Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Beauty and the Beast, or How Everything I Know I Learnt from Animation

Singing with Belle Edition

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Dir. Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise

This might just be the greatest animated movie of all time (and, for all those who love statistics and trivia: it is the only animated feature to be ever nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars - how Toy Story didn't manage to repeat that feat in 1996 is beyond me, I have yet to see that pig movie, but I can't anticipate liking it more than John Lassetter's brilliant toy-movie; of course there are a couple of other animated features that might also (read: should) have been nommed. I am thinking of Ratatouille [which reaped a total of six nominations and one win!), but now that the Academy has ghettoized animation Beauty and the Beast's surprise (but well-earned) nomination might never happen again, though I have high hopes for Wall-E, which POP COLONY has got me even MORE excited for!) But I digress.
I have seen this film far too many times - it was a staple at home on lazy Sunday afternoons, and the VHS was constantly on top of the VCR throughout all my summer holidays. You probably don't understand how much I love this movie: I wished I had musical numbers happen around me, I wanted to be Lumiere, I longed for Belle's library, I dreamed of owning Beast's castle... and I wanted nothing else than to beat up Gaston (whoever said a good Disney villain makes a movie might not have been thinking of Gaston, but oh how I love to hate him!)
So, without further ado I give you 7 Things I Learnt from (re and re)watching Disney's Beauty and the Beast:

1. Reading is important - it teaches you everything you need to learn to be able to look down on 'simple townspeople' and fantasize about far out places, daring swordfights, magic spells and princes in disguise ::sigh::
2. Heterosexual men are dumb. Throw rocks at them (or maybe just their stinky muddy boots). Okay, maybe not all of them. Just the hunting type het-men who eat five dozen eggs for breakfast and have incredibly thick necks. 21st Century Gastons: protein shake gym/athletic jocks ::barf::
3. Brunettes > Blonds. Especially when brunettes read (See #1) and blonds just swoon and come in packs of three ::rolls eyes::
4. Servants want to serve me. They wish I were they guest! "For a servant who's not serving/ He's not whole without a soul to wait upon" sings Lumiere, and I'll believe anything a flaming (candle)stick tells me ::wink::
5. Beauty lies within. I know, it's a cliché, but if anyone has a patent on clichés, it's good old Walt - so I'll let 'im have this one ::smile::
6. It logically follows then that Prince Charmings come in all shapes and sizes. Yep, no need to wait for an Eric or a Phillip - B&B teaches us our Prince Charming might be buried under a rough and hairy exterior, y'cubs out there taking notes? ::smirk::
7. "If it is not Baroque... don't fix it" ::tongue in cheek::

Also, on the more practical side Belle and her friends taught me that
- books should be kept away from sheep (they'll chew on everything!)
- I shouldn't go out into the winter cold where wolves abound (unless I have a certified Beast bodyguard)
- mobs don't mesh well with such bizarre things like 'logic' and 'witness accounts'
- I shouldn't plan a wedding without proposing first
- everything is a weapon (scissors? okay true... boiling water? yah, I'll give you that... but a makeover in a closet? that's impressive!)
And many more...

Check out past "Everything I Know..."

Pixar Edition
Lilo & Sticth
The Smurfs


Vance said...

Beauty and the Beast was my first musical I saw on Broadway way back when it first opened!

Funny, I was just sprouting off BatB's nomintation to my friends last night at dinner, but noting Ratatouille, Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles should have been nominated for Best Picture too, yet get relegated to the Best Animated categories.

btw, I still use the baroque line and laugh at myself when I do...

I know. I'm so cool.

Manuel B said...

And don't let anyone tell you otherwise ;-)

POP COLONY said...

When Toni was Belle I always imagined a Darkchild Remix of "Bell"-Bonjour Darkchild!

BTW: Lesson #1 reminds me of the time I saw a prostitute reading a book while waiting for a call. I bet you she charged a premium for being the Literate Ho.