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Disney Movie

  • Accidental Aesop:
    • Another example: The townsfolk repeatedly call her "strange" and "odd", presumably because she is a bookworm and ignores the local jerk. So the lesson of the song is, "If you are kind, chaste, and intellectual, people will think you are weird and your only friends will be talking furniture." This could, however, also be taken in the in-verse, seeing as Belle is quite clearly the protagonist and the folks are not all portrayed positively. Basically: "Remain true to yourself despite what others think."
  • Adaptation Distillation: Obviously, with the many versions of the fairy tale out there, Disney had to pick and choose what to include, what to leave out, and how to interpret it, but one interesting point: the usage of the magic rose as the vehicle of the Enchantress's curse is a wonderful Call Back to the Beaumont version, since in that the whole reason Beauty's father ends up imprisoned by the Beast and has to send his daughter to him is because he was trying to steal a rose from the Beast's garden for her. So while there isn't a whole rose garden in the film (except possibly during the "Human Again" sequence, and there seems to be wild roses growing in the forest at the beginning as well as surrounding the stained glass window at the end), it makes sense they would use a single rose as the source of the spell and the focus of the final window. It really was the center and driving point of the story, even in the Beaumont version.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In a departure from the original story in which the Beast was kind and gentlemanly (if very rarely hot-tempered), the Disney character starts off angry and depressed and has all the classic trappings of the villain.
    • Fans are divided between thinking the enchantress was a Well-Intentioned Extremist, a benevolent fairy, or a raging bitch who cursed an innocent child and entire castle for "a stupid reason". It should also be noted that, besides Adam (possibly), she had cursed various other children at the castle (Chip and his siblings), and while you could argue that the adult servants might have deserved the curse due to essentially enabling Adam's behavior, Chip and his siblings most certainly couldn't be held accountable for Adam's overall behavior, which actually makes her cursing everyone come across as exceptionally heinous as a result.
    • Belle is she a well-meaning bookworm unfairly made an outcast by the villagers or is she actually a snob, and therefore deserving of being ostracised by the village?
    • Cogsworth: Is he the cliche frumpy disciplinarian present in the Disney movies like Zazu and Lawrence or is his personality based more of a child under an abusive parent, whose in fear of angering the parent and has to stop others from pissing them off in fear of what happens.
    • It's become a popular theory that Belle's falling in love with the Beast is really just some form of Stockholm Syndrome.
    • Confused Matthew has offered a truly compelling theory that the true monsters of this film are actually the Villagers. Gaston has to merely suggest that the Beast is evil and they immediately yell to "Kill the Beast!". Gaston goes between them in turn saying nothing while they invent reasons for the Beast to be evil and form into a mob. Its because of them that Gaston has any freedom to act the way he does. Unlike every other Disney film when the villain is revealed, they don't turn against the villain, they actually join him.

  "The Townspeople know exactly what kind of man Gaston is. And they love the hell of him for it."

