|General Description :||Beauty and the Beast is a 1991 American animated musical romantic fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on the traditional French fairy tale of the same name by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, Beauty and the Beast is the 30th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. Additionally, it is third in the Disney Renaissance period. Starring Paige O'Hara and Robby Benson, Beauty and the Beast focuses on the relationship between the Beast (Benson), a prince who is magically transformed into a monster as punishment for his arrogance, and Belle (O'Hara), a young woman who he imprisons in his castle. The film also features the voices of Richard White, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, and Angela Lansbury, who occupy supporting roles.
Walt Disney first attempted unsuccessfully to adapt Beauty and the Beast into an animated feature film during the 1930s and 1950s. Following the success of The Little Mermaid (1989), Disney decided to adapt the fairy tale, which Richard Purdum originally conceived as a non-musical. Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg eventually discontinued the idea and ordered that the film be a musical similar to The Little Mermaid instead, resulting in Purdum's resignation. Beauty and the Beast was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, with a screenplay by Linda Woolverton story first credited to Roger Allers. Lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken wrote the film's songs. Ashman, who additionally served as an executive producer on the film, died of AIDS related complications eight months before the film's release, and the film was dedicated to his memory.
Beauty and the Beast premiered at the New York Film Festival on September 29, 1991, followed by a theatrical release on November 22 to critical acclaim. It has also earned a rare "A+" rating from CinemaScore.
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