Wow, has it REALLY been 20 years since Beauty and the Beast was first released? In November 1991, I was about to turn 16 and, if you ask my parents, I was probably pretty far from acting like a “princess” at that point (I WAS a teenager after all!)
I don’t remember exactly what day I went to see Beauty and the Beast or even who I went with, but I do remember that from the opening song, I was pretty much taken with it all. Belle was different than the princesses I grew up with – dark-haired, booksmart, a bit of an outcast and not willing to put up with crap from the first cute guy she saw. For the first time ever, I related to a Disney character and could see myself in her place. I had loved the Disney princess characters before her, but it was hard for me to visualize myself in their shoes when I had never been a princess shunned by her step-mother, a well-to-do girl who has lost her father, or even, a mermaid (no, I have NEVER had fins…that I know of ). Sure, all of those characters have something that I could relate to, but Belle was just a normal girl like me.
The music was also a big part of what drew me into the movie and I listened to the soundtrack over and over and over again. A few years later, I went off to college and started working in a restaurant. One night I had to close the store with a couple other employees and an assistant manager. We always listened to music while we were working and normally it was rap or heavy metal, but that particular night, the asst. manager turned on the music and I heard “Little town, it’s a quiet village. Every day like the day before. Little town, full of little people waking up to say…” Needless to say, I was a little surprised and I went over to the mgr. and asked him about it. Come to find out, Beauty and the Beast was one of his favorite movies and the music it was some of his favorite. Well, I didn’t know it then, but I had found my “beast”, and 3 years later we were married
Now that I have a daughter, princesses are a part of our every day lives. While Colorado Princess pretty much likes all the princesses, she has decided her very favorite is Belle. Why, you might ask? Her answer, “Belle has brown hair and is just like me!” It’s great to see that even 20 years after it was first released, Beauty and the Beast is winning over little girls because she is so relatable!