by Tierra Sims
Lauryn Hill said it best, “Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem.” You can’t expect to be treated great if you don’t exude great qualities. I believe that love is one of the greatest things we can expect and hope for. If you don’t believe that you deserve love and are capable of loving someone else, you may never experience the gift of love. In 1991, Walt Disney Studios recreated their 30th animated feature film, Beauty and the Beast, in hopes of appealing to every member in families, young and old. (This film was for your babies, and your grannies!) The movie was released during the Disney Renaissance Period. This was time when the best writers, musicians and filmmakers came together to produce films. During this period from 1989 to 1999, Disney got their swagger back and started producing successful animated films again such as Pocahontas, Hercules, and Mulan. The movie was produced by Don Hahn, who produced the classic The Lion King, and is the highest grossing traditionally animated film in history. (Buddy knew what he was doing!) But Beauty and the Beast was said to have been the finest animated movie ever made.
In the film, the Beast was an arrogant young Prince. One cold winter’s night, a beautiful woman disguised as a beggar knocked on his door looking for shelter in exchange for a single rose. The Beast turned her away. She warned him not to judge her outer appearance but still he resisted her. She revealed her true beauty and cursed him and his servants in return. The rose she offered was truly an enchanted rose that would bloom until he turned 21. If he could learn to love another, and earn her love in return by the time the last pedal fell, the spell would be broken. If not, he would remain a beast for all eternity. In the end, the Beast learned the lessons of love, the spell was broken, and Belle and the Beast lived happily ever after! YAAAAAY!!
The Beast had some personal issues to overcome before he could find this true love. His temper almost cost him his happy ending. There is a scene in the movie where he yells at Belle and she decides to run away (She was a “strong independent woman who didn’t need no man”… or beast). Had he not put his pride to the side and ran after her, him and his servants would have been doomed to a lifetime of misery due to the unbroken curse. The Beast also had to learn a lesson of humility. During his transformation into a loving person, he gave Belle her own library. This act of kindness resulted in Belle softening her heart to him. Through his own self-improvement and treating her well, Belle learned to love him regardless of his outer appearance and ultimately this love is what broke the curse.
Growing up I never really understood the message behind the movie. It wasn’t until after I experienced love and heartbreak that I got a grasp of the movies concept. I remember at about 18 years old, I was sitting in my room crying and singing along to “Beauty and the Beast” (My favorite scene in the movie). At that moment, I realized how meaningful this movie really is. It teaches you that love is an emotion that anyone can capture. Love is attainable as long as you believe in yourself and can find someone who believes in you just as much. You also have to be willing to put your pride to the side and treat others how you want to be treated. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said in part, “Like a stained glass window, when darkness sets in, true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within”.