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  • Accidental Aesop:
    • The townsfolk repeatedly call Belle "strange" and "odd", presumably because she is a bookworm and ignores the local jerk everyone else falls head over heels for, but Belle is quite clearly the protagonist and many of the villagers are not portrayed positively. So the lesson of the song is, "Remain true to yourself despite what others may think".
    • LeFou and Gaston's relationship seems to be a warning against toxic friendships. Gaston mistreats LeFou constantly, while LeFou enables Gaston's obsessive behavior with his Pep-Talk Song. Some people, despite their good intentions, can bring out the worst in each other.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • "Barely even friends, then somebody bends unexpectedly."
    • Gaston's Villain Song includes the line "You can ask any Tom, Dick, or Stanley/ And they'd tell you whose team they'd prefer to be on!" So, Even the Guys Want Him?
    • "And every last inch of me's covered in hair!"
    • When the Wardrobe opens her doors and is embarrassed to see moths fly out, the scene can instead make it seem like she accidentally flashed Belle due to the placement of the doors and her face being on top. Perhaps intentionally, the 2017 version averts this by placing her face inside the cabinet and letting the moths fly out of a drawer instead.
  • Adorkable: Belle's father. Just look at that face after a hunk of wood clonks him when it's thrown from his chopping machine.
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation:
    • Some people have argued that the Beast's story is a metaphor for the AIDS crisis of the gay community in the 1980's, when the movie was made (there's even Reality Subtext here, as composer Howard Ashman died of AIDS just before the film was released). The argument goes as follows: the Beast is hit with a debilitating curse that strips him of his humanity; he's forced to live in complete isolation, hating the world that he was once a part of; the villagers, upon hearing about the Beast, give into threats that he'll harm their children and generally express their hatred of anything unlike themselves ("we don't like what we don't understand, in fact it scares us, and this monster is mysterious at least..."), with the (straight) men of the town deciding to brutally attack and kill the "different" person; and they're led by an extremely macho villain who is wholly motivated by his heterosexuality and spreads baseless lies about the Beast for his own gain. This is even more apparent in the Broadway version, where it's made clear that the enchantress' spell works like an illness that gradually makes the Beast grow worse.note  This does not quite seem to work with the ending breaking the spell through true love (would that imply that AIDS can be cured by true love?), potentially implying that AIDS makes you monstrous, homosexuals are monstrous, and a woman falling in love with the Beast cures AIDS/homosexuality.
    • Another interpretation of the Beast's story is that it could be a trans metaphor, as he finds himself trapped in a body that just doesn't match what he really wants to be (in this case, a human rather than another gender), and becomes convinced that this made him too unusual to have any real place in society—didn't help that he was nearly killed in a violent assault motivated by the bigotry that the villagers experienced after they found out the truth about him. Belle, while hesitant at first, finds that she must learn to accept him for what his outward appearance originally presented him to be as well as for who he is after "transitioning" into being what he's always wanted to be, to the point where, when she gazes into his eyes while being initially surprised by this sudden change, Belle immediately realizes that he's the same person she fell in love with and wholeheartedly accepts his new form.
    • Even though it was intentionally a joke review by a satirical website, some have noted that The Onion's review of the movie where it interprets the Beast's struggle as a metaphor for Bears (larger, hairier men) in the LGBT community before they reached larger acceptance, is an interpretation that doesn't really contradict anything in the film's message. Yes it claims that every male character in the movie is gay and that Belle is a stand-in for the conventional gay man of the time to skirt around social taboos, but behind all of that it still carries through the film's idea of not being ashamed of yourself and be the best "you" that you can be, instead of letting society dictate it. Though as many in the comments pointed out, this entire theory shoots itself in the foot with the ending when the spell is broken and "he turns back into just another twink".
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Has its own page.
  • Alternative Joke Interpretation:
    • When Belle calls Gaston "primeval", he replies "Why, thank you". It seems as if the joke is that he doesn't actually know what the word means, but given his Anti-Intellectualism, it could also be interpreted as him knowing what it means and genuinely thinking it's a good thing.