      • The fact that they willingly supported Gaston's plan to blackmail Belle into marrying him, despite his revealing enough of it to know how horrific of a plan it is, with absolutely no sign of fear, strongly supports that theory.
    • There's also a literal use of this trope with the Bimbettes. In the original film, the triplets, while obviously loving Gaston, likewise seemed to respect Gaston's wishes to go for Belle and other than sadness during the wedding had very little problem letting Gaston marry her over themselves. In the Marvel Comics versions, however, they were depicted as borderline Yanderes who hated Belle for being the object of Gaston's affections to such an extent that they often made plans to force Gaston to focus on them instead of on Belle. According to Barbara Slate, the writer for the Marvel Comics, this was because she merely assumed they would be jealous of Belle just because they liked Gaston.
  • Awesome Ego: Gaston was written to seem incredibly egotistical and self-absorbed. The viewers loved this.
  • Awesome Music: "Beauty and the Beast".
    • Let's just keep it simple and say most/all songs in this are topnotch.
    • Angela Lansbury, the voice of Mrs. Potts, said in an interview that the song was originally faster and more pop-like, and she was the one who turned it into more of a slow ballad. She was at first reluctant to take the part because the song was, as she says, "not her cup of tea." (No, really, she said that.)
    • To me at least, no Disney song has ever topped "Belle".
    • Gaston's Villain Song became a meme.
    • "Something There", though not as famous as the others on this list, is what a song in a musical is supposed to do; it encapsulated a massive leap in character development that would have been incredibly awkward no matter what dialogue you tried to use.
    • No love for the Transformation? The music there takes this troper's breath away every time! SO powerful, and SO gorgeous.
    • Three words: BE OUR GUEST!!!
  • Completely Missing the Point: The fans who forgive Gaston or overlook the atrocities he's created because he's "handsome" and think Beast is incurring Stockholm Syndrome in Belle when the entire movie is dedicated to showing otherwise.
    • As well as fans who dismiss Prince Adam's human form as "too ugly".
    • As well as those fans who forget that Gaston wanted to LOCK UP Belle's father in order to FORCE HER to marry him.
  • Crap Saccharine World: It's a highly-idealized rural French town which, while poor, still has lots of wide open spaces, and the castle is gorgeous on the interior. But it's still eighteenth-century France, where Maurice and Belle are shunned and seen as uncanny for being themselves because women are allegedly not supposed to read.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Gaston has a large rather large fanbase who are willing to overlook the fact that he is a chauvinistic, arrogant, murderous Yandere, some to the point that they think Belle is either crazy for rejecting him, or a stupid bitch that he didn't deserve anyway.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Variation -- Chip's voice actor was so popular with the filmmakers that his tiny role was greatly expanded; he replaced another character, a music box, for the most part (the music box was only relegated to a cameo in the final version, specifically right before the battle).
    • The Bimbettes were also given a surprising amount of love from fans as of late, despite their not only being very minor characters (not counting song lyrics, they literally have only one line each in the film), but also being written as anti-Role Models compared to Belle. Although there are some obvious reasons for their popularity, some fans have also noted that they had qualities that made them surprisingly sympathetic as well for why they like them even with their love for Gaston.
  • Fountain of Memes: Gaston. In Youtube Poop he seems to occupy some sort of strange middle ground between Butt Monkey and Memetic Badass...
