Friday, February 10, 2017

Countdowns with The Rock Otaku 02: Top 10 Disney Couples #RealRockersWearPink

Hello degenerates, heathens, weirdos, and deviants.  I am the Rock Otaku, and I’m here to show you worlds such as hard rock, metal, punk, alternative rock, movies, TV, anime, video games, and anything that makes us scream, shout, and let it all out.

As some of you may have noticed, I tend to have that opening slogan in my blogs when I do something big or based on a series, but I seem to only discuss the first two (and three after that when the opportunity arises) in my blog overall.  As for the others, they end up serving as times to make references or jokes in my main series.  And this is the main reason why I am now going to try to fit in more anime reviews, news, and countdowns into my blog.

You know what, I’ll use the extra week I’ve added to my time to make my LET THEM EAT METAL series bi-weekly to create a series of countdowns.  And they don’t have to be just about anime.  I can use this to mention movies, TV shows, episodes of shows, news, games, and even other musical artists I want to talk about but aren’t able to usually thanks to my current load.  But today, we’re talking Disney.

Specifically, the romances and relationships that blossom during their legendary animated films.  If there’s a standard they’ve set in the world of animation and even cinema in general, it’s how to portray fairy tale romance in a way that’s relatable and understanding to the viewer.  With all the movies that they’ve made, Disney have also created some of the most endearing couples to have come out in the last few years.  For this list, I’ll focus on a few select categories:

1.         The couples have to have some sort of time added to their romance, so a single night won’t cut it.  They need a good time frame within the story for their relationship to bloom.

2.         While there are a lot of types of relationships, I’m aiming for some type of love, so friendships are not going to be considered for the main list, though I’ll give some shout outs to good ones.

3.         I’m looking at the Disney Animation Canon, so anything between Snow White and Moana.  That also means that anything from Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, or even other stuff Disney has done will not be considered (maybe next time).

Rather than that, this is fair game.  Though I will warn you now:
Anyhow, here are my Top 10 Disney Couples:

10.       Ariel and Eric (The Little Mermaid):
For this entry, it’s here for historical purposes rather than for the reasons the other characters will make the list (plus, it’s been a while since I’ve seen this movie).  The main reason is that the relationship is based around both of the characters having feelings for the other initially driving it.  For Ariel, it’s because she fell in love with Eric after saving his life when his ship sank.  Plus, with him being a human it allowed the little mermaid an opportunity to follow her dream of going above the waves. 
He said it.  He said it.
For Eric, it’s driven due to him only discernably hearing her voice and falling in love with that, and that leads to some issues when they meet in the story.  At that point, Ariel traded her voice to Ursula for legs…
…and now she has to get a kiss with him in 3 days to stay human, and out of her clutches, forever.  Thus, where the relationship is strongest is in how close the two get with Ariel communicated with her actions and Eric more or less essentially hanging with a random girl in his eyes (not the one he remembers, though).  Though Ursula manages to seduce Eric, after figuring out his thoughts, Ariel was willing to try to get to Eric before her magic is undone and she is a mermaid again, then Eric was willing to travel the seas to go after her (after Triton proves his MVP status, trading places with his daughter in Ursula’s collection, despite that causing the sea witch to be able to control the sea).  It is at the climax when Eric completes the favor by impaling the sea witch with a wreck (possibly a ship from Arendale, perhaps?), and Triton gives Ariel her dream of being on the surface with the man she loves.

The only reason this is on the list anyway is because this was probably the first notable romance where the two were active in the relationship and time was given for it to blossom.  Where it falls like a mermaid trying to stand up, and why it’s dead last, only above the honorable mentions, is in how this affects Ariel’s and Eric’s character development.  In short, the only changes is that they made choices to get from Point A to Point B without learning something new (except for Eric, though that’s the effects of hypnosis by sea witch in that moment), especially for Ariel.  She starts off adventurous and curious, and she somehow may or may not still be like that at the end, while her ability to get there was based on hormones and having her stash wrecked by Triton, who’s not a fan of humanity to say the least, so Ursula was easily able to manipulate her.  Hell, she was able to manipulate both of them.  But considering that they saved each other at least once, that gave them a spot on the main list.

9.         Fix-It Felix and Seargant Calhoun (Wreck-It Ralph):
And now for something a little interesting.  Where one is a pastiche of characters like Mario, the other is based on modern sci-fi and military shooters.  One is an overall nice guy who happens to work with a cranky giant who just left his game to find his true calling, and the other is a no-nonsense lady of war who will not hesitate to shoot you in the face, bug or not.  And they somehow end up in a relationship, where it’s started by a common goal: to get Ralph back in the game he belongs in before it’s unplugged.  However, it becomes more complicated when a bug from Hero’s Duty ends up in Sugar Rush, obtaining power while Ralph tries to get Vanellope Von Schweetz in the game, despite her being a glitch (another contender, but that’s more of a friendship).  Plus there’s something else up in Sugar Rush that leads Felix stuck there, and they all have to work together to ensure that Vanellope can race while uncovering the secrets surrounding King Candy, and there’s a bug creating candy versions of itself about to cause mayhem.  Do they get together, Felix and Calhoun, at the end?
Damnit Bison!