    • When Gaston sings, "LeFou, I'm afraid I've been thinking," LeFou replies, "A dangerous pastime." Does he mean "thinking in general is dangerous" because he knows that's how Gaston views thinking (see his earlier conversation with Belle about reading), or does he mean it's dangerous for other people when Gaston starts thinking and scheming?
  • Animation Age Ghetto: By most metrics an aversion, with it being a critical darling and respected film to this day on par with many live-action musicals. However, this trope may have cost the film Best Picture back in the day.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Gaston's final battle against Beast can come off feeling a tad underwhelming. Not only is the fight relatively short, but most of it consists of Gaston just swinging around a piece of the castle as a club, and hardly hitting anything. He also has a particularly inglorious instance of a Disney Villain Death, since his fall isnít due to any dramatic extenuating circumstances. He just loses his grip after stabbing the Beast, slips, and goes tumbling down into the castleís moat.
  • Anvilicious: "True beauty lies within."
  • Audience-Coloring Adaptation: This Disney film has become the defining version of the "Beauty and the Beast" fairy tale, even more so than the 1946 French film that it took some of its cues from. Disney's version is heavily ingrained in the mind whenever someone thinks about the story - from the action taking place in France, to the heroine's name being Belle and her characterization as an intelligent, strong-willed bookworm instead of the blander Beauty from the original tale, to the Beast having been cursed for his selfishness and needing to learn how to become kinder over the course of the story instead of being a generally decent man who merely ran afoul of an evil fairy, and the rest of the castle being enchanted too. Any modern Beauty & the Beast adaptations or retellings will often homage or takes these elements from Disney's version in some way (which itself homages Jean Cocteau's version). Even compare the live action remake to that of Cinderella; the latter was a loose remake that was more like a different interpretation. Beauty and the Beast (2017) was a direct remake of the Disney film.
  • Award Snub:
    • The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, but ultimately lost.note  Not that terrible, considering it lost to The Silence of the Lambs, another acclaimed movie of a genre usually underappreciated by the Academy (not to mention "Lambs" has a similar "Beauty and the Beast" theme).
    • There's still arguments over "Be Our Guest" losing to the titular "Beauty And the Beast" for Best Song. With "Be Our Guest" being a rousing, toe-tapping number vs. "Beauty and the Beast" being a powerful, romantic ballad.
    • It also inexplicably missed out on Best Adapted Screenplay.
    • Given he would've been eligible for it, Richard White losing out on a Best Villain nomination at the first ever MTV Movie Awards for his portrayal as Gaston could also be this.
  • Awesome Ego: Gaston was written to seem incredibly egotistical and self-absorbed. The viewers loved this.
  • Awesome Music: This musical was written by the legendary duo of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, and boy does it show.
    • The title song/love theme, "Beauty and the Beast":
    • No Disney song has ever topped "Belle", which was nominated for Best Song, losing only to the title track.
    • Gaston's Villain Song became a meme for good reason.
    • "Something There", though not as famous as the others on this list, is what a song in a musical is supposed to do; it encapsulated a massive leap in character development that would have been incredibly awkward no matter what dialogue you tried to use.
    • "Be Our Guest," a rousing feast - beautifully animated - of a song also nominated for Best Song.
    • "The Mob Song" doesn't get mentioned a lot, but it perfectly encapsulates Gaston's Moral Event Horizon and sets up the battle between Gaston's followers and the Beast's servants.
    • Transformation is a thrillingly powerful piece that just soars as the Beast is turned back into a human. To say nothing of how epic the music gets on The Big Damn Kiss.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Belle. She's one of the most popular Disney princesses for starring in one of the most acclaimed films in the canon, for her proactive, headstrong behavior, and for her interest in reading which gives her character a strong progressive streak due to the backwards values of the village that she lives in. However, some people find her to be too passive and demure compared to later Disney princesses and heroines (especially as time has taken its toll on her character), and find the other characters to be more interesting to watch and follow. In particular, Disney fans who like action scenes have noted that Belle is one of the few main characters (along with Maurice) to not participate in any of the film's battles, let alone the climactic one at the end where almost everyone in the cast is involved. Kingdom Hearts II and the live-action remake have at least addressed this by giving Belle a small Adaptational Badass streak. But of course the base is still broken over whether those are changes that were needed or not.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The four-legged, spidery box thingy that takes Maurice back to the village, which is never seen again. Which given how this version's curse works probably used to be a carriage horse.
