Channel Awesome
Beauty and the Beast – Golden Book Video!?


January 21, 2022
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Phelous: I just realized that I've only reviewed Beauty and the Beast eight times! I mean, that's hardly getting into it at all! So let's fix that with the ninth review of it.

(the sped-up synthesizer theme of the Golden Book Video logo)

Phelous: Most of you probably know Little Golden Books, the story books that have the gold spine on them, but did you know that Golden Book actually put out some VHSes under Golden Book Video?

Phelous (VO): Golden Book Video started in 1985, and the first releases all had a consistent look with a yellow VHS sleeve. Funny enough, it wasn't until a bit later that they started using a design that actually incorporated the signature of Golden Books with the golden spine.

Phelous (VO): The earliest releases by Golden Book Video also made the most sense really as they were just video story books with a little bit of animation sprinkled in. Titles they released like this range from things like Sesame Street to Masters of the Universe.

Skeletor: Bring me that prince I seek!

He-Man: I am certain that Skeletor has taken Castle Grayskull to the Land of Shadows.

Big Bird: She'd never believe that's what happened. Oh, boy!

Phelous: Once we get to stuff like their Beauty and the Beast release, they were just licensing out actual animations.

Phelous (VO): And, well, your mileage may vary for considering this Beauty and the Beast adaptation as an actual animation, but Golden Book Video did also release things like the old Frosty cartoon and Madeline.

Phelous (VO): Now, the Beauty and the Beast cartoon on this tape actually pre-dates Golden Book Video as it was originally made by Bosustow Entertainment in 1981. So, you know, this tape really jumped on this hot adaptation putting it out ten years later.

Phelous (VO): Bosustow Entertainment was formed by Stephen Bosustow and his son, Nick Bosustow. It was Nick Bosustow doing the producing by 1981 when this was released. This picture of Nick is him with his father's Oscar, which he'd won in 1957 for Magoo's Puddle Jumper. Kinda funny, Stephen Bosustow is actually guaranteed an Oscar in the Best Short Cartoon Subjects category that year as everything nominated was produced by him.

Phelous: This Beauty and the Beast cartoon won... nothing, besides my everlasting disdain!

Phelous (VO): Nick Bosustow did produce an Emmy winner though with the Wrong Way Kid that starred Dick Van Dyke in a very convincing beard and wig. Wrong Way Kid was a combination of live action and animation.

Phelous: And if you're wondering if I'm delaying because I don't want to actually look at this ugly cartoon, the answer is yes.

Phelous (VO): Everything about this thing is disgusting, truly. If you ever wanted to see a movie that would convince you that traditional animation was a mistake, this is it. The character designs are wretched, and a lot of the shots are really poorly laid-out and confusing. You'd almost think the animation team wasn't very experienced, but it's quite the opposite. The director Sam Weiss worked on a lot of cartoon series before this. Vincent Bassols animated on quite a few well-known things including some stuff I really like, like episodes of Batman, X-Men: Evolution, and Darkwing Duck. Alan Zaslove also worked on Darkwing Duck and a lot of Disney Afternoon series.

Phelous: Really, everyone on this has worked on vastly superior things. It happens.

Phelous (VO): Maybe this is just how they were told to do things on this, or there wasn't a lot of money being spent to explain why it turned out the way it did.

Phelous (VO): This Beauty and the Beast also has a recognizable voice cast, which you wouldn't really expect from a cartoon that looks the way this thing does. You've got Claire Bloom, June Foray, freakin' James Earl Jones, and Michael York.

Phelous: I wonder if Michael York enjoyed this or Puss in Boots more.

Phelous (VO): I'm gonna give it to the Phil Nibbelink Puss in Boots if I'm comparing the two, though. That is a much more fun confusing piece of animation than this! Also, the character designs don't make you consider death like this Beauty and the Beast does.