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March 1996, Week 1


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 1 Mar 1996 11:52:19 -0600
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Richard Leskosky explains:
"Just a clarification.  The Beast does not turn into Avenant; he merely
looks like him when he takes on human form.  It's Avenant's (Jean Marais)
good looks combined with the Beast's poetry and soul.  Disney at least
avoids confusion in the animated feature by having the Beast take on human
features we haven't seen on another character; Gaston, Disney's Avenant
analog, plunges to his death and entirely out of the picture."
One thing this recent set of posts hasn't dealt with is the apparent decision
of Disney (meaning Eisner and co., as distinct from the corpse of Uncle Walt,
rotting or frozen as he may be) to pay at least some attention to the redefined
sex/gender image of the heroine.  Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella,
if not devoid of personality, are far less interesting than the villainesses
of these films, but Ariel, Belle and Pocahontas have "spunk."  The villains
have been displaced (except in the case of Ursula and the Mermaid) to male
figures.  At the same time, the two latter characters bring us back to the
theme of "cinematic pietas."  Belle especially must rush back and forth to
comfort and cradel male figures.
I haven't seen Disney's LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW for a while, but it might be
interesting to contrast the treatment of Gaston and of Brom Bones from that
(Interesting too, perhaps, that the death of Gaston echoes that of the witch
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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