Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Beauty and the Beast

A series of events led to this post.

  1. My favorite radio station changed its schedule in a most unpleasant way.
  2. The cassette player in my car got tired of my Steve Green tape, so I'm giving it a break.
  3. Life is calm enough that I can pray and listen to music at the same time - sometimes.
  4. I have been listening to the soundtrack for Beauty and the Beast, which I picked up for less than a dollar at a thrift store or garage sale.

I don't think the composers knew what they were doing when they made this soundtrack. They made beautiful music, with skill that I probably don't comprehend. But they orchestrated a story, and characters, emotions, and virtues into this music. My heart is more touched simply hearing the haunting instrumental tracks than by watching the movie. Maybe because I'm not distracted by images with the sound, I can consider the thoughts of each character, the intensity of the moments. Because the music is less bound in a setting, I think this can become my theme, too.

Disney hit virtue, by some miracle, in Beauty and the Beast. One of my favorite parts is the prologue. Belle practices sacrifice. Beast learns to love her selflessly and unconditionally. Even when she risks his life by disobeying his instructions, entering the West Wing; when he is so angry that he frightens her out of her vow with a roar, he goes after her and risks his life for her to ward off wolves. Each character is so fragile, yet confident. And the song, Beauty and the Beast (tale as old as time) describes a sweet love story: both scared, neither prepared, both change, somebody bends... As the trailer for the latest Pride and Prejudice said, "We are all fools in love."

Belle is smart. She doesn't settle. Her father means a lot to her, even though he's a little odd. Even in a simple, everyday world, she dreams. She is confident enough to carry herself well even in a grand palace. Her heart is naturally grateful.

Sixteen years ago this Thanksgiving, Beauty and the Beast had its theatrical release. It was the first movie I purchased with my own money. In fact I believe I went into the store on my own to buy it, as maybe a second-grader. At that point I'm not even sure I'd seen the movie. There was one Christmas when I spent an hour in Walmart trying to decide which version of the Belle Barbie doll to buy: normal Belle or wedding Belle. I settled on normal and some ugly ballgown that was meant to double as the wedding dress I left behind.

So many years and this is still a favorite, ranking right up there with the very long Pride and Prejudice. I'm not ready to stop loving this movie, and I don't like writing conclusions. "The magic never ends."

To God be all glory.

1 comment:

Lady Rael said...

This has always been one of my favorite Disney movies. :-) Thanks for discribing so well many of the reasons why! Oh, and while I own no soundtrack, I've listened to the Broadway version at a friend's house, and was excited to hear a few extra songs not in the film!

May we all learn the beauty of sacrifice and unconditional love from stories such as this! 'Course, Christ is the greatest example of Beauty loving a beast(sinful man) and giving His all to prove it! :-)

In Christ,
~Rael~