  • Catharsis Factor: After losing his mind so much throughout the movie and being an Ungrateful Bastard to Beast for sparing him with a literal knife in his back, Gaston getting one of the quintessential Disney Villain Death scenes is most certainly an exhilarating moment.
  • Common Knowledge:
    • This film is just a heavily romanticized portrayal of Stockholm Syndrome, isn't it? Not quite; Stockholm Syndrome is an instinctive form of self-preservation in which kidnapping victims try to bond with their captors in hopes that they'll treat them humanely. Belle spends the first act of the film refusing to take any of the Beast's crap and explicitly refuses to bond with the Beast until after he saves her life and starts treating her with kindness and respect, even when she has every reason to believe that she's putting herself in danger by doing so. Not to mention that she is there willingly after trading herself for her father, who the Beast had captured on legal grounds. If anything, it would actually be Lima Syndrome, where the captor becomes sympathetic toward the victim and is, in effect, the polar opposite of Stockholm Syndrome.
    • Many sources-both fan and official-will make you think the Beastís claws, horns, and nose are black. In reality, they were shades of brown.
    • The Enchanted Rose is almost always portrayed as red when it was really hot pink.
    • The Prince being turned into the Beast at the age of 11 is an oft-repeated notion based on two bits of information: the film's opening narration states that the Enchanted Rose would bloom until the Prince's 21st year, and the song "Be Our Guest" includes the line "10 years we've been rusting" from Lumiere. However, the latter line doesn't explicitly mean ten years had passed since the Enchantress cast her curse, only that it's been that long since the castle servants had a guest to wait on. The film's midquel, The Enchanted Christmas, even shows the night the Prince was cursed, wherein it can be seen that he was at least a teenager at that time.
    • Despite what Disney World's restaurant "Be Our Guest" will have you believe, Lumiere's "the grey stuff" almost certainly wasn't anything sweet. Look at all the other dishes on that tray; there's meat-stuffed pastries, a mini sandwich with an olive, and caviar. If all the other appetizers on the tray are savory foods, then there's no reason to believe the grey stuff wouldn't have been so as well.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Gaston has a large fanbase who are willing to overlook the fact that he is a sexist, arrogant, jealous and eventually murderous man who intends to force Belle into a loveless marriage. Some of his fans even think Belle is either crazy for rejecting him, or a stupid bitch who didn't deserve him anyway. Also many say that Gaston is a saint compared to the Beast (who in turn gets the Ron the Death Eater treatment), even overlooking the whole 'forcing Belle's father to be committed to an insane asylum to blackmail Belle into marrying him' plot.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Lumiereís voice actor, Jerry Orbach admitted he was surprised by how popular the character was. Lumiere is very memorable thanks to his charming personality and performance of "Be Our Guest".
    • LeFou and the Wardrobe are very minor characters, but they're so much fun that almost everyone remembers them. Disney themselves seemed to take notice on the former, as the sing-along show at the France pavilion at EPCOT elevates him to being a major character and even plays an Alternative Character Interpretation for laughs by asserting that he masterminded the movie's entire plot.
    • Fifi the feather duster (or Babette as she's called in the stage version) is also a fun character and gets a much larger role in the stage version. In almost any production, about half of the girls whom you'd think would be auditioning for Belle actually want to be Babette.
    • Monsieur D'Arque. He's only in the film briefly, but Tony Jay gives such a memorable performance that it's easy to remember him (so memorable, in fact, that his audition recordings, which covered all of his fairly minimal dialog, were so good that Disney didn't bother to have him come back and re-record, they just used the audition tapes in the film and mailed him a check). Disney certainly did, and he was recruited to voice Frollo 5 years later in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
    • The Bimbettes are very popular on DeviantArt and Fanfiction.net for their appearances.
    • The Enchantress gets a lot more fanwork dedicated to her than one might initially expect from her small appearance, but considering how much of a potential Greater-Scope Villain she might be, it isn't very hard to see why. The Live-Action remake has also expanded her role significantly.
