Friday, January 20, 2012

Gaston

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?
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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.

21 comments:

sarah said...

Gaston is a total JERK!!!! He is the Tino Balducci of Disney!!! The townspeople in that movie are just... dumb. They think Belle is weird cuz she actually wants to do something with her life and they think Gaston is great because he is big, strong, and handsome. (That's what they think, not me. I think he is UGLY!!!!) And about the beast, I think you would be upset if you were going to be stuck a big furry beast with a candelabra and clock for friends... cut him some slack, he's actually a very nice guy!!! That's the magic of this movie! At first glance the beast is, well, a beast but when you look deeper and take the time to get to know him (like Belle did) he's really a kind person!

Bluetopaz79 said...

Sarah ~ I agree with what you said. It's like that saying: Don't Judge a Book by it's Cover. Whoever changed the Prince into the beast should have visited Gaston!!!

Kate said...

I love Gaston, but it's because he's such a jerk! I love watching evil, ruthless, arrogant villans, and Gaston is one of my favorites.

He acts like a tough, manly, important guy, like he runs the place. He's built up a great reputation, which is probably why everyone sings a song about him (in opperetta version, of course) I agree that it's wierd that he says the book has no pictures, but, then again, the sheep did start eating Belle's book, maybe that was the only picture.

Then again, it seams odd that the only picture in the book is in the middle of the first or secound chapter, so I think that was an accident.

Overall, I compleatly agree that Gaston is a horrible person, but, he's still a great villan.

Anonymous said...

Hmm...never thought about that. I think the reason we sympathize with the Beast vs. Gaston is because the Beast was "cursed," so he has a more legitimate reason to be a jerk (what would you if you were turned into a hideous beast?), and we pity him. But Gaston has no reason to treat people badly, he's supposedly handsome and charming, so we look at his attitude as complete arrogance.

Anonymous said...

Well, remember in the beginning of the movie, everybody is judging Bell because she's a bookworm. They really don't think that she should be reading because to them it's not seen as feminine. Gaston, on the other hand, is the picture of masculinity. He has a deep voice, is strong, and is looking to marry (which is something Bell has no intentions of.)I think the reason why everyone loves Gaston is because Belle's the town weirdo while Gaston does things the townspeople feel are more appropriate.

Anonymous said...

i saw Beauty and the Beast in 3D today!! :D

Anonymous said...

and i tottaly agree that gaston is a jerk

another Gaston hater said...

Thank you for, my fellow Gaston haters, for badmouthing that jerk. It sickens me that there are people who like him. I sympathize with Belle because she's similar ot me in that we like to read, have senses of adventure, aren't very interested in appearances, and were treated like outcasts because we were thought of nerds by superficial bullies.

As for you Kate, you ought to be ashamed of yourself for liking Gaston and other jerks. What if lots of villains did many bad things to you and your loved ones? Would you still like them?

I'm sick of macho bullies 'cause of they're full of themselves and because they have no respect for other who are different from them. I mean, you Kate do well to keep away from them because they could do lots of nasty things to you. But if you'd rather be with them and get bullied for the rest of your life, don't blame me or anyone else if you suffer the consequences.

Tabetha said...

I think for Gaston, only the occasional picture meant there weren't many pictures. Shrugs. Or it could be that there were more big words he couldn't read then pictures. LOL.

Anyway, I always thought she was reading Sleeping Beauty. Granted it has been a while since I've read it but I think Aurora meets the prince before she knows he's one.

Kate said...

Dear another Gaston hater,

Thanks for insulting me, but you're missunderstood.

I enjoy hating people, and the reason I like Gaston isn't because I like people who are jerks.

I was trying to say I enjoyed how well developed and realistic he is. And when he finaly gets what he deserves in the end, it becomes satisfing. (VERY satisfing)

Who are you to say that because I found Gaston entertaining (Yes, that was what I was trying to say) that I am stupid.

You know nothing about me, I would never treat someone or be friends with someone who would hurt someone, and if somthing like that happened, I would be there for the victim and would become the bully's worst nighmare.

Shame on me? Maybe shame on you for saying I'm a terrible person.

Sorry for saying that, but it wasn't nice.

Love from Kate

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kate, I like WATCHING villains, it doesn't mean we LIKE villains who are jerks, we simply enjoy them as characters, not if they were real. So another Gaston hater, you can't call HER stupid when you couldn't see what she meant! And also it is just a film, you don't need to call people stupid because they don't agree with YOU.

sarah said...

Just wanted to remind everyone that we're talking about a movie. Please don't let anything get out of hand....

sarah said...

