My problem with a lotttt of "Beauty and the Beast" is that a majority of the songs are superfluous. Like, "No Matter What" is only there so Tom Bosley had something to do. And I know why they added "A Change in Me" but I don't WHY they added "A Change in Me," if you know what I mean. Really for me, the only song that makes an actual effect is "If I Can't Love Her." Much of everything else feels like filler. I wonder sometime if Howard Ashman had still been alive, would the show work better? Ashman was a really smart guy who knew his theater, and I don't see how his input could have hurt in any way.
And yeah, the show was kinda gaudy, but I think a lot of that is because it was Disney's first try at how to do this sort of thing and also because so much of the production team was people from the parks, where that kind of thing plays better. You could see the money, though, and frankly that's what counts most of the time for tourists.
"The Lion King," on the other hand, I still find well done (AND THE MORNING REPORT IS SUCH A FUN SONG LET'S ALL SING IT NOW GUYS K). It had a good balance of Julie Taymor's aesthetics and practicality, presumably because Disney smartly kept her on a pretty tight leash (are you listening, "Spider-man" producers?). The show is intensely theatrical and less theme-parky, which was the smarted thing any of them could have done. Also on the whole, the additional songs play better for me. I'm not sure why that is.
"Ta ta ta taaaa! Look at me... I'm a snowman! I'm gonna go stand on someone's lawn if I don't get something to do around here pretty soon!"