Beauty and the Beast was more than a Disney movie for me. It was a lesson to become more, to want more, do more, and love more. It had so much impact on my young mind that I can see the fearless-book-loving Belle reflected in my morals and decisions. With the release of the new Beauty and the Beast, I can’t help but consider how the original Disney movie influenced my life and well-being.
So a little bit of fun facts about the original Beauty and the Beast to start off with. The movie was released on November 11, 1991. That was 25 years ago. For me, it feels like it was just released; the story never got old for me, it was a classic. In the past 25 years, there have been spin offs and remakes, but nothing can compare to the original.
Belle, of course, is my favorite character and heroine. She was voiced by the amazing Paige O’Hara. Her vicious beast was voiced by Robby Benson. The cast was terrific and well matched, the cast created the iconic “Beauty and the Beast” song. It still surprises me today that a supporting character, Mrs. Potts, was granted such a beautiful song. This song went on to win an Oscar in 1992. The movie also received another Oscar and it was for Best Music because the movie had depth, it wasn’t just the story but the whole ambiance of the movie.
The whole point of Beauty and the Beast was to teach a life lesson. Belle became an inspiration to all young girls. It said, be you, no matter what society thinks. Belle followed her passion and her love for books, even though everyone told her she was strange and women weren’t supposed to read. She defied society’s norm and she didn’t need some “Gaston” to make her happy. She saw the fake lust and desire in him. She wanted true and unconditional love. Belle was awesome as she made a sacrifice of her life so that her father could leave and return to a normal life. She didn’t need some hero in shining armor, she could save her own damn life.
But, that’s what I wanted to be. I wanted to be someone who defied the norms. I wanted an unconditional love. Looking at myself today, I am strong and independent. I love to read because I can see the book in my head, like a movie. I travel within my head when I read a book; I travel to their universe. I love only those who are true to me. Those that understand and accept who I am are my best of friends. I became my own hero and I do not depend on anyone to fulfill my happiness.
So, thank you. Thank you Belle and, thank you Disney for showing a young girl exactly what she’s capable of. Everything.