Dissecting the Disquels: Beauty and the Beast – Belle’s Magical World

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Plot: Yet another midquel taking place sometime after the wolf attack but before the confrontation with Gaston, this movie consists of four short stories about Belle and the Beast and their adventures in the castle.

Breakdown: Oh boy. Just what I always wanted. Another crappy Disquel that isn’t really a movie so much as a bunch of episodes for a TV series that never happened stitched together like some sort of gaping wound….

At the end of my last Beauty and the Beast Disquel review, I noted that I had some hope for Magical World since Enchanted Christmas turned out to be okay.

I should learn never to have hope.

Soon after I finished that review, I started looking up reviews and info on Magical World, and hoo boy it’s much less well-received than Enchanted Christmas.

Not many people have a good word to say about it beyond ‘well, it’s a decent enough thing to entertain your very young kids with for an hour’. You know what else can entertain very young kids for an hour? Making pies out of dirt. An hour-long loop of fart noises. Playing ‘how much crayon can I get on the wall before Mommy or Daddy starts screaming?’

And do I even need to bring up the obvious again? Just as a refresher; this midquel is pointless. Most midquels are pointless, but the ones for Beauty and the Beast are especially pointless because they usually in some way involve mending bridges between Belle and Beast or worrying about if they’ll get together or not and whether everyone will turn back into people or not. We’ve seen the movie. They do. Tension over.

What were they even thinking trying to make this as a TV series? Were they really planning on making a TV series based on the midquel adventures of Belle and Beast? How much time went on during that short interlude between the wolf attack and Gaston? How much material could you possibly justify? It would just end up either being filler crap about the servants or the same arguing to resolution shtick that Belle and Beast go through nearly every time they see each other. That makes some damn good entertaining television.

This is actually one movie where it would really only work as a TV series if they focused on the original couple’s kids. I’m not exactly certain what they’d do with that, but at least it would be fresh material.

Enough stall tactics. Let’s break this down.

Segment one – The Perfect Word

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We start off with Belle and Beast having a meal together. Belle is trying to tell Beast about a new book she’s reading, Cinderella (well, that’s kinda meta isn’t it?) while Beast is trying to be civil and kind to impress Belle.

Beast has a hot flash and can’t stand the heat in the room, but he’s advised to not open a window because it’s still winter and the servants and Belle will be very cold. He tries to bear it for a while but ends up demanding to have the window open anyway. He goes on a tirade saying he doesn’t have to be considerate of others because it’s his castle and he’ll do what he wants. He has a huge-ass temper tantrum, smacking away a new character, Webster, in the process.

Webster is a dictionary. Yup.

Belle says he’s being rude and foolish. She storms off, and Beast flips the table in anger.

Later, the two refuse to apologize until the other apologizes. They’re so adamant in not being the first to apologize that Webster, LePlume, a fountain pen, and Crane, a stack of papers, decide to forge a note to Belle pretending to be Beast apologizing.

Let me pause for a second and say, why yes, LePlume does indeed literally translate to ‘The pen.’ Between this and Webster, you guys are being so damn creative with your naming today. Only one that is a bit creative is Crane, which, from what I gather, was based on Thomas Crane, the owner of a paper mill that Paul Revere stabled his horses in and became one of the most widely known paper distributors ever.

But really, if you had to become an object, how much would it suck to be a stack of paper? You’re vulnerable to basically everything, except rocks if decision making games have taught me anything, you’re limited in supply and you’re disposable.

They forge the note, and Belle, who has been crying and waiting on bated breath for Beast’s apology (even rushing to the door and fixing her hair when she thinks he’s come to apologize….) accepts it and goes to apologize to Beast as well. Because apparently calling someone rude and foolish when they have a gigantic hissy fit because they’re hot and physically assaulting someone because of aforementioned frustration is something that warrants apology.

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She’s clearly in the wrong.

They make up, and Beast tries to listen to Belle reading him a book. However, he’s loudly eating a snack as she reads, so she can’t concentrate enough to continue. Beast decides to control himself and puts aside the snack for later, telling her to continue. Cogsworth praises him for his restraint and says he wouldn’t want to have to write another apology letter.

