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Beauty and the Beast - Animated Movie Review

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

This is the last of my Disney review series, and unfortunately, not my favorite. So I'll start with some positives. As always, I loved the art style and music; my favorite song in the movie was "Be My Guest." I did not like the obviousness of the plot; I cannot tell you how many Disney films end on the premise of finding true love at the end of the film, which I think gets poorly done in most of them. Though, I did feel some good parts were well-executed with good takeaways.

What I mostly did not like about the movie was the poor writing of one-dimensional characters and predictable endings. Everything about Belle is pretty superficial until the end. Gaston is your traditional, classically good-looking, womanizing narcissist, and the townspeople are boring copy-and-paste echo chambers of themselves. I did not like Gaston. From the second Gaston was conceived, he had an ego the size of France, felt that he was a God’s gift to women, and did not grow a single bit in this entire film. However, his arrogance made him the perfect candidate to play the "villain, and I am happy that he got what he deserved for being such a hateful person.

To Belle's merits, though, I thought she was excellent in representing many positive aspects of women. I believe it is important to remember that Belle did what she did out of love for her father. More than anything else, she understands that the Beast is not all bad, though. I think you can attribute most of it to Stockholm Syndrome.

I think the best takeaway from this film is not to judge a book by its cover and also that looks are not everything, a lesson I do feel is essential for everybody to learn. I think this movie also illustrates how easy it is to hate something and how easy it is to stir hate for something. Human beings are always afraid of what they do not understand. It is an understandable feeling, especially given that the townspeople do not understand magic.

I am glad, however, that Disney learned from its mistakes and is starting to make more nuanced characters, such as in Frozen. Despite all the things I didn't like, the biggest thing I would have changed in the animated Beauty and the Beast is to have Gaston learn his lesson before he died. Also, have him apologize to Belle for annoying her so often. This movie is loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s grim fairytales. This isn't the first Disney movie I'd recommend, but if you're into cliche love stories, this might be for you. Have you seen this film, and if so, what do you think of it?

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