The Sounds of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – School Blog

In the very opening of Beauty and the Beast there is a piano playing, an eerie song though the scene is light and full of animals in what almost appears to be a happy forest (Beauty and the beast, 1991). The piano, the hardest sound, is accompanied quietly by a few wind instruments that lend to the eerie feel (Beauty and the beast, 1991). This music tells that despite appearances, this is not a happy tale of narration (Beauty and the beast, 1991). In those few sounds before the narration starts it completely emphasizes the very story of the narration when the prince turns the witch away for her appearance (Beauty and the beast, 1991).

(Animation Revelation, 2012)

Minutes later Belle’s introduction starts in song (Beauty and the beast, 1991). At first it is only the music and her own voice blessing the animated scene, making it seem stiff, as if the song is all that is happening (Beauty and the beast, 1991). She ends the first verse with, “Waking up to say…” and in that time the sound effects truly begin (Beauty and the beast, 1991). A window is propped open, a rug shaken out, and a man popping up from a chimney (Beauty and the beast, 1991). The sounds of the town singing, “Bonjour!” now accompany her along her journey to the library, where the bell rings as she enters (Beauty and the beast, 1991). The song is livelier for the sound effects, where otherwise it truly would feel lifeless as she simply sang across the scenery (Beauty and the beast, 1991).

Dialogue and sound effects work hand in hand in a scene shortly after Belle’s songs introduction (Beauty and the beast, 1991). Gaston and Lefou are making fun of her father and she claims, “My father is not crazy! He’s a genius!(Beauty and the beast, 1991)” This is immediately followed by the sound of an explosion that causes her to turn around and see the smoke billowing from her house (Beauty and the beast, 1991). She immediately runs to the house, ignoring the two who were having a conversation with her (Beauty and the beast, 1991).

Another excellent mix of dialogue and sound effects is the scene where Belle’s father becomes lost in the woods (Beauty and the beast, 1991). Her father urges the horse on, but the horse clearly is telling the old man no, not that way, but he is obstinate and insists that they will be going the right way (Beauty and the beast, 1991). As they travel further into the woods and the horse slowly clops along, the sound of wolves growling in the distance scares off the horse, leaving Belle’s father to fed for himself, screaming for help and escaping into the castle gates (Beauty and the beast, 1991).

The scene that is the epitome of dialogue sings for Beauty and the Beast, however, is the scene where Belle and Beast find common ground (Beauty and the beast, 1991). They are both frustrated and lashing out, but they still take the time to save one another from the wolves (Beauty and the beast, 1991). Afterward she is tending to his wounds and he yells, “That hurts!” To which she responds, “Well if you’d hold still it wouldn’t hurt as much! (Beauty and the beast, 1991)”

The two end their argument with, “Well you shouldn’t have been in the West Wing! (Beauty and the beast, 1991)”

“Well you should learn to control your temper! (Beauty and the beast, 1991)”

(ThisGirlDiZ, 2009)

They stare at each other, realizing they both have voiced their frustrations, and felt remorse for what they did to one another (Beauty and the beast, 1991). Neither are terribly unkind, but both are selfish in their own ways and if they are going to share a life together, however that life may be, they need to find a common ground (Beauty and the beast, 1991).

While most of the sounds throughout the movie go for as realistic as possible, it’s hard to stay too realistic when talking about an animated film about a beast and enchanted dishware. For example, the horse very adamantly signifying it did not want to go down the road that Belle’s father had chosen, while sticking with a horse’s whinny, was not a sound the horse likely would have made (Beauty and the beast, 1991). There is also the roar of the beast, which is realistic in itself, but often overlaps with his speaking. Unless he has two complete different sets of vocal chords this is not going to happen (Beauty and the beast, 1991).

Since the genre of film falls into animation on AFI, what sounds would give away this is animation? The very sounds that excel at giving this animated film a realistic feel are the sounds that ping it as animation. In most movies the sounds of a tray being placed down would be apparent, but muted to be understated as dialogue continued, where in animation such as this movie it wants to prove it paid attention to every little detail. The pad of feet, the sounds of wheels on cobble, they all are more alive because it’s an animate film (Beauty and the beast, 1991).


Animation Revelation. (2012, February 6). Animation Revelation’s Animation Blog. Retrieved March 20, 2015, from

Beauty and the beast [Motion picture]. (1991). Buena Vista Home Video.

ThisGirlDiZ. (2009, April 11). BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – Learn to Control your Temper! Retrieved March 20, 2015, from


Posted on March 19, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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