US Premier: November 22, 1991

Belle, a bright and lovely young woman lives in a small town in France but longs for the love and adventure that, alas, she finds only in the books she adores:

Oh, isn’t this amazing?
It’s my favorite part because you’ll see
Here’s where she meets Prince Charming
But she won’t discover that it’s him ‘til chapter three…

Spurning the advances of the handsomest – and vainest – man in town:

No one’s slick as Gaston
No one’s quick as Gaston
No one’s neck’s as incredibly think as Gaston’s

Belle runs away first to escape Gaston and then to save her father from the enchanted castle in which he has been imprisoned.

Howard Ashman
Howard Ashman
Howard Ashman
Directed by
Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise
Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Alan Menken
Executive Producer: Howard Ashman

At the castle, Belle meets household servants who have been cast under a spell and are now household objects. The servants/objects entertain Belle despite the warning of their master, the Beast:

Be our guest
Be our guest
Put our service to the test
Put your napkin
Round your neck, cheri
And we’ll provide the rest

Belle tames the beast and finds the happy ending she has dreamed about:

Certain as the sun
Rising in the east
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast

Ashman had the strikingly original idea to turn the inanimate objects of the Beast’s kitchen and dining room staff into characters, and then unleash them in a dazzling Broadway-style production number, Be Our Guest.”
                -James R Stewart in Disney War

Howard worked on Beauty and the Beast through
the final years of his life. Although he died before
the film premiered, his hand and his vision are felt in
every scene of the film.


Belle (reprise)
Gaston (reprise)
Be Our Guest
Something There
The Mob Song
Beauty And The Beast (Academy Award)
Human Again

Academy Award: Best Song (Beauty And The Beast)
Golden Globe: Best Song (Beauty And The Beast)
Grammy (Best Song Written for A Motion Picture): Beauty And The Beast

Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film in history to be nominated for an Academy Award for best picture.

Beauty and the Beast is dedicated:

To Howard
Who gave a mermaid her voice
And a beast his soul

In 1994 Beauty and the Beast opened on Broadway at the Palace Theater. It ran for over thirteen years, making it one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history.

The show included all of the songs from the film as well as one song written by Ashman/Menken but cut from the original film, Human Again (since restored to the film). Additional songs for the Broadway show were written by Alan Menken with lyrics by Tim Rice.