America faces tough challenges . . . and I blame the Disney Corporation. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time an animated Disney movie had what I would call a “traditional family.” (i.e. Father, Mother and children). Alright, so Disney/Pixar did “The Incredibles,” but even then, the wife spent the majority of her time nit picking, nagging, and basically emasculating her husband. Ultimately, Mr. Incredible, was left feeling like an overweight, beaten down blob. Funny how his marriage did more to defeat him than any villain ever could. Talk about wife . . . er . . . wolf in sheep’s clothing. (If my wife is reading, don’t read anything in to that, it’s just an observation!!!) But for the most part, Disney movies are all about orphans, single parents or wicked step parents, and it’s been that way for 60-70 years now.
The worst offender is “Beauty and the Beast.” It’s just wrong on so many levels. Consider the lessons; first, the Prince is a royal jerk. He’s self centered, spoiled, and rude! (no doubt due to the lack of parents who are never mentioned). And because he’s a jerk he winds up being turned into a Beast by a visiting fairy/witch, (whatever). He must then remain a beast unless he finds true love before the last petal falls off the rose he has been given. So immediately we are thrust into the Prince Dog Man’s race against time, or rather, the metaphorical wilting of “his” flower. Yes, there is no better message to send children quite like the ticking time bomb of the biological clock in a post adolescent male. But it gets worse.
It’s not just the Prince who has to pay the price for his arrogance and rudeness. No, the whole household, servants and all, suffer a similar penalty of changed appearance. And not because they did anything wrong. No, the Prince is a moron, and because of that, little Chip has to be a teacup the rest of his life. Apparently that little skirmish between the North and the South which led to the abolition of indentured servitude was lost on the movie’s producers. Fascists! But wait, there’s more!!
Consider the film’s leading female character, Belle. She’s the absent minded young woman who continually laments her “provincial life,” and the fact that she has never found a man for herself. (But remember, the movie still wants us to be worried about Prince Man Dog’s “flower”, not hers.) Of course, it’s obvious that this protagonist of feminine virtue is her own worst enemy when it comes to actually finding a man of her own. Instead of hitting the local taverns on a Friday night, or checking out eHarmony, she spends all of her time reading books and working for her father.
Alas, during the course of the movie, Belle ends up with a choice to make between two potential suitors: Gaston, the brutish egotistical male, who sees Belle as some kind of trophy wife, (and who is also most likely “playing for the same team”), or the Prince Man Dog, affectionately known as The Beast. She sees that The Beast has a gruff exterior but also is privy to a few of his nicer qualities, such as the ability to lick himself, and the fact that he bathes at least once a week. (Don’t remember those parts? Maybe I saw the directors cut).
Now let’s analyze Belle’s choices from a “real world” perspective: First, and every guy will back me up on this one: in real life, when given the “romantic” choice between a brutish jerk on one hand, and someone who would be a “good friend” on the other, the jerk wins every time. A “real world” Belle would be all over Gaston like a wet blanket!!! She’d think she could “change” him while ignoring his clear tendencies toward domestic abuse and neglect. Then she’d tell The Beast she just wants to be friends, while at the same time, continuing to jab at the wound of his broken heart for the rest of his life every time she needs a shoulder to cry on, which will be a lot since she married Gaston who is always out hunting with his buddies on Brokeback Mountain. That’s the real world.
But no, movie Belle picks The Beast. At first blush this choice melts the heart of every woman in the audience. But think about it. Gaston, for all of his bad traits has one quality that should trump The Beast, or at least lead to a stalemate: HE’S A HUMAN!!!!! Belle doesn’t know The Beast is simply a human in beast form, for all she knows, he’s a dog! Perhaps a big dog, but a dog nonetheless, AND SHE PICKS HIM!!! Who knows, maybe she’s kinky? And of course, to complete the “flower” metaphor, Belle “restores” The Beast’s “wilting flower” by giving him hers. Sounds like something you’d have to pay a cover to see in a bar in Tijuana. Folks, she picked a dog to be her husband, and that’s just sick.