Comparing Disneys’® Beauty & the Beast and Mulan

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Comparing Disneys’® Beauty & the Beast and Mulan

In my opinion, the role of Disney has remained unchanged for over a period of 30 years. Their main values still remain the same: good triumphs over evil and everyone lives happily ever after. Beauty & the Beast, a classic, and Mulan, a contemporary, both share these values as well. I will now compare the 2 animated feature films.

Both the films have the same narrative structure. They follow the Todorovs’ theorem: Equilibrium → Disruption →Journey → Test → New Equilibrium.

  • They both start off with an establishing shot of the heroines and introduces them through a musical score.

In B & B (Beauty & the Beast), we see the establishing shot of Belles’ house + town and the camera zooms in to Belle. In Mulan, we see something similar. We see Mulan introduced by an establishing shot and then the camera zooms in on her. She then introduces herself and her life/aspirations through a musical score.

In Mulan, we also see that Mulan is introduced through the same way. However, we don’t directly start off with a song describing her but later on we do hear a song brewed after her visit to the matchmaker.

  • Both the heroines are very bright, intelligent and brave. They are also unconventional and don’t conform to societies’ view of a woman.

In B & B, we see Belle, during the opening song/introduction, reading a book and then makes her way to the library. Through her conversation with the librarian we learn that she’s really keen on reading and this is the only way she gets in touch with the person that she wants to be. So the librarian gives her this book as a present.

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"It’s my favorite! Far-off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince in disguise ... Oh, thank you very much!"

Also, during the introduction song, we hear the villagers’ views’ on Belle and her lifestyle. We hear the fat woman saying about how beautiful Belle is and that she’s very bright also. But she’s wasting her life on books and she should get married rather. We then see 3 village girls pumping water out of a water-pump. As we can see, they all look the same; they all have blonde hair and blue eyes. Typical. This is purposely ...

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