Sunday, December 14, 2008

Something There That Wasn’t There Before

Walt Disney Presents Beauty and the Beast, Re-Sequenced Soundtrack cover
12.06 x 12.06 cm (4.75 x 4.75 in)
Digital mixed media

The re-sequencing project of Disney's The Little Mermaid soundtrack was practice for this one, Beauty and the Beast. The image here is from a scene shortly before the famous ballroom sequence. Mrs. Potts and Footstool were digitally erased, and I re-drew and re-colored Belle and Beast for improved resolution.

In 1991, I was was swept up in the renaissance of animation which began with The Little Mermaid. I had at the time, and still own, so much B&B merchandise, it was ridiculous. Working at Disneyland, I easily found myself among other B&B fans. The soundtrack, beloved as it was, suffered from the flaw of having its tracks out of order, with the songs grouped together in the beginning and the orchestral score tracks grouped at the end.

17 years later, I get to correct that error. Well, it makes me happy, at least.

1. Prologue 2:27
2. Belle 5:10
3. To The Fair 1:58
4. Wolf Attack (Unreleased Master) 2:42
5. Belle (Reprise) 1:05
6. Gaston 3:40
7. Gaston (Reprise) 2:04
8. Be Our Guest 3:45
9. West Wing 3:42
10. Something There 2:19
11. Beauty And The Beast 2:47
12. The Beast Lets Belle Go 2:22
13. The Mob Song 3:31
14. Battle On The Tower 5:30
15. Transformation #2 (Final) 5:48
16. Beauty And The Beast (Duet) 4:05 featuring Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson

Track 4, "Wolf Attack" is taken from the four disc set of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman music, "The Music Behind the Magic."

Also from that collection is track 15, "Transformation #2," replacing the similarly named track on the original soundtrack. This composition, however, matches the cue in the final film. In the notes, Menken explains that he composed "countless demos of underscore for this moment when the Beast 'dies' in Belle's arms." The final version in the film is more somber.

Also of note, about 2 minutes and 17 seconds into track 9, "West Wing" is a cue that comes from the scene beginning in the tower just after Maurice is shuffled away from the castle in a walking carriage and through Beast leading Belle to her room. Had I fancy audio editing tools, I might have separated the two cues, but that second part of track 9 does finish off the first rather well; working as underscore, hardly being strong enough to stand on its own.

As I had done on The Little Mermaid, Re-Sequenced, additional bonus tracks fill out the CD. One of the more interesting that I found is an orchestral version of "Beauty and the Beast" in 3/4 time, like a waltz. In the film, Mrs. Potts sings the song in 4/4 time, but one would assume that Belle and Beast are waltzing. This is another item proving the strengths of the story to overcome such annoying continuity details, like double hinged front doors, temporally incongruous tower-shaped stacked wine glasses and the prince/Beast not having a name.

Beauty and the Beast, Belle, Beast © Disney


  1. I just got my DVD platinum/special edition of Beauty and the Beast and noticed that during the first musical sequence "Belle", that there a a few spots where words are left out. At first I thought it was just a glitch in the dvd, but it is definitely words removed. It is the same on the original theatrical version available on the same disc. Have you noticed this? and why did they do this? I've looked at the lyrics and can find nothing offensive about them..

  2. Well, Janet, I've review my video copies of the motion picture, both the Platinum DVD and the laser disc, along with the laser disc of the "Work in Progress" version and the CD soundtrack. I could not find any discrepancies in the lyrics of "Belle" among them.

    The problem you may be experiencing may have to do with either how your stereo is set up. In the sections where the villagers are singing their parts, some of them effectively only sing either on the left track or only on the right track of the stereo soundtrack. if you listen to the song with headphones on, you'll understand.

  3. Hi There - Loved finding your site. This may be a long overdue question, but wouldn't "Wolf Attack" occur after "West Wing", after Beast yells at her? I noticed others have it this way also but it just doesn't make sense to me.


  4. The only authority by which I have put these track track in this order is the time spent simultaneously listening to both the Original Soundtrack CD and videos of the animated film. Here the “Wolf Attack” track most closely coincides with the one where Maurice and Phillipe are attacked when they get lost in the forest on their way to the fair, and less the the attack in which Beast saves Belle from wolves.

  5. Ahhh...Okay, that makes perfect sense then. Thanks again for the time and passion you have put into this.