Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World

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Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World
Belle's Magical World VHS.jpg
Original VHS edition
Directed by Cullen Blaine
Daniel de la Vega
Barbara Dourmashkin
Dale Kase
Bob Kline
Burt Medall
Mitch Rochon
Produced by Bob Kline
David W. King
Written by Alice Brown
Richard Cray
Carter Crocker
Sheree Guitar
Chip Hand
Starring Paige O'Hara
Robby Benson
Music by Harvey Cohen
Cinematography Ninky Smedley
Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Release date(s) February 17, 1998
Running time 70 min. (original)
92 min. (Special Edition)
Country United States
Language English

Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World (also known as Beauty and the Beast 3) is a 1998 direct-to-video prequel to Disney's Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. It was originally released on February 17, 1998,[1] and features the voices of Paige O'Hara as Belle, Robby Benson as The Beast, Jerry Orbach as Lumiere, David Ogden Stiers as Cogsworth, and Anne Rogers, who replaced Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts. The film features two songs performed by Belle, Listen With Our Hearts and A Little Thought. This storyline is set within the timeline of the original Beauty and the Beast (after Christmas, but before the fight against Gaston).

When first released in 1998, this film was titled Belle's Magical World and consisted of three connected segments called The Perfect Word, Fifi's Folly and The Broken Wing. For Special Edition released on February 4, 2003 the title was changed to Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World, and included another segment called Mrs. Potts's Party (from Belle's Tales of Friendship), making the film 22 minutes longer.

Production[edit]

The film consists of episodes of an unreleased television show loosely woven together in a feature length story.

Plot[edit]

The Perfect Word[edit]

The Beast (Robby Benson) and Belle (Paige O'Hara) plan to eat together, and the Beast asks for advice from Lumiere (Jerry Orbach). While Cogsworth (David Ogden Stiers) escorts Belle to the dining room, they come across the castle's well-meaning but rather verbose writer, Webster (Jim Cummings), turned into a dictionary, whom Belle invites to join them in the dining room (to Cogsworth's dismay). During the meal, while Belle explains a story she has been reading to the Beast, the Beast gets sweaty and demands that the windows be opened, despite there being a draught and the other servants getting cold. The Beast and Belle get into an argument, and the Beast strikes Webster off the table when the dictionary begins giving unwanted synonyms to Belle's insults. Subsequently, they both stop speaking to each other, despite Lumiere and Cogsworth's attempts to patch things up. Eventually, Webster, feeling guilty for his part, forges a letter of apology from the Beast to Belle with his friends, a pile of papers named Crane (Jeff Bennett) and a quill named LePlume (Rob Paulsen). Belle sees the letter, and makes amends with the Beast.

That night, however, the truth comes out, and after a furious chase around the castle, Beast catches and banishes Webster, Crane and LePlume for the forgery, throwing them into the forest. Belle ventures out and brings them back, and the Beast, touched by Belle's sympathy, forgives the three and allows them back in, realizing that their intentions were good. The moral of this story being how easy it is to forgive.

Fifi's Folly[edit]

On the anniversary of Lumiere's first date with Fifi (Kimmy Robertson), Lumiere grows so nervous to the point that he cleans himself excessively and turns to Belle for advice, by walking with her in the garden and reciting what he plans to say to Fifi to her. Fifi overhears this, and believes that Lumiere and Belle are having an affair behind her back. In reality, Lumiere has planned a surprise snow ride around the castle gardens with Fifi. To get back at Lumiere, Fifi attempts to make Cogsworth like her, who is apparently not interested.

In the end, things are cleared up and Lumiere and Fifi go for the ride, but the pot they are sitting in slips off the edge of the balcony and hangs over the moat (the same chasm in which Gaston will eventually meet his doom). Lumiere holds onto Fifi for while hanging for dear life, and tells her he loves her. Before they can fall, Belle, Cogsworth and a few more servants arrive and get them back to safety. In this story everyone learns that "sometimes things are just as they seem."

Mrs. Potts' Party[edit]

Mrs. Potts is feeling depressed due to dreadful weather, and Belle, who has come to look at Mrs. Potts as a mother figure, decides to cheer her up by throwing a surprise party for her, all the while without waking the sleeping Beast (who spent the entire previous night fixing a leak in the roof). However, Lumiere and Cogsworth's rivalry gets in the way, in fields such as composing music, Mrs. Potts' favourite flowers (which they have to hide in the Beast's room every time Mrs. Potts sees them), and the cake's flavors.

Eventually, Lumiere and Cogsworth's attempt to sabotage one another's decisions comes to a point where the baking cake explodes and makes a complete mess in the kitchen. Lumiere and Cogsworth, after a scolding from Belle, decide to put their rivalry behind them for good and work together to make a small surprise for Mrs. Potts. The plan goes well, and Mrs. Potts is cured of her depression, and the sun finally shines again. In this story, everyone learned the great power of cooperation and compromises.

The Broken Wing[edit]

Belle and Beast arrange to have lunch together again, but an injured bird accidentally flies into Belle's room, and she forgets her arrangement, instead paying more attention to the bird. Beast discovers this, and flies into a rage, trying to catch the bird, but he trips over Cogsworth and hits his head hard on the floor. This strips him of his hatred for birds, but his selfishness drives him to lock the bird in a cage and demand that he sing for him when he pleases, but the obviously saddened and frightened bird refuses.

Meanwhile, Cogsworth feels he is losing control over his staff, and demands their respect with harsh treatment. In the meantime, Belle convinces Beast otherwise, and he releases the bird once its wing is cured, but the bird, still too weak, begins to fall, and Beast rushes to rescue it. In the process, Cogsworth falls from the West Wing balcony and into the garden, but is unhurt, and learns that you cannot demand respect, but you can earn it by giving it. And Belle and Beast make amends, and Beast learns to treat people and animals with respect and compassion.

Voice actors and their characters[edit]

NOTE: The naming of "Webster", a new character created for the "Beauty and the Beast" franchise by Richard Cray, writer of "The Perfect World" and "Mrs. Potts' Party" segments, had to be cleared through Disney's legal department, who obtained consent from publisher Merriam-Webster.[citation needed]

Critical reception[edit]

On the whole, the film has received very negative reviews. especially when compared to Beauty and the Beast.

On imdb, the film has a rating of 5.3/10 from 933 users.[2] The film has a rating of 17% on the Rotton Tomatoes Tomatometer. Reviews included "[it's] a dishearteningly irrelevant piece of work", "It's trash, literally: something that wasn't good enough for its intended purpose, and so Disney slapped a box on it and charged money for it", and "[this] made for video sequel of sorts is OK, but no Beauty and the Beast".[3]

DVDDizzy spoke poorly of the "Disney employee who had the idea to salvage episodes created for an animated TV series that wasn't going to materialize by stringing them together as a direct-to-video feature film", noting that it resulted in "one of the very worst movies Disney put their name on".[4]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
1998 Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Home Video Production Nominated[5]
1998 Paige O'Hara for playing "Belle" Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Feature Production Nominated[6]
1999 Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing - Direct to Video - Sound Nominated[7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]