Beauty and the Beast was one of my favourite fairy tales when I was growing up. It then became one of my favourite retellings (Beauty, by Robin McKinley), and recently one of my most enjoyed live action fairy tale movies. But the story of the brave and beautiful heroine who soothes and transforms the beast into a prince is not just restricted to this tale. In fairy tales alone there are several – from East of the Sun, West of the Moon, to the Briar Rose story. Some of these tales are literal transformations from beasts and others are from ‘beast’ like humans.
What is Disney’s Tangled, after all, but a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast trope? Flynn Rider is the jaded, criminal ‘beast’ (a Han Solo-esque antihero), and Rapunzel the kind and positive and enthusiastic young woman who helps him have a change of heart. It’s possibly why I love it so much (that, and the horse is hilarious). Continue reading “Beauty and the Beast – from Disney to Buffy the Vampire Slayer – why we still love this trope.”