Our first attempt was Beauty and the Beast, which our son calls the Belle movie.
Beauty and the Beast is a fairly important movie for me, at least as far as my relationship with Disney movies go. It was the first movie that I saw in the theater after the Black Cauldron made me pretty much give up on Disney movies.
(Not only was the Black Cauldron a pretty bad movie in another itself, it also made a complete shambles out of the children series that is important to me. The Chronicles of Prydian is wonderful series, although not my favorite series by Lloyd Alexander. That'd be the Westmark trilogy. Which is completely unsuitable for Disney animation. Then again, so was the hunchback of Notre Dame.)
Part of the reason why Beauty and the Beast made such a big difference for me was that it was the first time I felt like Disney showed a relationship develop rather than love at first sight. It's a topic that they'd explore more in later movies and I now realize they covered it before in Lady and the Tramp (seriously, think what that movie would be like if the characters were human) Still, it made an impression on me.
I have to admit, revisiting the movie again after so many years, did make me notice some things I didn't notice before. For one thing, if you were just a character in the background, you kind of had a body built like a bowl of jelly. You have to love how much animation keeps on developing.
We were also both struck by how short the movie felt and how fast everything seem to go by. But, it is a children's film and our memories probably stretched out the development of the plot.
It's the timeline that really doesn't make any sense. It certainly seems like Belle is a captive in the Beast's castle for several weeks and more likely months. Meanwhile, judging by the actions of the village and Maurice, it was really just a long weekend. It seriously doesn't make any sense.
Despite those issues, which are really testimonies to how Disney has risen their own standards, Beauty and the Beast still holds up for me. The music is top notch and the relationship of the main characters is compelling.
Of course, the real question is how did the three-year-old take the movie?
I would say that we had slightly mixed results. He definitely enjoyed the music, particularly Be Our Guest. He had seen pictures of the ballroom dress and was thrilled to see yellow-dress Belle. So, he had fun watching it and it held his attention to the end.
However, he will still always pick Frozen over Beauty and the Beast. So, it didn't pass that crucial test for us :D
No, we wouldn't achieve that goal until our next attempt. Trolls.