Beauty and the Beast is a 1991 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation, released to theaters on November 23, 1991 by Walt Disney Pictures. The story is based on the fairy tale La Belle et la Bête by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, who was uncredited in the English version of the film but credited in the French version as writer of the novel. The movie also uses some ideas derived from the 1946 French film. It centers around a prince who is transformed into a Beast and the beautiful young woman whom he imprisons in his castle.
This is the thirtieth film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series and the third animated feature released during a period known as the "Disney Renaissance", which began in 1989 with The Little Mermaid and ended in 1999 with Tarzan. It is widely considered one of Disney's greatest animated films, and is the first of only two animated films to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture (the other being Disney·Pixar's 2009 film Up). Many animated films following its release have been influenced by its blending of traditional animation and computer generated imagery.
The film was adapted to an animation screenplay by Linda Woolverton, directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, and produced by Don Hahn. The music of the film was composed by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, both of whom had written the music and songs for Disney's The Little Mermaid. Upon its release, Beauty and the Beast was a significant commercial and critical success, earning $403 million in box office earnings throughout the world, in addition to three Golden Globe Awards - including Best Picture – Musical or Comedy - and two Academy Awards.
A direct-to-video midquel, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, was released in 1997. It was quickly followed by another midquel, Belle's Magical World, which was released in 1998. A theatrical stage production and a television spin-off series, Sing Me a Story with Belle, were also produced. An IMAX Special Edition version of the original film was released in 2002, with a new five-minute musical sequence included.
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