It is based on the French fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont and is the 30th film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and was released on November 22, 1991. It later spawned two direct-to-video followups: Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997) and Belle's Magical World (1998). A live-action remake followed in 2017.
A young prince rejects an elderly beggar shelter. In response, the beggar reveals herself to be an enchantress and curses the prince into the form of a beast and transforms his servants into household items. The enchantress gives the Beast a mirror that enables him to see faraway locations and an enchanted rose, telling him that he must love someone and be loved in return for the spell to be broken. If he fails by the time the rose withers away, he will remain a beast forever.
Years later, a peasant woman named Belle is regarded as a town oddity due to her nonconformist ideals. Gaston, a hunter, vies for Belle's attention, but she rejects him due to his chauvinistic attitude. Belle's father, Maurice, becomes lost in the forest and arrives at the Beast's castle, where he is imprisoned. However, Belle offers herself in exchange for Maurice's freedom. The Beast agrees and frees Maurice, who returns to the village, where he fails to convince the villagers to help find Belle.
The Beast refuses to give Belle food after she refuses to have dinner with him, but his servants, Lumiere and Cogsworth, offer Belle dinner. As they give her a tour through the castle, Belle enters the West Wing, which she had been forbidden from entering, and discovers the rose. The Beast chases her off, and she flees into the forest and is attacked by wolves. The Beast rescues her, but is injured in the process. After the incident, the two begin to bond. Meanwhile, Gaston strikes a deal with Monsieur D'Arque, the warden of the local asylum, to have Maurice locked up unless Belle agrees to marry him.
After Belle and the Beast share a duet, she tells him she misses her father. Using the magic mirror, Belle sees her sickened father in the forest. The Beast lets Belle leave to rescue Maurice, giving her the magic mirror as remembrance. Belle returns Maurice to the village, where a mob gathers to have Maurice locked up. However, Belle uses the mirror to prove the Beast's existence. An envious Gaston leads the mob towards the castle to kill the Beast, locking Belle and Maurice away. However, Chip, the son of Mrs. Potts, frees the two, and they arrive at the castle, where the cursed servants have driven off the mob. The Beast battles Gaston and subdues him, but spares him. However, Gaston stabs the Beast before plummeting off the castle to his death.
Belle comforts the dying Beast and confesses her love for him as the last petal withers away. The curse broken, the Beast and the household items are transformed into their human forms. Belle and Maurice remain in the castle, and Belle shares a duet with the Beast in celebration.
- Paige O'Hara as Belle, a young peasant girl living in a French village.
- Robby Benson as the Beast, a prince cursed into the form of a beast for his lack of love.
- Richard White as Gaston, a conceited hunter.
- Jerry Obach as Lumiere, a servant transformed into a candlestick.
- David Ogden Stiers as Cogsworth, a servant transformed into a clock.
- Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts, a servant transformed into a pot.
- Bradley Pierce as Chip, Mrs. Potts' son.
- Rex Everhart as Maurice, Belle's father.
- Jesse Corti as LeFou, Gaston's lackey.
- Hal Smith as Phillipe, Belle's horse.