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6: Deep Thoughts About Disney's Beauty & the Beast

Updated: Jul 1

October 3, 2023

Tale as old as time? It’s old, alright. True as it can be? Hmm, about that… Beauty and the Beast is an old and not-so-necessary model for romantic love. 

Hiding in the remarkable Howard Ashman score is a not-like-other-girls feminism and a reified classism that isolates poor Belle and gives her no choice but to fall for her captor. Emily and Tracie grapple with the conditioning from this movie (and so many other sources) that invites us to find meaning and satisfaction in providing kindness and accommodation to beasts in order to transform them into husbands. 

We dig into the ways in which the Disney version of the story, with its animated inanimate objects, provides a deeper and more intransigent rendering of the class differences assumed by the story, and find some comfort when imagining the beast as an allegory for self-hatred.

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