Sunday, January 26, 2014

Belle, Beast, being different, and a lot of ranting

Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite Disney movie. Why I fell in love with it as a kid, I'm not too sure now, but it's probably because of the fascinating characters, the music, the mysterious "enchanted castle" & its master, Belle, and of course - the library. That sense of amazement & slight envy that I've felt is something that was etched in my mind and my heart for a very long time.

Until now, one of my biggest dreams is to have my very own library. Sigh.

Now, fifteen or twenty years later I finally re-watch this and wow what a trip! The first thing I notice is how beautiful Beauty and the Beast is. That opening sequence is amazing. The animation, the colors, the imagery - it looks really sophisticated, something that you don't always see in this age of modern animation. 

Then Belle started singing on her way to the town. And memories came crashing down on me like a tidal wave. It felt so good that I turned on the subtitles and sang along. I rarely do that. Only when I'm watching The Sound of Music. It gave me chills listening to that song as an adult and understand the words.

Below are some lyrics from "Belle" that I relate to the most. You can click here for the complete lyrics, and here for the YT link.


Look there she goes that girl is strange, no question 

Dazed and distracted, can't you tell?

'Cause her head's up on some cloud

Never part of any crowd 

No denying she's a funny girl that Belle 

There must be more than this provincial life 
Look there she goes that girl is so peculiar 
 I wonder if she's feeling well 
 With a dreamy far-off look 
 And her nose stuck in a book 
 What a puzzle to the rest of us is Belle 

But behind that fair facade 
 I'm afraid she's rather odd 
 Very diff'rent from the rest of us 

She's nothing like the rest of us 
 Yes, diff'rent from the rest of us is Belle 

Look there she goes a girl who's strange but special 
 A most peculiar mad'moiselle 
 It's a pity and a sin 
 She doesn't quite fit in 
 Cause she really is a funny girl 
 A beauty but a funny girl 
 She really is a funny girl That Belle 

Is he gone? Can you imagine? 
He asked me to marry him. 
 Me, the wife of that boorish, brainless . . . 
 "Madame Gaston!" Can't you just see it? 
 Madame Gaston!" His "little wife" 
 No sir! Not me! 
 I guarantee it I want much more than this provincial life 
 I want adventure in the great wide somewhere 
 I want it more than I can tell 
 And for once it might be grand 
 To have someone understand 
 I want so much more than they've got planned

The "feels" of that song is unbelievable! Now I know why Belle is, and forever will be, my favorite Disney Princess! It's seeing/hearing my thoughts, feelings, words with a melody, and voila, the story of my life.
It can be lonely sometimes..

I love that despite her singing about her prince charming, still, it's not like her world revolves around the thought of finding him. No. She's more than that. She loves books and she loves the thoughts of adventures. Lost in her own world, so unlike other girls, and while society scoffs at that, in my opinion, who are they to judge someone just because they're different?

Another thing that I love in this movie is that the Prince Charming is more than several scenes of horseback riding, looking for the princess, and giving her that kiss. No. Beast shares as much screen time and story arc as that of Beauty. And I think Beast (not Prince Adam) is the cutest Disney prince ever! I've had a crush on him when I first saw this movie. My classmates think I'm weird & gross. Maybe that's why until now, I prefer brooding, rugged men. LOL.

Fluffy and adorable. hahaha.
In a society where women are always expected to act a certain way, this movie is close to my heart because Belle represents those whose goals aren't set by society's standards. Belle lives in a place & time where women aren't expected to read books or learn. Their role is to be pretty, wait for a rich guy to propose, bear children, take care of her family. Ummm, how about NO?

It's hard enough being human, even harder being a woman - so many expectations, so many judgement. We think that women are liberated now, freed from the limitations of the previous generations, but it's a cycle. We will always gonna be judged for being different, for not conforming. The key is to not give a damn. Whenever someone judges me for investing (definitely not wasting) my time on literature, cinema, & the mysteries of the universe and asks me why I don't get married & have children like any other "normal" girls, it takes monk-like self-control not to grab a fistful of that someone's hair and slam his/her empty head to a wall of pure concrete. But of course that's all in my head, after a few seconds of seething irritation, I give a calculated answer and put on my best fake smile.

Seriously, if you wanna be an ant, be an ant! There's nothing wrong with that. But I'm not an ant and don't expect me to be. Mind your own little anthill. :) (Watch Waking Life to get the ant reference)

My Rating: 5/5 - Beauty and the Beast is a classic and will forever be one, because it is beautiful and it's nice to see a love story actually developing. Not just a princess living happily ever after with a prince she has never seen before. 

Someday I will find my beast (not Prince Charming), and I will have my own happy ending - but not because it's expected of a girl, but because I feel it's the right time. Now that's a true happily ever after!

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  1. How refreshing to see truth written ... Impressed ! You really write what is what, the way people should write ! I am totally inspired here by your individuality, and also taste is stating facts that have long been ignored by society ! Great yes I said, " great" job here ! :)

  2. Replies
    1. lol thanks Jason! Waking Life is another favorite of mine =D



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