Romantic Concepts Of Love In Disney Film Beauty And The Beast

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It is understood that the media shape our notions of love (Illuz, 1997). Therefore romantic messages in children’s films should be examined in order to determine whether unrealistic romantic ideals are being pushed toward young impressionable audiences. This paper will examine the romantic plotlines in the Disney musical film “Beauty and the Beast” using the feminist and post-modern critiques of love.
The film begins with a fairytale prologue in which a prince is cursed for his selfishness by an enchantress. The prince will retain the form of a beast until he can learn to love another, if he fails to do so by his twenty first birthday he will remain a beast forever. In a nearby village, a young female protagonist expresses dissatisfaction with her “provincial life”. Belle is considered strange by the other villagers as she reads books and longs for adventure in place of traditional domesticity. She rejects the advances of Gaston, the most eligible bachelor in town. Her father loses his way and ends up imprisoned by the beast. Belle offers to sacrifice her freedom and takes his place. The Beast is course and rude but eventually thaws, recognizing this may be his only chance to break the enchantment. The Beast and Belle fall in love but a crisis in the village causes Belle to leave and protect her father. Gaston realizes that Belle is in love with The Beast, and leads a mob to kill him and win Belles heart. Gaston fatally wounds The Beast but Belle’s confession of love breaks

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