The ones that started it all! :)
I've mentioned my Beauty and the Beast collection in passing, but I thought it would be fun to share some pics with you. Especially since the new Diamond Edition of the Disney version is coming out in just 2 more months. (Yay!) :) You can find out more details at beautyandthebeast.com. On to my collection, but first, a little back story.
Disney's version of "Beauty and the Beast" was released in theaters in 1992 when I was 10 years old. I was so excited when it came out. I'd already seen "Oliver and Company", "The Rescuers Down Under", and "The Little Mermaid". Of those 3, "The Little Mermaid" is the one that I really connected with. My dad enjoyed the music so much that we bought the cassette tape with all the songs on the way home from the theater! I had those songs memorized within a week. It's funny, when I think of 3rd Grade, I automatically think of "The Little Mermaid". I was obsessed. So when "Beauty and the Beast" came to theaters, I couldn't wait to see the next Disney princess movie (although Belle's not technically a princess until she marries the prince, but I digress).
Once I'd seen "Beauty and the Beast", "The Little Mermaid" was long forgotten. I loved the characters, and I loved that Belle was a Disney heroine with brown hair like mine (no more wishing for Aurora's long, golden curls or Ariel's fiery red tresses). I remember crying in the theater when the Beast died, then cheering when he transformed, but being a little disappointed in the Prince. I wanted to cut his hair! :)
The following year, I had a "Beauty and the Beast" birthday party, which is one of the most memorable birthdays of my childhood. After a whole year of waiting, I got the Mattel "Beauty and the Beast" barbie dolls I'd been wanting so badly, along with the music book with all the songs from the movie that I could now learn to play on the piano. I still have those dolls in my collection (as you can see from the pic at the top of this post). :)
Of course, my attention wavered over the years. With each new Disney movie, "Beauty and the Beast" became more and more distant in my thoughts. I always liked it, though.
Then, when I was in college, Disney started doing their Disney Princess line (which I would have loved as a little girl, by the way!). I went to a small Bible college in my hometown, and my second year there, there were only 5 girls living in the dorms (I lived at home, but spent most of my time over there). We all got really close, and for some reason decided to assign a Disney Princess to each girl, based on personalities and interests. There were other girls attending the college, and as it caught on, we started assigning princesses to all the girls. I was Belle (of course!), but we had Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Jasmine, and even Meg from Hercules and Jane from Tarzan, plus many others. (We kinda stretched the Disney Princess thing to include non-princess characters, but hey, who ever said Mulan was a princess? See? Disney does it, too!) At the end of the year, we had a Disney Princess party at my house, complete with the plates, hats, blowout toys, and cake. It was fun being really silly and acting like little girls again. Also, that year I searched stores and thrift shops and managed to find every girl a little PVC version of their princess to take home with them.
Around that same time, I started writing my own version of Beauty and the Beast. It started out as a class assignment and turned into a fun project. Between my research for my book and my renewed interest in the Disney film, I started collecting things: figurines, snow globes, dolls, key chains, books...whatever I could find. That's how it all started and became the collection it is today.
So now that I've completely bored you with my lengthy commentary, on to the pics!
This just shows my curio from a distance. I've been collecting for about 11 years, so there's lots of it!
Here's the bottom shelf of the curio, where I keep most of my toys, pins, and other random Beauty and the Beast stuff. You can see my original Mattel dolls in the middle.
Here's a close up. You can see the top of my collectible Beauty and the Beast Burger King cup, still in the box. My Belle lollipop holder's on the top. Then there are my 3 Belle Disney Princess Zizzlingers (you might remember those from a few years back...they're no longer being made, but they were really fun) on top of my Nestle chocolate tin, featuring the live-action performance of Beauty and the Beast (I believe it was at Walt Disney World). You can just see the corner of one of my collectible pin sets on the bottom left. And behind the Zizzlingers is my original Beauty and the Beast soundtrack on cassette tape from the 90s. :)
Here we have the original Burger King Kid's Meal toys that were sold when the movie first came out. I have Cogsworth, too (you can see the top of his head in the bottom right corner). You can't tell they're there, but I also have the collectible Belle and Beast spoons that were offered by Kellogg's cereals when the movie was released on DVD for the first time in I believe 2002.
