Link to Last Week’s Part: The Disneyathon: The Direct to Blog Sequel – Part 2: Aladdin and The King of Thieves
Link to my Beauty and the Beast (1991) Review: The Disneyathon – Part 11: The Disney Renaissance
I know it’s mid-May, but it’s never too early to celebrate Christmas here at The Blog Complainer and we’re doing just that today with a review for the first sequel to Beauty and the Beast. My favourite movie from the original Disneyathon series is the one that got a Christmas special. Just great…
Beauty and the Beast was always going to be a difficult one to make a sequel out of. It’s not because the first movie ended on a happily ever after, thus leaving no room for a possible sequel to spread it wings. The real problem came with The Beast and his house servants all turning back into humans at the end of the first movie. I can easily envision that being a terrible business decision because you can’t popularise off the success of the first movie if the characters all look nothing like how they did in the original. It has been many years since I watched Enchanted Christmas and I wasn’t looking forward to revisiting their excuse for how these characters all reverted back to their non human form. Thankfully my childhood memory was completely wrong about that because the writers actually found an even lazier route to keep everyone as they were. Beauty and the Beast The Enchanted Christmas is no sequel, but our first ever Midquel.
The story is that it’s Christmas time in 17th century France and all your favourite side characters are reminiscing on that awesome Christmas that happened in the first Beauty and the Beast movie, which was strangely never brought up until this movie. Human Mrs Potts tells the story of how, during the first movie’s sweet montage of Belle and The Beast bonding in the snow, The Beast was also whining about Belle wanting to put up some Chrissie decs in his gloomy castle. The whole plot can be summarised into the Beast needing to give up his Grinch attitude and learning to accept Christmas, which also translates to accepting Belle. You could say this plot is almost identical to that one phenomenal scene in the first movie where The Beast lets Belle go to help her father, despite the fact that he has no time left, but then I would say this pointless film wouldn’t need to exist.
To this film’s credit the animation looks half decent and looks better than the two Aladdin sequels. It also explores some new interesting avenues that were completely absent in the first film. More so with The Beast, because it’s “The Beast”. We see a flashback of The Beast before he got cursed and we see him as a spoiled selfish brat which ultimately led to him being transformed into a monster. The flashback also explains why The Beast hates Christmas and why The Beast gets along best with the main villain of the film. It’s good stuff, but smalls moments like that aren’t enough for me to recommend a whole movie.
Alright, this paragraph is dedicated to me not comparing Enchanted Christmas to the first Beauty and the Beast! To give it some leeway this was never really going to be a movie for me, as most of it is a super bright and happy Christmas flick. I used to like movies like this when I was younger, but nowadays, my favourite Christmas movies tend to involve something going horribly wrong! To be fair it’s not all sunshine and rainbows as the movie’s villain devours that for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The only thing from this movie I can visually remember from when I was a kid, is the black eyed behemoth British organ, who is horror incarnate. He’s the only character in the whole movie who’s completely done in CGI, more particularly a 90’s CGI creation, which often has an uncanny valley effect. I feel uneasy looking at the Tim Curry organ, but I’ll strike back by stating this character isn’t a good villain, mainly because everyone takes stupid pills whenever they are around this evil to the bone organ. He never really stood a chance because no matter what he does, you already know it’s not going to work, because this is a midquel film, remember! Hell you don’t even need to see Beauty and the Beast to know this movie has absolutely no stakes because they tell you at the start of this film that everyone gets out this just fine. Lastly, despite Tim Curry being an excellent singer, he gets the worst villain song I’ve ever heard.
To wrap it up, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas is a super average movie that I highly recommend you skip. Let’s just hope the next Beauty and the Beast offering can iron things out and give us a banging sequel.
Link to Next Week’s Part: The Disneyathon: The Direct to Blog Sequel – Part 4: Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World