  • Escapist Character: Belle is this for nerdy, bookish viewers, especially those who feel isolated from their peers. Belle's intelligence and love of reading is celebrated by the narrative, and she's a renowned beauty. She's also confident in her own skin and independent, although she's also pretty lonely at the start of the movie. The story has her finding true love with someone who loves her for her kindness and intelligence, not her looks, and becomes a better person because of her.
  • Evil Is Cool: No one schemes like Gaston! No one memes like Gaston! No one's biceps can shatter steel beams like Gaston! As a character, Gaston is a villain who manages a tricky balance of entertaining and genuinely menacing, a character who's as comfortable with the rest of the Disney Villains as he is entertaining guests at Disneyland with his showboating.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Gaston. He's devilishly handsome and everyone knows it, but he has no inner good...
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Go ahead and say that Belle and the Beast's relationship is Stockholm Syndrome, and wait for angry responses from fans correcting you.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Belle vs Ariel given that they are the first two 'modern' Disney Princesses. Arguments would frequently hold Belle up as a better attempt at a feminist princess than Ariel. But as time has gone on, arguments have gone the other way - criticizing Belle for seeming unrealistically perfect and not really growing or changing throughout the film, and Ariel's fans saying that she's flawed but still a good character who is more initiative-based. If an argument about whether Ariel is feminist or not starts, expect her to be compared to Belle in some way.
  • Fanon:
    • It's a common theory that, if the Prince had accepted the Enchantress' offer, he would have been rewarded rather than punished.
    • Fans like to assume that every object in the castle had a corresponding human counterpart - hence the myriad of discussions on how the Beast could have so many servants. Word of God is that all the dancing utensils in "Be Our Guest" were there for Rule of Cool and it was something of a Berserk Button for them to have to keep explaining that to nitpicking fans.
      • On the flip side, itís pretty much agreed that the objects with a visible face were humans while the ones without werenít.
    • Many believe that "Chip" is just a nickname. "Christopher" is a common guess as to being his real name.
  • Fountain of Memes: Gaston. In YouTube Poop he seems to occupy some sort of strange middle ground between Butt-Monkey and Memetic Badass.
  • Franchise Original Sin: While the film's songs are considered to be among the very best in the entire Disney animated canon, one common retrospective criticism is that, rather than using them to expand on the characters and their backstories, they often tend to be used just to tell the viewer what's happening at that particular moment, even when it's already blatantly obvious. Most people will overlook the issue in this film's case — partly because the songs and accompanying sequences are just that good, and partly because the most memorable songs are ones that don't suffer so much from this issue — but it became a more common criticism of Disney's subsequent films (and ones from other studios that tried to ape their formula) during the following decade.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: This has softened over time, but the film's reputation as a "girly princess movie" (especially among young boys) may be why its male-centric successors Aladdin and especially The Lion King (1994) were greater box-office successes at the time, even though their critical acclaim was slightly less prestigious. The tie-in video game Roar of the Beast was a hilarious attempt to defy this trope.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: When he was still alive, Walt Disney himself tried to create an adaptation of Beauty and the Beast ever since the 1930s. While he never got to see it come to fruition, the fact that it was not only Saved from Development Hell but also became one of the most successful animated movies of all-time (especially with it being the first animated film to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture) is certainly uplifting.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Hollywood Homely: Some argue that making the Beast look sympathetic worked a little bit too well. While his temper and massive size certainly make him intimidating, he isn't really "ugly" or "scary" once he learns how to control his temper. If he wasn't so self-destructive, most people would rather pet his fluffy fur rather than run away from him.
  • Ho Yay: LeFou is slavishly devoted to Gaston (hence, the Word of Gay in the aforementioned Hilarious in Hindsight above); some people also read a bit of subtext into Lumière's interaction with Cogsworth (they certainly do have a bit of Tsundere-esque bickering going on).
    • Some of the lyrics in "Gaston" can be interpreted this way, in particular LeFou's "you can ask any Tom, Dick, or Stanley, and they'll tell you whose team they prefer to be on." Keep in mind that "playing for the other team" is a tongue-in-cheek way of saying someone is gay.
