Beauty and the Beast (Britannica)
January 25, 2019
Phelous: I put the subject of this review up to a vote on Patreon.
Phelous (VO): They could either choose Beauty and the Beast, Beauty and the Beast, or Beauty and the Beast. And this isn't even the first time I've done a poll which was all Beauty and the Beast. Haha... I know, I'm the worst.
Phelous: The real tale of this vote, though, was Pat Morita defeating an elephant. And, uh... whatever that guy is.
(Britannica intro music)
Phelous: So Britannica: Tales Around the World was a series where they take a story like Beauty and the Beast and then show you two other stories from other countries which sort of had a similar theme.
Phelous (VO): On the Beauty and the Beast tape we've also got the stories of the Chinese parrot and Sedna. Now one kind of neat thing about these is Encyclopedia Britannica actually got different animation studios to work on each cartoon in the series. And it seems they sort of tried to give each one a kind of feel for the region the stories originally came from.
Phelous: Some look nicer than others, but I appreciate the effort at least, and I'm primarily looking at the VHS version of this because, well, it's got the Pat Morita segments.
Phelous (VO): And believe me, you want to see the Pat Morita segments. I believe the later DVD releases all had the Pat Morita scenes cut out of them. There's even a slightly later VHS release of these same stories which seems to Pat Morita waxed off of them.
Phelous: Pretty nice Karate Kid reference, huh? Huh? No? Alright...
Phelous (VO): Anyway, the VHS release I have here was put out by Kids Klassics in 1991. Their motto was: "we make collectability a way of life".
Phelous: "We make collectability a way of life"...hmm, (sarcastically) why does that sound so familiar?
Phelous (VO): Oh, right, "We make collectability a way of life" was also the tagline for none other than Good Times Entertainment. And, yeah, Kids Klassics was just a subdivision of Good Times.
Phelous: So, we're kind of looking at Good Times's Beauty and the Beast AGAIN with the Britannica one.
Phelous (VO): And yes, the TMNT: Coming out of their Shells VHS was distributed by Good Times, meaning that Good Times has been with us from the very beginning, as I had this tape hid behind me on the Mac and Me review.
Phelous: Clearly getting sucked into the Good Times Entertainment hole was my destiny.
Phelous (VO): And you know what else was released by Kids Klassics at one point? Real Ghostbusters VHSes.
Phelous: So Good Times had their hands on both Ghostbusters, and TMNT. They are stalking me at this point.
Phelous (VO): It's probably also worth noting that Brightspark Productions released several Disney ripoff cover DVDs, One of which, not at all based on Tangled, Tangled UP, actually contained the Britannica Tales Around the World versions of Rapunzel and Hansel and Gretel.
Phelous: They kind of got in trouble for that one and had to stop making them. Guess Good Times was better getting away with this stuff.
Phelous (VO): I find it kind of funny that Good Times ever even bothered with the Kids Klassics label considering they released a lot of their media for children under Good Times as well. Even the Morita-less release of these same cartoons one year later was released under Good Times instead of Kids Klassics. Also of note: there was at least one other VHS release of these same cartoons which changed the name from Tales Around the World to Tales FROM Around the World.
Phelous: (sarcastically) Man, they changed the whole thing with that. Just like Tangled and Tangled Up
Phelous (VO): Anyway, let's finally take that spin around the world with Britannica.
(cartoon intro music plays)
Phelous: Wait... what? What is going on?
Phelous (VO): I could remark on how crappy the bizarre CG castle floating on a purple turd in space looks, but remember, this was done in 1991, which is incredibly early for having any computer-generated elements like this. But I gotta say, this entire opening sequence comes off like a bad trip. However, Pat Morita will make it all better!
Pat Morita: Do you believe in true love?
Phelous: I do now.
Phelous (VO): There's already so much to unpack here: Pat Morita and his wondrous purple shirt, which I guess he put on to match the grimace world he's fallen into. But man, that little tower and the bushes probably could've been spruced up a little bit...
Phelous: Maybe they just thought your senses would be blown by all the purple and Pat Morita so you wouldn't notice how crap those look.
Phelous (VO): I can't help but laugh at the way Pat Morita just kind of slides into the screen, too. And I kinda love that Tales Around the World are being told to us from OFF of said world
Phelous: But what does Pat Morita need with a starship?
Pat Morita: People tell the story of a girl named Beauty who didn't fall in love. Ah, but someone fell in love with her.
Phelous: Wait, what are you telling me, Pat? That Beauty just pity loved the loser Beast at the end?
Pat Morita: Someone very strange and scary.
Phelous (VO): Oh guys, don't zoom in on the crappy 2D tower. What are you doin'?
Link: Gee, it sure is boring around here.
Pat Morita: This is Pat Morita.