Saturday, August 17, 2013

Disney Sequelester - Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World

Selma's Magical Pain
I watched this one with the unfortunate BFF. Her first comment when we started was, "Wait, isn't this what happened in the last sequel?"

And indeed it is! It is exactly what happened in the last sequel.

One of the things I talked about when I got all serious on the Beauty and the Beast sequels is the fact that these suckers are doomed to only one conflict. Because they're midquels, they deal with the middle of the movie where Belle and Beast are learning to get along. They deal with it over... and over... and over...

There's two types of romance conflicts: conflicts of circumstance and conflicts of personality. In a book like Pride and Prejudice (I don't actually believe this book is really a romance, but the rest of the world does so whatever, we'll go with it), all the characters have to do in order to get married is decide that they like each other. In conflicts of circumstances - say, Romeo and Juliet (which is also not a romance, why do I even bother), the characters already like each other but can't get together until certain outer circumstances are overcome.

Beauty and the Beast works well because it's both, and once the conflict of personality is overcome, a conflict of circumstance takes over until the end of the movie.

The sequels to Beauty and the Beast choose to dwell in the conflict of personality for a cumulative 164 minutes. And since the only real conflict of personality they had in the first place was "Beast is a dick", this is... problematic.

Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World is a series of four television episodes duct-taped into a movie. I mean, probably. There's actually an earlier version of the movie that only had three episodes instead of four, but I watched all four incredibly painful parts, because that is how much I love you all.

Keep in mind, when I say that these things are television episodes, I'm saying it because there is literally NO connection between the episodes. They have different title screens.

Have I ever lied to you?
Also, everything is the woman's fault.
So instead of trying to review everything as one movie, I'm going to break it down by episode and tell you the contents and moral of each. Because there is a moral for each one. There's occasionally a song that goes along with it, like the classic "Listen With Your Heart" that's in no way a repeat of a (better) Pocahontas song.

The Perfect Word

Beast decides to invite Belle to dinner, as he does in 2/4 of these things. Because originality! He asks Lumiere some really awkward questions about, "Why does she make me feel so nervous?" Sounds like a personal problem.

And now I'm uncomfortable.
At dinner Belle makes Beast SO nervous that he starts getting hot flashes. He opens the window and apparently there's a freaking blizzard outside, because the sleet sends everyone flying. Belle argues with him about being rude and Beast commits battery against Webster the dictionary. I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand, violence is cool if you're in charge, people! On the other hand, when Belle screams, "Oh no!" and runs to kneel by Webster's side, it seems a little excessive. It's a book.

So now Belle and Beast are fighting - he's mad that she called him rude, and she's mad because he's a dick with anger issues. When Lumiere and Cogsworth come to try to get Belle to apologize, she admits that she does owe Beast an apology for calling him rude. Umm... why? He was rude.

Webster's friend the quill comes up with this plan to fix everything by forging an apology. It works until Beast finds out about it and throws them out of the castle. They say, "We'll go into town." Wait, really?! This is the most interesting idea so far! So, of course, nothing happens, surprise.

Belle and the pot and candle and clock sit around and talk about how everything that happened is their fault. Great, all of you take responsibility for Beast's actions. This is how you turn people into monsters! But the wanderers come home, because nothing interesting is allowed to happen in this movie, and Beast finally apologizes.

He says, "That was so easy! I feel happy now! Happier than I can remember!" Well great, now you can make the same mistake three more times in the movie.

The Moral: If your partner is a jerk, take responsibility for everything. It's probably your fault.

Fifi's Folly

Remember that feather duster that was in the first movie for like three seconds to establish that Lumiere is (was) a candle-whore? It's the fifth anniversary of her first date with Lumiere. I don't understand the details of this and I don't want to.

Lumiere has forgotten about this, but when Belle reminds him, he decides to plan this whole thing that involves a tuba and a sled. Don't ask, they're French.

Fifi overhears Belle and Lumiere talking and thinks that they're in love, even though one of them is a girl and one of them is... you know... a candle. Actually, that's not entirely true. What Fifi really thinks is that Belle is a seductress out to mesmerize Lumiere. I am so not even joking.

