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Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Beauty and the Beast Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Beauty and the Beast by Charles Solomon
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“When Walt became all wrapped up in the theme parks and live-action films, we tried to get him interested in animation again," recalls Frank Thomas, one of the Studio's "Nine Old Men."

"Walt said, 'If I ever do go back, there are only two subjects I would want to do. One of them is Beauty and the Beast.' For the life of me, I can't remember what the other one was.”
Charles Solomon, Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Beauty and the Beast
“Reflecting on the creation of the songs and vocal performances, Peter [Schneider] speaks with respect and regret: "It's sad that Howard [Ashman] never saw the finished movie of Beauty and the Beast, because it's basically him. It was his conception, it was his idea, it was his songs, it was his emotions, it was his storytelling. Alan [Menken] was a very important partner in this: you can't discount Alan. But it was Howard's vision that made this all happen. And what survives is these characters and these emotions and these songs. They will be around a lot longer than we will. And given the choice, that's what he would have chosen to have survive.”
Charles Solomon, Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Beauty and the Beast
“Since the earliest days of the art form, humans have been the most difficult characters to animate. The more realistic the human being, the more difficult the animation becomes. Audiences will accept distortions in the actions of a cartoony character: no one has ever seen a four-foot-tall rabbit walk on its hind legs, so an artist animating Bugs Bunny enjoys considerable freedom. But everyone knows how human beings move, and if those movements are not rendered accurately, viewers won't believe in the characters.

Ward Kimball, one of Disney's "Nine Old Men," commented, "As long as we deal in fantasy, we are on safe ground. The eye has no basis for comparison. But the more we try to duplicate nature realistically, the tougher our job becomes. The audience compares what we draw with what it knows to be true. Any false movement is easily detected.”
Charles Solomon, Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Beauty and the Beast