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Did ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Win The Best Picture Oscar in 1991? Someone at Disney Thinks So

In an era of alternative facts, the Walt Disney Company is generating some of its own. While most people would agree that Silence of the Lambs won the Oscar for the best picture of 1991, Disney is now claiming that Beauty and the Beast won the award.

The statement appears on the back of a new notebook designed to mimic the cover of a VHS tape cover. It is being sold at various Disney Parks and on the Shop Disney Parks app.


The dubious claim is a revision of one of the actual VHS covers, which read:

A modern movie masterpiece, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast waltzed away with six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture—the first ever for an animated film. Along with winning the prestigious Best Picture Golden Globe Award, it now ranks among history’s most highly acclaimed cinematic achievements.

It’s important to note that the Golden Globe Award is called Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy. The Academy Award uses the label Best Picture.

In spite of the false claim, the back cover of the notebook offers a more moderate opinion of the film’s achievements. The second sentence tells readers that Beauty and the Beast “not ranks” among history’s most highly acclaimed cinematic achievements.

  • Pedro Nakama

    Just keep quiet and keep on Photoshopping the cigarettes out of Walt’s hands in the old photos.

    • Marti386

      Maybe if we Photoshopped out his tumors, he’d come back to life.

  • They were even claiming that at the TIME! Ask ten people today, twenty-five years later, you’ll still find at least three who think so.

    And the only reason it was nominated was
    A) nobody ever knows what to nominate in November before the NY/LA December movies (JFK, Bugsy) come out,
    B) every expert was convinced “nobody would remember” Lambs because it came out in spring, and
    C) it was 1991, and no adult wanted to admit in public that they were starting to like 90’s Disney movies after Little Mermaid, unless it had some nice, grownup, publicly-approved accolade, like, oh, say, winning an Oscar, being the “future of Broadway”, or opening at the NYC Film Festival, f’rinst.
    (Remember the days of “I don’t want to go the new Disney film without my kid, people will think I’m a creepy stalker!”?)

    • Barrett

      Well, the semi-permanent childhoods maintained by many Gen-X and Millenial people has made the divisions between “what’s for kids” and what isn’t a lot blurrier than they were in the 80s and 90s. I do give some credit to Disney for this. Beauty and the Beast was the first Disney animated feature I remember hearing adults without children openly talking about going to see on their own. That picked up with Aladdin and the Lion King, which I think influenced Disney’s decisions to greenlight “more adult” fare like Pocahontas and Hunchback. Then Pixar kind of took over the “family films adults go see alone/on dates mantle, and Disney didn’t really get that back until Tangled.

  • Too Many Cooks

    I wonder if the text is big enough to read on the actual product.

  • Chicken McPhee

    Well they get them so often that they just take for granted that it must’ve gotten one.

  • Strong Enough

    sorry about that. typo

  • The person who wrote this should be reprimanded. And how were the typos not noticed?

  • A Stranger in the Alps

    I also appreciate the idea that Belle singing three songs is “unprecedented.”

  • Corwin Haught

    Well it did win a best picture award. Very deceptive.

  • Barrett

    The original VHS cover text is worded in a way that is truthful, but if you don’t read it carefully, could lead one to believe that the film won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It won the equivalent of that from the Golden Globes, but was only *nominated* for the Academy’s Best Picture. The newer text either intentionally (or I believe, accidentally) misconstrues the meaning of the original quote and states a complete falsehood – that the film won the Academy’s Best Picture Oscar.

    I have to believe this was a case of “telephone” by someone ignorant of the actual history (not hard to imagine – lots of people working in marketing today probably weren’t even born in 1991!) Disney would be risking social media backlash for “lying” about something with very little to gain on a sales basis by making such a false claim deliberately. I think someone just misread the original text, because Disney wanted 1992 VHS buyers to make the same mistake and possibly boost sales due to that slight obfuscation.