The Mob Song, Beauty and The Beast

21 Mar
 Say a prayer
 Then we're there
 At the drawbridge of a castle
 And there's something truly terrible inside.

Ok, so I’m not into the disney princesses thing–it seems very calculated to get little girls to spend their parents money.     Also it’s part of the trend towards kid’s stuff being so sanitized that it becomes cold product.  (Funny thing, we mind as a society anything that could disturb kids, but don’t mind things to manipulate them to spend money, but that’s another thing entirely.)

What people forget is Beauty and the Beast has one of the most terrifying songs in any of the modern movies.  “The Mob Song” shows human nature at its most frightening, a town of friendly folk through one song are crying for blood.   Also extremely creepily the song 10 years before Bush said it quotes “Either you’re with us or against us.” You can hear the song grow, and the beast’s descriptions growing and warping, until he’s tall as a mountain.

The thing the mob isn’t only in this out of fear, but they talk about how this is exciting and interesting and they completely get carried away.    You see them wandering through the woods and sharpening their stakes and the theme “Kill the Beast” coming back faster and faster until that becomes the song.   And the song gets the fear, anger, and excitement of mob thought that is the true monster of Beauty and the Beast.    In fact as worked up as they are, it’s lucky that Belle and her father simply got stuck in a cellar, called crazy, and forgotten.

I think the darkness and sophistication here makes the nice stuff credible–it means something at the end because it’s possible for there to be a different end (and actually, rumor has it that Disney toned the song way down in the end product because it got too frightening.)  Remember, whatever we call a monster, however bad the creature is, does not give us permission to become monsters ourselves.

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