Here are some more goodies from the bottom shelf, including Valentine's cards, crazy straws, a Belle nightlight, several pins from Disneyland and the DVD release, 3 pressed pennies from Disneyland, a ceramic Belle Christmas ornament, a mini tiara, and my Broadway version soundtrack featuring the original Australian cast of the play.
On to the second shelf! The snow globe on the left was a birthday present from my husband for one of my first birthdays after we were married. It's a beautiful hourglass snow globe from the Disney Store. He gave it to me at Red Lobster (our favorite restaurant) and made me open it there. Everyone oohed and ahhed over it. :) In the background you can see my prince doll, purchased at Disney Store online. He's really cool because he's super poseable, unlike most Ken-type dolls that don't do much. The Belle doll in the front is one I found at a flea market. I still had Belle's blue village dress from my original doll and often felt sad that I couldn't display it. So when I found this extra doll for $2, just looking for some clothes, I decided to get her. I think this version of Belle has to be my favorite Mattel Disney doll ever. She's just gorgeous!
Here we have a very special part of my collection. This is the ring box that held my engagement ring, made by my husband and my dad. Because I was so into Beauty and the Beast, my husband thought it would be fun to make a ring box that looked like the enchanted rose. He worked really hard on it, and it turned out so beautifully! He surprised me on Christmas day by travelling to the house where my family spent Christmas. The house overlooked a wonderful beach, so he called me, telling me to meet him there. Once I got there, he pulled out my gift. The card was labeled: "To: Beauty From: Your Beast". It was this ring box with a diamond engagement ring inside. I'll never forget it as long as I live. :) Here's a close up of the rose:
Here's my "Barbie as Beauty from Beauty and the Beast" doll, purchased on sale at KB Toys. I took her out of the box because I dropped it and it smooshed on the top. Dolls are so much more fun out of the box anyway! :) In the background, you can just barely see my Mrs. Potts cookie jar, which my mom found at a yard sale.
We've made it to the 3rd shelf! This is a snow globe I bought as a souvenir at the Disney Store when my mom and I visited my aunt in her hometown, back in 2000 or so. This is one of my favorite pieces of my collection. I wish the camera did a better job of showing the wonderful detail.
Here's a ceramic, musical plate I found at a yard sale (advertised on Craigslist). I got this, along with a Cinderella plate and Snow White plate to match, all for $10 total! The music box still works and plays "Beauty and the Beast" (surprise, surprise!).
Here's a view of the whole 3rd shelf.
Now, moving on to the top shelf!
These two pieces are very special to me. Back before my husband and I were married, we were part of our college singing group that toured around the state. One of the places we stopped had this cute little gift shop that was all full of music boxes. I absolutely fell in love with the 3-D plate and spinning musical Belle pictured above, but they were a little spendy. I had no idea that before we left, my hubby (then boyfriend) :) picked up one of their business cards. A couple months later, he sold one of his cars and used part of the money to buy these for me! I was so excited. It was a big splurge for him! :) I don't remember who made the plate, but the musical Belle was part of the Schmid company's line. If you look back up at the pic of the entire top shelf, you'll see my Belle and Beast Schmid musical figurines. My mom found those for me for Christmas 2 years ago.
These are my only 2 WWDC (Walt Disney Classics Collection) figurines. I'd love to have others, but they're incredibly expensive. The only reason I got these is because there was a Jackson Tub store going out of business and they were on a great sale. I love Lumiere...he was always my favorite sidekick when I was little. Of course, when I was a girl I didn't realize just how flirty he was, but he's still fun.
