A Tale as old as Time¦Disney again catches the imagination of all children in the 1991 hit, Beauty and the Beast. Mindful of its audience Disney creates another film with an important message. Looks are not the be all and end all, despite what many think. Disney jumps on the band wagon to teach children that to respect people of all backgrounds is a trait no one should grow up without; however recycled into a easily digestible formula. One that many will remember for the rest of their lives “ relived through their own children’s childhood.
As the film begins a story is told, of how a young man is transformed into well..a beast. His rudeness when turning an old beggar lady away from his door leads to unfortunate problems, those being a spell. Now looking as ugly outside as he is on the inside, only love will cure all. If love is never found a long and lonely life awaits him.
Further away from the castle of darkness lives Belle, the beautiful protagonist in this animated adventure. Fed up with life in a small French town and her father’s misfortune as an inventor; she wishes life would take her to places that offered her culture and friendship. Little does she know life is set to take an interesting turn. When Maurice, her father, ends up imprisoned as a punishment for seeking refuge in the Beast’s castle the trouble begins. Ending up in the same destination as her father, Belle makes the decision to save her father’s life giving him his freedom whilst giving up her own. The penalty, to spend forever in the castle with the Beast and his talking furniture.
Beauty and the Beast if you take the story literally, is quite odd. A young lady offering herself as a sacrifice to free her father, and him letting this happen. Note “ check parental skills. Metaphorically Disney are trying to help in the fight to steer children down the right path towards looming adulthood. Something that seems to have missed this generation completely, many examples could be used, but for those who don’t watch/read the news two words you will recognise – London riots.
In all seriousness the film is genuinely heartfelt and the songs are moving. Like all Disney films the Princess or leading lady befalls a dreadful curse for another to try and break. The plot is constructed so children by into the story, after all its all about parents buying the film when available; however it still has the underlying context that only adults would understand.