Jay Boyar of the Orlando Sentinel gave the film four out of five stars, saying "It's not an especially scary movie, but right from the start, you can tell that this Beauty and the Beast has a beauty of a bite." John Hartl of The Seattle Times gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, saying "It's exceptionally difficult to make an audience care for animated characters unless they're mermaids or anthropomorphized animals or insects, yet the Disney animators, with a big assist from the vocal talents of a superb cast, have pulled it off." Gene Siskel, also of the Chicago Tribune, gave the film four out of four stars, saying "Beauty and the Beast is one of the year's most entertaining films for both adults and children." On their Beauty and the Beast edition of Siskel & Ebert, both Siskel and Roger Ebert proclaimed that the film is "a legitimate contender for Oscar consideration as Best Picture of the Year". Michael Sragow of The New Yorker gave the film a positive review, saying "It's got storytelling vigor and clarity, bright, eclectic animation, and a frisky musical wit." Eric Smoodin writes in his book Animating Culture that the studio was trying to make up for earlier gender stereotypes with this film. Smoodin also states that, in the way it has been viewed as bringing together traditional fairy tales and feminism as well as computer and traditional animation, the film's "greatness could be proved in terms of technology narrative or even politics". Animation legend Chuck Jones praised the film, in a 1992 guest appearance on Later with Bob Costas he claimed he "Loved it. I think it should have won [Best Picture] ... I think the animation on the beast is one of the greatest pieces of animation I've seen".
Most critics regard the 1991 animated film as superior to the 2017 live-action remake. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune stated that the 1991 film "worked wonderfully because it was pure Broadway, written for the screen, blending comedy and romance and magic and just enough snark in the margins", while the 2017 remake got lost in translation since "The movie takes our knowledge and our interest in the material for granted. It zips from one number to another, throwing a ton of frenetically edited eye candy at the screen, charmlessly." Phillips also wrote of the 2017 film that "too often we're watching highly qualified performers, plus a few less conspicuously talented ones ..., stuck doing karaoke, or motion-capture work of middling quality". Dana Schwartz of the Observer criticized some of the 2017 film changes to characters such as the Beast and Gaston as regressive by watering down their distinguishing personalities from the 1991 film, further arguing that the added backstory to the characters in the 2017 version failed to "advance the plot or theme in any meaningful way". David Sims of The Atlantic wrote that the 2017 film "feels particularly egregious, in part, because it's so slavishly devoted to the original; every time it falls short of its predecessor (which is quite often), it's hard not to notice". 2b1af7f3a8