Beauty and the Beast (1991 film)/Fridge

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Fridge Brilliance

  • If we go by the speculated timeline where the prince was cursed as an eleven-year-old and had only ten years to get someone to fall in love with him by his twenty first birthday, then the Enchantress' curse seems pretty harsh for a child. Consider this: If the prince acted so selfishly at that age, think of what he could have been like if he was never cursed. He would have inherited his kingdom and could very well have become a tyrant due to his selfish, apathetic and temperamental nature. Now the Enchantress' actions make way more sense since she saved many people from being ruled by a potential despot (although there is still the matter on why the prince's servants were cursed when they didn't do anything wrong...)
    • I always figured they stayed frozen at the same age till the curse was lifted. For instance, Chip appears younger than ten, given when changed back he doesn't seem much larger than the dog. This would imply that Mrs. Potts would have given birth to a child while a she was a teapot.
      • If you truly think about it, only the servants and the servants children failed to age, not the beast. The servants were all non-living objects that age in name only, not in look. Beast, as the only one cursed into another organic body could age. It makes perfect sense to this troper. Combine that with the fact the Beast has trouble reading. Even nobles back then had limited reading ability at the age of 11, and that's even if they get taught. Well, besides Belle, who's going to sit with the beast and teach him to read? Most of the servants doubtfully know how to read, and the Beast was too impatient before Belle to learn from the ones that did.
      • The Beast looks older than 11 in the stain-glass window introduction, so his aging was at least slowed if it wasn't stopped.
        • If you take The Enchanted Christmas as canon though the Beast was probably twelve or thirteen when he was cursed and teenagers are notoriously difficult and moody in some of the best situations. This isn't an excuse for his actions (which could have lead to the death of another person), but it does help make him a bit more relatable. As for the reason why he's older once the curse is broken you can probably chalk it up to the fact that he's the only biological living thing in the castle and so ages normally while the transformed servants age much more slowly.
  • Even though the whole castle is in overdrive to make Belle welcome and happy, no one tells Belle that they need her to break the curse, or how. Were they forbidden? Trying not to cloud her feelings? After Gaston's pushiness, it was a wise approach.
    • Besides that, turning the servants into non-humans would ensure they couldn't just quit and leave and stop any servant girl from breaking the spell herself.
    • Not to mention that given Belle's personality, if she heard that her host was under a curse, her kindness and Genre Savvy nature could drive her to trying to push herself to love him just to break the curse, instead of loving him anyway.
  • Just as Gaston is the Beast's Evil Counterpart, so to is LeFou Belle's Spear Counterpart. If you think about their roles in the relationship with Gaston and Beast, while Belle doesn't take any of the Beast's crap lying down, LeFou is utterly and totally dominated by Gaston, and barely even has a will of his own anymore. In the end, which pairing is better off for it? Also, what was the original meaning behind this series?
    • Add to that the fact that LeFou is very goofy looking opposite Belle's beauty the way Gaston is very good looking opposite Beast's beastly-ness.
    • Plus, one of Belle's virtues is her knowledge and intelligence. "LeFou" literally means "The Fool."
  • You know how people complain about how the human form of the Beast is fugly as hell? Well, isn't that exactly the point? That Belle came to appreciate, and eventually love, the Beast after he started showing more of his heart of gold despite his fearsome appearance? Why shouldn't the same thing hold true even after he becomes human? It would have been so easy and predictable to fall into the Beauty Equals Goodness trap after the curse was lifted, invariably shooting the message in the foot. The fact that it didn't, and that the human form of the Beast isn't exactly a looker, actually fits much better with the intended "seeing past the exterior" message, and the redemption isn't made cheap by turning him into a stunning Bishonen.
    • In addition, the point isn't that he was rewarded with prettiness, he was rewarded by having his original human state returned to him. A lot of people seem to forget that the Beast was a prince to begin with, he isn't some hideous guy who was magically made beautiful through the power of love. Part of the Aesop is to learn to appreciate what you have, and the Beast only learned to do that after what he had was taken away.