At this, Beast is both infuriated and confused since he knows no such thing about a letter. Belle shows it to him, and Webster, LePlume and Crane admit what they did. Beast chases them throughout the castle, and Belle tries to protect them from his wrath. He spares their lives, but banishes them from the castle and says if anyone tries to offer them comfort, he’ll punish them.

If you think about it, at least two of these guys are as good as dead anyway. Remember, Webster’s a book and Crane is a stack of paper. They’re out in the snow. Crane should’ve been dead shortly after hitting the ground, and Webster would surely die in an hour or so.

The three traipse through the woods, hoping to find help at the nearest town. Because yeah, I can see everyone being helpful to talking library items.

Meanwhile, Belle beats herself up for not being the one to apologize to Beast….Girl, you barely had anything to apologize for. You rightfully called him rude and foolish after he blew up, blasted winter winds into the room and bitchslapped Webster. Sure it’s not nice to insult people, but stop acting like you were more in the wrong than he was because that could not be further from the truth. It’s not in the same atmosphere as the truth.

The three get lost and end up back at the castle. They don’t want to enter the castle because they’re afraid of what Beast will do to them, but Belle insists they come inside to get warm and dry. And in the cases of Webster and Crane, to get all wrinkly, weird-feeling and discolored. She says that the Beast may do and say terrible things sometimes, but deep down inside he has a good heart.

….He just kicked out three of his servants into the dead of winter and offered them no means of protection. Two of these servants could have easily died or at least suffered serious damage/injury the instant they hit the snow. But yeah, he’s a precious flower.

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Beast overhears this, and as Belle tries to warm up them up, he apologizes to her for his behavior and apologizes to Webster, LePlume and Crane as well. As he leaves he says in a creepily happy tone “That was so easy! I feel happy now! Happier than I can remember!” Uhh….even people who aren’t raging assholes have difficulty admitting they were wrong and apologizing. It’s hardly easy, and considering it took days of pouting and more temper tantrums including him literally screaming “I will NEVERA…POLOGIZE!” I’d say it was pretty hard for you, furball.

And just making up with Belle makes him that happy? Yeah, sure.

Oh yeah and there’s a side plot with Lumiere having an argument with a chandelier and also having trouble apologizing. This is basically filler because it’s just reinforcing the lesson, and the only reason I really bring this up is because the chandelier’s name? Chandelieria. Yeah, that’s what they decided to name her. Chandelieria.

At least when they gave LePlume his name they were using the French word for ‘pen’ that English speaking countries don’t use. The English word for chandelier IS chandelier. If you’re going to be that lazy, let’s just call Lumiere ‘Candlestick’ and Cogsworth ‘Clock’.

And I’m calling bull on that being her name because almost always is her name being pronounced just ‘Chandelier.’ Sometimes it sounds like ‘Chandeliera’ but I always figured that the ending ‘a’ was a part of the accent. Never do they ever sound like they’re adding ‘ia’ to the end.

After that subplot is over, they extend the episode even more by them all reflecting upon the lesson of forgiveness.

And we’re still not done because we have to splice in a song break for some stupid reason. Couldn’t have put that in the middle of the episode or something? It’s just so jarring because after the scene on the veranda it, by all means, seems like a ‘fade out to credits’ moment. The music swells, we fade to black and then we get a random song.

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The song is called ‘Listen with our Hearts’…..and it’s still repetitive parroting of the forgiveness lesson. Belle and Beast have lots of trouble communicating properly, they fight a lot because of it, but later when they’ve had time to cool off and take the time out to understand the other, they make up and love and romance and blah blah. The song itself is actually pretty decent, but it is so jarring in its placement and is really just more filler.

Holy crap, what a load of……well, crap. That whole shitstorm happened all because Beast had a massive tantrum over being hot. I get that he probably runs warmer than most people because of the fur and all, but it’s winter and they’re not near a source of heat or anything besides Lumiere and Chandelier, and, no, I’m not adding the ‘ia’.

