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Walt Disney Presents: "Beauty and the Beast"

The terrifying aspects of the Beast are powerful, but they ar tempered by this awareness of the truth and of the despair felt by the character. In this way the film is able to present the Beast as a terrifying presence while at the same time garnering sympathy and understanding for him and his plight. Much of that sympathy is missing in the Beast's encounter with Belle's father, for only the terrifying aspects are highlighted. The Best is often foreshadowed by his actual shadow, as in the scene with the father, and that shadow raises harrowing images of what might be coming. Ultimately, though, the shadow is another element of image that hides the truth, for the foreboding nature of the shadow is in stark black-and-white while the Beast has more colors, more range, and more to his underlying nature.

In the scene with Belle, though, when she substitutes herself for her father, the imagery shifts so as to raise once more the humanity hiding inside the Beast and to show how he uses anger, bluster, and volume to hide any feelings he might have. The Beast sees he has hurt Belle by not letting her say goodby to her father, but he says nothing. He does take her to a room rather than putting her in the dungeon. When told to ask her to dinner, he orders her to dinner, hiding his true feelings in a way that is easy to see through for the viewer. The nature of the Beast-ly covering on the human being is such that it is very flexible in the responses it gives to what may be taking place around the Prince. The Beast is always an abstraction that conveys meaning--the image of the Beast is an image of the inner feelings and nature of the Prince hidden within. As long as the Prince cannot love, the image remains that of the Beast, and the shifts in expression the viewer sees on the face of the Beast are reflections of the inner turmoil besetting the Prince.

Now, all this might seem simply harmless to most people, but there are critics...

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Walt Disney Presents: "Beauty and the Beast". (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 21:40, September 20, 2017, from
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