My call to hear more about Belle's adventures
Newcomers to our site may expect us to be very anti-Disney, and certainly the older stories where the female leads are, shall we say, somewhat passive. Far from it. I LOVE Disney films and I am not ashamed to say that I went to see the live action Beauty and The Beast remake this year as a rock-and-roll night out with my husband and sang along to every word with tears in my eyes. Joy.
That said, I’ve been thinking about Belle and I feel like we are missing a part 2. Or at least an extra 10 mins at the end to tell her story.
She rejects Gaston because she “wants adventure in the great wide somewhere”. She doesn’t want to be his ‘little wife’. And all she does is get a bit lost down the road and end up in a castle. Insert lots of learning about looking past looks (his though, she’s still praised heavily for her beauty, the clue is in the title), and kindness etc etc. And how does the story end? She marries the prince-that-was-a-beast. She becomes ‘just’ a princess.
It’s a kick-ass castle with a massive library (more than her ‘provincial life’), but where’s the adventure she was after? Has it ended? Was the bit with the wolves and a magical dinner enough? I want to know what Belle does with her thirst for knowledge and adventurous spirit.
More than just a princess?
Disney if you’re reading this… how about she deals with the emotional rollercoaster of motherhood whilst lecturing at a local university and letting prince-beast run the castle and take care of the kids. Or, she studies medicine and pioneers the latest surgery in rural France, using the famous previously-forbidden west-wing as an outreach hospital. Or perhaps, taken from a moment in the live action film that definitely is not in the original (should we thank Emma Watson?) she opens up a school for young girls to learn to read, expand their thinking and go on to their own adventures.
It’s not that Belle is an uninspiring heroine. I just think we don’t get the full story.
Leave us your plotline ideas below…