There’s really nothing that seems to be spurring on his near heat stroke. Really, any normal person would just say ‘Excuse me, Belle, but I feel overheated. I am going to get some fresh air. Would you like to join me?’ If Beast was too perturbed to think of saying that himself, you’d think Cogsworth or Lumiere would suggest that. But no, he demands the window be open and then goes on an asshole spree. Between the massive mood swings and the hot flash, I’d say Beast is just going through menopause.

Then they have to act like friggin’ five-year-olds and do that stupid ‘I’m not apologizing until he/she apologizes’ crap. Something that probably could’ve been fixed if they reminded Beast or Belle of the rose and their current situation.

But, again, no, they have to make up a lie that was inevitably going to be uncovered, and Beast has to completely overreact. His servants have done much worse to him without them being punished too severely yet lying in an effort to fix his relationship to Belle is something banish-worthy? Especially in the middle of winter. Especially when the servants are porous pieces of stationary.

Segment two – Fifi’s Folly

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This one can be summed up rather quickly. It’s the fifth anniversary of Fifi (the feather duster) and Lumiere’s first date. While Fifi is super excited about it, Lumiere just barely remembers. He asks for Belle’s help in not only making the night a replica of their first date, but he also needs help writing his feelings out on a cheat sheet since he has trouble doing it on the fly.

As Belle helps Lumiere in secret, Fifi follows them every step of the way, getting increasingly angry as she believes Lumiere is romancing Belle in the same manner that he romanced her on their first date. Because, yeah, I’m so sure he’d seduce Belle and screw over their chances of being turned back to humans….oh and yeah, Beast would turn him into a pile of melted wax and bent brass if he ever found out.

When everything’s set up for the date, Fifi explodes in a rage of jealousy and anger, consistently calling Belle terrible names behind her back. She decides if she can’t have her great anniversary date with Lumiere, no one will. So she cuts the strap of the ‘sleigh’ about three quarters of the way to ensure that Belle and Lumiere will crash and friggin’ DIE when they have their sleigh ride.

Oh and just to prove how stupid and angry Fifi is, she doesn’t realize that having a sleigh ride in a modified punch bowl pulled by a small dog-footrest would be a bit on the impossible side for Belle….

Fifi’s about to leave the castle forever when she’s stopped by Lumiere who explains that the date was for their anniversary. She’s slightly embarrassed, but since she did most of her jealous insanity in secret, she goes on the date just fine. She even gets on the sleigh ride, simply hoping the strap won’t break the whole time. Because it’d be way too hard to say ‘Oh my, Lumiere, this strap seems like it’s been frayed! Perhaps we should replace it before our sleigh ride, my love!’ Nope, better risk your neck…or…handle.

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A candlestick doesn’t have to do much work to make himself look hot.

The strap breaks, and they go out of control, resulting in them flying off the side of the mountain and barely hanging on by a branch. Also, Lumiere needs to make up his mind on how he sweats. Several times before this he sweats by having the candlewax on his head melt. Later, he sweats regularly.

As Belle and the other household items try to reach them, Lumiere admits his love for Fifi and he and Fifi are saved.

So yeah….that was pretty dumb too, wasn’t it? I mean, a story about Lumiere and Fifi, fine. But we know that Lumiere’s not trying to date Belle so half the episode with Fifi seeing more and more evidence to the contrary is completely pointless and wouldn’t even make sense if we didn’t know by seeing them preparing for the date.

Fifi’s a goddamn psycho. Why should we feel happy that a bitch who tried to kill Belle and Lumiere out of jealousy got her man? I wanted nothing more than to pluck her feathers by the end. I also wasn’t aware that Lumiere and Fifi were a legit couple. He flirts with so many women, it’s hard to believe he’s in a relationship.

Oh and Beast was not in a single frame of this episode. Some Beauty and the BEAST series they were making.