  • Hype Backlash: This movie's status as the only traditionally animated feature to earn a Best Picture Oscar nomination has led some people to call it Disney's most overrated film.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: There are some viewers that don't care about the titular characters and just watch it for Gaston.
  • LGBT Fanbase: "No one is as popular with gay men like Gaston!"
  • Love to Hate: Gaston, for those who don't strap him in leather pants. In other mediums too—throughout the show's Broadway run, whenever the actor playing him came out for the curtain call, he was heartily booed by the audience, much to the man's amusement/enjoyment.
  • Mandela Effect: Belle has hazel eyes, but is often remembered as having brown eyes.
  • Memetic Badass: No one fights like Gaston! No one bites like Gaston!
  • Memetic Molester: While not as well known as his Memetic Badass image, Gaston becomes this whenever Belle's involved. No one rapes like Gaston! That he pins Belle to the wall when asking her to marry him in a manner uncomfortably similar to Attempted Rape doesn't help.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    NO ONE ORDERS DECAF LIKE GASTON!
    • And it's been extended further, due to the 2016 version of Hurricane Gaston in the Atlantic.note 
      Nooooooooo onnnnneeeeee storms like Gaston!
      Makes cloud forms like Gaston!
      Disrupts meteorological norms like Gaston!
    • Mixing up the rhymes in "Gaston" to hilarious results.
      Gosh it disturbs me to be you, Gaston, looking so down in the lumps!
      Every guy wants to see you, Gaston, even when taking your dumps!
    • "Be our guest! Be our guest! Be our guest!"
    • "Gaston" memes saw a resurgence in popularity in 2017 due to the live-action remake, where the song became a word replacement meme in the same vein as "We Are Number One".
    • "Try the grey stuff, it's delicious!"Explanation 
    • "GET OUT!!!!!!!!!!"
    • "It's FORBIDDEN!"
    • The scene where Gaston flips through and holds up Belle's book has become a popular "What am I reading?" meme.
    • Videos that remix the scene where LeFou says "I'll strike up the band!" for Gaston's wedding to make the band play different songs are quite popular.
    • "How can you read this? There's no pictures!"
      • And its more popular mutation, "How can I laugh at this? There's no (meme name)!", which became popular in 2020 as a way of mocking oversaturated memes.
    • As of 2016, comparisons between Gaston and the Fire Emblem Fates character Arthur are common, even being called "The Blonde Gaston".
    • One scene from "Gaston's Ultimate Mission to Obtain Some Taco Bell", which was granted a resurgence in popularity during 2017, became very popular thanks to a post on Tumblr: "WHOAAA, slow down, Maurice!"
    • "More beer?" "What for? Nothing helps."
    • Beast pointing angrily at the door after his politer attempts to get Belle to come downstairs fail. Often captioned with variations on "this bitch". Humorously enough, it had memetic status amongst the animators as "the Jackie Gleason face."
    • Gaston's the winner of the No Belle Prize. Explanation 
    • Editing the contents of the door to the forbidden west wing of the castle with screenshots (or gifs) of The West Wing.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Gaston's popularity as a Memetic Badass is sometimes thought to be this, though the character is intentionally humorous.
    • The beast himself is meant to be a horrifying monster, but once the audience gets used to his appearance, most consider him to have a fascinating design and prefer it to his human form.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Gaston starts out as pretty harmless. An arrogant jackass, but harmless. Then he plots to throw Maurice in the loony bin unless Belle agrees to marry him and plots to kill the Beast because Belle prefers Beast over him (this could be considered the MEH for Gaston, since this example of the trope has a Villain Song dedicated to it), but it's when he stabs Beast in the back after Beast spared his life that you know he's beyond redemption. It's the last thing he does as it costs him his life immediately afterwards.
  • Narm:
    • Gaston's scream when he falls to his death after fatally stabbing the Beast. It comes out as a high-pitched screech that barely sounds anything like his natural voice.
      • Narm Charm: Relating to the Narm mentioned above, some might consider Gaston's pathetic scream a Catharsis Factor, considering such a macho villain dies an unmanly death.
    • The way Chip is realized in some theater productions (basically a head sticking out of a cart, with the teacup worn as a hat) may elicit giggles from theatergoers who are also familiar with The Brain That Wouldn't Die.
