Belle's Magical World (later retitled Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World) is a 1998 direct-to-video Disney midquel film and the third installment in the Beauty and the Beast trilogy. It was originally released on February 17, 1998, and features the voices of Paige O'Hara as Belle, Robby Benson as The Beast, Jerry Orbach as Lumiere, David Ogden Stiers as Cogsworth, and Anne Rogers, who replaced Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts. The film features two songs performed by Belle, "Listen With Our Hearts" and "A Little Thought".
Much like the second film, the storyline is set within the timeline of the original Beauty and the Beast (after The Enchanted Christmas but before the fight against Gaston, specifically during the song "Something There"). When first released in 1998, this film was titled Belle's Magical World and consisted of three connected segments called "The Perfect Word", "Fifi's Folly", and "The Broken Wing". For the 2003 Special Edition, released on February 25 of that year, the title was changed to Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World, and included another segment called "Mrs. Potts's Party", making the film 22 minutes longer.
The film was universally panned by critics and audiences, and is, to this day, considered by many to be Disney's worst direct-to-video film of all time.
The Perfect Word
Beast and Belle are almost ready for dinner, and Beast asks for advice from Lumiere. While Cogsworth escorts Belle to the dining room, they come across the castle's well-meaning but rather verbose writer, Webster, turned into a dictionary, whom Belle invites to join them in the dining room much to Cogsworth's dismay. During the meal, while Belle tells Beast about "Cinderella", the book that she's been reading, he becomes overheated and demands that the windows be opened, despite there being a draft and the servants getting cold.
Beast and Belle get into an argument, and Beast states that the castle belongs to him and that only he makes the rules. He also strikes Webster off the table when the latter begins giving unwanted synonyms to Belle's insults. Subsequently, they both stop speaking to each other, despite Lumiere and Cogsworth's attempts to patch things up.
Eventually, Webster, feeling guilty for his part, forges a letter of apology from the Beast to Belle with his friends, Crane (a pile of papers) and Le Plume (a quill). Belle sees the letter, and makes amends with the Beast.
However, that night, the truth comes out, and after a furious chase around the castle, Beast catches the group. On Belle's pleading, the Beast spares them on the condition that they never set foot in the castle again. Belle tries to protest, but the Beast tells her to be silent and banishes Webster, Crane, and LePlume for the forgery, throwing them into the forest. He then adds that anyone found giving them comfort would be sorry. Belle ventures out and brings them back, and Beast, touched by Belle's sympathy, forgives the three and allows them back in, realizing that their intentions were good. The morals of this story are apologizing when you're wrong and that it's easy to forgive.
On the fifth anniversary of Lumiere's first date with Fifi, Lumiere grows so nervous to the point that he cleans himself excessively and turns to Belle for advice by walking with her in the garden and reciting what he plans to say to Fifi to her. Fifi overhears this and believes that Lumière and Belle are having an affair behind her back. In reality, Lumiere has planned a surprise snow ride around the castle gardens with Fifi. To get back at Lumiere, Fifi attempts to seduce Cogsworth, who is apparently not interested.
In the end, things are cleared up and Lumiere and Fifi go for the ride, but the bathtub they are sitting in slips off the edge of the balcony and hangs over the moat (the same chasm in which Gaston will eventually meet his doom). Lumiere holds onto Fifi for while hanging for dear life, and tells her he loves her. Before they can fall, Belle, Cogsworth, and a few more servants arrive and get them back to safety. In this story, the gang learns that sometimes things are just as they seem and to not jump to conclusions.
Mrs. Potts' Party
Mrs. Potts is feeling depressed due to the dreadful weather, and Belle, who has come to look at Mrs. Potts as a mother figure, decides to cheer her up by throwing a surprise party for her, all the while without waking the sleeping Beast (who spent the entire night fixing a leak in the roof). However, Lumiere and Cogsworth's rivalry gets in the way, in fields such as composing music, Mrs. Potts' favorite flowers (which they have to hide in the Beast's room every time Mrs. Potts sees them), and the cake's flavors.