Segment Three – Mrs. Potts’ Party

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This one can be summed up even more quickly. Mrs. Potts is feeling down because it’s been cloudy for weeks. Belle and the others decide to cheer her up by throwing her a party. Lumiere and Cogsworth screw everything up because of their fighting. Mrs. Potts finds out about their party plans and says this whole thing is just making her feel even worse.

Belle apologizes and says everything’s her fault for some reason when it’s obviously not. Mrs. Potts says she’s really upset that all of her friends are fighting so much, and the others decide to try and make another party. By the dialogue, they sound like they’re doing it more to prove that they can work together and not because they really want to make it up to Mrs. Potts. They succeed, yay party.

Followed up by a song that doesn’t quite fit called ‘A Little Thought’. Basically, it’s about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes to understand how they feel and get along and work together, but they didn’t do that. They just up and decided to not be selfish idiotic children.

This episode is completely boring. There are no jokes, if there are they’re so lame they’re not even worth noticing, and the plot is so predictable I could cry. Also, really, Mrs. Potts is brash enough to say “Well, this whole thing just makes me just feel worse.”?

Ya know, almost anyone would feel better or at least feign a better mood just by learning that their friends care about them enough to make a party for them, especially going to all the trouble they did. Sure, she’s upset that they’re fighting, but she’s negating the effort behind the planning and the care behind the whole idea.

Then the others let Belle take all the rap for it even though she fought with no one, this whole thing was her idea, and she did her damnedest to keep the others from fighting? Lumiere, Cogsworth, the two stupid married oven mitts, you guys can contract the worst type of mold.

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I bet you’re wondering where the Beast was in this one. He was asleep…..through the whole thing. He was apparently fixing leaks on the roof and it took so much out of him that he was out like a light and slept through like three days. First of all, the Beast was fixing leaks on the roof? When he has a whole castle full of servants? Some of which probably are lumber, hammers and nails because apparently damn near everything is alive here? Uh huh, sure.

Yeah they’re all objects now, but they’re fully capable of doing every other chore around the castle. I can’t see how one of them wasn’t able to do that. Nor how the Beast could be bothered to do it anyway. He can’t seem to do anything on his own besides mope, emotionally abuse people and beat things up.

Second, he was in a comatose-like sleep for around THREE DAYS? How could a beast with his strength and abilities get that exhausted by fixing a roof?

Finally, Beast wakes up in the final shot of the episode where he sees his bedroom filled with flowers (Long stupid story; Lumiere and Cogsworth did it to cover up the party.) He sniffs a rose and sneezes, the end. Yup, Beast is allergic to roses. I’m not sure if that’s deeply ironic. Thank god he never sniffed the magical rose or else they’d all be screwed the second after the spell was set in motion.

Segment Four – Broken Wing

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Let’s just plow through the entirety of this one. Beast, who is actually actively participating in an episode, holy crap, is hounding Cogsworth to get a perfect lunch ready for him and Belle. Meanwhile, a bird breaks its wing and crashes in through the window in Belle’s room. The Wardrobe, who apparently has several names but no name in the animated version, freaks out.

Wardrobe: “The master! Oh he will..!…He doesn’t much care for animals.”

Belle: “But it’s only a tiny bird.”

Wardrobe: “Oh! The master likes birds least of all!”

There are several things wrong with that statement. First, beast hates animals….when he pretty much is one right now? If there was ever a time where he’d sympathize with animals, it’d be now.

Second, how can he hate animals when he has a pet dog? Remember Sultan? He is a dog, just as a footstool now. By the way, how much of a bitch is the enchantress to also change his dog into furniture? He’s just a dog. Changing his servants was unfair enough, but the dog? I hope you got hit by lightning out in that storm, lady.

Finally, he hates birds most of all? Must suck to be Witherspoon, the servant who got turned into a pigeon…..The character that was created just for this movie…..

Beast bangs on her door, and Belle and Wardrobe hide the bird inside of the Wardrobe (………Uhhhhhh……ewww?)

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I see you share my thoughts, Wardrobe.

He enters, and after some tweaking of his insanely awful manners, he invites her to lunch and she accepts, with him nearly catching wind of the bird as he leaves.

