Greatly popularised by Disney’s animated classic, “Beauty and the Beast” is a magical fairytale that claimed the hearts of many. The 1991 animated feature film won 3 Academy Awards, including the awards for Best Original Score and Best Picture. The stunning animation, likable characters, and charming lines made this movie one of the most beloved animated feature films over the past few decades.
The success of the film opened the door to the movies that followed, and later on a live-action remake. However, in addition to the films signed by Walt Disney Studios, there have been a few other notable takes on the fairytale originally written by Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve.
How Many Beauty and the Beast Movies Are There?
In addition to their classic from 1991, Walt Disney Studios released a side-story (or “midquel”) in 1997, followed by 2 more in 1998 and 1999, and finally a live-action remake in 2017. On top of these 5 installments, there are 4 more movies inspired by the tale.
Meanwhile, there are also 2 installments in form of TV series, out of which the best-known one would surely be Beauty and the Beast which aired from 2012 until 2016 with a total of 4 seasons (70 episodes).
While on the note of series, another narrative with certain similarities to the beauty and a beast romance can be found in the 2018 anime series, Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride). It is an adaptation of a manga of the same name, created by Kore Yamazaki, and is comprised of 17 volumes.
Finally, this magical tale was also made into a Broadway musical and premiered in April 1994. This portrayal goes to show how enchanting and well-received the story is with the audience, as the musical wasn’t met with overly positive feedback from the critics, but the project was ultimately regarded as a great success thanks to the viewers.
Beauty and the Beast Movies in Order At A Glance
- La belle et la bete (1946)
- Beauty and the Beast (1991)
- Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)
- Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World (1998)
- Beastly (2011)
- La Belle et la Bete (2014)
- Beauty and the Beast (2017)
- Belle (2021)
Beauty and the Beast Movies in Order (by Release Date)
1. La belle et la bete (1946)
The 1946 fantasy drama won the director Jean Cocteau a Prix Louis Delluc award that same year. The movie tells a story about a beautiful woman becoming a prisoner of a mysterious beast in her father’s stead.
2. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
One of the favorites among the Disney classics, Beauty and the Beast is a critically acclaimed animated fantasy drama that was awarded 3 Academy Awards. The movie is widely recognized for its most memorable score and stunning animation.
3. Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)
The Enchanted Christmas is the first stand-alone filler story of the Beauty and the Beast franchise. The movie starts in the present time, meaning after the events in the 1991 movie took place, but quickly elapses to portray Belle’s and Beast’s life in the castle during Christmas time, and introduces new characters to the franchise.
4. Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World (1998)
This direct-to-video “midquel” is composed of 3 short stories that also feature new characters. The intention behind the stories is to express the value and meaning of forgiveness, love, kindness, and friendship. The DVD release featured an additional, 4th story.
5. Beastly (2011)
Starring Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer, Beastly is a fantasy romance drama and a modern-day take on the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. Set in New York, the movie follows a good-looking, pompous, boastful teenager who has been transformed into a monster in order to question his values and find true love.
6. La Belle et la Bete (2014)
The 2014 French adaptation of the enchanted tale brings forth stunning visuals with lavish ornamentation and rich scenery. Starring Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux, the fantasy drama directed by Christophe Gans received the César award for Best Production Design.
7. Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Disney’s live-action remake starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens was a huge box-office success, earning more than $1 billion with its sumptuous visuals.
8. Belle (2021)
The Studio Chizu animated adaptation of the fairytale, Belle, came out in 2021 and is the latest take on the fairytale to grace the big screens. This animated science fantasy drama tells a story of a young girl who, upon entering a virtual world, embodies a persona of a worldwide beloved singer known as Belle. There, she encounters a mysterious monster.
An additional installment was released by Disney in 1999, titled Belle’s Tales of Friendship. It is a direct-to-video feature film composed of multiple short stories which are more so connected to the TV series Sing Me A Story with Belle than with the 1991 animated classic.
What Is the Best Way to Watch the “Beauty and the Beast” Movies?
Order-wise, the best way to watch the movies which belong to Walt Disney Studio’s franchise would be by release date. The same logic can be applied to the list as a whole, with the exception being the 1991 Disney installment. As that was the film which popularised the story the most, it is the one to be watched first. It is a beautiful, heartwarming animated classic that made the audience fall in love with the story and the characters. Moreover, the score of the film is one of the most memorable and beloved among the fans. Adding to it is the fact that the animated classic is said to have inspired the 2021 adaptation of Belle, along with the original 18th-century fairytale.
Where to Watch the Beauty and the Beast Movies?
The Disney franchise is easily accessible on Disney+. The rest can be found on Amazon, with the exceptions being the 1946 installment (which can be found on YouTube) and Belle.
Unfortunately, the Japanese animated movie was unavailable on all major streaming services and for all we know, still does not have a release schedule for any of the major streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, Amazon Prime Video, or Funimation. The rights to stream this movie are yet to be granted by TOHO animation. The English dub, however, is available on Amazon Prime.
Do You Need to Watch the Beauty and the Beast Movies in Order?
The only pivotal thing is to watch the 1991 film before viewing the rest of the Disney franchise. Other movies can be watched in any order you see fit. Our recommendation is to start with the said franchise, after which you can proceed with the less popular, yet stunning La Belle et la Bete from 2014, which has a similar visual aesthetic, and continue by watching a modern take on this romantic tale in Beastly (2011).
To create a mirage of time-traveling, the next stream would be the 1946 film La belle et la Bete. This film casts an utterly different light, which is mainly the result of a decades-long gap between the movies and brings forth a different kind of magic that may not appeal to a broad audience today. This is where Disney’s live-action movie jumps in to take us back to modern-day storytelling and visuals.
Finally, wrap up the adventure with the latest installment – Belle, a Japanese animated science fantasy written and directed by Mamoru Hosoda.
Are Beauty and the Beast Movies Connected?
Every movie is a stand-alone story. None are in a prequel-sequel relation, but the 3 direct-to-video animated films feature the characters introduced in the original movie from 1991. Therefore, while they are not connected plot-wise, the fillers would require one to have seen the original movie in order to understand the setting and character relations. Remembering what was mentioned earlier – Belle was partially inspired by Disney’s animated classic – we recommend watching the 1991 animated film first.
Will There Be More Beauty and the Beast Movies?
While 3 of the movies listed were highly appraised by the critics and the audience, there are currently no official talks about a sequel, prequel, or another adaptation of the tale.
A story that touched the hearts of many has already proved to be inspiring to creators and artists. From the beauty in visual art and musical compositions to the beauty of the story itself, this one has the potential to return to the big screens and achieve great success once again.
From the looks of it, Disney seems keen on reaching for the classics that had an impact on a wide audience and were recognized by critics when deciding on future projects. Thus, a spinoff doesn’t seem improbable. From what we learned from her interviews, Emma Watson seemed to be excited and definitely on board with another project which would expand the franchise.