Friday, March 28, 2014

The Princess Project Bonus Post - "Beauty and the Beast" Discussions!

Tweets originally posted on 1/8/14

Okay, so here are three jumping-off points I wanted to talk about after the movie.

Point the First: The staff of the castle/Enchanted Objects get the worse end of the curse. Fact.

Picture this: You get a job in a castle. It's pretty awesome though the Prince is a total bratface.

You're in the kitchen, you don't have to deal with him much. And then one night, you get transformed into a spoon.

(It is unknown whether you're ensorcelled to replace an existing spoon, or if your mind enters and animates the spoon. Anyway)

In any case, you're now a spoon in a drawer. This happened, it later turns out, because your boss had to go and p*ss off a witch

And your boss, the guy who p*ssed off the witch, is the ONE PERSON in the castle who gets to stay a carbon-based life form.

With arms, and a spine, and everything. Meanwhile, just cause you happened to be there, you're a chunk of metal in a drawer.

The Enchantress is nuts. "Prince, you turn into a big hairy monster on account of being a brat!...

"...And all you employees turn into household appliances just for being accomplices to your boss being a brat!.."

"Welp, so long! Have fun thinking about what you did for an ambiguous amount of time!"

You know they're doing things right when you have a nightmare about this guy. photo magicaljerkass_zps78bc96d3.gif

Magic Man is doubly-perfect here since his debut episode is almost a commentary on the f'ed-upishness of this situation.

Note how truly *horrified* Cogsworth is when Beast tells him Belle has left to rescue her father. And he has *arms*!

Point the Second: Ignoring, for the moment, Folktale Logic, the timeline of this story is... odd...

...and seems to support the Rotoscopers' "Time Vortex"/"Beast's Moving Batcave" theory. (I may be conflating two things...?)

Okay, so briefly, the theory is that the curse also messed up how time works in the castle.

This resolves some of the plot weirdness: Belle's in the castle for weeks at least but Gaston's planning takes a day or two?

It also helps cast doubt on the "until his 21'st year"/"ten years we've been rusting" thing, thank the gods old and new.

(Of course, if the Enchantress really did do all this to an eleven-year-old, she's even more awful than I've already said...)

Anyway, time does funky things in and around Beast's property. Maybe their time spent under the curse was...

...shorter than literally a decade (but, understandably, felt that way). But, time slows down long enough...

...for Belle and Beast's relationship to develop.

Now... I normally disregard sequels, but I bring them up because the Time Vortex theory does weird stuff to them.

It allocates enough time for both a (really bad) Christmas special and a (REALLY bad) failed TV series to happen.

And it suggests a way for Chip's memory to be somewhat foggy. Which is a f***ing Godsend.

Because there is a line in "Enchanted Christmas" that, if taken literally, strongly suggests Chip was BORN AS A TEACUP!?! <:C

I'm not kidding. He says he's never seen a Christmas. And BATBEC retcons the night the Enchantress arrives to... Christmas Eve

I can't even... But if there's a time vortex, and Chip was very young when cursed, it probably warped his memory considerably.

So yeah, Time Vortex Theory for all the (Mickey face) waffles.

Anyway, here's the Rotoscopers' episode in question (their very first one, in fact) if you missed it.

Point the Third: While Beast's character design is awesome on toast, the Prince's character design is... yikes.

Let's take another look at the Human!Enchanted Objects.

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Notice how, even though they're suddenly no longer a clock, teapot, and candle, you can *still* recognize them as people.

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Meanwhile, Human!Beast is... well, we have to take it on faith that he's even the same character in a different form.

He really looks nothing like the character we know. Those "Paul Newman eyes" are the same but that's literally it.

He's *TOO* perfect-looking! I think Keane wanted to design him as the most handsome Prince ever...

...and wound up way to close to the Uncanny Valley.

Prince ExBeast is less interesting and -dare I say it- attractive than Beast because he's too damn perfect. #NotAFurry

You can tell which design Kean worked his butt off on and loved to death and which one was...

..."Eh... whatever. I guess I can use this figure drawing I did once. Sure."

Which now that I mention it, I seem to recall reading that Beast's transformation was...

...inspired by one of Keane's favorite Classical sculptures. So Prince might literally be based on a statue.

Last time this convo came up, it was suggested (I forget who, sorry) that ExBeast would be easier to take with, like, a beard.

Weirdly, I'd argue that also applies to Tarzan, who also looks too pretty in the face to me...

...but they relaxed the rules by the time Keane designed him, so...? (Where did he even get a razor?!?)

Prince ExBeast is a sorry victim of Disney's weird-ass, "No Facial Hair Ever" rules.

Keane recovered quickly, though. Later, he'd design Aladdin, who is, if you guys will excuse me, a severe hottie.

It helped, of course, that Al didn't have to be The Perfect Man. Glen got to keep it real and have more fun.

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Hmmm...

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"Hey, ladies."

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Well, let's see if the theory is true...

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Oh! Oh my...

It is clear that everything I learned about what to do in character design, I learned from Beast.

And everything I learned about what NOT to do in character design, I learned from the Prince.

And we might as well discuss "Beauty And The Beast" further because sadly, I must skip "Aladdin" because it is unavailable. Next time, "Pocahontas"! Yay...?

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