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Beauty and the Beast Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 5+

The ultimate makeover story has strong, positive messages.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Beast's initial ferocity might scare younger viewers. And once kids have seen his gentle side, they may find scenes of him being hunted and stabbed by Gaston emotionally upsetting. The sequence in which a mob comes after Beast is also quite intense, and there's a fair bit of cleavage on display during the bar-set "Gaston" number. But kids mature enough for feature-length stories will find this one of the best Disney movies they could spend time with in terms of intelligence, quality, and originality -- not to mention having one of Disney's smartest, most independent heroines. Note: The movie's 2012 3D theatrical rerelease intensifies the musical numbers like "Be Our Guest" and the waltz scene in "Beauty and the Beast," but it doesn't make Beast's roars or the mob scenes too much scarier than they are in 2D.

  • Families can talk about Belle and Beast's first impressions of each other. What did they discover about each other as their relationship grew?
  • As one of the popular Disney Princesses, how is Belle the same as Cinderella and the Little Mermaid? How is she different?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: Intended to entertain, not educate, but kids will take in some important lessons about appreciating others for who they are, not what they look like.

  • message true1

    Messages: This timeless story has always revolved around the idea that it's important to see someone for who they are and not for what they look like. Also, brain wins out over brawn.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Characters change for the better -- Belle sees the beautiful person inside Beast, and he sheds his anger and sacrifices his own happiness for hers. Belle is a positive role model who values intelligence, books, and individuality.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: Beast has angry outbursts at first. Fierce wolves attack the main characters. Townspeople decide to kill Beast and storm the castle in a scary, intense mob sequence. In the climactic fight, a knife-wielding character falls to his death.

  • sex false2

    Sexy stuff: Lumiere comically flirts with a maid, with fooling around implied. Budding romance between Beast and Belle, with some mild flirting and kissing. Bosomy barmaids swoon for Gaston during the song about him -- which also includes some innuendo and references to his physical appeal.

  • language false0

    Language: Not applicable

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Belle is a Disney Princess whose brand reaches far and wide. Expect to see Princess branding on consumer merchandise, food products, etc., as well as in books, websites, and other media.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A raucous scene in a bar with plenty of mugs sloshing around.