I can't really watch these movies anymore as an adult; all I see is the horrible subtext, even Beauty and the Beast "Sure he's an abusive asshole, but if you love him long enough, he'll change!".
I respectfully disagree. The reason why I love Beauty and the Beast
is because it has some of the most mature and complex themes of love I’ve ever seen in an animated movie.
Belle is my favorite Disney heroine. In fact, she’s one of my favorite movie heroines of all time, because she’s no victim and she has a good head on her shoulders. As Lindsay “The Nostalgia Chick” Ellis pointed out in her brilliantly scathing review of Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
, Belle doesn’t treat the beast like a “project”. She doesn’t like the Beast at all in the beginning (“I don’t want to get to know him! I don’t want to have anything to do with him!”
And remember when Belle escapes the castle and Beast rescues her from the wolves? Belle actually hesitates helping the wounded Beast (one of the most human moments I’ve ever seen in a Disney film). Then when she’s cleaning his wounds back at the castle, Belle decides to lay down the law with the Beast in that priceless argument they have.Beast: [roaring] Aaargh! That hurts!
Belle: If you'd hold still, it wouldn't hurt as much!
Beast: Well if you hadn't have run away, this wouldn't have happened.
Belle: If you hadn't frightened me, I wouldn't have run away!
Beast: Well *you* shouldn't have been in the west wing!
Belle: Well, you should learn to control your temper!
Each time I see that scene, I think, Belle:1, Beast: nada!
Again, Belle is no victim, and nobody pushes her around, not even a ferocious monster. So why does she fall in love with the Beast?
Because the Beast chooses to stop acting like a ferocious monster!!
He’s not the abusive boyfriend who apologizes and promises to change... and then never does. He gives Belle that gorgeous library, learns manners, and spends time with her.He actually becomes a great guy on his own.
Some make the argument that Belle and Beast's relationship is nothing more than Stockholm Syndrome. I don’t agree. Belle doesn’t stay with the Beast that long, and she still wants to go home deep down. When they discover Belle’s father is sick and lost in the woods, Beast realizes that, as much as he’s grown to love Belle, he has selfishly kept her as his prisoner. He lets her go, even though he’s throwing away his chance at becoming human again. Belle takes his offer, is just fine being back home, and only goes back to the Beast when he’s in danger (leading to that badass moment where she breaks down the door on horseback). That sounds like real love to me.
Phew! Sorry, Beauty and the Beast
brings out my long-winded, hyperbolic side. Now, I do admit that Belle becomes a Bella Swan-like simp in the atrocious, direct to DVD sequels and mid-quels. Here’s a link to the Nostalgia Chick review if you want to see my point.http://thatguywithth...ick/15171-ep022