“Beauty and the Beast” is a song written by lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken for the Disney animated feature film Beauty and the Beast (1991). The film’s theme song, the Broadway-inspired ballad was first recorded by British-American actress Angela Lansbury in her role as the voice of the character Mrs. Potts, and essentially describes the relationship between its two main characters Belle and the Beast, specifically how the couple has learned to accept their differences and in turn change each other for the better. Additionally, the song’s lyrics imply that the feeling of love is as timeless and ageless as a “tale as old as time”. Lansbury’s rendition is heard during the famous ballroom sequence between Belle and the Beast, while a shortened chorale version plays in the closing scenes of the film, and the song’s motif features frequently in other pieces of Menken’s film score. Lansbury was initially hesitant to record “Beauty and the Beast” because she felt that it was not suitable for her aging singing voice, but ultimately completed the song in one take.
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