The very popular children’s movie “Beauty and the Beast” was originally a fairy tale written by Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont. While the movie holds true to many of the themes displayed in the fairy tale, it falls short in other aspects. In the original fairy tale, the deal between the merchant and Beast is that one of the merchants daughter die in place of the merchant.
However in the Disney movie the deal that takes place between Belle and Beast is only that Belle stays in the castle as his prisoner instead of her father. I feel that this takes away from the overall drama of the fairy tale as death seems a much harsher fate than being held prisoner in a mansion. This is of course excluding the fact that Beast never actually intended on killing Belle, although we don’t know what fate would have had in store for the merchant if Belle didn’t volunteer to die in her father’s place.
In the original fairy tale, Belle is portrayed as a sort of hero by volunteering to die in her father’s place, but in the movie is portrayed as just a normal woman. In a book written by Betsy Hearne, she wrote “Structurally, we’ve lost Beauty as hero…she who almost killed the Beast with her lack of perception but instead saved him by developing perception becomes an observer of two guys fighting over a girl.” In the original fairy tale, Belle has control over almost everything she does and throughout the story changes how she perceives the Beast.
Essentially since Belle controls her emotions and actions, most readers look at her as a type of hero. In the Disney classic there are a lot of situations that Belle does not have control over such as the fight at the end when Gaston and Beast are fighting outside the mansion. Instead of a hero controlling the situation and the outcome of the story, Belle is just left outside watching helplessly. This is also what Hearne believes is happening in society as chauvinism plays a role in day to day life.