First thoughts after watching movie
My first thoughts right after watching the movie is that it is a lot better than I thought it was. Sure, I knew it was good, but I felt like a lot of it was just convenient, and didn’t like how they fell in love over two segment songs. What I had to do was really read into the lyrics and look into their expressions to see it, and everything is so clear. When they are vulnerable, things go well, but of course there are many other obstacles that do get in the way.
Their first interaction consists of Belle trying to break her father out of a cell, and a hideous beast approaches her. She demands him to step into the light, and she is petrified. Beast lets Belle take her father Maurice’s position as a prisoner, and is reprimanded for not letting her say goodbye to Maurice. Because he feels bad, he takes up Lumiere’s offer to give her a better room in the palace, and during the walk, Lumiere pushes him to make small talk, where the Beast tells her that she can roam anywhere but the West Wing. Lumiere pushes him for the third time to do something; in this case, it’s to invite her for dinner. Instead of offering, Beast demands Belle to join him, before leaving her to cry in her bed.
Belle gets into the West Wing, and the Beast of course sees her, yelling at her to get out, while he hits a bunch of furniture (one that was where her body is, before she moved), but of course he feels instant regret. She leaves the castle, and is almost eaten by wolves, but of course he follows and saves her. Belle thinks about leaving him to die, but she brings him to the castle to tend to him. The two bicker on whose responsibility is whose for the entire ordeal, but it ends with Belle thanks the Beast for saving him.
What I presume is the next day, the Beast is watching the green-dress wearing Belle play with Phillipe the horse, which causes him to want to do something for her. Once again, Lumiere tells the Beast to give her the library, and when he does, Belle is elated. What I will say about this, is that the both of them are clearly happy, and it’s nice to see, since everyone has been miserable in the film so far.
A few more days take place, and at the end of the day (and song), both of them are reading a book by the fireplace. Since almost every online version of Beauty and the Beast includes Human Again, we see that she is helping him read Romeo and Juliet, where we learn that he has become somewhat illiterate. Her teaching him English adds a completely different dynamic to their relationship, since it involves a mental aspect that is often ignored in animated films. We skip to the song “Beauty and the Beast”, where the Beast is becoming more insecure, where Lumiere tells him to become bold. What I noticed is that the Beast won her over without the advice of the others constantly in his ear. During the song, Mrs. Potts is singing how they both are feeling; neither knowing where it’s going, how it’s a strange surprise, which is just the story of love. The story of love is a tale as old as time.
The pair are out in the balcony, where he asks if he’s happy with her at the castle. She responds that she is, but Belle looks out to the forest, wondering about where her father is. Beast gives her the magic mirror to see Maurice, where it’s seen that he is on the ground in the forest. Belle wants to bring Maurice to the castle, but the Beast lets her go, because he loves her. There could have easily been a compromise, but plot convenience. Once she rescues Maurice and brings him back to her home, she explains to him how the Beast has changed over the last few days. It’s climax time, where Gaston fights the Beast, who does not fight back until Belle returns to the castle.
My final thoughts about their relationship is that it’s a lot more mental than I thought it was. There is barely any lust or physical attraction that is focused on, which was definitely refreshing. One of the first developed relationships in Disney animation, and it was refreshing to watch them interact. There are definitely some problematic aspects to it, but I think they handled it pretty well. I see why many see them as their favourite couple.