Interview with Linda Woolverton about writing Beauty and the Beast

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Interview with Linda Woolverton about writing Beauty and the Beast

Postby ShyViolet » March 13th, 2017, 7:56 pm

"It is written among the limitless constellations of the celestial heavens, and in the depths of the emerald seas....the world which we see is an outward and visible dream of an inward and invisible reality."

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Re: Interview with Linda Woolverton about writing Beauty and the Beast

Postby Dacey » March 14th, 2017, 11:51 am

Thanks, Vi! :)
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Re: Interview with Linda Woolverton about writing Beauty and the Beast

Postby EricJ » March 14th, 2017, 12:45 pm

"Belle changes him!" Yeahh, that not only SOUNDS like something Linda would write, that sounds like the old guy joke. ("When you're getting married, keep your mind on the ceremony--Think of the aisle, think of the altar, think of the hymn...Because that's what she's thinking: 'Aisle-Altar-Hymn'.")
Put that together with poor lovable, smelly, socially disorganized Kristoff in Jennifer Lee's "Frozen" as a, quote, "fixer-upper" needing a good woman to "cure" his poor lonely cluttered-single-guy life of talking to his reindeer, and you can see how it's one of the chick-flick buttons that most guys find offensive when pushed.

In the original story, Belle changes, because she learns to look past appearances to see that the Beast had been gracious to her all along, and that's there's really nothing "scary" that he asks her every night to marry him. That's probably because in the original story (ding-ding, duck, message incoming!), there's some reason why it's not his fault that he might happen to look Beastly or lock himself away in big self-recriminatory castles--usually the "Fairy not invited to the christening" mess, not because he was an "obnoxious selfish male jerk" who "had it coming"--and that SHE has to be the one to learn the lesson....What, the female character has to not be perfect and learn something from the male one? That's sexist!!

I realize the 90's studio often said that the need to Make Up Crap and misandrically character-assassinate the tale's character for cheap female demographics was in trying to "stretch out" the story for feature length the way Jean Cocteau didn't need to in the 40's. But I think 25 years later--now that we've lived through Maleficent and the Alice movies--think I'll get less disagreement now for saying that Linda Woolverton is a loopy improvisational feminist nut who throws her classic stories into blenders, and turns the setting on Chick-Whip.
And THEN we Disney fans can all get back to those Lion King arguments that haven't been fully buried.

(Oh, and:
:?:
:?
:roll: )

:mrgreen:
Last edited by EricJ on March 14th, 2017, 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Interview with Linda Woolverton about writing Beauty and the Beast

Postby Dacey » March 14th, 2017, 1:39 pm

and you can see how it's one of the chick-flick buttons that most guys find offensive when pushed.


Well, I wasn't "offended" by it, so...
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Re: Interview with Linda Woolverton about writing Beauty and the Beast

Postby ShyViolet » March 14th, 2017, 1:46 pm

No prob Dacey! :)
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Re: Interview with Linda Woolverton about writing Beauty and the Beast

Postby ShyViolet » March 14th, 2017, 2:20 pm

Well actually, at first Belle does recoil from the Beast, ("I don't want anything to do with him!") when he, um, imprisons her for life, but then she does learn, little by little, that there's more to him than meets the eye. Because of him saving her from the wolves, giving her a whole library, trying to learn manners, etc...That's the entire point of "There might be something there that wasn't there before". Lol. :). Belle learns, too. She's not perfect either.
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Re: Interview with Linda Woolverton about writing Beauty and the Beast

Postby EricJ » March 14th, 2017, 3:42 pm

ShyViolet wrote:That's the entire point of "There might be something there that wasn't there before". Lol. :). Belle learns, too. She's not perfect either.


Although granted, in the original tale, much of the Beast WAS there before, like the ability to read or understand how to use silverware... :?

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Re: Interview with Linda Woolverton about writing Beauty and the Beast

Postby ShyViolet » March 14th, 2017, 8:11 pm

But the song isn't referring to the Beast, it's referring to their relationship: the Beast and Belle slowly falling in love. That's the "something there"; their perceptions of each other slowly changing.
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Re: Interview with Linda Woolverton about writing Beauty and the Beast

Postby LotsoA113 » March 15th, 2017, 3:39 pm

:shock:
:shock:
:shock:
:shock:
:shock:

Well EricJ, those were some....interesting, opinions on Beauty & The Beast and, oh, would you look at the time, I think I've gotta go....
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Re: Interview with Linda Woolverton about writing Beauty and the Beast

Postby Bill1978 » March 16th, 2017, 6:30 am

In that interview, Linda said that quote in response to the Stockholm Syndrome suggestion of the plot. She was arguing for it to be Stockholm, Belle needs to change to suit the captor. And she feels she didn't write that, she wrote that The Beast also changed therefore it is not Stockholm Syndrome.