  • Never Live It Down: Some people will forever think that Belle's arc is an act of Stockholm Syndrome simply because the female lead falls in love with her captor. In truth, it took the Beast striving to become a nicer person for Belle to have any feelings at all towards him. Not to mention it was Belle herself who got into the whole situation to save her father.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Belle's characterization as a bookworm isn't unique to Disney. The second published version of the original tale, by Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont, states that Beauty "spent the greater part of her time reading good books" and that one of her main pleasures in the Beast's castle was the large library. Robin McKinley's 1978 novel Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast also emphasizes Beauty's passion for books and has her bonding with the Beast by reading with him in the magnificent library.
    • Belle and the Beast's breakfast scene also has a parallel in Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast. At one point in that novel, Beauty invites the Beast to eat cake with her, but he refuses because his paw can't hold a fork, so to make him comfortable she eats her cake with her hands too.
    • The concept of the Beast being a cruel human transformed specifically because he offended a disguised enchantress/fairy shows up at least as early as Marianna and Mercer Mayer's 1978 picture book retelling of the Beaumont story. This detail carries over to a 1983 CBS animated television special as well.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Monsieur D'Arque (the guy who runs the insane asylum). His voice actor, Tony Jay, did so well with the small-but-villainous role, that Disney decided to give him a much bigger role as the primary antagonist in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
  • Popular with Furries: The Beast himself. He's not drawn particularly scary or ugly either, which helps. Many people were disappointed by his transformation back to human at the end.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: While many Disney animated movies have video game adaptations that easily make the other list, this movie unfortunately struggles in that department. There were two games on the Sega Genesis, published by Sunsoft in 1993, each one based on one of the title characters; Belle's Quest and Roar of the Beast. The former was a fairly lame collection of mini-games, while the latter was an uninspired yet Sega Hard platformer. The NES and SNES games released by Hudson Soft in 1994 did not improve much on the gameplay from the latter game, either.
  • Rainbow Lens: The Beast is demonized by the townspeople simply for being different, and Gaston rallies them to try and kill him by invoking Think of the Children! - which has a lot of parallels to how real life Homophobic Hate Crimes get justified by the abusers. Howard Ashman, who had a big hand in the movie's score and themes, was a gay man himself who died of AIDS shortly after it was completed.
  • Realism-Induced Horror: What can make Gaston so terrifying and effective as a villain is that he doesn't possess supernatural powers - but he's a frighteningly realistic demonstration of how real life bullies operate. The way he controls the townspeople's opinions and convinces them to try and kill someone they've never even met...
  • Refrain from Assuming: Several songs qualify.
    • The song "Belle" is often called "Bonjour." A rarer misname is "Little Town."
    • "Belle (Reprise)" is sometimes known as "Madame Gaston."
    • "Beauty and the Beast" is by far the most misnamed song, with "Tale as Old as Time" arguably being the more common title of the two.
    • "The Mob Song" is usually called "Kill the Beast", due to that being what the mob is consistently chanting as they march towards the castle.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Belle, of all people. The "Belle" song parody from the movie's Honest Trailer portrays her as a lazy snob with Special Snowflake Syndrome, joking that Belle's time spent heading to and from the local bookstore while never doing an ounce of work like the rest of the townspeople makes her "the first millennial". However, Belle merely wanted to get away from this small rural town because she sought life "in the great wide somewhere" believing it to be more adventurous, not because she was so arrogant that she disliked associating herself with the lower-class. The movie even clearly shows that if the rest of the townspeople didn't consider her odd and strange simply because she was "different" from them (a.k.a because she reads books and is not interested in marrying Gaston) (which is often conveniently downplayed), Belle would actually like to fit in and have someone she can talk to.