Belle asks what Beast has against such cute and harmless animals as the bird and the Wardrobe says;

Wardrobe: “Well, it’s beautiful, lovely and sweet. Everything he’s not.” Well, by that logic, he should hate Belle too.

Belle treats and cares for the bird, there’s some stupid subplot about no one wanting to obey Cogsworth because he has a stick up his ass, but they listen to Mrs. Potts because she’s so kind and motherly, and he’s jealous. Belle is really late for lunch so Beast angrily goes to fetch her, and she admits that she’s been taking care of a bird.

He demands that she get rid of it, and sadly proclaims his disappointment that she’d rather care for a bird than eat lunch with him. And by ‘sadly proclaims’ I mean he squeaks out “You were supposed to eat with me….” while sounding like he was gonna start sobbing at the end. I swear, Beast needs loads of therapy.

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Their dinner will now have the musical accompaniment of a concerto from the player of the world’s smallest violin.

He decides to get rid of the bird himself and chases it around the castle. It’s funny how the Beast can’t keep pace with a wounded bird.

They continue their chase when Beast trips over his own cape and falls down the stairs. He hits his head and falls unconscious.

PbbbbttttttttBWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Hey angry mob from the movie; forget the torches and pitchforks, just put a flight of stairs in front of the Beast. See, Edna from The Incredibles was right. Capes are nothing but trouble.

As the Beast starts to come out of it, he hears the bird singing and finds it so nice that he pulls a 180 and demands that the bird never leave the castle. (Yup, yup, loads of therapy. Maybe a med or two. Maybe an MRI.) He wants the bird kept in a cage so it can sing for him forever, despite Belle’s pleas.

So….has the Beast never heard a bird sing?

Obviously, the bird won’t sing when it’s all depressed in a cage. Cogsworth suggests singing to the bird to prompt it to sing. After his and Beast’s embarrassing attempts, Beast commands Cogsworth to go get Belle.

When Belle arrives, she points out the obvious, sad bird won’t sing, yelling at it won’t help, but Beast won’t listen.

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THE BIRD IS THE WORD, DAMMIT

Days or weeks pass and Beast reflects on what Belle said. He grabs the bird cage and heads upstairs where he rips the lock and door off of the cage (there are these things called ‘keys’ Beast) and they make it look like he’s going to kill the bird but he’s really taking his bandage off since he believes it’s healed now.

Cogsworth tries to prod him to knock the bird out or keep a tight grip on the bird to keep him from flying off, but Beast reveals that he won’t fly away because he trusts him. Oh yeah, you earned that trust by taking him away from a loving caretaker, chasing him around the castle, locking him in a cage, yelling at him and then never letting him out of the cage until you believe he’s been healed. ~~Trust.

Anyway, the Beast lets the bird go and while it can fly for a little while, it ends up falling on one of the castle’s spires. Beast jumps down to save him and nearly falls, Cogsworth falls while trying to call out for him, the Beast saves the bird, but Cogsworth ends up falling again because he never fixed the Beast’s ripped cape.

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The little piece of cape catches on another ledge and Cogsworth starts to apologize to the servants down below for being a hardass. Oh right, the subplot. I completely forgot. The cape rips, the servants save him.

Meanwhile, the bird flies away again, now perfectly fine somehow, gives a quick nudge to Belle and flies away. Sometime later, Belle and Beast finally have their lunch and the bird returns with a new girlfriend. Because no happy ending is truly happy unless everyone has a love interest. That’s why so many sequels exist.

Beast is happy, Belle’s happy, hooray. Credits with uninteresting and unfitting jaunty music. The end.

——————————————-

Welp….Ahhh…..That sure explains why this show never saw the light of day outside of this ‘movie’.

This is a mess of a movie. It’s not really a movie to begin with. It’s just an excuse to make money from the TV series episodes they already animated. The episodes themselves are just bland and uninteresting with hardly a joke or exciting moment to be had. The Beast’s insane mood swings get really tiresome after a while (I was actually thankful he wasn’t in segments two or most of three after getting sick of his bull in four.) And you just sit there wondering why you’re watching it.

