Beauty and the Beast – one mama opines

For weeks, months even, my girls have been eagerly awaiting the new Beauty and the Beast.  They acquired costumery, reviewed the 1991 animated film numerous times, and literally counted down the days.


They weren’t disappointed.

True to the Disney of late, this was a visually beautiful, well cast film.  It was also very true to the original, which will please any girl of the early ninties!

I went into the movie with my guards up.  I’d heard chatter that there were a few off color scenes.  The internets were abuzz with moms boycotting the movie, boycotting Disney, they probably boycotted Wal-Mart, just for good measure.

I had my suspicions.  We do love to get riled up.  We love a good boycott.  We live to overreact, get offended, and generally flip out soley based on a Facebook headline that we didn’t even click through to read!

Blood boiling click bait is the new white collar drug of choice.

Anyway.  The movie.  I did my due diligence and googled the meaning of “Le Fue”.  Turns out, “fue” means madman.  Interesting!  I’m pretty certain this character was not one written to make kids everywhere want to emulate him.  He was the bumbling town fool, the comic relief, the pudgy sidekick.

I think the relationship between Gaston and La Fue was more akin to the relationship between Screech and Zack Morris (hellooooo ninties!).  The cool kid and the nerdy kid who are best friends, simply because they always have been.  And now that they’re older, that nerdy kid will do anything – hero worship – to keep his friend.

I’m not all out defending Disney.  It was definitely over-the-top and the movie would have been perfectly excellent without this Gaston-La Fue dynamic.  But children, without an adult’s cynical, sexually charged, anti-friendship outlook will miss all of the innuendos that are there.  They’ll see a silly friendship, a goofy scene, and characters dressed up to make you laugh.

The scene with La Fue showing a bite mark on his stomach was gross.  But the line in the song?  It was “in a wrestling match, no one bites like Gaston!”  I’ve seen enough living room wrestling matches to know that bites happen.  Flaunting the mark?  That’s a little weird.

Oh, but wait!  Gaston and La Fue weren’t even the main story!  Why do we let them distract us so?

The old songs redone were delightful.  The new songs, charming.  The castle, incredibly beautiful.

I really missed Angela Landsbury as Mrs Potts!  (Follow that link.  You won’t be disappointed.)

I wish that Maurice had come out more strongly at the end.  I don’t like the foolish dad characters and he was definitely portrayed as one.

Emma Watson is always so lovely.  I love her simple beauty and sweet voice.  She was strong and independent, but still deeply devoted to her father.

In the end, we give it two hearty thumbs up.  Yes, there were scenes that would have been better left on the cutting room floor, but I think the good and beautiful trumped the slightly weird.