  • Hate Dumb: An astonishing number of detractors of the film actually say that Belle falls prey to All Girls Want Bad Boys and that an abusive relationship is portrayed positively. How did these people miss that Belle detested the Beast until he stopped being bad and abusive, and by his own choice too? Hell, it's the whole effing point of the "Something There" song! Or that she detested Gaston who has far more bad boy (including not taking no for an answer) traits than the Beast?
    • Heck, as noted in Alternate Character Interpretation above, there's also a growing number of detractors who claim Belle falling for Beast at all was due to Stockholm Syndrome. This is completely ignoring, however, the fact that she if anything was shown to utterly hate the Beast for most of the first night, and even to a lesser degree after the wolf incident, bluntly refusing to dine with him and even managing to make an insulting remark about not wanting to have anything to do with him to the wardrobe, stuff that is completely out of line from someone who suffers from Stockholm Syndrome.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Elisa and Goliath of Gargoyles once spent Halloween as Belle and the Beast. Gargoyles' equivalent of kissing is stroking their lover's hair. Think of this during the 3 times when the Beast runs his fingers through Belle's hair.
    • The film makes a very good Take That to series where the female character falls in love with the male character mostly for his looks (i.e. Twilight, years before it ever existed).
    • An area known as the west wing plays a pretty important role in the movie. It is also stated to be forbidden from access from anyone but the master for most of the film.
    • Dick, one of Gaston's buddies who tries to kill the Beast during the Mob Song, is played by Ron Perlman, who plays the titular Beast in the CBS TV series.
    • It won't be the last time that Jesse Corti would voice an insane villager who rallies up a mob.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: One reason the Richard Purdum version was extensively rewritten to the film we got now is due to Jeffrey Katzenberg denouncing it as "too dark and too dramatic." Remember that rationale when you get to the infamous Black Friday reel for Toy Story, which also nearly got shut down due to being too dark and dramatic in another sense (although, ironically, it was Katzenberg who suggested that Toy Story go that route that time).
  • Ho Yay: LeFou is slavishly devoted to Gaston; some people also read a bit of subtext into Lumiere's interaction with Cogsworth (they certainly do have a bit of Tsundere-esque bickering going on).
  • Informed Attractiveness: Belle. While certainly pretty, she's described as an unparalleled beauty in the movie... which also features the THREE Bimbettes, who are easily as good looking(or better looking, really).
    • Belle's beauty may be as much to do with her being seen as unattainable, unlike the Bimbettes and note that all the attractive women in-universe are all drawn as busty and practically heaving out of their bodices, except for Belle who may intentionally have been drawn as taller and more slender. In short her beauty is meant to be more understated and natural than obvious.
      • Also, it's more of an inner beauty. Of the Disney Princesses, she's the most conservatively dressed and the only brunette, yet she's one of the kindest and most honest of the princesses.
      • Not to mention, the three bimbettes are identical. It may well be the reason that Gaston doesn't turn an eye to one of them despite their beauty--because they've got two other equals right there.
        • This troper would like to add that when he saw the movie and Belle emerged for her dance with the Beast, it is the only time he ever heard audience members whistle their approval at how attractive a cartoon character was.
  • Love to Hate: Gaston.
  • Magnificent Bastard: For all of this evil and his ego, Gaston is an extremely compelling villain with lots of charisma and quite effective actions. While many "fans" miss the point of his character, others do appreciate him for how entertaining and crafty he is.
  • Memetic Badass / Memetic Mutation: No one [verb]s like Gaston -- this is even In-Universe. It's also lampshaded in the reprise in the musical.

