Study Guide

Beauty and the Beast Community

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Funny thing about Beauty and the Beast: it doesn't have a lot of faith in community, at least the traditional kind. Disney movies have always tended to stress the value of community and the way tight-knit towns stood together against adversity. The town stands together hereā€¦against anyone who might be different or odd. The townspeople are shallow, pigheaded, and pretty darn judgmental, something that Gaston exploits to murderous effect in the finale.

Contrast that with the castle, where everyone hangs together through thick and thin. Sure, getting turned into a living housewares-department item will do that to you, but even so, it's a pretty sharp contrast from the town where Belle lives. In some ways, the movie is about Belle finding her home. We're just glad she found one with the singing cutlery instead of those rubes fawning over Gaston's disturbingly large antler collection back at the inn.

Questions About Community

  1. What are some of the positive ways communities behave in this movie? What are some of the negative ones?
  2. In what ways is the castle's community the same as the village's community?
  3. To what community does Belle belong? What does that say about who she is?
  4. What do you think happens to the village after the Beast is restored? What will that say about the kingdom's community?

Chew on This

The community in the castle in no different in essence than the community in the village.

The stronger the sense of community, the riskier it is to be an outsider like Belle.

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