The first known traditional version of Beauty and the Beast was written in French in 1756 by Jeanne-Marie le Prince de Beaumont. In 1991 the well known movie was released, featuring the beloved talents of Disney’s animators, and the magical music by Alan Menkin.
Few people can forget this fabulous musical and the lovable characters it portrays, and I believe the heart of the story contains an ageless message that applies to us all.
1) It’s Okay Not to Be “Cool” – Belle shows us that it’s okay to be yourself, and that following your dreams is so much more important than striving to gain popularity. Belle loved to read, so much that she was actually known for her. Did she mind that others thought she was odd? If she did, she didn’t let it stop her from being herself.
2) Stick By Your Friends, No Matter What – When the Enchantress placed the spell upon the castle, it affected everyone, not just the guilty. While it is apparent that the Prince’s household staff grieved their previous life and abilities, they never held it against him. They could have lashed out at him, refused to serve him, or even marched, or um, hopped, out the door. But instead they loved him unconditionally, regardless of his faults.
3) Family is Important – Belle was willing to take her father’s place in the Beast’s dungeon so that her father would have the opportunity to rest and regain his strength. She didn’t know if she would ever be rescued or would ever be allowed to escape, but she did what was right and demonstrated a truly sacrificial love for her father.
4) “You MUST Control Your Temper!” – I think Mrs. Potts and Lumiere put that quite plainly enough for us all.
5) It’s What is on the Inside That Counts – Had Belle refused to look past the physical appearance of the Beast, she would have missed out on the most important part of her life. But she was willing to take the time to get to know him, see him for who he truly was, and let him know that she cared.
6) Always Hold out for True Love – If Belle had accepted Gaston’s proposal of marriage, her popularity within the village would have risen considerably. Gaston was the “it” guy in town. Many girls were swooning after him, yet Belle knew that there is no substitute for true love, and it is always worth waiting for.
7) “And as I always say, If it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it!” – Lumiere reminds us that the important things in life, the things that have always been, like family, simple joys, and love; are still what matters most today.
Make a point of enjoying this “tale as old as time” soon!