Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: Transformative Forms of Love (Renewed Mind Movie Talk)

Because I’m the sole writer, editor, and programmer (and, to be honest, viewer) of Renewed Mind Movie Talk, I’ve only done movies I like. Sure, I’ve skipped over some stranger flicks I enjoy in favor of something more popular, and thus more likely to gain viewers, but I haven’t spent time on a movie I didn’t like.

Until I did Beauty and the Beast 2017.

While I appreciated the way the story gave Belle more agency and undercut the “Stockholm Syndrome” problems in the 1991 version, I found it poorly paced, poorly acted, poorly staged, and (most distressingly) full of ugly CG.

After my first viewing, I would have happily ignored the movie from here on out, were it not for my brother urging me to use it on RMMT (in part, it must be said, to annoy his wife).

To my surprise, once I looked closely at the movie’s worldview, I found quite a bit to like. As I discuss in the episode, Beauty and the Beast 2017 imagines a number of different forms of love and their effects on people. More specifically, we see a move away from romantic love to more of an unconditional love. This treatment not only reminded me of Plato’s Phaedrus, but also St. Augustine’s Christian take on the idea of loving God’s image in other people.

So within this ugly and abrasive movie, I found something quite beautiful and compelling. Which kind of reminds me of a movie I saw once…

Renewed Mind Movie Talk Episode 03 – Inside Out: Sanctified Sadness

New episode of Renewed Mind Movie Talk!

In this episode, I look at the way the Disney/Pixar film Inside Out imagines the necessity of despair.

Although nearly every children’s movie tells viewers to believe in themselves if they want to find happiness, the 2015 Disney/Pixar Film Inside Out shifts this message. It not only offers a more complex vision of selfhood, but it also claims that sadness is part of a full life.

In this episode of RMMT, we’ll look at how the vision of sadness portrayed in Inside Out relates to the role of despair in the Christian life. In particular, we’ll look at Jesus’s role as the “man of sorrows,” as described in Isaiah 53.