Though I usually hate picking a single favorite anything, I will tell you that Beauty and the Beast is my favorite movie.
This is not a surprise to anyone who knows me and even less of a surprise to anyone who knew me as a teenager. For many years, Beauty and the Beast was my greatest obsession. I saw the film over twenty times in theaters, labored over countless drawings of the characters, purchased all manner of books, toys, posters, t-shirts, and other memorabilia, clipped out newspaper and magazine articles about the film, and dragged my family to the Disney on Ice adaptation. I’m sure that my age had something to do with just how hard I fell for the film. I was thirteen when it came out, exactly the right age to love a movie as wholeheartedly as I ended up loving this one. The film’s message of looking past appearances to the character within was also particularly resonant to an awkward teenager with little confidence in her looks. And yet, when I go back and watch it today, I feel something more than nostalgia. What I’m enjoying is not just the comfortable familiarity of something I loved when I was younger, but the amazing achievement of a dream team of talented filmmakers at the top of their game. To me, this movie remains the Disney fairy tale’s high water mark, the most perfect example of the genre.
The origins of my favorite movie