Disneyfication of the Beauty and the Beast Folklore

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The Disneyfication of Beauty and the Beast Folklore
SUBJECT: Theatre
Kendra Sabina 9L

The later Disney revisions follow this same formula, even though young adult women’s values have changed. Modern values override the archetypal storyline in Beauty and the Beast as well. Madame Gabrielle de Villenueve wrote the first version of Beauty and the Beast in 1740. Disney has made many changes from that original. For example, there is a battle in the end of the Disney movie instead of a journey. Disney made the final scenes a fight between two guys over girl, diminishing her role. In the original version, she has returned to him after a visit to her family, deciding to return to him out of a sense of duty, and a love she does not realize until she fights through the forest and reaches him. Again, the meaning is lost in the Disney retelling. Disney tries to return to the archetype and in the end, as the Beast lay dying, she does declare her love for him and he transforms into a prince. Belle seems like a good role model, she reads and sees through Gaston’s handsome exterior, but she still is demeaned into a prize to be protected and won by the end of the movie.

Structurally, we’ve lost Beauty as hero: she who instigated the action by asking for a rose no longer asks for a rose; she who almost killed the Beast with her lack of perception but instead saved him by developing perception becomes an observer of two guys fighting over a girl. May the best man win. He does, but the woman has lost in the process. It’s not enough to pay lip service to women’s intelligence by propping a book up in front of a gorgeous female or showing her disdain for a macho suitor, when she’s been denuded of her real power. Doesn’t all this reflect and ongoing condition in our society? Some of us don’t like what we see here because we are seeing what’s...
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