Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Tragedy Of Underwhelming Elements: The 2013 Beautiful Belle Beauty And The Beast Ornament Disappoints

The Good: Decent sculpt
The Bad: Balance issue, Seems expensive, Lack of coloring detailing
The Basics: The 2013 "Beautiful Belle" from Beauty And The Beast ornament is a disappointment for Disney fans.

Every year, Hallmark produces hundreds of Christmas ornaments and, given how the company makes so many, they cannot keep all of them at the same level of quality. As a result, some of their licenses suffer from quantity over quality issues. Disney Hallmark ornaments have an erratic sense to them, especially this year. Arguably the worst of the Disney ornaments from Hallmark in 2013 is the Beautiful Belle Beauty And The Beast ornament.

For those unfamiliar with Beauty And The Beast (reviewed here!), Belle is a scholarly young woman who is taken to the castle of a transformed prince. In one of the film’s big sequences, Belle and the beastly prince dance. It is Belle in her ball gown that is the subject of the 2013 Beautiful Belle ornament.


The "Beautiful Belle" ornament recreates Belle as she appeared in Beauty And The Beast during the ball scene with her long brown hair laying over her right shoulder, wearing her golden yellow dress, with bows in her hair. The ornament, released in 2013, is a generally accurate sculpt of Belle that is augmented by remarkably few surface details. The Beautiful Belle ornament lacks all but the most basic surface details.

Measuring three and one quarter inches tall, three inches wide and two and one-quarters inches deep, the "Beautiful Belle" ornament is an average-sized Disney character ornament. As well, it is one of the more affordable ones at only $14.95, though given its lack of real detailing it seems expensive even at that price.

The Hallmark "Beautiful Belle" ornament is made of a durable plastic and has Bellein a seated position, petticoats peeking out from beneath the dress as she awaits the Beast’s return. The ornament is utterly underwhelming in the in the sculpted details and the colored details are disappointing. Beautiful Belle’s dress, for example, has the ribbon along the bottom of the dress and hair that is not at all augmented by coloring details. As a result, the hair looks something like a helmet. All of the colors are monotones, including the skin tones (which Hallmark gets around largely because Belle is wearing ball gloves that are one color as well). While the sculpt is recognizable, the lack of detailing – especially on the coloring front – makes Belle look underwhelming.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Beautiful Belle" could have a sound effect, but it does not. Instead, this is a less-expensive option that is just the character.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Beautiful Belle" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Disney movie Christmas Tree, the "Beautiful Belle" ornament should have been incredible, but its poor quality does not make it essential. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top center of Belle’s head. This is fairly obvious and necessary for the ornament. From that position, Beautiful Belle hangs with a fifteen degree forward pitch, making the ornament hang poorly.


Hallmark Keepsake began delving into the collectibles market in 1991 with Star Trek when it introduced the exceptionally limited edition original U.S.S. Enterprise ornament (click here for that review!). Within a few years, every major franchise from Star Wars to A Nightmare Before Christmas to Indiana Jones started making Hallmark ornaments. "Beautiful Belle" is one of several Beauty And The Beast ornaments (though the only one from this year) and one of several Disney ornaments on the market for 2013. This ornament has by no means sold out and I suspect with its quality deficiencies, it will not.


Fans of Beauty And The Beast, Disney, Belle, and Hallmark ornaments are likely to be largely disappointed by the Beautiful Belle ornament and it is not one that is likely to be worthwhile for ornament investors either.

For other Disney-themed Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2013 Fierce With A Frying Pan Tangled ornament
2013 Ariel's Big Dream The Little Mermaid ornament
2013 Merida The Archer Brave ornament
2012 The Circle Of Life The Lion King ornament
2012 Jack Sneaks A Peek The Nightmare Before Christmas ornament
2012 Monsters, Inc. ornament
2012 Merida Brave ornament
2012 It's All About The Hair Tangled ornament
2011 Rapunzel Tangled ornament
2011 CLU’s Light Cycle from Tron: Legacy ornament
2011 Up ornament
2011 A Snowy Surprise The Nightmare Before Christmas ornament
2011 Captain Jack Sparrow Pirates Of The Caribbean ornament
2010 Tron: Legacy Light Cycle ornament


For other ornament reviews, please visit my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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