    • Not to mention that not once in the movie does it ever say that the Prince was at all attractive. We're told in the prologue that he had "everything his heart desired" and was young, but his actual appearance was never mentioned.
  • The Beast is very adamant about Belle staying out of the West Wing, initially we assume this is because she may damage the magic rose in some way thus dooming the Beast without him ever having a chance to earn her love. If you look around though it's obvious that the West Wing are his personal chambers and he's been using them to indulge his beastly urges. He doesn't want her to see how far he's gone and ruin any chance he has of breaking the spell and he's also very ashamed of the fact that he's allowed himself to become more animal than man. Also at the time the film takes place it would be very improper for a woman to hang around unchaperoned in a man's quarters, especially if he were of the nobility.
    • The audio commentary on the special edition DVD has pretty much confirmed this.
  • How about a simple one that also demonstrates Fridge Brilliance: A making-of video (watch it right here) reveals that if Mrs. Potts jumped on to the hard floor from a high place, she would crack/shatter. The animators resolved this by adding a soft cushion to support her fall. Problem solved!
  • The more anthropomorphic an enchanted servant is, the higher their station was in life. For example, Lumière, Cogsworth and Mrs. Pots (the former two especially) seem to the highest in the chain of command so they are able to talk and reason just as they would in their true forms, and their bodies are more human-like, whereas lowly footmen and parlor maids end up more like actual coat racks and cutlery. There’s even a middle ground for people who seem to have been merely in charge of their specific area like the wardrobe and the stove).Thus the people who had the most interaction with the beast, and likely the most influence over him, had more ways to continue doing so while they were enchanted.
    • Actually it is my belief that not all the magical servants were human to begin with and Some of them, like the spoons and the dishes, were just enchanted objects. For one it would suck to be turned into a spoon, secondly I doubt the Beast would need that many servants and third if all those guys were humans before then what was he using before everyone was cursed?
    • Maybe they didn't really eat with utensils, in certain time periods it wasn't uncommon even for nobility to eat with their hands. And his table manners are atrocious - the question is if those table manners deteriorated out of lack of use as a beast, or if they were ALWAYS like that, and adding plates and utensils to the castle was another aspect of making him learn how to act human.
  • One must wonder why no one from Paris bothered to investigate when all contact from the Beast's castle ceased due to the Enchantress's curse. The main story is clearly set around the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century France, which means the Beast was cursed around the time of The French Revolution. The royal government in Paris would have much more to worry about, and would likely assume the Beast's castle fell to the revolutionaries.
    • This also implies that the Enchantress inadvertently saved the Beast's life, since the revolutionaries, instead of simply slaughtering everyone therein, avoided further attacks on the cursed castle, even if they had only encountered the enchanted furniture instead of the Beast himself.
  • Why is Gaston so obsessed with marrying Belle despite the fact that other there are other - and very attractive - women fawning over him? Easy - the other women provide no challenge and therefore no glory, but Belle's free spirit makes her a challenge to conquer and thereby prove his manliness. In other words, Belle is just another trophy for Gaston's collection.
  • A minor one- when the wolves are going after Belle and Phillipe, it seems as though they're just attacking mindlessly, since Phillipe is far bigger than them. However, one wolf deliberately goes for the horse's neck, and the pack later coordinate to cut Belle and her horse off from going any further. The animators seem to have learned a bit as to how wolves hunt: they coordinate to put themselves at the best advantage, go for the neck to quickly take down their prey, and are known to be able to bring down large prey like elk and bison. Sure, it's not high quality stuff, but those touches certainly add to the suspense and terror in the scene.
  • It's a stretch but consider that in the beginning of "Belle" Belle is singing about how bored she is with life in her poor, provincial town. Belle is seen making a cameo during the "Out There" sequence in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The brilliance comes from the fact that if the latter scene is taken as fact, Belle and her father originally lived in Paris during Frollo's mad burning rampage. They moved away to the setting of Beauty and the Beast to get away from the violence. As dangerous as it must have been, life was still exciting for young Belle whilst in Paris and the move couldn't live up to expectations.