 No one thinks up these endless refrains like Gaston!

 NOBODY ORDERS DECAF LIKE GASTON!

    • "Be our guest! Be our guest! Be our guest!"
    • "GET OUT!!!!!!!!!!"
    • Videos that remix the scene where LeFou says "I'll strike up the band!" for Gaston's wedding to make the band play different songs are quite popular.
    • "How can you read this? There's no pictures!"
  • Memetic Molester: While not as well known as his Memetic Badass image, Gaston becomes this whenever Belle's involved.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Gaston. Basically, it's Evil Is Cool (of the Memetic Badass variety) meets Draco in Leather Pants.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Gaston starts out as pretty harmless. An arrogant jackass, but harmless. Then he plots to throw Maurice in the loony bin unless Belle agrees to marry him and plots to kill the Beast because Belle prefers Beast over him, but it's when he quite literally stabs Beast in the back after Beast spared his life that you know he's beyond redemption. It's nowadays a mystery why is he not considered a Complete Monster.
    • It also should be noted that, at least in the original script, the specific reason why he even decided to do something reckless as this was because he intended to kill himself immediately afterwards specifically by jumping off. Yea, he was a lot crazier in initial planning.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In the Broadway production, the servants weren't straightforwardly turned into wacky talking objects. They're cursed to live as hybrid-object-human things that are slowly turning into normal inanimate objects. One wonders whether they'd still be conscious when they've fully transformed or just dead - either is pretty disturbing. Cogsworth and Lumiere (themselves transforming into a clock and a candelabrum respectively) even joke about one man who has turned into a brick wall. Of course, it's really a concession to the fact that the parts have to be played by people - so the scene explains why the clock, candlestick, teapot and others are still "human sized", but it still makes for excellent Nightmare Fuel.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Some of the videogames that are licensed from the Disney movie came off as Nintendo Hard, most notably the 1994 NES version and the 1993 Sega Genesis version called Beauty & the Beast: Roar of the Beast.
  • Scenery Porn/Scenery Gorn: The castle, both before and after the transformation. Suffice it to say, the background painters had loads of fun with this place, and it shows, in every single shot.
  • So Cool It's Awesome: The film is considered to not only be the greatest of the Disney Renaissance (either this or The Lion King), but also one of the greatest animated features ever.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped : This movie puts the inner beauty message right up front, and makes it work quite well -- though not for all viewers.
    • Similarly, the film is very overt about its feminist messaging at times, right down to Belle refusing to marry and acting all independent, plus, you know, initially hating Beast. This was apparently ordered by Jeffrey Katzenberg largely thanks to critics criticizing Ariel for being "cloyingly sexist" for even wanting to go for Eric at all.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: As noted in Unintentionally Sympathetic below, the Bimbettes could have worked perfectly as foils for Belle regarding the moral of "true beauty coming from within", especially as the closest the movie has to the wicked sisters from the original tale. However, barring their fawning for the likes of Gaston, there's not even a hint that they possessed any inner ugliness.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Granted, Beast was intended to be sympathetic from the get go, at least enough to root for him to regain his humanity, but he gets a bit more sympathetic than the writers intended during the blame game after the wolf incident when Belle tends to his wounds. The story frames him as being in the wrong regarding yelling at Belle and blaming him for everything that transpired. Problem is, Beast actually had every reason to be very angry at Belle that time, since she deliberately disobeyed Beast's stipulation during her stay at the castle about not entering the West Wing (and not out of any particularly noble or innocent reasons on her part, based on her "so that's the West Wing" remark.), and more importantly, he just caught Belle about to touch the rose petals, which meant that Belle came very close to (albeit unintentionally and unknowingly) dooming Beast into becoming a literal animal and the servants into being objects forever.
    • The Bimbettes also qualify in the original film as well. Similar to Percy the Pug in Pocahontas, the story clearly framed the triplets as people who the audience should not emulate or root for, depicting them as having the hots for Gaston. However, the problem is they don't showcase any negative qualities beyond that, as they weren't depicted as being jealous of Belle for being Gaston's chosen bride and if anything implied at one point that they had no problem with Gaston choosing Belle even if it meant they never got any chance to be with Gaston (and if anything, were actually shocked, confused, and angry that Belle even refused Gaston at all), nor did they seem to show any awareness about Gaston's true nature until the halfway point. In addition, they also attempted to help set up the wedding at Belle's house, and due to their very shocked reactions to Gaston's arrival, it's implied they were actually setting it up for Belle herself, not Gaston, and due to them being absent from the ending of the first Gaston song up to the final lyrics for the Gaston Reprise, it wasn't even clear if they were even aware of Gaston's evil plan unlike the other villagers inside the tavern at least, and their absence during the actual culmination of the plan indicated they did not support the plan at all. Yet another reason was that they were strongly implied to be bar waitresses in the film, which heavily implied that they, if anything, didn't have a particularly well-off life especially compared to Belle and Maurice (as bar waitresses back then generally were considered of the lower class), with some noting the likelihood that they had crap hours as well. This may have played at least some role in their surprising amount of popularity as of late besides the more obvious reasons.