ATB’s Top 25 Animated Movies: (7) Beauty and the Beast

Our list moves into the top 10, where there are no cheapies — everything here got a whole bunch of support from the panel. Tomorrow: #6.

7) Beauty and the Beast (5 votes, 242 points)

Chris: The only animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture before the Academy watered down the process by expanding the category to 10, Beauty and the Beast is a tour de force in Disney’s collection. Even when compared to its predecessor, The Little Mermaid, the animation and overall look is just so much stronger, and the ballroom dance scene (both for its graphics and its music) deserves to be included in a list of iconic movie moments, full stop.

There are several individual songs that I enjoy more in other Disney productions, but as a whole, BatB’s soundtrack might be the best ever. Just like Hunchback, its opening number provides a ton of character development and backstory right out of the gates. “Gaston” is a perfect window into the soul of an insufferable egomaniac and the sycophantic company he keeps. “Be Our Guest” is a bombastic, overwrought, enjoyable ride. The title song is phenomenal, and even a late addition like “Something There” manages to be great.

And the antagonist…goodness. There really isn’t anything redeemable about Gaston. He’s a misogynist who thinks that women should stay in the kitchen and pop out his kids, has a wedding ceremony set up outside for a gal who hasn’t shown the faintest interest in him, and throws her father in the loony bin when she repeatedly turns him down. He’s despicable, but you know what? As much as I love complex, layered villains, sometimes straightforward hatred is really fun.

If some weird scenario happened where I had to choose one Disney movie to show to a gunman or he was going to shoot me in the head, I might pick Beauty and the Beast. It isn’t quite my absolute favorite, nor do I think it’s strictly the best, but it encapsulates everything about why the franchise is so beloved. Its music, story, characters and production are remarkable.

Shaun: Even as a kid, I could appreciate the great music, but I don’t think I realized what an amazing film Beauty and the Beast is until I was an adult.

Cary: A very nice movie. Um…I’m glad this made the list over The Little Mermaid. Uh, what else…? See, I liked Beauty and the Beast well enough, but I try not to think about it too much because its theme song is terribly earwormy. And…oh…crap. Yep…it’s stuck. Thanks. That song is stuck in my head again. You know how long it took me to forget it the last time I heard it? Do you?!?! Goddammit.

♪ “A tale as old as time…” ♫ {SIGH}


(8) Toy Story

(9) Spirited Away

(10) Up

(11) The Nightmare Before Christmas

(12) Toy Story 3

(13) The Hunchback of Notre Dame

(14) Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker

(15) The Iron Giant

(16) Sleeping Beauty

(17) How to Train Your Dragon

(18) Who Framed Roger Rabbit

(19) Princess Mononoke

(20) Wall-E

(21) Anastasia

(22) Fantasia

(23) Inside Out

(24) The Lego Movie

(25) Kung Fu Panda





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