  • Even as a kid, I wondered why the Beast didn't just drop Gaston from the roof once the former has the latter at his mercy. Part of it could be chalked up to Character Development, but Gaston pleads for his life saying "I'll do anything!" Which is exactly what Belle said to free her father.
    • Another possibility is that he realised he'd be no better than Gaston himself.
  • The scene with Belle, Gaston, and the mirror: when I was a kid and first saw the movie, I remember thinking, "Why did the enchantress let her mirror be taken out of the castle, let alone be used by the villain to bring down the hero? Wasn't she trying to help Beast become a better person?" Setting aside the fact we don't know how powerful the Enchantress was, let alone whether she was even nearby and watching to know what was being done with her magical devices, who said she really wanted to help the Beast? The curse did have an escape clause, yes, but it mostly seemed to exist as punishment. So if the Beast died due to letting the mirror out of his sight, and someone who couldn't see past his appearance used it to track him down and kill him, that not only wasn't her fault, it may have been her intention all along. Or she at least didn't care.
    • A more charitable interpretation also exists, however: the Enchantress knew, either in specifics or generalities, what would happen and how the Beast's spell could be broken, and so she allowed the mirror to be taken and used by the villain because it was the only way to force a confrontation between hero and villain, as well as to make Beast and Belle admit their feelings for each other--Beast because, by letting her use the mirror and take it with her "to remember him", he realized he had to let her go if he truly loved her and Belle because she needed to see the pain her leaving caused him to understand how he truly felt, and to see Beast in danger by her own hand (and eliminate the loose end of Gaston) before she could admit how she felt. So, Omniscient Morality License.
    • And further thoughts on the mirror: on the surface it was only a Plot Device to enable the confrontation at the end. It also seems to be a cross between the Enchantress being a bitch (by taunting Beast with images of a world he cannot have or ever be part of) and also the key to his freedom--because short of a girl just stumbling on the castle (as Belle did after her father had done the same), the only way he'd ever find someone was if he located her in the outside world and then either visited her, kidnapped her, lured her to the castle, or something of that nature. (Interestingly, the fact Beast could have done this but didn't suggests it was a Secret Test of Character and in that respect at least, he passed, albeit out of despair and disbelief that anyone could ever love him, so why bother.) However, the mirror can also be viewed as symbolic of the outside world in general, that Beast could not hide from it forever if he wished to be human again, and in fact had to interact with it eventually--and the way it was used by Gaston is the logical conclusion, that eventually once his presence and nature was discovered, the outside world would find him, force its way in, and refuse him mercy or kindness...just as he had done to the "old woman".
  • Another minor one. Viewers may wonder why Belle goes to the West Wing when she knows that it's forbidden. Curiosity is, of course, the main reason. But consider as well that Lumiere had just organized an amazing dinner show to make her feel less like a prisoner--it worked too well. Getting comfortable allowed her puckish curiosity to come back with a vengeance, and since Belle wasn't afraid anymore, she felt like breaking the rules wouldn't have any life-threatening consequences.
  • This is antoher Beast and Gaston comparison. The Beast rejected the old begger woman, causing him to be cursed into becoming a beast. Gaston and his "friends" throw Maurice out of the tavern when he comes begging them all for help. What ends up happening to HIM?
  • The Beast lets Belle free, most people assume that it's because he loves her and [[I Wnat My Beloved To Be Happy wants her to be happy] even if it's not with him. This works but also consider that he was first cursed because he was callous and willing to trade another human life for his own convenience. It's the same situation here except now he makes the right decision. He could have said nothing, Belle would have kept her promise and stayed and maybe even confessed her love for him before the last petal fell. But it would be at the cost of Maurice's life, and Belle deserves someone better than that. Unfortunately his desire to be that better man for her means he may never be a man again.