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Belle qualifies to a certain extent, at least in regards to the wolf incident. During the blame game, the story frames Belle as being in the right by not only having her blame Beast but also winning the argument, and indicates she was standing up for herself. However, this is ignoring the fact that Belle had earlier deliberately disobeyed the stipulation that she not enter the West Wing (with her reaction when learning what it was indicating she didn't have any innocent reasons for going in there in the first place), despite the fact that not only did Beast outright tell her not to go in there, but even the servants, who themselves disobeyed a direct order to not feed her during that time, insisted she not go up there. So it comes across less as her standing up for herself so much as not taking any responsibility for her faults or actions. It also doesn't help that her blunt statement on how Beast should learn to control his temper and her teaching him that among others may have also resulted in her indirectly endangering the Beast and his servants later on in the climax, or for that matter the fact that her even trying to leave the castle at all came very close to crossing the Moral Event Horizon due to her explicitly stating she was breaking her promise of not leaving the castle and essentially selling her dad down the river as a result.
    • In one sense, she also comes across as this a bit during the opening song. Although the story tries to frame it as her being shunned by the village for her bookworm status and not finding anyone to talk to, close analysis of the opening song shows that, barring Gaston obviously, none of the townspeople were treating Belle in a significantly cruel manner (even the baker only interrupted her because he clearly had to tend to the baguettes as part of his job), and have even implied a few times that they actually did want her to interact with them, and that if anything, Belle was the one who shunned them, with some choice lyrics implying that she shunned them largely because of their more provincial status (which comes across as even worse). It also doesn't help that, due to the film never directly indicating the circumstances behind her family moving to the town, or indicating any challenges to them simply moving out (especially when her being a bibliophile who is shown in the film to read all day and not do any apparent day-to-day work implies that she and her father have enough wealth to not even need to work), she just seems to complain without actually doing something about her troubles even when she and her dad could simply pack up and leave.[1] At least some viewers have even noted the utter hypocrisy of this situation in a message intended to not judge a book by its cover. This might explain why the 2017 live action remake made the villagers significantly nastier to Belle in the opening song as well as added in Maurice being unwilling to leave the village due to being bedridden as a result of his wife dying from the plague.
    • Ironically, Beast ends up entering this trope during the climax when the villagers were invading the castle when Beast refused to fight off the villagers, or even Gaston. It comes across as extremely problematic when his character growth was supposed to have him care for others, yet made no attempt at defending his turf or even his servants, the closest he has to friends besides Belle (and who would have very likely been killed by the villagers or Gaston himself), let alone himself, especially when Belle wasn't nearby. It also doesn't help that Beast's releasing Belle earlier basically resulted in the possibility of his servants potentially being cursed forever, even though unlike Beast, none of them had actually done anything to deserve the curse.
  • What an Idiot!: So you're being held prisoner by a giant monster with serious temper problems who is starving you because you wouldn't eat dinner with him. So what do you do? You go into the one place in the castle he specifically told you was forbidden. But to be fair, Belle probably wouldn't have given the West Wing a second thought if Beast hadn't specifically mentioned it to her.
    • Also, Belle having to use the mirror to expose the Beast's existence, of all things, to keep her father from going to the Asylum. Honestly, Belle, did you honestly expect Gaston or the rest of the villagers, who were congregated into a lynch mob at the time, to even think that the Beast was friendly, and not try to kill him?
      • To her defense, there really wasn't a ton she could have done. No one was listening to her or her father, and he was being dragged off right then and there.
  • The Woobie:
    • The Beast becomes this right around "Something There". Prior to that, he was a Jerkass Woobie.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Political?: Kind of. Linda Woolverton has indicated in various interviews that she was trying to make a feminist film with a feminist hero, which really shows at times, and Katzenberg apparently had a hand in that. See Some Anvils Need to be Dropped for more details.

TV Series

  • Seasonal Rot: Season Three, in which Catherine dies, is deeply unpopular with a lot of the fanbase.

Other

  • Ending Fatigue: Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve's version goes on for pages and pages after the curse is broken.
  • Values Dissonance: In many versions the prince is cursed because he refused to give hospitality. Given that refusing people shelter in bad weather could be a Matter of Life and Death -- it's not as if they could hop in their car and drive to a hotel -- it was taken very seriously.

Notes

  1. Although prior Disney Princesses didn't exactly escape their troubles in their films, they at least possessed an in-story reason for not doing so. In particular, Snow White largely being oblivious to her stepmother trying to kill her, and even when she did flee when learning from the Huntsman that she was the target of an assassination, the queen still tracked her down; Cinderella, due to the setting of the film, would not have been legally able to leave her house without having even worse troubles ahead of her; Aurora was completely unaware of her cursed fate and thus had no way to escape from it; and Ariel had the obvious physical limitations of her mermaid form preventing her from simply living among humanity that way, not to mention that, besides Ursula, the only person capable of turning her into a human, King Triton, was explicitly shown to be xenophobic against Humanity. Belle ultimately did not have such reasons in the film either directly stated or otherwise strongly implied.
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