And I agree with Linda and the others, both leads change throughout the movie towards each other. I've been listening to all my different versions of the soundtrack and listening to the work demo of the song Beauty and the Beast really highlights what not only Linda wanted to convey but also what Howard wanted to convey. And basically it is that both had to change their views to meet on common ground.

I do fear with what I've read about the new movie that they are not going to be subtle in pointing out why Belle loves the Beast and vice versa. Cause apparently that was a question Bill Condon felt needed to be answered. To which I replied - Um the original movie answers it if you pay attention to the entire movie and not just the Reddit crowd.

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Re: Interview with Linda Woolverton about writing Beauty and the Beast

Postby EricJ » March 16th, 2017, 12:56 pm

Bill1978 wrote:In that interview, Linda said that quote in response to the Stockholm Syndrome suggestion of the plot. She was arguing for it to be Stockholm, Belle needs to change to suit the captor. And she feels she didn't write that, she wrote that The Beast also changed therefore it is not Stockholm Syndrome.


Also, in the original tale--and one of the few things the movie got right, albeit for loopy over-screenwritten wrong reasons-- Beast didn't want Beauty "kidnapped", or at least, that wasn't his main goal at the start of the story: He wanted to punish her father for the Fairytale Crime of stealing roses. (Which the Beast's self-loathing reclusiveness had turned into the ultimate crime.) And then just from one of the hedges he loved, not "the" plot-pivotal rose.
Had Belle's father agreed to take his lumps, would we be accusing the Beast of being a gay dungeonmaster?

Belle was good, in that she agreed to take her father's place instead when he chickened out and groveled, which turned out to be a win-win situation for the Beast's curse.
That we, and she, learn why the Beast is so reclusive and loves his gardens so much (in the movie, of course, it's because he's "selfish"), hangs the tale.

Snow White's cleaning and prince songs, Belle's "kidnapping" and Cinderella going to the ball...You could make a whole LIST of Disney movies that female viewers just get plain ol' wrong.

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Re: Interview with Linda Woolverton about writing Beauty and the Beast

Postby ShyViolet » March 16th, 2017, 5:06 pm

The movie Beast wasn't reclusive because he was "selfish" but because he was "ashamed of his monstrous form." He hated himself (thus we see him tearing his own portrait) because of how he looked. (A lot of this was written not only by Woolverton but by Howard Ashman. Many say that the Beast's shame over his appearance was somewhat inspired by Ashman's despair and depression over what his sickness (AIDS) was doing to him physically when he was working on the songs and story of the film. Thus the Beast tells the servants in despair: "She'll never see me as anything...but a monster.")

And as I remember from the original story, there were other characters that very much represented selfishness, as Gaston did in the film: Belle's three beautiful but cold and spoiled sisters who wanted the roses in the first place. Having Gaston represent those sisters and act as a suitor to Belle was a great way to translate the message of beauty being skin deep to the screen.

And on women getting Disney film interpretations all wrong: Eric, there's more than just one way to look at these stories.
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Re: Interview with Linda Woolverton about writing Beauty and the Beast

Postby EricJ » March 16th, 2017, 7:15 pm

ShyViolet wrote:The movie Beast wasn't reclusive because he was "selfish" but because he was "ashamed of his monstrous form." He hated himself (thus we see him tearing his own portrait) because of how he looked. (A lot of this was written not only by Woolverton but by Howard Ashman. Many say that the Beast's shame over his appearance was somewhat inspired by Ashman's despair and depression over what his sickness (AIDS) was doing to him physically when he was working on the songs and story of the film. Thus the Beast tells the servants in despair: "She'll never see me as anything...but a monster.")


And we'll give Ashman credit on that--In the tale, the Beast rages at Belle's father stealing the roses because they're "the only beautiful thing left in my life!", which explains his overreaction; in the movie, we're not sure whether it's because of the Magic Plot Device, or meant to be his just typically being a jerk in general before his "reformation".

And on women getting Disney film interpretations all wrong: Eric, there's more than just one way to look at these stories.


(Well, if you ask them why Snow White cleaned the Dwarves' cottage or sang about her prince, that's when you start getting into the "wrong" answers...And go ahead, just ask them what the central "lesson" of Cinderella's story is.
I mean, it's not like us guys want to be this defensive of the reputations of Disney princesses, it's embarrassing for us too, y'know!)

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Re: Interview with Linda Woolverton about writing Beauty and the Beast

Postby ShyViolet » March 18th, 2017, 1:12 pm

"It is written among the limitless constellations of the celestial heavens, and in the depths of the emerald seas....the world which we see is an outward and visible dream of an inward and invisible reality."