Fridge Horror

  • Along the lines of the above Fridge Brilliance, if the events of the story happened BEFORE the French Revolution, then the Beast broke the curse, had his castle restored to riches, and got together with Belle just in time for the Reign of Terror. Hello Madame Guillotine.
  • In Beauty and The Beast, Belle only narrowly escapes having the rest of her life wrecked by a marriage everyone else thought was a good idea. Gaston was considered quite a catch by the town.
    • There's also the fact that Gaston clearly pictures "six or seven" children as a part of his life married to Belle, all boys. Belle is quite obviously not thrilled by this idea. What if she had been pushed to marry him, and then tried to refuse having any children? Or what if she had girls?
  • The longer you think about the situation of the household staff in Beauty and the Beast, the eerier it gets. Has Chip simply not aged in the entire time he's been a teacup, or does he have no memory at all of being human? And he's got like twenty brothers and sisters... all teacups... The twenty-first year may have even been 21 years as a Beast. Which means Chip (who is SO not ten or twenty - Lumiere says something about ten years going past, which, if you assume 21 means the Prince is 21, means he pissed off the enchantress at 11) was either in stasis the whole time, or, more likely, since he asks about sleeping in the cupboard, was born during the curse. How the Hell would that even work?!
    • All the furniture is alive, they are transformed humans. The beast sometimes starts breaking stuff when he is angry. The West Wing is filled with broken furniture (hopefully the living ones vacated the premises whenever he had a tantrum... hopefully.) All the furniture in Belle's bedroom (in addition to the wardrobe) is probably alive.
      • No. Not all the furniture is alive; much, in fact most, of the furniture, fixtures, and so on, would have to be normal, non-living furniture, fixtures, etc. which predate the Prince's transformation. And Chip's "twenty brothers and sisters" comment is most certainly hyperbole, unless he's counting all the children of the castle's staff. He's only about ten mentally, possibly less; either is appropriate.
      • Actually he has six siblings; I've counted.
    • Gaston's motivations are, to a child, reprehensible but not foul: he wants to marry Belle like moms and dads are married, live together, eat dinner together, etc. After you think about it as a grown-up (or at least a teen), though, it becomes quite obvious that "marry" is a euphemism for the fact that he basically wants to rape her, turning him from "bad man" to "disgusting sack of shit." And even more creepy, he did want to be married as mums and dads are married, her cooking and cleaning and giving birth to strapping boys, but with no personality of her own. And then you realize he could have had anyone of those blonde women and he knows it - he just wants to take away the personhood of the beautiful but strange woman, because that would be winning. Gaston is indeed first and foremost a hunter, and Belle is simply prey to him, and the only thing so far that has eluded him. That alone makes the whole dynamic very, very creepy. This Fridge Horror is best captured in the one scene when Gaston bursts into Belle's house to "propose" to her -- following her around the room, backing her against walls, knocking over furniture, trying to kiss her, and all with a disturbing, almost hungry look on his face. As an adult, you wonder how far he would have gone if Belle hadn't thrown him out.
    • After cracking the plan to have Maurice thrown in the loony bin, Gaston and LeFou perform a short reprise of the Gaston song. Gaston himself sings "No one takes cheap shots like Gaston." He knows full well that he's playing dirty here, and he doesn't care. In fact, he's patting himself on the back for it. The man considers himself a genius for stooping to such a vile and despicable method to achieve his already disgusting ambition. This lyric, coupled with the above revelations of his motivation essentially being to seize and destroy Belle's individuality, have convinced some that Gaston is second only to Frollo as Disney's most evil villain.
      • What makes it even worse, is that towards the end of Gaston's reprise, the villagers sing the line "And his marriage we soon will be celebrating...". That's right, although they may not know exactly what it is, the villagers are fully aware that Gaston is going to do to something terrible to Maruice, and yet they just cheer him on.
