Forte: I’m bolted to the wall!
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
There are many Disney movies out there that truly have no need for a sequel much less any spin-off. Beauty and the Beast is one of those Disney movies. The first one told a coherent story from start to finish. Making any mid-quel to it would be difficult as filling in the gaps could easily lead to inconsistencies. This movie while a serious downgrade does have a couple of perks to its name and even has established a bit of a fan base in the Disney community.
The story takes place during the winter before the curse was broken and Belle was still residing in the Beast’s castle following the wolf attack. Christmas is coming up and while Belle is looking forward to the festivities that engulf the holiday the Beast is not as it was Christmas when the curse fell upon the castle. However, a pipe organ named Forte who was once a court composer prior to the curse does not want to be human again enjoying his enchanted form and thus tries to keep the Beast from falling in love with Belle.
The greatest strength in this movie lies around the villain. Tim Curry’s voice makes this character what it is. And the character is entirely CG. The way he looks and moves truly makes him feel alive. And his plan and motives are very interesting. The rest of the animation for what it is as a straight-to-video mid-quel is also very nice. The movie knows how to showcase various winter environments and colors.
The songs do feel like there was some effort put into them. Stories, in particular, has some great animation and a neat melody. As Long as there’s Christmas is sung beautifully by Bernadette Peters. The problem with these songs that particularly stands out with the rest of the songs is that it’s trying quite hard to be on par with iconic Disney tunes and given the amount of time the creators presumably had to put a straight-to-video sequel they all struggle to get out of the gate.
Belle’s character is sadly one of the lower points of this film. The character who was one of if not the most interesting Disney princess and characters overall is merely reduced to being too happy and optimistic giving a great deal of blandness to her character.
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas in no way comes close to anything that its predecessor had to offer and there are many Christmas special that do its ideas better. But for what the creators were put into doing you can tell they tried. Big fans of the original may not like it but it’s mostly harmless. And at least we know that it would not get any worse than this.