Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Don't Judge a Book by its Cover

The hopeless romantic inside me died a little bit as I watched Walt Disney's and Mandeville Films new production of "Beauty and the Beast". The musical romantic fantasy story line is not anything new as it was first produced in 1991. The film as a young girl was just a love story, which it still is. However, now re-watching the newly produced "Beauty and the Beast" again as an adult woman,, the story line taught and meant so much more.

It is evident that films and TV shows are not always created in good nature, teaching us in society bad habits, as well as good. Often times in today's world we "hear dire tales of addiction, violence, mindless escapism," etc (Petracca & Sorapure, pg 190). These shows are often assumed that they are bad for us, however, it is noted that the media has gained a sense of producing reality, instead of producing clear morals. "The real world doesn't come in nicely packaged public-service announcements, and we're better off with entertainment that reflects our fallen state with all its ethical ambiguity," (Petracca & Sorapure, pg 190).  We cannot deny that there are negative messages produced from the media today, but not all are negative in nature .

"Beauty and the Beast" tells the story of a Prince who ultimately was raised by his father after his mother's passing, who was not a good role-model or example to him while growing up. This left the prince living in a superficial world with all life's "riches".  One evening an unknown woman came into the castle and gifted the prince with a rose in request of shelter for the evening. The prince noticed the woman's appearance and declined her stay. In result the woman revealed her disguise as an enchantress who cast a spell transforming the prince into the beast and his servants into household objects.
On the other side of the land in a small village, there was Belle. A beautiful woman who was unlike the other women in the village. Belle was “quite peculiar” who loved her father and loved to read. Belle had her head on straight and knew what she wanted. For example Gaston, a former soldier, desperately begged for Belle’s hand in marriage, she did not hesitate in telling him that is not what she wanted and she would never marry him.
After Belle’s father found himself as a prisoner in an unknown castle, Belle journied to find her father. It was during this time she came across the Beast. It was not love at first sight between the two. However, after Belle was rescued by the beast when she fled from the castle, after being held as a prisoner in place of her father, she began to care for him. Belle disclosed him as kind and caring after spending more time with the Beast. On the other hand the Beast began to have feelings for Belle. The lyrics in the song Something There explained their feelings...
There's something sweet and almost kind
But he was mean and he was coarse and unrefined
And now he's dear and so I'm sure
I wonder why I didn't see it there before
She glanced this way, I thought I saw
And when we touched she didn't shudder at my paw
No, it can't be, I'll just ignore
But then she's never looked at me that way before
New and a bit alarming
Who'd have ever thought that this could be
True, that he's no Prince Charming
But there's something in him that I simply didn't see

Without going into too much detail and explaining the rest of the movie, the two end up falling in love. After the enchanted rose had lost all of the petals and the Beast was dead, it was Belle's love that brought him back as a human and broke the curse.
This is a romantic love story. However, I think there is much more to learn from the story line. The Beast was one who lived in a superficial world in a sense, and Belle was a pure woman who was kind and had open arms in accepting the Beast as he was, looks all set aside. To young girls, teens, and older adult women this story tells us that it is not always looks or the riches one may have, but what is on the inside that counts. This also tells us that when we are too involved in looks and "worldly" things, we take our eye off of what is most important and valuable in life. When we are too focused on things that are ultimately not valuable to us, we are subject to losing sight of our true happiness and blessings in life.
Discussion Questions:
     1. Is there a particular movie you have learned from that was not necessarily factual information? 2. Do you think it is easier to notice the bad represented in a movie compared to the good? Why or why not?

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