How The Disney Film 'Beauty And The Beast' Represent Women


Beauty and the Beast is a film that Disney released in 1991. It was directed by Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale. The storyline is about a youthful girl who is pursed by a vial older man. In order to save the life of her father, she becomes a prisoner in a bewitched castle. During her stay, she explores the castle and becomes friends with the servants who have all been turned into furniture. She also begins to connect with the Master of the castle who was turned into a hideous Beast by a gypsy woman. Over time she opens his eyes to love and kindness. After he falls in love with her, she is released from her bonds to the castle. The townsman who wanted Belle all to his self goes on to fight the Beast and she has to return to the castle to save him and break the spell he is under with true love’s kiss.

Belle was designed to come across as a modern heroine who was active and also feminist. People who were polled about the movie agreed that Belle was intelligent and strong minded. She was considered a devoted daughter and brave. She was a romantic who loved a good fairytale, but she was also considered adventurous. Initially, Belle is seen in a positive light.

Belle has been referred to as a feminist mainly because of her love of books and for not accepting the advances of the townsman Gaston. She casts aside her longing for adventure to settle into a marriage with the Beast. Some would argue that this shows the heroine as stupid instead of intelligent. Many people would argue that this representation of Belle in the movie is not a good reflection of women overall. They said the movie itself is contradictory based on the time period the movie is set in. A female in those days was not likely to have a passion for books or know at all how to read.

On screen as she is seen to represent a woman who is independent and cleaver, in actuality she is found to be wicked and overbearing in society’s point of view. The implications to this theory are that women who are independent are actually seen by society as morally unacceptable. Furthermore, the character is seen as unacceptable because of her intelligence and her blatant refusal to accept the marriage proposal from the townsman, Gaston.

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