Hi guys! In case you haven’t heard already, the teaser trailer of the new Beauty and the Beast (2017) was released yesterday. And it was everything I dreamed of about the live-action film.
Though only a teaser, it was able to carry out a strong meaning and still has a fairytale essence – glad that they didn’t make it “darker” – it’s dark enough. The moment the castle appeared and the opening scene/Beast’s theme played (a beautiful revamp), I was floored and cried. It seems that they will take 18th century French fashion and decor seriously, and more background on the Beast’s past. This movie is going to kill me. Since BATB has a special place in my heart, I’m so happy with what they’ve done so far.
Feeling feverish, I’m going to write why I love BATB and why you should too.
Don’t judge a book by its cover/Redemption
A cliche but an important theme. Beast is cursed to be a beast and hides from the rest of society. Not only is his behaviour a problem, his appearance bars him from everything but his servants and burdens him. Appearance is important in this world.
Belle is the most beautiful girl in town but that’s all her town and Gaston sees. She’s more than just looks. She also learns to care and love Beast despite his appearance and sees there’s good in him. But no one believes her. They think he’s a monster even though he hasn’t done them wrong. Mob mentality, driven by fear, is depicted in this film. Not far from reality.
Both Belle and Beast learn to overcome their problems. They change each other – and not in a coddling way. Beast learns to love and care for someone and Belle learns not to judge too quickly. They’re both equals.
BATB is also a story of redemption. The Beast was an arrogant and cruel person, so he was cursed and has to redeem himself. I’m curious about all those years before he “fell into despair”. What did he do? Anyway, not only he does learn to love, he also learns to respect, understand and be empathetic.
Some people argued that Belle suffers from Stockholm’s Syndrome. I don’t think so. She chooses to stay at the castle. She isn’t treated as a prisoner at all and she’s no longer one after she discovers the enchanted rose. Even though Beast tries to break his curse, he lets her leave to attend her father and doesn’t plan to get her back. He doesn’t control her or monitor her movements.
The romance between Belle and Beast slowly develops as they learn about each other and spend time together. There’s respect. Beast doesn’t scorn Belle for being a reader or for being assertive. He encourages her, leading her to teach him how to read again after so many years in despair.
And of course, the ballroom dance. They lead each other.
The Enchanted Rose
The rose is a symbol of love but also a symbol of doom. It’s a ticking time bomb. In the end, it’s something that brings Belle and Beast together. I love how the movie plays with different meanings for a single object.
The rose also seems sentient in that it senses Belle’s presence when she’s wandering through the west wing and sees the damaged portrait of Beast in his human form – unaware that it’s him. When she tries to take a closer look, the rose’s glow brightens, stopping her from figuring out things. Beast has to love genuinely and so does Belle. If she knew about the curse, she would love him out of pity and pressure. And that’s a no.
A far cry from Ursula, Maleficent and the Evil Queen, The Enchantress who cursed Beast in the first place has an interesting and ambiguous role. She punishes him for being cruel and arrogant but helps him redeem himself. In a way, she did him a favour but to subject a kid like Chip to the curse too…cruel much? I want to know about this woman though.
Magic, visible magic everywhere. Some of the objects were humans. It’s hard to not love Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs Potts and Chip. They’re the ones who kept Beast sane and that must’ve been a hard task. They crave human contact and still are human in so many ways.
The music and songs
The songs are all memorable and cry-worthy, and the music is quite intense for a Disney film. Let’s face it, BATB is one of the most serious Disney films but it does balance the atmosphere out with the comedic.
Bookish protagonist/Strong female character
One of the reasons why I love BATB and Belle is one of my favourite Disney princesses is that she loves books. Something that her town frowns upon. She’s ridiculed for being buried in books and we have Gaston commenting that women shouldn’t read and think. Why does everyone like this guy? Oh right, he’s hot and embodies (toxic) masculinity.
Belle doesn’t back down. She’s independent and assertive. She doesn’t apologise for being so. Though she does feel out of place and self-doubt at the beginning before her father tells her that they’ll leave the shitty town soon enough.
Belle’s intelligence and outspokenness are what makes her a strong character. Her kindness and softness, and her love for the Beast adds layers/complexity to her characters.
The first nice thing Beast does for Belle after saving her life and her attending his wounds in return is giving her his skyscraper-size library (with some help, of course). And it’s beautiful. Belle’s face glowing at the countless number of books. It’s so relatable.
Dream big and never give up
Belle dreams of bigger things outside of her town. She refuses to become just a wife or small. Everyone especially Gaston forces her to be something she doesn’t want to be, without her consent and opinion either.
Beast transforming back to his human form will always be impressive. The shoots of light and darkness covering the castle receding mark his change and redemption. And it turns out that the guy is a hot prince. What a plot twist haha.
Be Our Guest
I’ve been their guest for 20+ years and I will be their guest for the new film. Will you be? What do you love about BATB?