Beauty and the Beast is probably my all-time favorite Disney musical.
My aunt took me to see the theatrical version on Broadway for my 14th birthday, and that sort of experience tends to be pretty formative (my 13th birthday was Phantom of the Opera, and I can still basically recite that play by heart without needing the music). But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate the depth of the story:
- It’s a call for open-mindedness and diversity that was pretty unusual for its day (1991) and remains relevant today.
- Its heroine, Belle, is a much stronger woman character than had been typical to that point (only Jasmine is comparable until we hit the Tangled/Frozen era)
- And its climactic song, unimaginatively titled “The Mob Song,” is a rousing and chilling exploration of how fear turns people into the beasts they so despise and war against.
I’ve been thinking more about this song lately, especially its 2017 live-action version, which makes the subtext more explicit when Gaston’s sidekick, Lefou (played by the wonderful Josh Gad), mutters to himself: “There’s a beast running wild, there’s no question/But I fear the wrong monster’s released.” Continue reading Kill the Beast: Disney Musicals, the Book of Revelation and You