Tag Archives: beauty and the beast

Fresh Content Day 42: The Podcast That Will Never Be

So I’ve dropped this topic on a few recent episodes of the podcast, I’ve hinted at an upcoming episode I’d like to have where I discuss some parts of some classic Disney movies that are overlooked in the grand scheme of the story. At the time, I told you to give me a classic Disney feature animation, and I’d find at least one thing to complain about.

Well, y’all forgot to submit your entries to be a part of the show, so I’m taking matters into my own hands.

There may be more to this down the road, but these are two big issues I have with two high-profile Disney cartoons from my childhood. But they are things I didn’t really consider until recently.

In 1989’s The Little Mermaid, Ariel escapes to her cave of wonders, where her collection of human trinkets is, well, it’s massive. She has more crap that she found on the bottom of the ocean than I packed up and put in the moving truck last year when we relocated. In her song Part of That World, she sings:

Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete?
Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl, The girl who has everything?
Look at this trove, treasures untold. How many wonders can one cavern hold?
Lookin’ around here you’d think ‘Sure, she’s got everything,’

I’ve got gadgets and gizmos aplenty.
I’ve got whooz-its and whatz-its galore.
You want thingamabobs? I got twenty.
But who cares? No big deal. I want more.

Now, I’ve never been a sea princess. I haven’t been a land princess for that matter, either. But what does it tell the young, impressionable children watching this movie? “No matter how much you have, it’s not enough.” Now that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. You can work hard to achieve your goals.

But that’s not how the movie plays out. With the help of the sea witch Ursula, she trades her voice for some legs. And then with the help of her friends, she tries to get Prince Eric to fall in love with her. It is complicated when Ursula shows up, yadda yadda, you know the story.

It just seems to me that the “I have so much, but I need more to be happy” mentality is part of this wave of entitlement that has been around out society for much of this millennium. Now I’m not blaming Disney, but it could certainly be a factor. Also…that’s very old-man of me. And I get that. And it’s not a plot hole, unlike our next venture.

The second part is this post centers on Beauty and the Beast, and is all plot hole. Recall if you will that Belle leaves the castle to go check on her father. While there, Maurice is about to be taken to the asylum. Belle pleads on behalf of her father, who had already claimed to see a beastly, monstrous creature. No one believes him. So when Belle whips out the magic mirror to prove her father isn’t crazy. They see the Beast in the viewer, and of course, it’s the wild-eyed, evil Beast. Not the calm, more sophisticated Beast that Belle grew to love. What happens next?

Gaston whips the mob into a frenzy, saying the Beast needs to be killed before he wreaks havoc on the village.


That spell has been on the castle for a decade, and the villagers didn’t even know about it. They had no idea there was a Beast. They go from clueless to concerned in just a few seconds. Aside from a couple images of a creature on the magic mirror, there has been no proof that the Beast is dangerous. Furthermore, the Beast has no history of attacking the village.

Seriously…with absolutely no cause other than to puff his chest out and add a trophy to his wall, Gaston incites a riot and marches on the castle, and his undoing.

It’s just a problem I’ve encountered with Beauty and the Beast. It unnerves me more than the Stockholm Syndrome aspect.

So that’s what I wanted to talk about today.

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Fresh Content Day 10: Disney Tries to Out-Do Disney

Maleficent. Alice in Wonderland. Cinderella. The Jungle Book. Beauty and the Beast. The Little Mermaid. And on and on.

Walt Disney Studios is bringing some of your favorite animated characters back to life on the big screen in live-action versions of some of their cartoon classics. What began with a retelling of the sleeping beauty story has made possible seemingly every cartoon in the Disney “vault.”

I really enjoyed Maleficent as a being told from the “villain’s” point of view, casting a dark shadow on The noble King Stefan and painting of the traditional evil witch in a sympathetic, albeit victim/survivors light. Sleeping Beauty is a movie I remember fondly from my childhood. We didn’t have many movies on VHS, and the ones that we did have were always copied from one cassette to another or recorded from television. The Disney movies that we did have, like Sleeping Beauty, work copies my aunt had made for us from her official VHS tape’s. So I probably watch more Sleeping Beauty than I should have growing up, but it’s a simple tail with a happy ending. “Good triumphs over evil, the wicked get what they deserve.” The movie Maleficent took that notion and spend it on his head.

I admit that I have never seen the live action version of Cinderella. I haven’t seen the cartoon in over 25 years. I don’t even know who stars in the movie. I don’t know how close it is to the cartoon. So I can’t comment on that.

I have to say that I enjoyed Alice in Wonderland, as well as the sequel Through the Looking Glass. Good fun movies. I’d say there easy maybe more focus on the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) than there needed to be. But it’s Johnny Depp, and he’s the “name,” the star power. But they told a good tale, and one that was visually striking.

The Jungle Book was a critical and box office success, and just like its animated predecessor, showed you could do a lot with anthropomorphic mammals. Jon Favreau is a genius. We’ve said that before. My sister saw the movie before me and asked me if I liked the original. When I said I did, she said “you probably won’t like this one. It’s really dark.” I’ll tell you what I didn’t like about it…they took away the damn vultures!

Now…here’s where we may have jumped the land shark (good brew, by the way). When you have an animated movie with talking and singing animals, why would you make a movie that’s largely computer-animated with the same types of animals saying the same words and singing the same songs? Favreau has an upcoming project coming out which you may or may not have heard of. The Lion King. The Lion King has been hugely globally popular since it came out. They turned it into a Broadway show. The soundtrack is the best-selling soundtrack album to an animated feature in the United States.

So how do you improve on that?

But Disney is also casting for a live-action Aladdin movie. It was Universal Studios that was making a Little Mermaid re-imagining, but that project has been out of the headlines since Chloe Moretz dropped out last September.

And a Dumbo movie…that’s apparently a very real thing.

Now on to Beauty and the Beast, which hits theaters next week. It has enough of a blend of human and non-human entities that it can be a reasonable re-telling. Now don’t get me wrong…this movie will be able to print its own money. But you’ll be able to substitute the animated humans with actual humans, so it makes more sense than a cartoon animal to a better looking cartoon animal.

Since I don’t know when I’ll talk about it again I HAVE to bring up the issue of LeFou, Gaston’s hetero-lifemate that we found out last week is a little less hetero in this movie. And that’s fine. I don’t care. I doubt it will have any bearing on the actual plot of the movie. My biggest question is will we get an Olaf sighting?

Allow me to remind you…Josh Gad plays LeFou. Josh Gad also voiced Olaf in the movie Frozen. You may have heard of it. Well, in the 1991 version, LeFou is incognito, hiding outside Belle and Maurice’s home and he is…YOU GUESSED IT…A SNOWMAN!!!

It’s a simple Easter Egg they could slip in. I hope they do.