I promised you all a Beauty and the Beast post, so here it is.
I haven’t gotten a chance to see the new live action Beauty and the Beast yet, but it’s definitely on my list of movies that I want to see. However, I did recently watch the original animated version a few weeks ago in anticipation. It was the first time that I watched the movie in probably 5-10 years.
And I noticed something. Watch the opening sequence from the movie and see if you come up with the same thought I did.
Did you catch how old the beast was? I feel like the first time I watched this, I was too distracted by the narrators lovely voice and the creative stained glass visuals. The movie itself seems to gloss over the point. But I think it’s kind of important.
The narration specifically says that the beast would be condemned to eternal beast-hood if he couldn’t find someone to love him by his 21st birthday. First off, a lot of my friends and I would likely be out of luck, if that were to happen to us. How many normal people manage to “find love” by the time they’re 21? Forget it, if you’re a big hairy monster.
But more importantly, that means he was less than 21 years old when the enchantress cursed him. The narrator says that “many” years have passed since that event, and it’s been long enough for the town folk to have completely forgotten that they had a prince that lived in an enormous castle not that far from town. One has to assume that “many” years means at least 5, if not 10.
So… wait. The enchantress CURSED A CHILD?
What. A. Jerk.
From this picture, the beast looks to be a little older, probably mid-teens I’d guess. So, let’s assume he was 15.
Have you ever met a 15 year old boy? They can be selfish and rude, sure. But most teenagers have their heads shoved so far up their own butts that they can’t seem to focus on anyone else. They’re immature, but that’s normal.
I’ll grant you that as a prince, the beast probably should have had better manners, but the point remains that he was a kid. And apparently, a kid being raised without his parents’ guidance, because they’re nowhere to be seen in this movie. I’m not sure if they just abandoned him or succumbed to whatever illness that always seems to kill Disney mothers.
Taking stock of what we’ve learned so far, that enchantress cursed a probably lonely, definitely orphaned or abandoned, 15-year-old kid with a curse that could only be broken if he basically did the impossible. I’ll say it again. What. A. Jerk.
That’s not even mentioning the fact that she cursed his entire castle! What did those poor servants in the castle do to deserve that? What, were they supposed to be able to convince their prince that he shouldn’t be such a jerk? That would have gotten them all fired, and left to become penniless peasants. It just feels like this enchantress cursed them out of either spite or negligence, and I’m not sure which is worse.
If you go back and watch it again, you’ll notice that there are actually lots of problems and plot holes in this overall charming movie about learning to love someone for what’s on the inside. But nothing is more ridiculous than the enchantress cursing a kid and his entire household for being rude to her.
I mean, that is a gross mismanagement of magical powers and she should definitely be reprimanded by some sort of Court of Fairies, Wizards, and Otherwise Magical Creatures.
Hmm… I sense a short story approaching.
See you all on Sunday!
Speaking of Sunday, the next episode of Contra Mundum will be on blowing glass and other forms of art with my very own sister. It’s a fun, Informative, and unintentionally hilarious episode.
Until then, catch up on the podcast with last Sunday’s “Talking Tech” episode.