Why Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Kind of Disturbs Me

I’m a Disney fan.

If I had to make a list of three people I would like to meet alive and/or dead, Walt would be on that list for me, just for the sheer creativity he had in his life. I also had season passes for Disneyland when I lived in Los Angeles. Heck, thanks to an app on my iPhone I can tell you right now that there is a 20 minute wait to get on Space Mountain; and I am in Michigan as I write that fact. So, yeah, I’m a fan.

When it comes to the movies, I lean more towards THE JUNGLE BOOK and the Pixar films (especial WALL-E and THE INCREDIBLES) as compared to the princess movies (We’ll see how that changes when my daughter starts watching things at age 2), however I have seen all of their animated films at one point or another. Yet, of all of the films it is always BEAUTY AND THE BEAST that leaves me scratching my head in confusion.

Okay, some of the songs are catchy but I never really understood the love people have for this film. It was the first animated film ever nominated for an Oscar; it should stand out as the best of the lot, right? Yet, I just don’t see it.

Also, there is a creepy element to this cartoon that I always think about when I see the film.  A creepy side to it I can’t escape, whispering in my ear as the characters sing and dance on the screen. Here are my three favorite “creepy” insights into this children’s classic.

1.      The Poor Servants

What did those poor servants do to anger the witch so much? Yes, the Prince was a jerk to her and she punished him—all fine and good—but what did his maid, valet, and the others do to earn that wrath? Heck, the witch even changed children and pets. Yes, even the dog was punished!

What did the dog do?

Oh, and when you saw the film the first time, did any of you wonder if the boy lost an arm because his tea cup was chipped? Just me?

2.      Stockholm Syndrome

The Beast first captures Belle’s father and puts him in jail and then he locks her up as a replacement for him. He can be the most wonderful “prison guard” ever, but if my daughter in her 20’s came up to me and said “Hey Dad, this angry animal kept me a prisoner in his castle for 6 months, but it’s fine, I love him now.” I think I would have had her signed up for therapy in a minute.

Oh, and I would have also called the cops on the Beast. Seriously, who does that?

 3.      Bestiality

When Belle falls in love with the Beast, she thinks he is an animal. She is given NO indication that he is actually human under that fur. The fact he actually turns into a human at the end is, in a way, a pleasant little surprise for her. She could have ended up with an animal; she was PLANNING to end up with an animal.

Disney animation, why couldn’t you have made the scene with her finding a painting a little more obvious? (Or at least hint that it is him, or she suspects he may be human.) Would it have hurt the story that much?

I hope these three insights don’t affect your weekend watching it again on the big screen in 3D.

Cheers!

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5 responses

  1. Pingback: For the Love of Disney | The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard

    • Thanks! This is an older post, and I do appreciate the soundtrack when my daughter picks it up. After watching it numerous times with her, my big question around it now is the timeframe. How much time goes by? what does her dad do during that time?

      Oh, and how does a small village forget that a giant castle and hundreds of citizens disappeared?

  2. Well in the scene were Belle went into the west wing without anyone knowing, she did get a few hints of what the beast really looked like from the torn picture of him on the wall. And during the ending when she looked into his eyes, it seemed that she did remember the face from the picture, so I think in my opinion she was kinda questioning about it, and then in the end, she was now affirmed.

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