The Deconstruction of Beauty and the Beast #pfmessages

This post was created in response to an invitation from Sarah at The Yachtless, in which she tasked fellow bloggers to discuss the hidden messages about personal finance in fiction. Challenge accepted! You can follow along on Twitter: #pfmessages

belle and the beast
The Disney version of Beauty and the Beast is a classic case of The Stockholm Syndrome, in which a prisoner develops feelings for their captor. While this is not an original idea, I did want to explore what actually led Belle to fall in love with the Beast. No, it wasn’t The Beast’s warmth and kindness, or the fact that he saved her life (after putting her in danger in the first place).

She fell in love because The Beast was rich. Filthy, stinking, rich. Allow me to explain.

I Ain’t Saying She’s a Gold Digger…
belle books
Belle was a small town girl with big city dreams who wanted to move out from her provincial life. The only problem? She didn’t have any means to make this dream happen for herself. As a person who read books all day, she didn’t have many marketable skills. I’m not sure what the salary range is for librarians in those days, but I’m pretty sure it was not enough to travel the world. Belle needed someone to support her. She couldn’t rely on her father the failed inventor, nor any of the men in the village who did not aspire to do much with their lives. Belle needed a suitor that would be able to provide her with the adventures that she was seeking. She needed a man with money. A lot of it.

Enter The Beast
Through the course of the movie The Beast was able to get Belle to fall in love with him large part because of his considerable wealth. He had a magnificent castle, a gigantic library, and most importantly – a friendly staff. The song “Be Our Guest” is essentially the staff brain washing Belle into being content with her captivity through the use of fine dining and musical theater. Belle fell in love with the Beast because she realized that he would be able to afford a lifestyle full of adventures and traveling.

The Real Villain of Beauty and the Beast
The Enchantress introduced in the beginning was the true villain of the story. Since Lumiere mentions that everyone in the castle has been cursed for 10 years and the magic rose was set to fall when The Beast turns 21, that would make The Prince 11 years old when he turned into The Beast. There was also no mention of parents or siblings, so we can assume that The Prince was an orphan. With a childhood like that, it should be perfectly understandable that a wealthy eleven year old boy would be a little selfish and self absorbed.

Dressing up as a poor beggar and testing the kindness of an eleven year old prince was just some cruel game to The Enchantress. The prince had every right to turn her away – he didn’t know if she was coming to steal his riches.

Turns out she took much more than his wealth. She took ten years of his life. Not only did she turn the prince into The Beast, but she cursed the whole staff. They did nothing to deserve that fate.

I mean, what did she gain by cursing the whole castle anyways?

screenshots courtesy of Disney Screencaps

14 thoughts on “The Deconstruction of Beauty and the Beast #pfmessages

  1. Wait, was the last petal really going to fall when he turned 21? I totally didn’t remember that — that’s so young!! And in that case I’m totally with you: messing with an 11-year-old child and ruining 10 years of his life is seriously not okay.

    You know, I’d never thought about it, but the clock and the candelabra do kind of use the trappings of wealth to convince Belle to fall in love with the Beast. I mean, they’re also really cute and friendly, so that didn’t hurt, but the fancy silverware didn’t hurt either! Same with the huge library; I remember that was a pretty compelling point in favor of the Beast.

    Man, and to think I thought this movie was just an innocent love story!

    I’ll tweet this in the am 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think if we looked deep enough, we could find plenty of plot holes in those Disney movies, haha.

      They don’t explicitly state that The Prince was 11, but the numbers add up. If you Google “The Beast 11” it there’s a lot of results!

      The whole Be Our Guest was the staff flaunting how awesome the castle is! I mean showing a bookworm a huge library? How could she not fall in love with The Beast then?

      Such a great movie. Sorry that I ruined it for you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I could go on and on about hidden messages in Disney flicks!

      For instance – Little Mermaid is about superficial love. Ariel and Eric never actually met in person til the end, and they’re willing to put their lives on the line for each other? Craziness. 😉


  2. Oh man, as much as I love Disney – of course there are always underlying tones & messages. 🙂 Yes, it is incredibly true that Belle was swept away by the wealth aspects! I mean, who wouldn’t get swept away while waltzing to “Tale as Old as Time” with gorgeous art swirling above lol. It would have been interesting to see what the Beast could have learned in those 11 years that were taken away from him?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This post is hilarious – the catchy tune was just “brain washing Belle into being content with her captivity through the use of fine dining and musical theater.”

    Disney movies have been criticized quite often for being too chauvinistic, but no one really talks about the messages they send about money. Aren’t they all gold diggers? They search for rich princes to marry instead of settling for a commoner. Or, in the case of Aladdin, the street rat pines for a rich princess. The end of the movie usually focuses on some lavish wedding, as opposed to saving up to buy a house (or castle). The message seems to be that you won’t be happy unless you are ridiculously wealthy and royalty.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Harmony! I think you’re right – they’re all gold diggers! Ariel fell in love with Eric because he was a prince too. Cinderella wanted to shack up with Prince Charming because of his beautiful castle. The one who wasn’t rich, a prince, or good looking is Quasimodo from Hunchback – and he didn’t get the girl in the end.

      My childhood is ruined 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My childhood was filled with Disney movies and the promise of becoming royalty one day. It’s absolutely crazy and this “Disney princess” case makes me want to hurl. Is the best that girls can hope for is to marry wealthy?! Really?! Your post was hilarious. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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