        • Gaston could have easily faked in believing in Maurice, saved Belle, and have won her heart under false pretenses (by, for once, not being an ass). While on the surface this may have been a nobler route (at least in Belle's eyes, before she found out the horrible truth), YMMV on whether or not Gaston's current hairbrained scheme was better than him actually thinking this one up, and could easily dip way into Fridge Horror.
    • Also, how about during the fight between the villagers and household objects towards the finale where the one guy was ripping the feathers out of the feather duster (who was screeching in pain) while giggling and smiling in a creepy manner? Consider how that would've looked like if she was her human self. Right, essentially he would be tearing at her skirt, making the whole thing an attempted rape scene. Or pulling out her limbs one by one, which is even creepier. Or both.
    • Lefou attacks Lumiere by holding a huge frigging torch next to him. Lumiere is made of wax.
      • And he's already beginning to profusely sweat (read: melt) by the time Cogsworth comes to the rescue.
    • Maurice is out in the cold for at least three or four days searching for Belle, and it's not unlikely that he was out for longer. And Lefou stands in the same spot while fall turns to winter. Think about that one a while.
    • But of particular note is the West Wing, which is much darker and more gothic than the rest of the castle and appears to be littered with piles of fur/carcasses of animals. Does that mean the Beast killed and ate numerous animals and just left their carcasses laying around?
    • During the Mob Song, you can clearly hear female voices at one point. So that means there were women (probably the Bimbettes) in the mob, and they were beat up by the castle denizens.
        • So women getting beat up by the castle denizens (who a few are female as well) is Fridge Horror but men getting beat up is a-OK?
          • I meant that the women were probably defenseless against the denizens, while the men at least put up a fight.
              • I think what the previous commenter meant is that, given the time period, the women of the village would have had little ability to fight back, on account of having never been taught. The men would know as a matter of course, but the women...not so much.
                • Then why did they go with the men in the first place if they can't fight?
                  • Maybe they went with the mob to protect their families because there are no men in the family? Or, if it's the Bimbettes, to try and impress Gaston.
                    • The former seems to be the case. In "The Mob Song," an unnamed village woman expresses terror that the beast was "set to sacrifice our children to his monstrous appetite."
                    • The female voices were most likely old women (as the only females present at the mob congregation to evict Maurice into the Asylum were old women). And the only other time that female voices were heard were when the servants were rushing down the stairs, meaning it's also more likely that the female voices were actually those of some of the servants rushing to block the door.
    • Let's not forget how the entire frigging crapsack village seems to be on Gaston's side and comes along on his rampage.
    • Some of the castle's inhabitants are humanoid, such as Cogsworth and Lumiere. Some just have faces. Others, like the plates have nothing. I have no mouth indeed.
    • There was a short gag when Gaston's mob attacks the castle where one guy falls into a blue chest, and the chest then licks its lips and burps. It just ate someone, what happened to him after everyone was transformed back, did the man survive?!
      • On the DVD at least you see that guy crawling away, covered in some kind of goo (spit, perhaps?) so all parties survived, but that scene is still Nightmare Fuel.
      • The dude eaten by that chest is in fact the baker of the town. (Go to the first scene of the town and take a look at the baker. Then skip to this scene and watch him get eaten.) Uh... that's a bit of a nightmare for him as he makes edible items. Being eaten alive... poor guy...
    • Remember when Belle was attacked by the wolves in the forest? What would have happened to her if the Beast hadn't come to rescue her?

Only problem is that Romulus and Remus were BABIES, Belle wasn't.

  • One disturbing thought I had always had as a kid during the mob scene at the end was when the wardrobe shut the villager inside herself and he emerged wearing the clothing housed inside. Obviously combs, brushes and drawers wouldn't be capable of enough dexterity to clothe a struggling person in an enclosed space. Would this mean the Prince's staff was turned into clothing as well? If that's the case, was Belle wearing someone in the ballroom?
    • obviously not, seeing as she was wearing it at the end after the transformation.
  • Chip and his siblings slept in a cramped cupboard. If the curse was broken while they were in there they would have been crushed to death.

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