    • The Beast. Countless videos and Internet articles have been written painting him as a domestic abuser taking Belle away by force, whom she only fell in love with because of Stockholm Syndrome — Disney themselves even sort of got in on it with a scene from Ralph Breaks the Internet where Belle tries to see if Vanellope is telling the truth about really being a princess ("Were you ... kidnapped or enslaved?" "No! Are you guys okay? Should I call the police?"). This is a misconception; Belle was his prisoner and the Beast did lay out the condition that she remain in the castle forever, but what these critics usually forget is that Belle willingly commits herself to it in the hopes that the Beast would let her father go. In fact, she was the one who made the offer in the first place. The only real rules the Beast enforces during Belle's stay are "you are specifically forbidden from going into the West Wing" and "you will join me for dinner"; the first of which he has a pretty reasonable justification for, and the second of which he tries to relax his stance on by politely making requests for her to join him for dinner at Lumière's, Cogsworth's, and Mrs. Potts' suggestions. Basically, the Beast wants to prove that he is not a vicious monster and that he really isn't that bad of a guy, but his difficulty overcoming the uncertainty of if he will ever become human again manifests in him expressing these same exact vicious behaviors no matter how much he tries.
  • Rooting for the Empire: A certain subset of viewers have taken to arguing in favor of Gaston over the two leads. Some find his ego to be charming rather than obnoxious, while others simply think Belle is snobbish and the Beast is abusive, whereas most of Gastonís worst qualities were simply the products of the time period in which the film is set. Even him rallying a mob to kill the Beast is somewhat understandable, as heís without a reason to think that the Beast isnít as dangerous as he appears, not helped by Mauriceís own testimony as to Belle being taken prisoner.
  • Signature Scene: The ballroom dance, especially when the camera comes down on the dancers and pans back up.
  • Signature Song: "Beauty and the Beast" and "Be Our Guest", which are also the most well-known tunes in the film. "Gaston" is this in many Internet circles.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The Prologue/curse Leitmotif is based on "Aquarium" from Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals, in fact Alan Menken had wanted to use the actual theme before the directors asked for a more original piece. The actual inclusion of "Aquarium" in the Good Times Fairy Tales version of the fairy tale that came out a year later just made it crazier.
  • Tear Dryer: Beast loses consciousness and it seems like he's dead, but then when Belle admits she loves him, he turns human and it turns out he's not dead after all.
  • Testosterone Brigade: While most fans of BatB are Disney and/or princess/fairytale fans in general, Gaston and his Villain Song have been known to attract male non-fans of the genre. To a lesser extent, some of these fans are drawn in by Bellenote  and/or Beastnote ; in the latter case, a boy-oriented tie-in game called Roar of the Beast was released in The '90s, which downplayed Belle's presence and the whole Disney Princess aspect and was advertised in a bizarrely "edgy" manner.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • The Prince's design gets quite a bit of hate for reasons that can simply be boiled down to it not being Beast.
    • The 2002 Remastered IMAX version received this criticism, for contrast boosting that made the atmosphere and shadows look less gloomy and foreboding. The 2010 and 2011 restorations turned the contrast back down, though at least one of them still doesn't make the picture look exactly as dark as in 1991.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: It's a bit odd just how totally absent the Enchantress is after the prologue. She isn't even mentioned afterwards.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Belle's father Maurice has been thrown out of the castle after Belle agrees to swap places with him. Now he wants to go back into the castle and save her at all costs, even when nobody else agreed to help him. That alone is both an awesome and heartwarming moment at the same time. The problem is how little focus there was on it. Yeah, this is supposed to set up for a reason for the Beast to release Belle of his own volition, but still, a caring father was willing to go through hell to save his daughter. Who wouldn't want to see that?
  • Ugly Cute: Many find that, after Beast starts acting like a better person, his "hideous monster" form looks endearing rather than scary.
  • Unnecessary Makeover: There are a lot of viewers who preferred the Beast's dark and gloomy castle. Not to mention a lot who found the Beast more attractive that way.
  • Values Dissonance: The opening song has a scene where a merchant looks at a customer's cleavage before getting hit with his angry wife's rolling pin. Possibly to avoid Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male, the 2017 remake removes this bit entirely.
  • Values Resonance:
    • The original 1991 film deconstructs the trope of men who go to extreme lengths to get the attention of women, even if the woman they're interested in doesn't reciprocate their feelings. Many years after this movie's original release, women in the real world are still often insulted for not reciprocating feelings for someone who's sexually harassing them. It's refreshing to see a movie which treats a woman's choice with respect.
