Yesterday's post caused me to remember some of the issues I had with Beauty and the Beast, which came out when I was in elementary school. Beauty and the Beast 3D is now in theaters, so this is a relevant topic of discussion.
The first thing that kind of bugged me about the movie is that everybody in town loves Gaston. Everybody. He's supposed to be the main villain, but all the townspeople think he's the exact opposite of a villain. They even sing a song about how great he is.
Are the townspeople that deluded, they can't see through Gaston? Or does he have a host of admirable qualities that we just don't see? Maybe he's a really nice person in general, but he morphs into a humongous jerk whenever romance enters the picture. I know some men like that. Unfortunately, that's the only side of Gaston we get to see. It'd be interesting to see what Gaston is like, completely separate from his romantic intentions for Belle.
Personally, I always disliked Gaston, because he interrupts Belle while she's trying to read. My younger self got really annoyed, when people interrupted me during reading time. But the thing that really bugged me is that Gaston steals the book away from Belle, flips through it a bit, and says, "How can you read this thing? There's no pictures!"
Less than two minutes earlier, though, we saw the pages of the book, and it clearly had pictures. Check 2:45 of this video.
And believe it or not, that's why my eight-year-old self hated Gaston. He said the book had no pictures, when it did. I think I rewound the VHS tape about five times, to confirm that Gaston was wrong on this point.
Eventually, I came to the conclusion that the book Belle is reading is Beauty and the Beast. After all, it's about a girl who meets Prince Charming, but she won't discover that it's him 'til chapter three. What other fairy tale could she be reading, besides the Frog Princess?
This post is getting kind of long, so I'll just leave off with this one point. Sure, Gaston is the villain of the movie. True, he is kind of a jerk when he talks to Belle. But compared to how the Beast treats Belle when the two of them first meet, Gaston comes off looking like a nice, considerate, compassionate man.
But for some inexplicable reason, the Beast ends up being the bad guy who gets reformed by Belle, while Gaston gets discarded as being irredeemably evil. Just think what could have happened if Belle tried to transform Gaston into a nice person, the same way she tried to transform the Beast.