The Beast

Dear Beauty and the Beast: Anyone Who Enchants an 11-Year-Old-Boy Is an Asshole

She's looking like a real Glinda right now.

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Beauty and the Beast will always be one of my favorite Disney movies and Belle one of my favorite Disney Princesses, which has meant having to process all the criticism of the movie and the abusive elements it contains. The” Stockholm Syndrome” and “Abusive Beast” hot takes are old hat by now, as well as the counter-arguments against those readings. However, this post is not going to be about that. This post is about that beautiful Enchantress and how she’s … kind of an asshole.

Once upon a time, I made the tragic error of buying and watching Beauty and the Beast: Enchanted Christmas, one of the “midquels” that Disney put out to give us more insight into the characters. Most of them are bad, although there are a handful of exceptions, but what is most egregious about Enchanted Christmas is how it takes a giant dump on any of the implied character development that happens during BatB’s “Something There” romance montage. It is trash, but what it does do establish is that The Beast, or … Adam, was an eleven-year-old boy when he was cursed by the Enchantress … on Christmas day.

(Also, don’t the Enchantress look like a supporting character on Gargoyles?)

Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t fairy tales frown on cursing children? Even douche-y ones. Now, what this clip does is basically ruin the entire context of The Beast’s curse. In the original movie’s opening, the prologue says that he was turned off by her ugly old woman appearance, and that’s why he didn’t let her in. It also shows the old woman giving him a second chance, warning him to not be deceived by appearances because “beauty is found within.” He turns her away again, and that’s when she transforms into a beautiful woman, sees there is no love in his heart, and turns him into a beast.

Now, in the above clip, she interrupts a pre-teen boy during Christmas, he turns her away once out of greediness, and then she bursts in like a magical Kool-Aid man and turns a child into a monster. He hasn’t even gone through puberty yet, lady!

Going back to revisit the original animated film, you may think, Oh, that’s just bad continuity from a non-canon Disney animated film, except if you listen to the songs and narration in the original movie, it says that he needed to learn to find someone to love him by his 21st birthday or forever be cursed as a beast—a curse that began ten years ago, which means, yes, he was turned into a huge monster at the age of eleven.

Lady. Wtf?

First of all, an eleven-year-old boy not letting a strange old woman in during bad weather is just common sense, but also, he’s a child. The narration makes him sound like a Joffrey-style sociopath, but the flashback just makes him seem like a typical spoiled brat. It seems unbelievably cruel to make a young boy go through that kind of transformation. What’s more is that there is no one around his age in the castle, and for some reason, he is the only one who ages (maybe it’s because he’s organic and everyone else is an object?), so how is he supposed to have any context for romantic love?

He’s a prince surrounded by servants, who has spent half of his life in a non-human body. Because of his isolation, he has limited social skills. It’s even implied in the animated film that he is illiterate.

What I’m saying is that this Enchantress seemed to want him to fail. That’s all. Why can’t he just learn to not be an asshole. Why does he need to “get the girl” to break his curse?

One of the things the live-action film does is make The Beast an adult and educated when he’s cursed and really plays up the fancy French decadence, which is supposed to make him more ripe for character development, but then he became The Beast Who Negs, so pass.

All this is to say that part of what makes The Beast the way he is, without excusing his behavior, is that he has no knowledge of how to live like an adult because he’s never been an adult. The biggest problem with the movie, for me, is the fact that the Enchantress pins this young man’s salvation on the back of some unsuspecting woman somewhere.

Dick move.

(image: Disney)

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Author
Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.