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Parents: 'Be our guest' to another Disney musical classic

Emma Watson starred as Belle and Dan Stevens portrayed the Beast in Disney's 2017 live action "Beauty and the Beast." Photo courtesy Walt Disney Studios1 / 2
Luke Hagen2 / 2

"Tale as old as time ... True as it can be ... "

Could you hear Mrs. Potts?

I don't even need to watch "Beauty and the Beast" to hear her motherly voice singing perfectly to the tune that almost every parent knows.

In 1991, Disney came out with the animated version of "Beauty and the Beast" that was redone and released last year with human actors Emma Watson (Belle), Luke Evans (Gaston) and others.

Sure enough, all the old Disney classic songs were back. "Gaston," "Be Our Guest," "Something There," and, of course, "Beauty and the Beast" sound today like they did back in the early '90s in the cartoon version.

And, as much as I'm sure children did back then, my little girl, Grace, loves the new "Beauty and the Beast" and all the catchy Disney songs.

I wonder — at what point do the songwriters for Disney movies look at each other and know they have a masterpiece? Because I'm certain it happens.

They probably look at each other with devilish smiles when they write lines like, "Be our guest, be our guest, put our service to the test. Tie your napkin 'round your neck, cheri, and we'll provide the rest."

Lyrical gold, they probably say.

And Disney has done it time and time again.

"A spoonful of sugar ... " Yes, even in 1964, Mary Poppins had parents singing along with Disney songs and cursing when these songs got stuck in their heads.

"The Little Mermaid."

"Aladdin."

"The Lion King."

Quick, if you're a parent, name a tune from each movie. It's not hard.

And the number of times I've watched Grace twirl around the living room while she sings "Under the Sea," both with and without the movie on, is more than I can count.

More recently, "Frozen" took Disney songs to a whole new level.

In 2013, kids were running around wailing the lyrics to "Let it Go," everywhere.

The movie became so popular that "Frozen" dolls, during the Christmas of 2014, ended Barbie's 11-reign as king of the Christmas list for little girls, the National Retail Federation said.

And there's no doubt all those sing-a-longs played a role in the popularity of the movie and the merchandise sales. For goodness' sake, Grace has an Anna and an Elsa doll that can sing in Spanish and English.

Through all the decades of Disney finding ways to tell a story through song, kids and parents have shared those catchy songs together. More often than I'd like to admit, I can hear Mrs. Potts singing "Beauty and the Beast," as it seems all of those Disney songs get caught in my head at one point or another.

But that's part of being a parent — putting your kids' wants before your own and turning that movie on for the millionth time to listen to those Disney classics again and again.

Luke Hagen is the managing editor of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, S.D., and father to 3-year-old Grace.

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