Sunday, May 22, 2011

She fell in love with a monster before Twilight made it cool

Beauty and the Beast, set in France telling the story of a spoiled, selfish and unkind prince who gets turned into a beast by a gypsy lady turning up at his door selling a rose and asking for shelter. After she getting turned away because of her unpleasant look she reveals herself as a beautiful fairy who wants to teach the prince an important lesson; beauty is what's on the inside.

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies so I wanted to discuss it today. Though the story revolves around the prince... or the beast, the true hero of the story is Belle. She is kind of a loner, but doesn't feel sad over it nor desperate to fit in. She's a shy beauty who is interested in literature and is seen as the weird outcast in the village yet kind amongst her peers.

Belle doesn't feel motivated by love or have the need to have a significant other to do anything, instead she sets a high value on family relationships and when his father gets imprisoned by the Beast she offers to take his place. In fact even when she begins to fall in love with the beast and gets the news that her father is sick, she puts everything else aside and sets her family first to be there for his father.

What also shows her independence is the fact that she doesn't give a crap that the hottest piece of man-ass in town wants her because that person is a total semi-retarded asshole and Belle knows she could do so much better. Gaston is interested in Belle for her looks but doesn't care for her intelligence, he's mean and makes fun of her father and on top of that turns the city against Belle after getting rejected. He's simple minded and shows hints of misogyny shining through in his comments such as "Women shouldn't read, you might learn how to think."

Truth be told I actually believe the villain of the story is Gaston despite of the monster looks of the Beast. After the fairy has cast the spell on the prince he falls into great depression after turning into a Beast - as the Beast has previously set high value on his looks as a prince he feels ashamed of his new appearance and pushes people away with his cold and rough essence. 

Unlike a lot of other Disney princesses, Belle is nothing like the blonde helpless girls in need for rescue. She's the kind of heroine missing from today's movies and literature. Belle is a lot of things that a girl should look up to; she's independent, tolerant, loving, smart and strong.

On top of all this, Belle's man was an 8 foot Chewbacca-buffalo hybrid and she still saw the character behind him, that he was a kind person who loved her and eventually fell in love with him too. Even when Gaston is acting like a dick by getting everyone to attack to the castle and kill the Beast, Belle breaks the fuck out of that cellar and rides a horse to rescue the Beast after she has nursed her father back to health. I call that something. Belle is basically the coolest woman in Disney movies, ever.

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