Beauty and the Beast – Review as a Catholic Mother

Disclaimer: I was invited to a complimentary media screening of Beauty and the Beast. 

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*Please note – this review has spoilers*

In 1991, I was a sophomore in high school. I remember going to see Beauty and the Beast with my best friend Jen. We loved that movie so much. After we ate too many oreos and drank too much orange fanta, we’d pat our stomachs and say “pet the pooch” just as Cogsworth did. I’d sing “Tale as Old as Time” in my very best Celine Dion voice, and Jen would tolerate me.

As I prepared last Wednesday night to see Thursday’s media screening of Beauty and the Beast, the internet fire spread with rumors and hate. I read many of the tweets and felt my back clenching about what I would see the next day. I read words like “explicit gay scene” and “after credits gay kiss”.

I can honestly tell you that, no, neither of these things happened in the media screening I viewed. In fact, I wish I hadn’t read them because every time LeFou was on the screen, I was distracted, watching for any hidden sign.

The two scenes that could be construed as “gay” that I noticed from my viewing are as follows:

  • The wardrobe dresses three men in ribbons and fabric. One smiles and looks pleased about dressing in pink and purple ribbons. This scene lasts about 2 seconds.
  • At the very end of the movie, LeFou dances in the ballroom with many women. At the end he is paired with a man and raises his eyebrows. This scene lasts about 3 seconds.

*Edited to add (thank you, Alison!) – If you saw the original cartoon, you will remember LeFou’s song admiring and fawning over Gaston. The live action version is very similar*

Do I wish Disney lined up with my exact beliefs? Sure.

Is that the case? No. They are not a Christian company and have never claimed to be. I have different expectations for corporations than people.

My expectations for people are that we treat each other with respect and kindness. The rhetoric and hurt that has been spewed is unacceptable. I do not expect a movie to teach my children what I believe. That is my job. I do expect my children to treat all people with gentleness, kindness, and respect.

My family is not hidden away so that they never encounter anything that they disagree with. When my children leave my home, my hope is that they are able to interact with anyone of any belief – be it different values or different religions. My hope is that by their loving actions, people take note and engage them in thoughtful conversations about why they believe what they believe. We encourage one another to listen to other’s points of view with respect. Only then can real conversations happen. Only then can you show a world that disagreement and love can happen around the same table. Only then can we work together to discover the truth that does exist.

We all disagree on so much. We must think before we speak.

Each family must decide for themselves if they see the movie.

I will take Julia (16) and Nate (13) to see it. I know they will love the costumes and the new music.

I think Riley (6) is too young – not because of the scenes mentioned above. I honestly don’t think he would even notice those scenes. The wolf scenes are very intense and I think they may frighten him.

I hope this review shed some light on the controversy for you. And more than that, I hope that you remember to speak with love and not anger, no matter your beliefs.

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