@ Kate- I think another gaston hater just misunderstood your comment...

Anonymous said...

@ sarah

I understand, I was just standing up for myself. Didn't want anyting to get out of hand.

~Kate

XYZinnia said...

Actually, I don't think she's reading "Beauty and the Beast", because the picture shows a boy, not a beast. :) I always thought it was just a generic romance. (But it sounds like the Princess Bride!)

Kira said...

This is why Beauty and the Beast is such a beautiful story. The Beast has hidden inner beauty, while Gaston? xD Ugly inside and out.

Anonymous said...

I have no clue why people are lashing out at Kate! I understand what she is saying and I agree that he is a good villian. He may not be the best person around but his well-being enhanced the movie. Every story has an antagonist and Gaston is one of the best. And thats all I have to say for the conversation which has already been dropped.

Joanna said...

One thing I have to say about it is that my twin sister and I would rewind the VHS and watch certain scenes like that. Just like Swan Princess 3 when Zelda falls onto a forcefield at the end. My brother took a picture of it, and had it as his screen saver for the longest time. I bet no one has seen Swan Princess 3, it was made a while ago. I should probably delete this, but oh well. :D On another tangent.

another Gaston hater said...

I'm sorry for misunderstanding. Now I understand what you people had typed to me.

And I apologize to you, Kate, for insulting you. However, you shouldn't thank me for insulting you because it's like accepting blame for something that you didn't do.

If you got offending by my insults, you could have asked me to not insult you and I might have respected your request.

Now that I got my irrationality off my chest, I hope that all the people who I typed to can forgive me. From now on, I'll try my best not to be too judgmental like Gaston is.

another Gaston hater said...

Maybe I was too hasty in apologizing. It isn't that I don't want to aplogize. It's just that I don't want people who badmouth characters they hate to stop them by telling them they aren't real. Everyone has a right to express their opinions whether or not they're about real or unreal people.

One reason that I went all anti-Gasdton on Kate is because I've seen too much fanaticism for Gaston as well as other jerks and villains. And that makes me sick.

Another reason why I acted anti-Gaston is some guy or gal on the Internet typed that Belle's delusional and suggested that Gasotn's a good guy even though he isn't. What a liar that person is.

All this support for people like Gaston has gone too far. It's like people who favor jocks over nerds because they're too shallow to see how bad the jocks and how good the nerds are. I'd rather be with a nerd than a jock any day.

And Kate? About you telling me that it's very satisfying to see Gasdton die close to end of Beauty and the Beast, I agree with you. But some other guy or gal on the Internet lied that Gaston survived and continues to wreak havoc again. Sounds blind if you ask me.

If I'm the Beast, I'd kill Gaston and feel good about it.

Now, onto you, sarah: I couldn't agree more with you. Like with Belle, I can relate to you.

As for you, Bluetopaz79, I second what you typed.

Sparksbet said...

Another Gaston hater - I'm just going to throw in my two-cents about this whole "to like or not to like Gaston and other villains" topic. To start, I'd just like to say that I agree with both you and Kate in part.

The reason that people like Kate and I like Gaston is NOT because we actually think he's a good person, or that we actually would respect/like him in real life. The reason that we like Gaston is because he's a very well-developed, well-written character - in other words, it's because the writer did a good job. We like THE character but not HIS character. I agree that some people take their villain-love too far by idolizing the villains themselves. But for most of us, we don't like the VILLAIN. We like the way the author wrote and developed their character. Beside - he's just fun to watch because he's not only well-developed, but also pretty funny. As Sarah said, he's the Tino Balducci of Disney. (I love him for the same reasons - he's a jerk, but he's SO much fun to watch!)

It is satisfying when you see the Beast kill Gaston. HOWEVER, about what you said, about how if you were the Beast you'd kill Gaston and feel good about it - from both a storytelling and a character perspective, that would be horrible. The very fact that the Beast is willing to show mercy to a guy who's trying to KILL him shows how far he's actually come in his character development. If he killed Gaston in the way you said, he would be no better than Gaston was.

Btw, your statement about nerds and jocks - I AM a nerd, and I appreciate your affinity for us nerds, but don't stereotype the jocks. There are nice jocks out there. Just much fewer of them.

And it's never too hasty to apologize.

On a different note, has anyone seen/heard the Beauty and the Beast stage play? Gaston has a song all to himself in that (appropriately titled "Me"), and it's HILARIOUS. It's almost my favorite song in the show, other than Beast's mega-song-soliloquy at the end of the first act. That role would be SO fun to play. Also, Gaston has a REALLY hot singing voice.