Every so often Disney releases one of those childhood classics on special edition DVD or Blu-ray. What does that mean exactly? Well, not a whole helluva lot but it lets charge an arm and a leg for those of us who are feeling nostalgic. I say "us" because I will admit that I, Calhoun Kersten, pre-ordered Beauty and the Beast way back in May when Amazon sent me the e-mail saying that they finally had a release date. But that's neither here nor there. In honor of this re-release I've decided to share a few words of wisdom, appropriately titled, "5 things I learned from Beauty and the Beast." Considering it's been almost 20 years, I'm gonna go ahead and declare spoilers fair game so if for some reason you still haven't seen it, you may wanna go ahead and stop reading now. BUY ON AMAZON - Beauty and the Beast (Three-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
5. If you go to France, they'll sing in English.
To be fair, Beauty and the Beast isn't the only one guilty of this. How many times have you gone to a movie that you know takes place in a foreign land and they're speaking English the whole time? I'm not going to wait for a response because, let's be real, we both know the answer is a whole helluva lot! Now in Disney's defense, it's hard enough to sell a foreign language film (no, seriously, at least 10 people walked out of Pan's Labyrinth when I saw it as soon as they saw the subtitles), but a kid's foreign film? Forget about it! Besides, at least one of the songs has the word "bonjour" in it so that counts, right?
4. Bestiality's on the up and up as long as he's a prince.
Now I know that the whole thing's about how it's not what matters on the outside, it's what's on the inside that counts. Don't get me wrong, that's all well and good, but seriously, no one else thinks it's a little weird? We're talking about a guy (creature? I'm not sure what the PC term is here) who gets pissed and resorts to walking on all fours. He's animal where it counts. The only problem is, well... he's animal where it counts. Now take your minds to the gutter, I'm just sayin', I can't help but get a little weirded out by that. Then again, it's all good because the guy is royalty. How's that for shallow?
3. Talking tea cups are no longer signs of habitual drug abuse.
There once was a time where inanimate objects talking to you was a bad thing. In fact, it would probably be grounds for sticking you in an insane asylum, but when it comes to Disney? Oh, no worries, it's probably just some enchanted something or other. I know the basis for this isn't reality, but the amount of time in between Belle hearing a clock talk and her acceptance of it? Well, I don't have a stop watch or anything, but I feel pretty safe in saying it was about five seconds. No incredulity, nothing, just pure acceptance. I don't know about Belle but I might need a little more time than that. At least a little more time between that and propping my feet up on a foot rest that was once a dog, but that could just be me.
2. If a witch transforms you into furniture for most of your life, it's all good as long as she turns you back.
Now this one's always been a little confusing for me, so you'll hafta stay with me. So the witch turns all these innocent employees of this guy into furniture, right? First of all, I'm not exactly clear what they did besides work for the guy. Let's put that aside. As soon as they turn back, they're all the same age as when they were transformed. No harm no foul, they're just glad to be back and everything. OK, I may just be one of those people that can hold a grudge but spending however long they did as tea pots and feather dusters, a little indignation is warranted. So yeah, do the happy little dance when you get turned back, but I also think it's pretty fair to not be super happy about everything that just happened.
1. If he beats you, you can still change him.
Number one way to a girl's heart? Well, start by kidnapping her dad. When that doesn't get you what you want, trade him out for her and hold her against her will. If she gives you any lip, snarl and maybe smack her around a bit. In the end, she'll see that you're not such a bad guy and all that happily ever after stuff comes into play. It's ridiculous to think about, but what else does Beauty and the Beast have to say? Not a whole lot. Then again, I dare you to find a kid's movie from the 90s or earlier with a message you'd still want to teach your kids today. I bet you'll be hard pressed.
Now I'm off to wait by the mail for my Blu-ray to arrive so I can sing along ... "Tale as old as time."