Lumiere: Come, we cannot do it here, the little one might see us. (WAT.)
Fifi: *gasp*
Lumiere: Come cherie, we shall, as they say, make beautiful music together.
Fifi: She pretends to be my friend, even as she ignites this burning passion within my beloved Lumiere. (is that a pun or just gross? I can't tell.)
Belle: You must tell me how you honestly feel about her.
Lumiere: I... I... I cannot!
Belle: You must! Or perhaps it'll be easier if you pretend that I am Fifi. (uhhhhhhhhh is this implying what I think it's implying?)
Fifi: She has no shame! (or HE has no shame. don't blame the other lady!)
Belle: Tell me everything you'd tell her.
Lumiere: I want to... you must know I want to... more than anything!
Fifi: He weakens under the spell of ze wretched enchantress! (did Belle suddenly acquire mystical powers while I wasn't paying attention?)
Lumiere: I am ready now. I shall do it. (okay that is DEFINITELY a sex joke, shame on you, Disney!)
Fifi: Her evil power is too great for my beloved Lumiere. (good thing Belle traded her voice to a sea witch in return for magic, huh?)

Mrs. Potts comes across a distraught Fifi and says, "Things can't be all that bad. My dear, you must remember, things are not always as they seem." So if someone seems to be acting suspiciously, remember that it's probably all in your head.

This is what a distraught feather duster looks like, in case
you were wondering.
Fifi's all, well, if you'd just lost the candelabra of your dreams... And runs into the quill from the previous story, who tells Fifi to make Lumiere jealous. Brilliant! Or it would've been, if she hadn't tried to work her wiles on Cogsworth, who is clearly gay for Lumiere. He has zero interest, which is mildly hilarious.

While Lumiere makes all these plans, Fifi despairs, and attempts to sabotage the planned sleigh ride by cutting partway through the rope, while my BFF screams, "I TOLD YOU SO" in my ear. I'd bet there would be a giant misunderstanding; she'd bet there would be jealous sabotage. Yay, we both win lose!

They all go on the sleigh ride, Fifi almost dies and demands that Lumiere save her multiple times even as he tells her that he can't do anything. They are equally useless. Of course Belle saves everyone, surprise!

The Moral: Women are evil.
The Secondary Moral: Don't rely on men, because they're not superheroes. Rely on your own damn self. Oh wait, sorry, that would be the moral of a good movie.

Mrs. Potts' Party

This one is so stupid that I can barely stand to recap it. I guess it feels worse because it's stupid in vicious new ways.

Mrs. Potts has Seasonal Affective Disorder (no REALLY, that is the plot), and when Belle finds out, she decides that a party will make Mrs. Potts stop feeling depressed. That word is literally used.

The many idiotic characters in this movie are completely incapable of working with each other, and repeatedly screw up the only two parts of the "party": the cake and the music. That's the party.

Why are you laughing? There's nothing funny about
spilling water. Don't act like that makes everything okay!
It's vital that the inhabitants of the castle pull off this party, because as we all know, the only thing that cures depression is a bangin party. When they fail, Mrs. Potts shakes her head and says, "This doesn't make me feel happy." GOOD GOING GUYS.

There's this really weird subplot about how flowers keep getting sent to Beast's room by accident, where he's sleeping because he was up all night fixing the roof... IDK guys, it's super dumb and goes nowhere.

Anyway eventually everyone gets their shizz together and there's a party and the sun comes out but it's okay, Mrs. Potts already feels better thanks to everyone working together.

The Moral: Parties cure depression.

The Broken Wing

Beast orders Belle to have lunch with him, and can't understand why he needs to be polite. He actually does not understand why. Mrs. Potts have to convince him that it will be beneficial to pretend since Belle is new. He's a winner, for sure.

A dumb bird flies into the window and breaks its wing. Belle gets all obsessed with it and forgets about lunch. Beast storms into her room. The way that Mrs. Potts and the dresser try to protect her is pretty scary, honestly.

This relationship seems healthy.
When Beast finds the bird, he tries to kill it. No joke. It runs away from him, he falls down the stairs, and for some reason Belle is upset by this. Then the bird starts singing and Beast decides that he likes the bird now, but he's going to lock it in a cage forever, and he screams at Belle when she tells him it should be wild.


Because the bird has more self-respect than anyone in the castle it refuses to sing, and eventually Beast decides to let it free. (Not Belle though...) It almost falls, Beast saves it, aaaaand that's pretty much it.

The Moral: If a person does one good thing in their life, you are required to love them forever.


  1. Romeo & Juliet is so not a romance. Ugh, I totally agree. And Pride & Prejudice too. It's literature. Awesome literature. ^_^

    How many of these things are there?!
    Though I must say, the commentary has cracked me up. Lol! I will take these wonderful morals and tack them to my ceiling so I can see them first thing in the morning.

    1. LOL that last line cracked me up. If you're going to tack any morals to your ceiling, these are DEFINITELY the morals to do so with.