The art is only passable. At the very least you can recognize the characters immediately, but the details are scarce, Beast is just drawn weird, especially when he’s happy, the coloring is very off, particularly with Beast who looks bleached out, and they make the castle look absolutely drab.

The animation? A contender for worst animation of the Disquels. This is where that ‘derp Belle’ screen shot meme came from, and trust me, that’s not the only time she does it.

There are animation errors in nearly every shot, and they’re so obvious I almost want to say these episodes are unfinished or at least unpolished for final distribution. I just could not stop seeing weird animation errors and quirks. Like the last shot of Belle eating with Beast, she’s clearly only animated from the waist up with her butt and skirt being completely still.

It’s also obvious that they took shortcuts like keeping Beast out of nearly half of the episodes since I imagine he’s the hardest/most costly to animate, and other characters stay off screen for a long time when he is in the episode, like Lumiere disappeared for most of segment four.

The music is alright, but completely forgettable. That song I said was pretty decent? ‘Listen with Our Hearts’? By the time I finished the second segment, I had completely forgotten what it sounded like. It was even worse with the second song because I didn’t care much for it in the first place.

The songs are just oddly placed too. Musical numbers in movies, and even in TV shows, are usually kept for somewhere in the actual episode, not shoved until after the episode has already ended like some super reinforcement of the lesson. It’s really weird that this movie only has two songs anyway. Based on a movie that was praised for its music, two meh musical numbers is all they can come up with? They aren’t even trying.

Bottom Line: In the end, this movie is a complete waste of time. The lessons that it’s trying to teach are either so in your face that you’d think they were talking to toddlers or they were so unclear that you’re left scratching your head and wondering what the point was. There’s plenty to be irritated about here, whether it’s the poor writing or irritating character moments, and ignoring all of that just leaves you with a bunch of really bland TV show episodes.

Beauty and the Beast was never meant to be a series. It doesn’t have the structure, it doesn’t have the proper style, and it’s ridiculous that they were trying to jam seasons worth of material into what was probably a few weeks or a month of unspecified downtime in the movie. Hell, in the time that lapsed in segment four alone, they were likely already at the point in the movie where they were transformed back into humans.

But hey, who cares about that when you can save money in the art department by having perpetual nuclear winter, apparently.

The idea is terrible, what came of it was terrible, it’s pointless because we already know the outcome of the movie and thus know that every single conflict they’ll come up with ends up okay anyway; it’s just a bottomless chasm of pointless blah.

And you know what? I watched a special edition version with an extra episode. Mrs. Potts’ Party wasn’t in the original version of this movie, so the actual first version of this movie has even LESS value. Why did they place Mrs. Potts Party as the third segment and not tack it on as the last, anyway? Did they think that episode was unworthy of ending on? I mean, it was awful, but the actual end is just saving a bird.

I concur that Enchanted Christmas was eons better than this movie. At least that was a movie. At least they had a budget. At least it had a semi-interesting plot, barring the predictable ending due to ‘midquel-itis’. At least they inserted songs INTO the movie where they belong.

Well, at the very least Magical World is decent enough to entertain your very young kids with for an hour….

wwuigns

Recommended Audience: Absolutely nothing. E for everyone.


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3 thoughts on “Dissecting the Disquels: Beauty and the Beast – Belle’s Magical World

    • That’s a very good question. I don’t believe being imprisoned within the castle’s grounds is part of the curse, I just assumed they stayed there either by loyalty to the prince or because their physical alterations made them too shameful to go out into the world (or they had an inability to get too far considering how slow and small most of them are). The pigeon servant, Witherspoon seems to be able to travel freely, but he was made for the sequels. I’m going to say they can leave the castle grounds but they don’t have a reason to do so most of the time.

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  1. Wow, that midquel really sounds lazy with the names of the new characters, animation derping, and major flanderization of the characters. I do agree that Beauty and the Beast doesn’t work as a series no matter if it’s the Disney version or not.

    Liked by 1 person

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