We are back with another Disney+ battle. This week appears to be a lopsided battle. We are comparing one of the most iconic films from the Disney Renaissance and one of the lesser known films from Disney’s Experimental Age of Animation. Let’s see who wins between “Beauty and the Beast” and “Home on the Range.”
The main characters of “Beauty and the Beast” are Belle, the beauty; and Beast, the Beast. She is an avid reader whose father is imprisoned by the Beast. She trades places and teaches the Beast a lot about life while she also learns about who the Beast was and who he can be again. Meanwhile, the Beast is a prince who was cursed for being selfish but through Belle, he learns how to love and to be loved. In contrast, the main character in “Home on the Range” is Maggie, a cow who is trying to save her new home from being sold out from under its owner. In the end, she and the other cows help stop a bounty hunter from wrestling the property away from them. Belle and Beast are better. Point to “Beauty and the Beast.”
Beauty and the Beast 1 | Home on the Range 0
The villain of “Beauty and the Beast” is Gaston. He’s the embodiment of toxic masculinity. He is a hunter who always gets the very best. He decides Belle is the best in town and he’s going to marry her despite her rejecting his advances. He even sets up a wedding for her despite the fact she had clearly turned him down for so much as a date. Eventually, he leads a mob to “Kill the Beast,” because the Beast has Belle and he only cares about looking good, not her happiness. The villain of “Home on the Range” is Alameda Slim, a cattle rustler who wants to take over all the land in the area. Both are evil, but Gaston seems to be a special kind of evil. Point to “Beauty and the Beast.”
Beauty and the Beast 2 | Home on the Range 0
3. SUPPORTING CHARACTERS
“Beauty and the Beast” has some of the most memorable supporting characters of the Disney Renaissance. Lumiere, Cogsworth, Le Fou, Maurice, Mrs. Potts, Chip and I could go on and on. They steal many of the scenes they are in and come up big in the battle at the end of the film. In “Home on the Range,” the other cows; Mrs. Calloway and Grace; Buck, the horse; and Rico, the bounty hunter, are all solid characters, but they don’t compare to “Beauty and the Beast.”
Beauty and the Beast 3 | Home on the Range 0
It’s a battle between Alan Menken and Alan Menken. He worked on the music for both of these films. Menken was teamed with Howard Ashman to write and compose the songs for “Beauty and the Beast” and it is full of memorable songs. “Beauty and the Beast,” “Belle,” “Be Our Guest,” “Gaston,” and “The Mob Song” are still recognizable to this day. Meanwhile, the music in “Home on the Range” is very meh. Menken is great, but Menken with Ashman is better. Point to “Beauty and the Beast.”
Beauty and the Beast 4 | Home on the Range 0
5. MEMORABLE MOMENTS
While this is the most subjective category, it’s going to be hard for “Home on the Range” compete. “Beauty and the Beast” has the beast being cursed, Belle’s walk through the town, Maurice being imprisoned, Gaston’s song in the pub, “Be Our Guest,” the couple falling in love, the mob, the final battle and the beast becoming human again. It’s just memorable. “Home on the Range” has the yodeling song and Maggie not recognizing it due to being tone deaf, but “Beauty and the Beast” wins this category.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 5 | HOME ON THE RANGE 0
“Beauty and the Beast” sweeps this one and it’s not remotely surprising. There’s a reason it’s loved and in so many people’s top five Disney movies. I’m sure “Home on the Range” has its fans, but I never expected this to be a competition. Still, I’m going to toss it over to you, which film do you think is better?