I began writing this segment today with the intent of going over the psyches and inner-workings of the main characters from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. However, after pumping out nearly six hundred words in my opening argument for the Beast being a borderline psychopath, I realized that such an endeavor, for most of the film’s characters, could be accomplished with far less.
In part two of this series, I presented and supported the idea that the Beast was a murderer, whether before the curse, during, or at both times. His case, I believe, needs no more argument. The West Wing is damning evidence, as far as I’m concerned; and his seclusion, wild temper, and Stockholm practices with Belle speak for themselves.
What about Belle, then? Well, I was going to go over the probable reasons why the person Belle is such a fascination for the entire town that they would spend a good five minutes of their morning following her around and singing altogether about her beauty and odd nature. But then I realized that she’s pretty a open and shut case. The town is right—she is a funny girl. Not because she likes to read, which is a point of humor in the film (that reading, ideas, and thinking, especially for a woman, are dangerous, thus ramming home the whole Beast element, in much the same way as the tale of the Elephant Man), but because she not only finds romantic attachment to a literal animal (remember, she did not know the Beast was a cursed human), but also warms up instantly to enchanted household objects—like, literally within a matter of seconds, she's all chatty with the wardrobe and sipping from Chip's open skull—and is even spotted talking and begging questions from her horse, as if truly expecting an answer. A funny girl, indeed.
But of all that is kind of weak, if you ask me. Admittedly, I’m fishing for evidence, here. I can just as easily say that Maurice truly is crazy, as everyone claims; but even that will take some stretching.
So, who’s left? There’s Gaston, but he’s just your typical narcissist, charmer, manipulative, rich guy, who feels he must conquer every element in his life, even if that element is a woman who won’t have him. As we can see, he’s certainly not in need of love or admiration—males and females alike adore him. Even Maurice, Belle’s own father, suggests Gaston as a suitor for Belle. Of course, he suggests this based solely on Gaston’s looks, thus again reinforcing the film's overarching message (Oaky, Disney! We get it! Don’t judge a book by its cover!); but it does show that Belle is the only person we see who isn’t dying to be Gaston’s lover or friend.
But Gaston is not insane, or anything. He’s just, well, very American, I guess. And I know this film takes place in France, but his “get what I want, no matter what” and narcissistic personality is very reminiscent of today’s typical American, selfie-snapping individual, who is very much in touch with the idea of entitlement (All right, that's solely an American thing—but you see my point).
Anyway, stepping off my soapbox, let’s move on to the enchanted beings. Other than the question I may very well be alone in asking, regarding how the staff members readjust to human life after ten yeas as household objects (primarily, how does one get back in the habit of going to the bathroom?), there's really not much to be said about the staff…or is there? While there are some questions that can be raised about a few of the staff members, there is one in particular that stands out from all the rest—stands out from the entire cast of characters, actually.
And that individual is none other than Mrs. Potts.
Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you, the real villain of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is, in fact, Mrs. Potts—the charming, sweet, motherly teapot.
Can it be, I hear you say? You’ll just have to wait and see.
Tune in next week for my theory on the diabolical Mrs. Potts!
Coming Next Week
July 2, 2015
C. K. Conners
©2015 by C. K. Conners