First blog post ever! Honestly, this is just a practice to figure out fun things like gifs, images—all the exciting “technical” stuff.
Hey, it worked! So . . . I guess that’s it. Roll credits!
Okay, no. I’m sure I can find something to talk about (otherwise this will be a pretty empty blog. Except for gifs, of course). Well, I’m an adult who loves children’s books, movies, and TV shows; no one really corners that “woman-child” market quite like I—oh! Kids’ movies! How does Disney sound?
I like Beauty and the Beast. Well, I don’t mind Beauty and the Beast. It has nice music . . . pretty animation . . . the most realistic portrayal of French people in the history of cinema . . .
It’s a good movie. But I could never bring myself to really root for Belle and the Beast. For one thing, I didn’t especially like our heroine, even though I know I’m supposed to. She’s bookish—just like you! She’s socially awkward and friendless—just like you! She loves to read trashy romance novels—just like you! She’s a size zero hottie—just like—okay, so she’s not just like me, but she was definitely supposed to resonate with the geeky and unpopular female set. As I am a proud member of the geeky and unpopular female set, I guess I was Belle’s target market.
I don’t even know why I never resonated with her, aside from the fact that I found her kind of bland and too perfect. Aren’t people who read a lot supposed to be interesting?
I’m willing to admit that maybe I’m asking too much of Belle. She’s a Disney princess; she doesn’t have to be bursting with personality, and she has enough to service the story. Besides, the important one is Beast, who many of the women my age consider an ideal romantic hero. Which . . . kinda makes me worry about you guys.
But even if you don’t think Belle suffered from Stockholm Syndrome (she doesn’t), even if you aren’t uncomfortable with the moral “It’s okay, I can change him!” (or “Kidnapping’s fine, kids! She’ll even fall in love with you if you give her enough stuff!”), I’ve always found the ending depressing because . . . well, Belle doesn’t get what she wants.
This is a problem with a lot of Disney princesses, who sing about wanting “more” and then “more” ends up being a rich guy. But Belle didn’t just want “something more.” No, she wants something a lot more specific than that:
She wants adventure. She wants excitement. She wants to leave her small hometown and its small ideas of what she should do with her life.
And . . . what do they want her to do with her life?
Well, assuming this is Ye Olden Times with Ye Olden Values, probably to settle down and get married to some rich guy. And what does she end up doing?
She ends up moving maybe a town or two over, spending anywhere from a few weeks to several months in one building, and then getting married and continuing to live in that building. Who knows—maybe she and Beast become jet-setters and travel all over the world after that, but considering he has 11 years of not-being-a-prince/lord/someone’s secret bastard/whatever to make up for (and a lot of explaining to do to angry people who probably think he ate Gaston), they’re probably not going anywhere for a while, if ever.
No road trip. No journey of self-discovery. Not even a drunken evening to regret the next morning. Just some light kidnap and then marriage.
Though to be fair, at least the first few days/weeks/months of being kidnapped were exciting. And motherhood: that’s an adventure, especially since we have Ye Olden Healthcare!
Also . . . how much “beast” is left in Beast? 11 years of animal instincts and slowly losing his humanity can’t have just poof!-ed away, could it? (Sure it could; it’s Disney. But ignore that.) Does human-Beast ever find himself chasing cats, or peeing to mark his territory, or eyeing the household dog in a way that seems, frankly, a little untoward?
Belle’s Magical Wishing-She’d-Just-Married-The-Hot-Guy.
And really, what was wrong with Gaston? I mean he’s a sexist, pushy freak, but it’s Ye Olden Times; so’s everyone else, including (presumably) Beast. Better people than I have talked about the problems and uncomfortable implications of this film, and even pointed out why, from his own point of view, Gaston really didn’t do anything wrong (you know, not counting the sexist pushy freakiness. Again, Ye Olden Values). So . . . maybe she should’ve . . .
Okay, fine, he’s a massive jerk. But I still think there had to be a better Prince Charming than . . .
She should’ve run off to Ye Olden Vegas or something, but then we wouldn’t have this movie. (We’d have a much better movie. Disney’s Hangover. Think about it.)
It was probably just the library. If a guy threw a library at me I’d marry him, too.
Oh, who cares? Good movie, great music, and I learned how to embed images, gifs, and videos instead of having to write actual jokes! I think that counts as a success. Victory dance time!