I’ll Have Belle for my Wife, Make No Mistake About That!

With the sucess of 50 Shades, I’ve been questioning the messages behind other popular movies. Unfortunately, it has led me to one of the Disney films I remember really liking as a child. This may or may not be well discussed by others, but I don’t know; in general I’m not one of those people that enjoys Disney movies as an adult. It wasn’t until very recently that I started wondering if Beauty and the Beast was just a story about a bunch of abusive assholes and terrible people.

Beauty was my favorite Disney movie because I always related to Belle. As a child I was so shy I’d cry if people (not strangers. Just anyone) talked to me. I would rather read a book than talk to people or look where I was going. As an adult, I’m super excited for every movie Emma Watson makes. What I’m saying is, re-watching this movie made the past 90 minutes of my life suck.

I’m going to assume you have some idea of the plot of Beauty and the Beast. Belle is pretty but a bookworm, and everyone thinks she’s weird — including Gaston, the asshole handsome guy who declares he will marry her, despite her disinterest. Meanwhile, there’s the Beast, a formerly handsome prince turned into a beast for being an asshole. When Belle’s dad gets locked away by the Beast, Belle offers up herself as the Beast’s prisoner (or guest) instead. The Beast obliges, Belle’s dad is too weird for the townspeople to believe his story, hijinks ensue. In order to break the Beast’s curse, he needs someone to love him while being a beast.

From the first moment the Beast’s house supplies talk to him about Belle, he says of course it has crossed his mind she will be the one to break the spell. That means he’s thinking about her falling in love with him when he does things like lock her away and refuse to feed her.

Of course, the Beast grows in the movie, and both the Beast and Belle are outcasts of society. But she is a prisoner during the Beast’s transition. If that could have been expressed in any other way, then this could have been a charming story of watching the Beast struggle to understand politness and how to get over his anger at being shunned by the world around him.

Pro tip: if you’re close with your dad and he calls your boyfriend that “horrible fella,” you should run away. Fast. Same thing if your boyfriend prohibits you from seeing your father.

What do you guys think? Is my mind just 50 Shades-ed out, or does this rub anyone else the wrong way as an adult?

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mandawritesthings

Give me coffee.

3 thoughts on “I’ll Have Belle for my Wife, Make No Mistake About That!”

  1. He’s turned into the beast for not letting a stranger into his house in the middle of the night as like a 10 year old, right? What point were they trying to convey with that whole bit?

    1. Right?! Most historical representations of royalty set even earlier than Beauty don’t act like 10 year olds weren’t 10 year olds. I mean, I’m all about hexing bratty kids, but imagine how pissed his parents would have been.

  2. I’ve actually just had a lecture on this and this is apparently a recurring theme with Disney. Think about other repressed, whitewashed women in the films: Tinkerbelle and Ariel had no voices, most of the ethnic characters were voiced by white actors and every Disney princess who isn’t white is exoticized and their culture exploited. Even by the end of Mulan, she is still expected to find a husband and be a good wife, EVEN THOUGH SHE JUST FREAKING SAVED CHINA! I absolutely love Disney, but that entire lecture warped my opinion of those classics I grew up on.
    (I know you weren’t talking about whitewashing characters, but it was just a part of the lecture I thought you might find interesting).

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