Revisiting a Tale as Old as Time
By Gabriella Iarrobino
The opening drumrolls of the iconic Allan Menkin “Beauty and the Beast: Prologue” score begin to crash throughout the theater.
“Once upon a time, in a far away land, a young prince lived in a shining castle. Though he had everything his heart desired but he was spoiled….” boomed the narrator’s voice. Unable to contain my excitement, I grab my mother’s arm and let out a quiet but girlish squeal. A few moments later, Belle appears on the screen.
“Ugh, Mom she’s so pretty!” I exclaim.
You may assume this to be a memory straight out of my 90s childhood. But it is not. It is a memory straight out of last week.
At the beginning of January, the Disney classic “Beauty and the Beast,” was rereleased in 3D no less. Honestly, I would have gone and seen it in theaters even if it was just rereleased in 2D.
I haven’t sat down to watch this movie in years so seeing it again with an adult lens was a nostalgic and moving experience. This was the movie I watched the most, as a young child and I now know that it may have influenced me in ways I had never knew.
The message that resonated with me most was not even the obvious one of beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It was that women should be empowered to stand up to society’s view and expectations of females.
The townspeople viewed Belle as strange because she enjoyed reading, questioned the world around her and refused to marry the good-looking Gaston because he was an imbecile. In addition, her strength was shown in her decision to take her father’s place as prisoner and through a series of dancing spoons, gifted libraries, and magical mirrors, she is able to achieve happiness.
I hope that in 20 years, this movie is rereleased in 4D or whatever mind blowing technology exists then so I can bring my daughter to see the tale as old as time that teaches being a headstrong female who stands up for what she believes in can end in happily ever after.
Images courtesy of: fanpop.com, disneyimages.com and the archives of Jeannine Iarrobino