blu rays dvd News | Face-Off: Beauty and the Beast vs. The Lion King

Face-Off: Beauty and the Beast vs. The Lion King
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by Stephanie Cooke Feb. 10, 2012
In my experience I’ve found that there are very few movies that I could watch every day for the rest of my life and not go mad. Of those few movies, I would say that most of them either come from Disney or Pixar Studios. However, before Pixar came along, Disney was there, putting out beloved animated classics for families. Obviously we all have our favourites, but if we pit two of people’s all-time favourite Disney movies head-to-head, who would win?

For this week’s Face Off, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and THE LION KING are our contenders.

And in case you were wondering about last week’s Face Off between GATTACA and IN TIME, our verdict said that GATTACA was the winner and that was your choice as well.
Titles
Disney titles aren't exactly known for being creative. They get right to the point and more or less tell you what the story is all about. To be fair, a lot of the titles are just taken from the stories they're adapted from, but still. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST doesn't really tell you what the story is about as a whole, but instead tells you the main characters for the film. Is it a good title? I don't know if I'd call it good, but it's definitely very Disney.
THE LION KING on the other hand is still pretty Disney-esque, but still leaves a fair amount of mystery about the movie. Unlike BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, this title is adapted from Shakepeare's Hamlet and since that is an exceptionally dark piece of work, they couldn't very well call it that, with it being a family film. I think that while Disney isn't known for really catchy titles, THE LION KING would be likely to draw in a wider audience.
Cast and Characters
Like many Disney movies, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST isn't necessarily memorable for the main characters so much as for its supporting characters. Although Belle is probably one of my favourite Disney "Princesses", I don't know if I could call her my favourite character from this film. The Beast is sort of meh for me as a character, but the inhabitants of the castle are another story. Lumiere is fantastic and his banter with Cogsworth is so much fun. Mrs. Potts is kind of annoying, but she helps move the story along and is an important character along with her son, Chip. Probably the most memorable character in this film for me is actually the villain, Gaston... even though I wouldn't necessarily consider him one of the scariest Disney villains.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST certainly has some memorable characters, but THE LION KING? Well… I think that THE LION KING pretty well takes the cake here. While I love Simba, Nala and Mufasa, the characters that make this movie what it is are the supporting ones. Why do I watch this movie over and over and over again? For Timon and Pumbaa. For Rafiki. For Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, Scar’s hyena minions. For Zazu. And for making one of the most sinister animated villains of all-time, Scar.
Story
It's a "tale as old as time..." according to Mrs. Potts and by this time, you probably already know it off by heart, if you're anything like me. Boy meets girl, girl doesn't like boy. Boy blackmails girl to live in his castle until she gets Stockholm Syndrome and falls in love with him.

Wait a second...

Ok, but seriously, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is about Belle, who lives with her father. When her father gets lost and stumbles across a derelict castle, the owner of the castle takes him prisoner. Belle, desperate to free him, offers herself instead only to find out that the entire castle is under a spell that can only be broken by someone who can look past the cruel exterior of the Beast.

It's really a great love story and while I don't generally love the heck out of chick flicks, this is one animated chick flick that I could watch over and over again. The story is obviously adapted from a fairytale and is Disneyfied, but in my opinion, is still fantastic.
THE LION KING is the adapted story of Shakepeare's Hamlet... but you know, Disneyfied, since having everyone murdered and such wouldn't exactly make everyone all warm and fuzzy inside.

The Disneyfied version has a young lion named Simba believing that he killed his father. To escape the shame, Simba runs away to the jungle and shirks his responsibilities to his kingdom. There he finds a carefree meerkat and warthog, who teach him how to live his life to the fullest. They live a happy existence until someone from Simba's past shows up unexpectedly and forces Simba to face reality and his demons.

Dun, DUN, DUUUNNNNN!

Truthfully? I think that THE LION KING reaches a bigger audience than BEAUTY AND THE BEAST does. Some kids don't want to associate themselves with the whole "Disney Princess" thing, so this film definitely speaks to boys, girls and people of all ages, everywhere (as hokey as that sounds).
Soundtracks
In 1991, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was nominated for six Academy Awards and of those six nominations, four of them were for the music. The film won two of those music nominations for Best Original Score as well as for Best Original Song for “Beauty and the Beast”.

While I love that song and it gives me goosebumps every time it plays while I watch the movie, I can’t say that this particular song is a favourite of mine as far as Disney music is concerned. However, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST does have a few songs which I do consider Disney favourites like “Be Our Guest” and “Belle” (the lyrics “I want adventure in the great, wide somewhere” in the reprise gets me EVERY time).

Every Disney villain needs a good theme song and Gaston’s song, simply titled “Gaston” is not only one of my favourite Disney villain songs, but one of my favourite Disney songs, period.
The music for THE LION KING won two Academy Awards, one for Best Original Score and the song “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” won for Best Original Song. While the song is certainly romantic and goes along perfectly for the moment, how is the soundtrack as a whole?

Almost all of the songs from THE LION KING are classics like “Circle of Life” and again “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” but to me, what makes a Disney soundtrack great is the song-a-long factor. So the songs that stand out with that in mind are obviously “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” and “Hakuna Matata”, which has turned into not only a song from the movie, but an iconic phrase solely associated with this film.

And while not necessarily widely remembered or appreciated, Scar’s “Be Prepared” is both eerie and awesome.
Entertainment Value
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is such a touching tale of love and devotion. The characters are fun, the music is fun and it's just an all-round fantastic movie. It was also among the first animated films to ever be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, so that just goes to show you how many people adore this film.

