beauty and the beast franchise

the b&b “canon” and influences in the new beauty and the beast movie (an illustrated essay)

Of all the franchises I’ve ever loved, Beauty and the Beast has got to be the messiest. Since the groundbreaking 1991 film, not one thing has made sense. 

I mean, the story does not make a lick of sense even within the original film, so as a franchise, it’s gotten pretty wild. 

The original Disney version of Beauty and the Beast (or ‘OG B&B,’ as I will be calling it for the rest of the essay) has spawned an uncountable amount of spin-offs, midquels, musicals, and books since its release. 

i tried to draw a chart but it kind of got away from me. 

One would think that the inspiration for the material in B&B 2017 had to come exclusively from OG B&B. The franchise is too much of a dumpster fire to control. 

For example, the Name Situation: 

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Mulan and Disney

Many of us are Mulan fans and might have been quite surprised to discover that back in 1998 it was only a modest success. The film made a profit, but didn’t quite hit the popularity or even box office levels of films like Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and the Lion King.

Mulan’s inclusion in the Disney Princess franchise was mostly due to a need to diversify the line up, as at the time Jasmine was the only princess of colour, and unfortunately Mulan has been quite overlooked. Mulan isn’t a princess in her film, and her film doesn’t have any of the cosmetics that are commonly used in the Disney Princess franchise, by which I mean sparkly ballgowns, Magic, and essentially all the other princess stereotypes. Now this doesn’t make Mulan bad by any means; Mulan was never meant to fit into that world of princesses and it stands alone as it’s own unique genre, but because the only form of marketing we get from Disney is through the franchise, we don’t see a whole lot of Mulan because she doesn’t really fit in and lend herself to as many products as Rapunzel and Cinderella do.

The funny thing is, Mulan is actually quite popular and is growing in popularity. It’s only recently that Disney’s really started to show Mulan some respect and love, even if it’s in the slightest form; in video games Disney Emoji Blitz and Disney Crossyroad characters from the film are featured, and in crossy road’s case in their own level. These games don’t just pick any old Disney movie to put in, they feature the most recognizable and well loved films in the company, and Mulan is one of them.

Even in Happily Ever After, Disney’s new nighttime fireworks show, Mulan actually gets its own segment. Sure it’s brief and shares it with the villains segment, but it’s still better than just a small snippet in a 20 minute show.

And Mulan’s popularity is still ever growing as Disney has a 2018 Live Action adaptation on the horizon, and if all goes well this could mean a resurgence in Mulan merchandise, and focus in the parks.

My hope is that Disney takes a hard look at the Disney Princess Franchise and rethinks what a princess can be. Mulan isn’t a princess by definition, and she might not fit into the cookie cutter mould set by Disney, but why can’t Disney sell some warrior outfits and play swords? Instead of making each princess uniform why don’t you give each princess her own line of merchandise set to her character. Give Belle some books, give Rapunzel some paint brushes, give Tiana pretend kitchen toys, and give Mulan some armour. Teach young kids that there’s more than one way to be a princess.


I felt like making pictures of Tiana as Belle recently. I’ve heard people say that Tiana (appearance-wise) is a black version of Belle with Jasmine’s eyes and I can kind of see it. However, Tiana is FAR more beautiful in my opinion. I love Belle but I don’t think that she’s an extraordinary beauty like she’s made out to be in her movie or among Disney fans.

Belle iss drawn so inconsistently, has a lot of terrible shots, and her overall appearance is not what Disney promotes. Her overall appearance is quite common looking with an ordinary facial structure, horrible bangs, nothing stand out about her looks like she’s made out to be, and I think plenty of animated women in the Beauty and the Beast franchise are more beautiful than her. I think Babette (The feather duster), The Enchantress (In the sequel), the Bimbettes, Angelique (In human form), and even the woman during the song Belle that says “Good Day” (Though she looks MUCH prettier during The Mob Song) are all more beautiful than Belle. Disney only promotes the gorgeous shots of Belle and Disney fans seem to ignore how she looks for most of the movie, which while beautiful, is average and common looking.

 Tiana, on the other hand, is GORGEOUS! I hope you guys like it and let me know what you think. Please comment, like, and reblog! Enjoy!

my favorite thing about the beauty and the beast franchise is how the feather duster’s name keeps changing for some inexplicable reason. in the original movie her name appears in the credits as babette, but in belle’s enchanted christmas lumiere calls her fifi, and now in the remake apparently her name is plumette?