogsworth
- Haley Joel Osment - Chip (speaking voice)
- Andrew Keenan-Bolger - Chip (singing voice)
- Angela Lansbury - Mrs. Potts
- Tim Curry - Forte
- Bernadette Peters - Angelique
- Paul Reubens - Fife
- Jeff Bennett - Axe
- Jim Cummings - Additional Voices
- Kath Soucie - The Enchantress
- Frank Welker - Phillipe, Sultan
After the success of Beauty and the Beast, another film was inevitable. The film was put on a direct-to-video release after Aladdin: The Return of Jafar and other sequels based on theatrical films were having success on the direct-to-video market. The film was the first product of a subsidiary of Walt Disney Television Animation's Toronto Studio. The studio was shut down in 2002 because of studio cutbacks.
In the early stages of production, the film was going to be a sequel to the original film. The film was to feature Avenant, here depicted as Gaston's younger brother, as the villain. Avenant's goal was to avenge Gaston by ruining the lives of Belle and the prince and threatening to kill them. Although he was cut out of the story and the plot had changed, this trait was given to Forte, the pipe organ, who did not want the Beast to become human again. This plot was inspired by the 1946 film, which inspired the first film and where Avenant was the villain and inspiration for Gaston.
The film was first released on VHS on November 11, 1997. It is the fourth highest grossing direct-to-video animated film, surpassing the $180 million mark. The film is right behind Aladdin and the King of Thieves at $186 million. A bare-bones DVD was released on October 13, 1998. Both editions were quickly taken out of print and the film remained unavailable until Disney released the Special Edition DVD and VHS on November 12, 2002, just after the studio released the original film's Special Edition DVD release. The new DVD featured a remake music video of the song "As Long As There's Christmas" by Play. Also featured was a game titled Forte's Challenge, a 10-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, Disney Song Selection, and Enchanted Environment, where it shows the Beast's Castle during the different seasons. The original film's Special Edition and this one's were taken out of print at the same time in January 2003. The Special Edition DVD and Blu-ray is set to be re-released on November 22, 2011, following the release of the 'Diamond Edition' of the first film in the United Kingdom in Region 2 PAL format in November 2010. It was released in Region 4 Australia on November 3 with the same features on the original Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas DVD. The Blu-ray re-release was put into the Disney Vault along with other two films.
The film won two of its eight nominations.
|Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films: Best Home Video Release||Nominated|
|Annie Award: Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production for director Andrew Knight||Nominated|
|Annie Award: Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production for "As Long As There's Christmas" by Rachel Portman and Don Black||Nominated|
|Annie Award: Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Feature Production for Tim Curry||Nominated|
|Annie Award: Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Feature Production for Jerry Orbach||Nominated|
|Annie Award: Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Feature Production for the Writers||Nominated|
|WAC Award: Best Direct to Video Production||Won|
|WAC Award: Best Director of Home Video for Andrew Knight||Won|
|Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas|
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Released||September 9, 1997|
|Label||Walt Disney Records|
Harold J. Kleiner
The original score and songs were composed by Rachel Portman with lyrics written by Don Black. The film's songs were recorded "live" with an orchestra and the cast in a room, similar to the first film. "Stories", sung by Paige O'Hara, is about what Belle will give the Beast for a Christmas: a story book, and is heavily based on the motif in the finale of Sibelius' symphony no. 5. "As Long As There's Christmas", the theme of the film, is about finding hope during Christmas Time. The song was sung by the cast of the film with a back-up chorus and is sung when Belle and the enchanted objects redecorate the castle for Christmas.
"Don't Fall In Love", sung by Tim Curry, displays Forte's plan on keeping the Beast away from Belle to stop the spell from breaking. "A Cut Above The Rest", also sung by the cast, is about how teamwork and friends are very important in life. "Deck The Halls" is performed during the opening title by Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Bernadette Peters, and the Chorus. A soundtrack was released on September 9, 1997. The album serves as the film's soundtrack and also as a Christmas album of traditional carols sung by Paige O'Hara.
- Deck The Halls (Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury, Chorus)
- Stories (Paige O'Hara)
- As Long As There's Christmas (Paige O'Hara, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury, Chorus)
- Don't Fall In Love (Tim Curry)
- As Long As There's Christmas (Reprise) (Paige O'Hara, Bernadette Peters)
- A Cut Above The Rest (David Ogden Stiers, Jerry Orbach, Paige O'Hara)
- As Long As There's Christmas (End Title) (Peabo Bryson, Roberta Flack)
Tracks 7 to 15 feature Paige O'Hara singing familiar Christmas carols:
- We Wish You A Merry Christmas (Paige O'Hara)
- Do You Hear What I Hear (Paige O'Hara)
- O Come, O Come, Emmanuel/Joy To The World (Paige O'Hara)
- O Christmas Tree (Paige O'Hara)
- The First Noel (Paige O'Hara)
- What Child Is This (Paige O'Hara)
- The Twelve Days Of Christmas (Paige O'Hara)
- Silent Night (Paige O'Hara)
- Belle's Magical Gift (Rachel Portman)
- Fife's Yuletide Theme (Rachel Portman)
- The Enchanted Christmas Finale (Rachel Portman)
- Recorded specifically for album; not used in the film.