Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney's most beloved animated features for many reasons, but one of the chief reasons is the music. Before the new film brings us its versions of these classic tunes, let's look back at the original ones that we fell in love with. While there really isn't a bad song in the 1991 Beauty and the Beast, there must be a best one, but which one is it?
Beauty and the Beast saw three of its songs get nominated for the Best Original Song Academy Award, but did the right one win? We're going to rank every song from the original theatrical release of Beauty and the Beast. Let's get started.
8. The Mob Song
Let's start at the end. The last song we hear in Beauty and the Beast is called "The Mob Song" and it focuses on Gaston riling up the villagers in order to get them to help him attack the Beast's castle. Then the action shifts to the castle, and the servants all pick up the song as they prepare for the attack. There's nothing really wrong with the tune, it doesn't do anything wrong. It just doesn't have the magic that so many of the other songs so instantly have. Its biggest problem is that it ends the movie. Other than hearing the title song again, we don't get any other music in the film. Which is too bad, because it doesn't really end the movie on a high note.
7. Gaston (Reprise)
The reprise of Gaston's theme is fairly short when it comes to the actual singing part. It does, however, have the great line about thinking being a "dangerous pastime," one of the best lines in the entire film, but that's about all there is to it. Still, Gaston's theme is a great one, so this song gets points simply for being associated with that one. It's so good that it really would have been nice if the reprise were a bit longer. It would give us a reason to listen to it more often.
6. Something There
One of the interesting things about Beauty and the Beast as a musical is that it doesn't have a traditional love song duet. The falling in love moment of the film really happens during the dance and the singing of the title song. "Something There" is a little different. It's the beginning-to-fall-in-love song. It a lovely tune that has each character's inner monologue regarding the other. Is there something happening here, or is it just me? The most fun part of falling in love is the actual falling, and "Something There" really captures it. It's the only time our two lead characters sing together, and it's magical.
5. Belle (Reprise)
Like the reprise in "Gaston," the reprise to "Belle" is incredibly brief, but we're placing it higher on the ranking because the song is ultimately vital to the entire movie. There is no song more important in most Disney musicals than the "I Want" song. The song where the protagonist sings about their desires, which ultimately leads them on the adventure of the story. "Belle" as a song doesn't really do that, it has another purpose, but the reprise captures all of Belle's dreams in less than a minute. This is the song that drives the story, Belle's desire to find somebody she can connect with.
Quite simply, one of the best villain songs in the history of Disney. It's charming, it's catchy, and it's funny, and all without losing an ounce of what makes Gaston such a terrible bad guy. It's amazing how great a song designed to stroke one guy's ego can get. Also, the song got the word "expectorating" into the lyrics, and that's a songwriting feat worthy of note. While Gaston may not have the cache that some other Disney villains have, he'll never be forgotten and this song is the reason why.
Here we go with the first of three songs that were nominated for Oscars. Beauty and the Beast doesn't waste time. Following a brief voice-over narration, the movie jumps immediately into the first song. The song then goes on to tell you everything you need to know to set up the film. It introduces Belle and Gaston, and each one sings about who they are and where they are at this point in their lives. We learn that Belle doesn't fit in around town, and we see everything about the town that we need to know. It's incredibly compact and well-done storytelling.
2. Beauty and the Beast
It's one of the most well-known songs from the best-known scene in all of Beauty and the Beast. If there's a hurdle that the new movie needs to overcome, it's that a couple of generations know that this song belongs in the voice of Angela Lansbury. It's simply an iconic song. It's no surprise that the song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Once you hear it, it's difficult to think of anything else. However, we think that there's one song that ever so slightly outdoes it.
1. Be Our Guest
Every song in Beauty and the Beast has great elements. Be Our Guest has them all. It's a fun, catchy, show-stopping number. However, it's more than that. It's also the song that gives us the backstory of the castle servants, allowing us to learn more about who they are and what they've been through, making them important characters in the rest of the story. For the film to have the right impact the audience has to want these people to have the curse lifted. "Be Our Guest" is the song that gets us invested in these characters. It's also just a hell of a lot of fun.