The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Disney will present a 25th anniversary screening of Beauty and the Beast on Sunday, September 18 at Alice Tully Hall. Original voice cast members Robby Benson (Beast), Paige O’Hara (Belle), Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts), and Richard White (Gaston) will appear in person for an extended introduction.
In September 1991, two months before its theatrical release, Disney’s animated masterpiece Beauty and the Beast screened as a “Work in Progress” at the 29th New York Film Festival in Alice Tully Hall. Even though a third of the film consisted of storyboard art and black-and-white animation tests, the screening garnered a standing ovation. When it was released, it became an instant classic. Visually lavish and musically exuberant, the fairy-tale adaptation was one of the first Disney features to incorporate elements of computer-generated imagery with hand-drawn animation, and it would be the first animated film to garner an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, winning awards for best score and original song. In anticipation of the 54th New York Film Festival, Beauty and the Beast returns to Alice Tully Hall for a special members-only 25th anniversary screening to celebrate the film and its vibrant cultural legacy.
“One of the most vivid memories I have of a rousing New York Film Festival evening was the 1991 screening of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,” said Wendy Keys, former NYFF Selection Committee member and Film Society Executive Producer. “Because we showed it in a somewhat unfinished form—we saw animation in all its different phases—we were invited to examine the process without losing any of the narrative power or emotional impact. Astonishing!”