    • As noted here, the movie demonstrates how bullies are often rewarded by the world, and how those who don't fit in can be othered or ostracized because they don't meet society's approval. Belle is an unconventional girl who is seen as odd or haughty because she prefers reading and doesn't swoon over the local Hunk, and the townspeople are ready to kill the Beast simply because their golden boy tells them a pack of lies about him.
    "In the original fairy tale, the Beast asks Belle to marry him every night, and the spell is broken when she accepts. In the Disney movie, he waits for her to love him, because he cannot love himself. Thatís how badly being ostracized from society and told that youíre a monster all your life can fuck with your head and make you stop seeing yourself as human. Society rewards the bullies because weíve been brought up to believe that their victims donít belong. That if someone doesnít fit in, then they have to be put in their place, or destroyed. And this movie demonstrates that this line of thinking is wrong. Itís so much deeper than a standard ďBe YourselfĒ message..."
  • Vanilla Protagonist: While Belle is ostensibly the film's protagonist, she doesn't have a lot in terms of strong personality traits or a character arc. She mainly serves as a means through which the Beast can learn to be a better person and a progressive contrast to Gaston and the ignorant townspeople.
  • The Woobie:
    • The Beast becomes this right around "Something There". Prior to that, he was a Jerkass Woobie.
    • Maurice being a Bungling Inventor is played for comedy, but it's implied that the whole town thinks he's a fool and Belle might be his only companion. Once she goes to the castle with the Beast, he's completely alone and desperate to save his daughter, but nobody helps him, and he eventually gets lost and sick in a blizzard trying to find her by himself.

    Other 
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation:
    • This story has long been interpreted as an object lesson meant to teach young girls the virtues of accepting an arranged marriage with a strange and scary older man (whose wealth would benefit the girl's family). But it could also just as easily be a fantasy aimed at wealthy and socially awkward men who fear that their wives will only love them for their money and position, not themselves. It's clear that Beauty's sisters only care for their own selfish whims, while Beauty herself is kind and dutiful, and willing to sacrifice her own life and freedom to save her father. Beauty is also willing to overlook the Beast's appearance and love him for his personality, not his resources. The Beast's transformation into a handsome form at the end could symbolize the return of his self-confidence once he managed to wisely pursue and earn the love of a high-value woman.
    • Besides the obvious moral of True Beauty Is on the Inside, the story can also be viewed as teaching the value of companionate love vs. romantic love. Particularly in versions where Beauty dreams about the handsome prince during her stay at the Beast's castle. Beauty falls in romantic love with her dream prince for his good looks and gallantry, which makes her even more reluctant to marry the ugly, artless Beast. But with the Beast, she finds companionate love through their nightly conversations and his constant kindness and generosity. Ultimately, Beauty has to realize the shallowness of her dream-based romantic love and choose the companionate love she shares with the Beast instead. And when the Beast transforms into her dream prince, she's rewarded for her choice with a marriage that combines companionate love with romantic love.
  • Ending Fatigue: Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve's version goes on for pages and pages after the curse is broken.
  • It Was His Sled: The fact that the Beast is really an enchanted Prince is a surprise at the end of the original story. Almost every adaptation tells the audience right at the start, though it's usually still a surprise for Beauty/Belle.
  • Narm: One version from Germany, has had the Beast be a black poodle. No, really.
  • Never Live It Down: Beauty's father giving his daughter to the Beast in exchange for his own life. Even though he does it reluctantly, and only at Beauty's own insistence, it still costs him the sympathy of many readers. It's no surprise that many adaptations either have Beauty sneak off to the castle alone and in secret after she hears her father's story, or else find some other way to make the deal entirely between Beauty and the Beast and take the choice out of her father's hands.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • In many versions the prince is cursed because he refused to give hospitality. Given that refusing people shelter in bad weather could be a Matter of Life and Death — it's not as if they could hop in their car and drive to a hotel — it was taken very seriously, so the curse definitely would not have been seen as Disproportionate Retribution.
    • The Beast threatening to kill Beauty's father for stealing a rose can also be viewed in this light. The Beast is a prince while the merchant is a commoner. For even minor thefts from royalty or nobility, it wasn't unheard of in past centuries for commoners to be executed, so the threat might have seemed less villainous to the original readers than it does now.

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