THE LION KING is such a brilliant classic for Disney. The animated is just stunning, the music is beautiful and the characters are some of the most memorable characters Disney has EVER created. I mentioned this earlier as well, but I think that THE LION KING does a better job of making itself more appealing to a wider audience. Not to say that everyone shouldn't love BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, I just think that THE LION KING is more well-rounded film.
The Lion King
Our verdict has chosen THE LION KING as the technically superior film. I absolutely adore BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and while I love the heck out of THE LION KING as well, it almost pains me to see BEAUTY AND THE BEAST take a punch. But in the end, it doesn't matter what our verdict is... it matters what YOUR verdict is. We want to know which film YOU think is better. Agree or disagree with the verdict? Leave us a comment below and tell us why!

Please note that when we ask for you to give your reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with the verdict, we expect you to adhere to policy of treating the writer and other commenters with respect. The column does not necessarily reflect the writer’s own views of the films and these films are being pitted against one another for FUN and please try to remember that if you disagree, please don’t make it personal.

With that being said… if YOU have an idea for a Face Off, like what movies you'd like see go head-to-head, let us know! We want to hear about what movies you think would make for a good competition and you can email those suggestions to stephaniecooke@joblo.com and then check back to see YOUR challenge!

So which movie do you think is better?
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8 discussions Expand all
 
+5
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vesaker
12:52PM on 02/10/2012 Add as a friend | MFC profile
HA!
Come on now, you can't compare any Disney movie to Lion King. It's still their greatest masterpiece of traditional animated cinema. I used to wear a Pumba hat to school, i knew how much of a loser dork it made me look but i didn't care cause Lion King was the shit!
Come on now, you can't compare any Disney movie to Lion King. It's still their greatest masterpiece of traditional animated cinema. I used to wear a Pumba hat to school, i knew how much of a loser dork it made me look but i didn't care cause Lion King was the shit!
 
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HoyleHaw
1:44PM on 02/10/2012 Add as a friend | MFC profile
I'm gonna go against the tide here and say "Beauty and the Beast." Now, in 1994 "The Lion King" was the first Disney movie that wasn't directly adapted form a famous fairy tale or book. Even its Hamlet roots are somewhat tenuous. And it completely wowed me. Then I went 16-17 years without watching it again. Then I watched it multiple times with my 6-year-old niece, and can I say, Scar is a
I'm gonna go against the tide here and say "Beauty and the Beast." Now, in 1994 "The Lion King" was the first Disney movie that wasn't directly adapted form a famous fairy tale or book. Even its Hamlet roots are somewhat tenuous. And it completely wowed me. Then I went 16-17 years without watching it again. Then I watched it multiple times with my 6-year-old niece, and can I say, Scar is a coward. Jeremy Irons' stellar voice work aside, comparing Scar with Gaston or Jafar, he's just weak. He's manipulative, but when it comes to throw down, he's not terribly threatening. Music is great, and certainly the voice cast was unmatched in Disney history, but Scar just let me down upon rewatching it.
Now, consider that I still have vivid memories of "Beauty and the Beast" and the wonderful musical interludes. They may not be Elton John, but while the Beast is a bit of a bore, all the rest of the characters are wonderfully multi-dimensional.
For the record, my favorite Disney movie from that period is "Aladdin," but I think in a lot of ways "The Lion King" is more about style than substance, and they could've gone a little further while still maintaining their G-rating.
 
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Jekkie24601
2:40PM on 02/10/2012 Add as a friend | MFC profile
I always liked Beauty and the Beast better. I think a real tough face off will be Hunchback of Notre Dame and Aladdin. Aladdin has the best characters ever, but Hunchback has Alan Menken's best music to date. Also the art direction with Notre Dame Cathedral is stunning. And the source material is better. If only it had the ending of Disney's German stage production where Esmerelda dies and Quasi
I always liked Beauty and the Beast better. I think a real tough face off will be Hunchback of Notre Dame and Aladdin. Aladdin has the best characters ever, but Hunchback has Alan Menken's best music to date. Also the art direction with Notre Dame Cathedral is stunning. And the source material is better. If only it had the ending of Disney's German stage production where Esmerelda dies and Quasi throws Frollo off the cathedral.
 
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WalkAway
4:00PM on 02/10/2012 Add as a friend | MFC profile
Lion King x 1000000000000
Lion King x 1000000000000
 
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XSsoCX
4:00PM on 02/10/2012 Add as a friend | MFC profile
Beauty and the Beast is a great film, but The Lion King will always own my heart.
Beauty and the Beast is a great film, but The Lion King will always own my heart.
 
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anomaly7
9:53PM on 02/10/2012 Add as a friend | MFC profile
I gotta go with Lion King, although I have a lot of love for Beauty and the Beast. Man was it great to grow up in the 90's. Just about every animated Disney movie between Little Mermaid and Tarzan was a gem.
I gotta go with Lion King, although I have a lot of love for Beauty and the Beast. Man was it great to grow up in the 90's. Just about every animated Disney movie between Little Mermaid and Tarzan was a gem.
 
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Laylina
1:46AM on 02/11/2012 Add as a friend | MFC profile
Nah
Even if The Lion King is amazing, it will still only come in second on my list. Beauty and the Beast is my all time favourite Disney film.
Even if The Lion King is amazing, it will still only come in second on my list. Beauty and the Beast is my all time favourite Disney film.
 
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b2webster84
2:44PM on 02/11/2012 Add as a friend | MFC profile
The Lion King
Beauty an the Beast was awesome and it's one of my favorites but The Lion King might be the best animated film of all time, definitely out of the musicals.
Beauty an the Beast was awesome and it's one of my favorites but The Lion King might be the best animated film of all time, definitely out of the musicals.