I was in line 1.5 hours prior to the doors opening for the first showing of Beauty and the Beast with 15-20 people in front of me in line. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one excited about this movie; the theatre was sold out. One year ago, I heard it was being produced as a live action film, and, immediately, a friend and I started planning… our husbands were taking the kids and we were having a girls’ night out! Yes!
In the theatre, I was giddy excited each time one of the songs of my childhood came up in the movie and was enthralled from start to finish. Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite princess movie and the latest Live Action version did not disappoint!
So why is Beauty and the Beast (in my opinion) the best?
- Belle is Selfless. She sacrifices her own life to save her father’s and gives up her chance of escape to help the wounded Beast. Even more, the Beast becomes selfless. He later sacrifices the chance to break the spell that has taunted him for years by letting Belle go. Anytime you see a selfless act, it is incredibly beautiful. And of course it would be; it’s a demonstration of Christ!
- Belle is “Fearless.” This term is used multiple times to describe Belle in the latest Live Action version. She stands up to the Beast on numerous occasions, fights against the wolves in the woods, and stands against the town in support of her father and, in the end, in support of the Beast. What courage! What could we all accomplish if we didn’t give in to fear- fear of pain, rejection, embarrassment, failure… so many ways we can allow our impact to be stunted… If only we were fearless, like Belle!
- Belle is “Odd.” She isn’t afraid to be different. It is obvious she is not like the other girls in her town. She doesn’t “follow the crowd” but is unique and comfortable in her individuality. Yet, she also isn’t different just for difference sake; it’s intentional, done with wisdom and maturity. It’s this difference that makes her educated and wise enough to turn down Gaston’s advances. If that is what “odd” means, call me it anytime!
- Belle is Adventurous. “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell.” Come on, sing it with me! Not only does she daydream about adventure and something more grandeur than marriage to the egotistical Gaston, but she embraces the adventure she finds herself in- talking to candlesticks, clocks, and more. Oh, what we miss out on when we refuse to step out into the unfamiliar!
- Belle sees past the Physical. “He’s no monster, Gaston; you are!” All the girls in town want Gaston, yet Belle sees him for what he truly is: arrogant and self-centered. Then, she meets the Beast who is frightening to everyone else and is able to look past it to find the gentleness that lies beneath. This is a rare quality throughout time, and when absent, it often gets us in a lot of trouble. Just imagine the different life Belle would lead if she didn’t see past the physical appearance of these two characters.
- Belle is Independent. She’s not looking for a man to come save her. However, she doesn’t think men are evil either. She is confident in who she is, isn’t willing to settle, and is open to the right man when he comes along. This is so refreshing to see when, in today’s culture, girls can seemingly be found in one of the two extremes- desperate or man-hating.
- Belle loves Books/Reading. I taught English; need I say more? Of course, I do because what English teacher leaves words unsaid? She challenges her mind, finds beauty and adventure in the pages of a book, and sees value in learning. And she desires to share that learning with others. Knowledge is power, am I right?
- It highlights the significance of a Father. This movie shows the importance of a father’s role in her daughter’s life. He believes in her, encourages her, and protects her. Without this, would she be all the traits listed above? My guess is no.
Each of these reasons are things I pray for my daughter… that she is selfless, fearless, adventurous, sees past outward appearances, is independent, loves reading, has an invested father (check), and yes, that she’s odd (or at least doesn’t follow cultural norms). Even in relation to all other princess movies, Belle breaks the mold! So far, I haven’t convinced Ali that Belle is the best, but I’m still working on her! 🙂