Here's the stuff on top of my curio. On the left you'll see 3 of the 4 Pizza Hut puppets that came out, I'm assuming when the movie was released. I have the Beast puppet as well, but it kinda scared my younger 2 daughters, so he's packed away for now. In the middle is my popcorn tub from the IMAX theater. My husband and I went there when Beauty and the Beast was released with the song "Human Again" added in, the summer before it came out on DVD. Next to the tub is a plush Disney Store Mrs. Potts with Chip. The Belle head is a little Polly Pocket type play set with a miniature ballroom inside. There's also a really tiny Beast and Belle.
Here's the outside of the curio, featuring 2 of my Belle Christmas ornaments.
Here are some of my NIB Belle dolls. From left to right they are Fantasy Fashions Belle, Dress-Up Dream Belle, Winter Dreams Belle, and the Belle and Wardrobe set from the Disney store (it doesn't include the Wardrobe from the movie, but she has 4 of her movie outfits). In the front are my two Belle Magical Minis light up necklaces (still in stores). On top of my dolls (unfortunately I cut the end off) is my rose souvenir from the Broadway musical (I didn't see it in New York, but took a special trip to see a San Francisco production). The musical is AMAZING! It's not on Broadway anymore, but if you ever get the chance to see it elsewhere, you really should, especially if you enjoyed the original movie.
Here are my other dolls. Starting at the left is my 10th Anniversary Belle doll. I found her on clearance at Target for $19.99...I was so excited! She was originally a $35 doll. Next is my de-boxed Sparkling Princess Belle doll (Btw, all of my Barbie-style dolls except for the Disney Store Prince and the Disney Store Belle and Wardrobe set are made by Mattel), then my boxed Dazzling Princess Belle in her golden ball gown. Finally, there's my Holiday Princess Belle, wearing her Christmas dress from "Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas". You can also see my mini Holiday Princess Belle doll in the front. Behind the dolls is my set of lithographs that I got from the Disney Store when I bought Beauty and the Beast on DVD. The little heart in front of Sparkling Princess Belle is a mini tin. The other two items are film cells in a special display case. I got a set of 3 film cells on shopgoodwill.com for $12!
Speaking of my film cells, here's the third one. You also can see my porcelain Wedding Belle doll by the Brass Key company. I found her at an antique store for $14. Also pictured is my Swan Ballerina from Swan Lake Barbie. She's not from Beauty and the Beast, but I didn't have anywhere else to put her, and she kinda looks like Belle. :)
Here's a fairly blurry pic (sorry) of my shelf of Beauty and the Beast books, movies, and "leftovers" (things I couldn't fit in the curio). There are wind up figures, dolls, Christmas ornaments, a picture frame, viewmasters, a play-doh set, and bendy figures. Some fun trivia: the Lumiere and Cogsworth bendy figures on the right are the ones that were on my birthday cake in 6th grade. :)
Here's a closer pic. The lavender box the toys are standing on is a complete set of sealed trading cards that were sold when the movie first came out. It was last year's Christmas gift from my mom. She's really good at finding some of my rarer stuff. :)
Here are just a few of my book and movie versions of Beauty and the Beast. It's really fascinating to take a common fairy tale and start finding as many versions as you can, discovering the similarities and differences. I have to say, perhaps my all time favorite version is "Beauty" by Robin McKinley. There are others, too, but that one really stood out to me. I enjoy all the versions I've collected, though. Each one has something unique to offer. Since I've already shared some of the fun things my mom's found, I'd like to mention that I also got an original screenplay of "Beauty and the Beast" last year for Christmas, too. My mom found it on ebay. :)
Well, that's about it! Thanks for browsing through my collection with me. :) I have a few other small items packed away because of lack of space. I also have several posters that will have to wait to be displayed until I have more wall space. One of them is a small poster of the Broadway production, one is a full sized poster of the IMAX release, and one is a vintage one that I used to have as a child. Hopefully someday they'll be up too. :) Until then, it's only two months and counting till "Beauty and the Beast" is out on blu-ray! Whoo-hoo! :) I can't wait!