Beauty and the Beast was beyond beautiful.
(Check out the BONUS Beauty and the Beast wishlist at the bottom of this post!)
I was able to watch it with my 7 year old daughter at a Houston screening this week, three days before it opened! Dream come true! In fact, I was thrilled to receive free movie passes to that screening in exchange for sharing my thoughts here on this sponsored post and on social media.
It was more than I expected, even though I was a bit apprehensive about all the controversy surrounding “Disney’s first exclusively gay moment.”
A bit of background about me: I grew up in a Christian home, have spent 20 years of my life working in Christian radio; have traveled with a Christian prison ministry; I’ve sung and led worship in churches, and am currently on staff at my church. Thank God, my kids actually enjoy church (they really make it fun, you guys!)
I am a Christian mom who loves Jesus.
I also grew up loving all things Disney.
Growing up in Puerto Rico, my sister, brother and I would sit in the living room and pop in ALL the Disney VHS tapes we could get our hands on.
I mean ALL of them.
My dad’s favorite was always Fantasia (the movie with Mickey and the sorcerer’s hat, not the American Idol singer – ha!) My mom was all about that red rose in Beauty and the Beast, and she has a soft spot for the original Pete’s Dragon (those songs!) My sister, brother and I loved to rock to even the lesser known ones like “Robin Hood” and “A Goofy Movie!”
As a kid, our family dinner tradition included favorites like spaghetti and meatballs, taco night and Disney trivia!
Once I met my prince, we got married and went on our honeymoon to the most Magical Place on Earth: Disney World!
And my sister lives in Orlando, FL, practically AT the Walt Disney World Resort, and she had a dream come true when she applied and got selected as one of this year’s Disney Mom Panelists! Go Emille!
Belle is My Princess
I always said Belle was the princess I could relate to the most. I love to read and I’m a big fan of “not judging books by their covers,” and instead trying to get to know people for who they are.
It was an absolute delight when I was given tickets to enjoy Beauty and the Beast 3D (wow)! The screening was last night, 3 WHOLE DAYS before the actual opening date!
I occasionally sponsor movie screenings and premieres here on my blog, CoppeliaMarie.com! Be sure to sign up for my CoppeNews email to make sure you stay up to date on all the giveaways, screenings and more!
I was beside myself! And my 7 year old daughter felt the same!
I realized that I was going to share this remake of Beauty and the Beast with my little princess (even though she says her favorite princess is Jasmine from Aladdin), and it made the experience that much more special.
Nevertheless, as a Christian mom, I felt a little gray cloud come over my celebration when people started buzzing about boycotting the movie over “Disney’s first official gay scene.”
My Mom (a teacher) and Dad (philosophy major) raised me to be an inquisitive reader (like Belle). I wanted to find out for myself what this was all about. I figured if I needed to have a conversation with my 7 year old daughter, I’d rather the conversation be between us, mom and daughter, not between her and other kids at school.
Worst case scenario, if it was truly offensive, I would have no problem walking out of the theater if necessary.
We arrived at the movie theater, again, beside ourselves! I even did this Facebook Live video and promised to share candid thoughts after the movie.
We sat down and the movie quickly took our breaths away. Wow. Audra McDonald singing? Amazing! There were many theatrical moments that made my Broadway-loving heart very happy! The singing and dancing “Gaston” song cast were unbelievably entertaining!
Getting a bit of the prince’s back story? I wasn’t expecting that! It really added so much to the story.
This new Beauty and the Beast is visually stunning beyond what I expected. I wanted to get up and start singing with Belle (“Little town, it’s a quiet village. Every day like the one before …”)
I don’t think my 7 year old daughter would have liked it if mommy had done that. Hahaha!
As thrilled as I was that the movie got off to such an amazing start, in the back of my head was that slight concern for an “exclusively gay” moment that might ruin the classic for me, if the “gay scene” turned out to be inappropriate in some way.
I went back to enjoying the movie, but every so often, I’d wonder “did I miss it?”
Throughout the movie, I kept thinking “is this it?” It would be something Lefou would say, or the way he and Gaston interacted. But then I thought, no, that can’t be it. It’s supposed to be an “exclusively gay scene.”
Spoiler alert (not really): After the Beast turns into the prince, I thought I must have DEFINITELY missed the gay scene. We’re pretty much at the end of the movie at this point.
(Another Spoiler alert): But then, during the celebration ballroom dance at the end ( you know, the happily ever after dance that happens in pretty much every Disney princess story), Lefou is dancing with a woman when a guy cuts in. And they dance for what seems like a split-second. I think that’s it.
I wasn’t sure what to make of that “exclusively gay moment.”
I let it sink in, and I shared my candid post-movie thoughts in this Facebook Live video:
I processed it some more on the phone with my husband and then my mom on the 45 minute drive home.
As I chatted with my mom, I came to the realization that, as a little girl watching Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty (and all the other Disney movies we loved to watch), I don’t think there would have EVER been two guys dancing together. It would have just been weird.
I wonder if that was what Disney was trying to do? Make two guys dancing less weird?
Before we go off to discuss and debates agendas and deeply help beliefs, please …
Allow me to share a bit of my heart here, as a Disney-loving Christian mom.
As a Christian, I love Jesus and I love His word, The Bible. I believe what it says: that God is love. That there’s no greater love than to give your life for your friends, which Jesus did for us. He died to save us from sin. And we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
It doesn’t help if we single out “gay” as more of a sin than the jealousy I might feel over someone else’s success, or letting the sun go down when we’re angry.
We hear all the time that “Love is love.” As beautiful as that sounds, the truth is God is love. He knows sin leads to death. And He wants to save us from sin and death through the love we can experience in Jesus.
I know this is such a sensitive topic, my only wish is that we could have kind, respectful conversations with those on both sides of the issue.
There’s so much more that could be said. But this is about my perspective as a Christian mom on the new Beauty and the Beast movie. Maybe you found it unexpected, maybe not.
At the end of the day, I was blown away by how incredibly Disney brought the 1991 Beauty and the Beast animated movie to life and made it as amazing as I could have imagined it to be.
If watching the movie can lead to great discussions that will help us get closer to God, Be My Guest. 😉
Laughing through life,
BONUS! Check out this Beauty and the Beast Wishlist for your favorite Princess!
These are my Amazon affiliate links. If you click and buy, I get a small commission at no extra cost to YOU! Yay!!!
#1) You can PRE-ORDER the movie for $20 or less! Score!
#2) The Soundtrack, in case you loved the music as much as I did!
#3) For your Disney princess, this toy rose is so beautiful!
#4) This “Be Our Guest” playset is adorable!
#5) I wish they made these adorable nightgowns for grown ups! Too cute!
#6) Had to add these to the list! I LOVE working out and this couldn’t be a cuter pair of “His and Hers” workout tanks!
#7) I’m in love with this gorgeous shaker pendant necklace!
#8) My daughter LOVES shorts sets … and this one is too cute!
I’d love it if you shared this list with other Beauty and the Beast fans! Thanks!