Beauty and the Beast

As if anyone needed a plot summary of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, it’s about an adventurous young woman who feels lonely in a village full of stupid and boring people and an unwanted suitor candidate, but her life changes for the better when she gets involved with a beast who is actually a prince yadda yadda yadda.

belleBeast

During my latest viewing of the movie I paid attention to how naturally the plot flows. Of course Belle’s father is going to ask for help, and of course nobody takes him seriously, Gaston’s plan makes a lot of sense… There are no surprise twists, but they really aren’t needed anyway.

The timeline of the movie bugs me greatly. How long has the prince been a Beast? Did the enchantress curse an eleven-year-old? And why does no one know about a monarch and a huge castle that is apparently only a few hours away from the village anyway? And how long does Belle spend in the castle? I don’t have a problem with the romance between Belle and the Beast per se, but if you’re going to show someone falling in love with a violent monster who imprisons them and isn’t even the same species, you’d better make it clear that it doesn’t happen overnight.

I did not like Belle, but I already ranted about that for almost three thousand words, so let’s leave it at that.

Aside from my problems with Belle (who herself is very close being a great character) Beauty and the Beast has some of my favourite Disney characters. The Beast is awesome. He has an awesome design and great expressions, and I love the relationship he has with his staff. They are his servants and scared of his temper tantrums, but at the same time the Beast realises his incompetence in regards to dealing with girls, so he lets them boss him around with their advice.

beastFaces

And then there’s Gaston. I just love how full of himself he is and how he steals every scene he’s in (unless he has to compete with the Beast I guess). Also, not long ago I read somewhere that usually Gaston would be the hero of a story, and it indeed is interesting that the town hero is a villain here.

If there’s anything about this movie that I like less than Belle, it’s Chip the teacup. His only purpose seems to be to be something cute and pwecious, and my ears start to bleed every time I hear his stupid childish lines. I remember hearing that his role was supposed to be smaller, but the creators liked his voice actor so much that they gave him more lines. Great, hearing more of his cutesy-patootsie voice was just what I wanted!

chip

As for the songs, the movie is a bit mixed bag to me. As far as I know, “Be Our Guest” is crazy popular, but it’s easily my least favourite song and nowadays I always skip it. I can’t stand the chandelier’s smug face, I’m not interested in the song, the visuals feel way too much pretentiously artsy to me, and the song didn’t accomplish anything since it doesn’t tell anything new (I already know there are magical objects and that it is in their best interests to be friendly with Belle) and in the end Belle doesn’t even eat anything. Human Again is pretty boring too, but as far as I know it wasn’t in the movie when it was first released.

Something There doesn’t interest me much but it’s neither horrible nor forgettable. As for Beauty and the Beast, I didn’t think much of it at first, but that may have been bias against the film in general. By now it has grown on me, and I really love the ballroom scene. From The Mob Song I love the bit about the Beast being as tall as a mountain, but otherwise it’s just ok.

Belle is very difficult for me to judge. On one hand it’s the epitome of the reasons why I can’t stand Belle, since it constantly rubs her superiority to the other villagers in my face, but on the other hand it has fun lyrics, it’s very catchy, and it introduces us very well to the characters and the setting.

Gaston is by far my favourite song, it’s utterly hilarious, and I love the lyrics. And it gave us the amazing “No one [verb]s like Gaston!” meme. Lately I’ve grown a weird fascination towards Gaston’s singing at the end when he comes up with his master plan, he has such a great voice…

gaston

Final verdict: Ok tier, escaped Passable tier just barely, but frankly, Belle shouldn’t deserve that much credit for ruining an otherwise great film. If I liked Belle better I’d put this to Top tier.

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