Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tale as old as time... the musings of a SAHM

So, my daughter is a girly girl. It's going to be a sharp learning curve for me. Fortunately, thus far this has only shown up in the form of having a love affair with shoes, wearing a tutu daily, having multiple purses, and wanting to watch Belle over and over. The last one will be at the top of our discussion today. The other 3 just make her too stinkin' cute.

Beauty and the Beast is a wonderful movie. It's my sister's favorite, and I had watched it many times before having children. I even went to see the play a few months ago. I like it, and if there is a movie that my daughter is going to wear out, I'm glad it's one that I like. Even though I've watched it probably about 25 times since the beginning of the year, I can still say I like the movie. But, as someone who typically takes movies for face value and doesn't look for the deeper meaning or the technical minutia of what does and does not make sense, after you watch something so many times you start to have questions. So here's my beef with the movie:

1) What exactly is the time line for this whole story? How long has the Beast been a Beast? And how long have all the servants been household utensils?

In the song "Be Our Guest" two times it references that they have been candlesticks and clocks for 10 years. At the beginning of a movie, it says that Beast has until his 21st birthday to find true love. So, if you put those together, that means the enchantress punished an eleven year old boy for not letting an ugly woman into the castle. Stranger Danger any one? I mean, how can you punish an 11 year old boy for turning away an old woman. And where were the King and Queen when this happened? Was the 11 year old boy ruling the castle?

And, if they have been teapots and such for 10 years, where did Chip come from? How does a teapot get pregnant and give birth? Stanton proposes that all the servants were in a type of suspended animation, but why would the Beast age and not the servants? And even if this is the case, doesn't Mrs. Potts seem a little old to have a 4 year old boy? And where is Mr. Potts?

2) Where do all the servants come from?

I mean is there a servant for each spoon in the castle? Again, Stanton has a theory. He thinks that only those items with faces were at once real people. And when I pointed out that the footstool was a dog and it had no face, he retorted that perhaps there are a bunch of squirrels and birds jumping around as spoons. So what is it?

3) Why didn't the town know about the Beast?

It seems that they didn't know about him until Belle showed them on a magic mirror. So, did they even know there was a castle there? They seemed to know just where to go to find him once they wanted to kill him. Wouldn't someone in the nearby town have gone to the castle in the past 10 years? And why does everyone think Maurice is crazy for saying that there is a Beast who has Belle, but they don't skip a beat when seeing a magic mirror?

4) What is Beast's name?

Stanton looked it up and found that in some CD-ROM game he was referenced as Prince Adam (but not He-Man). But other than that, there's nothing that says. Don't worry though, Stanton plans on asking Belle next time we go to Disney World. I told him to be sure not to do it until the last day. A Princess could kick us out of the castle for harassment.

5) Why didn't Beast just throw Belle in the dungeon too?

Why did he give her the option of leaving and then the option of taking her dad's place? Maurice was thrown into the dungeon for trespassing, wasn't Belle doing the same?

6) If Gaston wouldn't have led the mob to kill the Beast, would Bell have made it back in time to make Beast human again?

I think not, so in a way everyone owes Gaston a big thanks.

7) What is Beast exactly the Prince of?

In all other Princess movies, the Prince has some kind of kingdom to rule over, but Beast apparently reigns over a kingdom where the people don't notice that they haven't heard from the royalty in 10 years.

8) Why do princesses always seem to have some kind of weird connection with wildlife?

I mean Cinderella has mice who make dresses. Snow White had all the woodland creatures clean the cottage. And Belle is able to get a bird to hop into claws of a Beast. That is weird. Not to mention Jasmine and Rajah.

9) How long is Belle at the castle with Beast?

It seems like she is there for a while building up trust and a relationship with Beast, but then again that would mean her father was lost in the woods for a long time and LeFou was standing outside of Belle's house for a long time.

10) If Gaston is so unintelligent, why does he have some of the best rhymes in the movie?

Gaston rhymes "I'm especially good at expectorating." with "I use antlers in all of my decorating." And have you heard the lyrics to the mob song at the end? My favorite part is "Raise the flag, sing the song. Here we come, we're 50 strong and 50 Frenchmen can't be wrong. Let's kill the Beast!"

But amidst all these questions is a fairly good tale of learning to love what's different on the outside, because of the good on the inside. And just ignoring ignorant pride all along. I love that from the beginning Belle doesn't care for Gaston. She would give her life to spend in the Beast's dungeon to save her father, but wouldn't consider for a moment marrying that silly ego maniac to keep her father out of the insane asylum.  There are some glitches with the story, but overall I find it to be the most meaningful of the Disney princess stories.

The movie has had quite the affect on Chaselyn. Now whenever she wears a dress, it's a "Belle dress". And she requires a dress and/or tutu to dance around the living room during the "Beauty and the Beast" song. Mostly so that she can hold out her dress to dance like Belle.

Chaselyn also likes to hold out her dress to walk around the store, even if it means exposing her little tummy. And perhaps the most precious of all, about a week or two ago, she started caring a little basket and running around the house singing "Little town, quiet village. Everyday one before. Little town, little people. Everyday one before." And she'll run and sing it over and over again. Always with a basket and only on her own terms. She won't sing it if you ask her to. Stanton got some video the other day. I may be able to upload later.

So thanks for listening to my rant after being out of the blogging world for a while. Just in case you missed it, I also posted Jacob's 9 month update today. Go check it out.


  1. haha. I laughed out loud at "How does a teapot get pregnant and give birth?"

    I love that for a lot of the questions Stanton has his logical answer.

    I wonder if the writers realize how odd their stories are

  2. I can't tell you how sorry I am to have missed the live version of this conversation between you and Stantonio.

    I can't wait to squeeze that sweet Belle and dance around with her. See you NEXT WEEk!