Eventually, Lumiere and Cogsworth's attempts to sabotage one another's decisions comes to a point where the baking cake explodes and makes a complete mess in the kitchen. Lumiere and Cogsworth, after a scolding from Belle, decide to put their rivalry behind them for good and work together to make a small surprise for Mrs. Potts. The plan goes well, and Mrs. Potts is cured of her depression, and the sun finally shines again. Beast wakes up, and after sniffing a rose, he sneezes. In this story, everyone learned the great power of cooperation and compromises.
Belle and Beast arrange to have lunch together, but an injured bird accidentally flies into Belle's room, and she forgets her arrangement, instead paying more attention to the bird. Beast discovers this and flies into a rage, trying to catch the bird, but he trips over Cogsworth and hits his head hard on the floor. This strips him of his hatred for birds, but his selfishness drives him to lock the bird in a cage and demand that he sing for him when he pleases, but the obviously saddened and frightened bird refuses.
Meanwhile, Cogsworth feels he is losing control over his staff and demands their respect with harsh treatment. In the meantime, Belle convinces Beast otherwise, and he releases the bird once its wing is cured, but the bird, still too weak, begins to fall, and Beast rushes to rescue it. In the process, Cogsworth falls from the West Wing balcony and into the garden but is unhurt and learns that you cannot demand respect, but you can earn it by giving it. And Belle and Beast make amends. Beast learns to treat people and animals with respect and compassion.
- Paige O'Hara - Belle
- Robby Benson - The Beast
- Jerry Orbach - Lumiere
- David Ogden Stiers - Cogsworth & Narrator
- Gregory Grudt - Chip
- Anne Rogers - Mrs. Potts
- Kimmy Robertson - Fifi
- Jo Anne Worley - Wardrobe
- Frank Welker - Sultan
- Jim Cummings - Webster, Chef Bouche, Tubaloo & Punch Bowl
- Jeff Bennett - Crane & Frappe
- Rob Paulsen - Le Plume, Tres & Egg Beater
- April Winchell - Chandeleria, Chaude and Concertina
- There are no direct antagonists in this story, other than Fifi's antagonism of Belle in "Fifi's Folly" and Beast's antagonisms towards Belle and his servants in "The Perfect Word" and "Broken Wing". Ultimately, this is the only installment not to have direct villains.
- Angela Lansbury did not reprise her role as Mrs. Potts in this film. For unknown reasons, she has been replaced by Anne Rogers.
- In the episode "The Perfect Word" of Belle's Magical World, it's revealed that, whilst the castle was essentially off-limits to outsiders, minimum contact was maintained with the outside world, as demonstrated with the Beast dictating a letter with an order for firewood to be delivered to the Castle.
- Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World is the first Disney film overall to include both a storybook opening and a storybook closing since Sleeping Beauty (not counting the first Beauty and the Beast, as it featured stained glass windows to tell a story rather than directly using a storybook for its opening and ending).
- Some footage from "Fifi's Folly" was used for the 2002 version of the Disney Sing Along Songs volume "Very Merry Christmas Songs" for the song "Jingle Bell Rock".
- Besides disrespecting the history of the Beast's castle, the concept is hated by the majority of the audience, making it one of the few Disney sequels to be explicitly dismissed from canon. This film would become widely considered as the worst sequel made by Disneytoon Studios, due to the fact that it didn’t remain faithful to the original Beauty and the Beast and all characters were flanderized beyond belief. Belle’s derp face from “The Perfect Word” would also later become an internet meme.
- With the running time of 91 minutes (adding the segment Mrs. Potts' Party to the 2003 Special Edition release), this is Disney's longest running direct-to-video animated film in history.
- Despite the film's 2003 Special Edition VHS/DVD box art depicting Belle in her iconic trademark yellow ballroom dress, Belle never wore her yellow dress at all in this film. This is however corrected on the film's 2011 Special Edition DVD box art.
- This film in general was originally produced as episodes for an animated Beauty and the Beast TV show, but it was never picked up due to budget issues. As a result, the completed episodes would be compiled into this film, much like Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, Tarzan & Jane and Atlantis II: Milo’s Return.
- Along with Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World it is considered to be one of the worst Disney sequels.
- The version of this film released on Disney+ streaming service uses the original 1998 VHS version of the film which is 22 minutes shorter and uses only three segments instead of four, with the third segment "Mrs. Potts' Party" not included. .
- Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World on Wikipedia
- Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World at the Big Cartoon DataBase