Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World
Belle's Magical World (also known as Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World) is a 1998 direct-to-video animated musical romantic fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Television Animation and released by Walt Disney Home Video on February 17, 1998. The film is a followup to the 1991 Walt Disney Pictures animated feature film Beauty and the Beast, features the voices of Paige O'Hara as Belle, Robby Benson as The Beast, Jerry Orbach as Lumière, David Ogden Stiers as Cogsworth, and Anne Rogers, who replaced Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts.
This storyline was a midquel series set within the timeline of the original Beauty and the Beast (after Christmas but before the ballroom scene, specifically during the musical number "Something There"). The film features two songs performed by Belle, "Listen With Our Hearts" and "A Little Thought."
This film has received an overwhelmingly negative response from critics since its release.
The film consist of three connected segments from an unreleased television series: "The Perfect Word", "Fifi's Folly" and "The Broken Wing". For the special edition released in 2003, another segment was included, "Mrs. Potts' Party" (originally from Belle's Tales of Friendship), making the film 22 minutes longer.
Why It's Not So Magical
- It's very juvenile due to its light-hearted humor, though it's worth noting that while Beauty and the Beast (the original animated film) was suitable for all ages, it also has a really good sense of drama.
- It is essentially pointless, since the first film never set up any sequel and ended on a good ending.
- Belle, Beast, and Lumière are flanderized beyond belief;
- Belle is changed from a fun-loving action girl to a generic dumb housewife whom is incredibly whiny and passive and often blames herself whenever something goes wrong.
- Beast is the WORST offender of this: He appears to be far more rude, selfish, temperamental, aggressive, hostile, childish, and bossy than he was in the first two films, and even overreacts over small things like a baby bird. In fact, Beast is so despicable in this film that he could very well be the film's metaphorical antagonist who makes Gaston (the the main antagonist of the first film) look heroic in comparison.
- Lumière is even more of a lustful womanizing jerk than he was in the first two films.
- Bad facial expressions that are downright laughable, such as Belle's "derp face" that she makes while trying to tell the Beast a story. It's so bad that it became an internet meme.
- Very cheap animation with dull and washed-out colors, even by Disney television animation standards. As with Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, Atlantis: Milo's Return and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this "movie" actually started out as a bunch of episodes for a Beauty and the Beast TV series, which were stitched together and released in one package after it didn't get picked up (probably because absolutely nobody was asking for such a series).
- There are many animation errors, such as Lumiere appearing to be miscolored creamy-white from head to toe in one scene.
- Lame attempts at humor, such as the pointless and unfunny recurring joke in the segment "The Perfect Word" where Chandeliera often mishears Lumiere's lines at the dinner table because the former has a hearing problem.
- Poor and often laughable dialogue that sounds like if it was written by a four-year-old.
- Because of the timeline the film takes place, story potential for each segment is extremely limited due to taking place at just one location (which is, only the Beast's castle), hence making the segments' setups extremely bland and dull and all four of the film's segments to have very repetitive and formulaic plots: Each segment is about its characters getting into petty arguments and conflicts and learning a somewhat tagged-on moral lesson in the end.
- On top of that, all the conflicts seen in all four segments are incredibly frustrating and tedious due to how incredibly immature and petty they are.
- Angela Lansbury, the original voice actress for Mrs. Potts, didn't reprise her role as the character for unknown reasons, and instead, Anne Rogers replaced her as the voice of Mrs. Potts in this film. Anne Rogers actually does a poor job voicing Mrs. Potts, lacking the genuine charm that Lansbury brings to the character.
- Too many plot holes and continuity errors between the events of this film and the original Beauty and the Beast film (and to some extent, even Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas). Examples:
- The film's opening narration claims that Belle went to live in the Beast's castle, when actually in the original film, Belle ended up in the Beast's castle because she took her father's place as the Beast's prisoner.
- Despite being the midquel to the first film, Gaston (the main antagonist of the first film) does not appear in this film or even get a mention by any of the characters at all.
- In Beauty and the Beast and Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, Belle has a fair-skinned complexion, but for some strange reason in this film, she has a darker-skinned complexion.
- Despite that this film takes place in the middle of the original Beauty and the Beast, Beast for some reason appears to inconsistently switch back and forth from being a nice person to back to his old rude and stubborn self between the segments in this film.
- In the segment "Fifi's Folly", it is revealed that Lumiere never told Fifi that he loved her in this film, despite that the two is revealed to had five years of romantic curtain make-outs together in Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.
- There isn't a single mention of Belle's father Maurice, who is her greatest source of motivation and the reason why she is willing to be held prisoner inside Beast's castle!
- Speaking of plot holes, the film also has a lot of plot holes within the film's segments as well, brought in as the result of bad writing. Such as in the segments "The Perfect Word" and "The Broken Wing" despite Beast running around the castle corridor in a rampage, for some reason he doesn't seem to cause any mess or wreckage within the objects in the castle corridor in the process at all.
- Just like in the previous midquel Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, this film introduces new characters who were never seen or even mentioned in the first film, though this time none of these new characters introduced here such as Webster, Crane and Chandeliera are interesting or memorable in the slightest either, unlike the second film which at least had the memorable Tim Curry-voiced villainous pipe organ Forte and his goofy sidekick Fife, as well as the Bernadette Peters-voiced castle decorator Angelique.
- Unnecessary fade-outs in certain scenes, although they're supposedly allocated for commercial breaks considering that this was meant to be a TV series.
- Loads of filler and padding.
- For some weird and unexplained reason, Lumière hits on a chandelier named Chandeliera at certain times.
- Forgettable and useless songs that do not tie in with the plot, such as Listen With Our Hearts (at the end of the segment "The Perfect Word") and A Little Thought (at the end of the segment "Mrs. Potts' Party").
- False advertising: On the 2003 DVD box-art, Belle is shown wearing her iconic yellow dress, but she never wears it in the actual "movie" (though this problem is fixed on the film's 2011 DVD re-release box art).
- Misleading title: Despite the film's title stating Belle's Magical World, there's nothing really magical that happened in this film at all, unlike the first two films.
- While the film teaches the themes of forgiveness, love and kindness, it however fails spectacularly, mainly due to the horrible morals which arise from it instead of the intended good morals. For example while the film's first segment "The Perfect Word" intends to teach kids about apology and forgiveness, it instead teaches kids that "calling out someone for their bad behavior is wrong" and "you must apologize to the person that abuses/bullies you", mainly because of how Belle is expected to apologize for calling out Beast on his bad behavior when the latter is actually at fault the whole time in that segment.
- The voice acting is pretty good (except for Anne Rogers as Mrs. Potts).
- Some scenes are actually funny.
- Lumière has two funny lines.
- "I WILL NEEEEEEEVER APOOOOOLIGIZE!!!" is honestly a hysterical line.
- Cogsworth, Chip, Mrs. Potts (despite her poor voice), Fifi, the Wardrobe (given the name Armoire), Sultan, and Chef Bouche are the only likable characters in the movie, and were not flanderized like the others were.
Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World has been panned by critics and audiences alike, especially fans of the original Beauty and the Beast movie for its segmented plot, flanderization of beloved characters, and dumbing down of the original Beauty and the Beast. Rotten Tomatoes has a score of 17% while IMDb has a 5.2/10.