lordyellowtail: (X and Alia (By Your Side))
Much has been written about this couple--meta, fanfic, and so much more. Anything I could say to explain why they're wonderful would be repeating something someone else--or perhaps several someones--already said. Either you know them and love them, or you've somehow missed watching one of the greatest Disney films ever made, and one of the best love stories ever told in modern media.

And if you've never seen Disney's Beauty an the Beast, which came out in the early 1990s, I respectfully ask that you please get off my lawn and go find it and watch it, now. It's probably on Netflix. Go. Go, now.

I've already (briefly) waxed (semi) rhapsodically on this pairing in a previous post. It's less meta and more aimless gushing, but hey.Feel free to check it out if you like.

While I'm sure there are some magnificent fanmade shipping videos for these two, I didn't go looking for any this week. What canon itself gives us is just perfect. It actually gives us a few shipping song masterpieces. But as far as encapsulating their whole relationship and their hopes for the future, I think this one is best.

For the record, that's Angela Lansbury singing.

Enjoy.

PS.: I hadn't watched this movie in probably 20 years and only when I saw this clip on YouTube did I notice for the first time the part where Beast stares at Lumiere and the others with this incredible adorkable "Hey, guys, look! She's dancing with me! I'm okay at this!" look. It's just so great. I love Beast. Get past his quite understandable depression and social awkwardness (he was cursed when he was 11, neatly explaining both), and he's one of the most down to earth of the Disney Princes. He and Eric are the two I'd most want to hang out with.




Also, for the record, I'm strongly considering getting a paid account here just so I can store more icons. As much as I love them, it's a shame that my best "this is a ship I take seriously" icon is presently a pair of anatomically correct, sapient androids in combat armor from the 22nd century. That I'm applying this icon to a post about a human-cursed-into-a-chimera and a French peasant girl in the 1750s doesn't help. On the other hand, it's a great metaphor for the wackiness of my fandom (and shipping) life. I like it weird.

lordyellowtail: (Default)
I've been re-reading the Beauty and the Beast TV Tropes page and re-watching key scenes on YouTube, and it's reminded me how much I love this movie. I've not watched it all the way through in about 15 years at least, probably closer to 20.

(Oh my God, years, how do you happen? Also, spoiler warning.)

It's probably the best straight-up romance Disney has ever animated, and without a doubt one of the most beautifully animated 2D movies they ever made, as well as just being one of the best movies in the Disney Animated Canon. The Lion King is right up there with it in terms of quality, but for me at least this one is the best--it's just ... grander, in so many ways, without losing its sincere heart.

I'm probably too tired to try to make any more sense than that, so I'm going to quit while I'm (maybe) ahead.

The thing is, as I've gotten older my tastes in fiction, and in particular, romance, have changed. When I was little, I was totally on board with the Beast getting turned back into a Prince and he and Belle going off and doing their Happy Ever After thing.

Now, that feels a bit like a copout. The whole movie is about sending the message that true love is not about appearances, but about the people we are inside. So it feels a little hollow that the ending rewards acknowledgement of love of the Beast's inner beauty by giving him outer beauty. The Beast had already regained his humanity by the end, if not his human body, and it's his humanity and personality and heart (and even presumably his use as a living furry blanket) Belle falls in love with.

(Alleged outer beauty. I personally think the Prince is one of the least attractive of the human Disney Princes, and prefer the Beast's design. It's not necessarily more attractive (unless you're into chimera), but it's one of the most interesting and complex heroic romantic couple character designs Disney has ever done. And the fact that Belle genuinely falls in love with him when he looks like that, to the point she's initially disappointed/suspicious it's really him when he turns human until she looks him in the eyes and recognizes him, really sells the film's underlying message.)

I'm tuning in for Belle's romance with a thinking, feeling Beast, not her romance with some generic prince that neatly sidesteps all the really interesting potential character-drama of their relationship with the power of blandness.

So what I'd love to see is an AU where the movie ends almost exactly as before. Gaston is defeated, Belle and the Beast confess their love, the spell is lifted from the castle and most of its inhabitants...except the Beast. And they're still in love, anyway, because their love is epic. Now, there would be some drama, but they fall in love while he's a chimera so there shouldn't be a boat-load of "I'm a monster!" angst, if only because it would unnecessarily rewind Beast's story-arc--he's already gone through that in the original movie, and conquered it masterfully by the conclusion. It actually weakens his character if it's implied he only overcame his outer appearance and opened up emotionally because he was depending on getting his human body back to manage a long term relationship.

There appears to be an actual small cottage industry of these sorts of fics. I've run across a few on FFN, already. If anyone would like to recommend any, let me know. I'm going to keep exploring and will post recs of any good ones I find.

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Lord Yellowtail

July 2016

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