As for the relationship, it’s more hilarious and heartwarming than it is genuine, but it’s a cute romance to see unfold.  Plus it’s hilarious to see an 8-bit character fawn over a next-gen character, just like what Felix does when he first meets her.  As for Calhoun, there’s something so ridiculous about her backstory (which was programmed to be the most tragic thing ever) when it involves, a wedding, a suddenly-killed groom, tears, and blasting the giant bug responsible with a minigun (talk about over the top).  Despite that, the issue is that it’s rather short and the timeframe is not long enough to legitimize what is essentially a fairy-tale romance with a goofy edge between a soldier and a mechanic (expect to see that complaint more often).  Plus with them not being the focus does add to that.  But regardless, they’re a fun couple that I wouldn’t mind going alien bug hunting with.

8.         Simba and Nala (The Lion King)
Despite this being considered the crown jewel of the Disney Renaissance, I would consider the relationship between these two lions to not be as impactful as the rest of the list.  It’s more a part of Simba’s journey as a hero rather than a core focus of the movie, though it has its moments.  Where most of these characters meet at random as teens and adults, Simba and Nala were childhood friends who were separated after the death of Mufasa (must, avoid, waterworks).  Then, while Nala dealt with Scar’s inability to properly rule the pride lands (need to check in a few years if electing Trump was a good idea), Simba was raised by Timon and Pumbaa, two bug-eating outcasts who follow the philosophy of Hakuna Matata (or “No Worries”), which is how he copes with his loss (and the fact that Scar blamed HIM for Mufasa’s death).  After the two reunite, they practically have a date, get closer, and almost turn the movie into something seen on the Discovery Channel before Nala mentions how Simba needs to fight Scar (no wonder why C. Robert Cargill hates this movie), and a vision of Mufasa causes the now-adult lion to claim his birthright from his evil uncle (who also has the voice of Simon Gruber).  And while Nala, alongside Sarabi, Rafiki, Timon, Pumbaa, and, to a certain degree, Zazu, aid Simba, it’s ultimately his fight against Scar, with his victory leading to his status of king and a decent direct-to-video sequel.

For this relationship, the childhood friends issue might be weird, especially if you know more about how a lion pride functions and the number of male lions in one usually (and now this movie feels like a G-Rated Elfen Lied, considering one of the relationships in that series).  That’s where it stumbles on this list, but its main factor is that, despite being well set-up, it’s more of a function of the plot than a driving force of it (like with other movies on this list).  That and once they reunite, they take no time to get to “feeling the love tonight.”  Doesn’t that seem rushed?  I mean, The Little Mermaid gave its couple more time than The Lion King as far as romance goes, and that’s lower than here.  At least we get meaningful character development from the characters, especially Simba, and they do have a lot of chemistry, both as friends then as something closer.  But I’ll say that the better romances are coming, despite this one’s greatness levels.

7.         Hercules and Megara (Hercules):
Obvious joke out of the way:
As for the relationship itself, it starts with Hercules meeting up with Megara on his way to Thebes, and deciding to save her from an angry centaur despite the signs that she’s not in danger.  But if there’s an issue she has with Hercules, it’s that she has sold her soul to Hades, and that it was all to resurrect a man she loved, only for him to chase the nearest hot chick nearby, breaking her heart.  Then after telling Hades about him, she ends up hanging with Hercules until she falls for him, while he falls for her.  Then they end up being in a bind with Hades using his control of Meg to rid Hercules of his great god-like power and unleash the titans without any interference when he takes over Olympus.  Too bad Meg sacrifices herself to allow the son of Zeus to kick his ass to the Underworld while having Team Titan blast off again!  But it isn’t until he risks his own life to save Meg before Hercules becomes the god he was born to be.  And yes, he sacrifices his own godhood to live with Meg, and possibly ends up killing her and their kids in a blind rage caused by Hera after she learned Zeus’ latest fling ended up with the hero’s birth.

Mythological references aside, this is a decent relationship.  The two have a Superman-Lois Lane dynamic that allows for one of them to be the all-around good guy while the other is sarcastic and doesn’t take a crap from anybody, despite falling for him.  Then there’s the way they both are willing to sacrifice themselves to ensure that one lives on, with Meg willingly got herself mortally injured to restore Hercules to his max stats and vice versa when she dies and he goes to into the River Styx to rescue her soul.  All of this contrasting with the diabolical Hades (who, again, is different from his actual mythological counterpart).  However, while it’s a contrast to the previous romances, the fact that it’s inspired by Superman’s relationship with Lois Lane kind of gives off this stale feeling to the relationship.  As a result, it’s a very predictable relationship, but it’s also a cute one.  In short, it’s a decent romance that may have issues, but is memorable enough and led to the rise of a true hero.

6.         Tarzan and Jane (Tarzan):
Can we admit Jane is pretty moé.
Ending the Disney Renaissance was their adaption of the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs (the one everyone still knows rather than the one that inspired the space opera genre).  Here, Tarzan was a man raised by gorillas in the jungles of Africa.  There, he became agile, intense, and a proud “ape man,” but when his own kind came to the jungle, he saved the life of one Jane Porter, who taught him the ways of humanity.  As a result, he wrestled with his growing interest in the customs and technologies of his own kind while dealing with being true to his ape family.  It all comes ahead when he decided to live with Jane and the rest of humanity, only for Clayton (who might be his cousin or other relative, considering that his human name was John Clayton before losing his parents to Sabor the leopard) to prove to be dangerous to both his ape and human sides.  After a grueling battle, Tarzan wins and takes the role of leader of his group of apes after Kerchak dies.  Afterwards, Jane decides to live with Tarzan (with her father coming along as well), and she learns the ways of living in the jungle.

As far as characters go, Tarzan and Jane are, for this movie itself, a cute couple with a wild side.  For the former, he’s more curious about what humans are like due to living with apes for as long as he had despite, obviously, not being an ape.  For the latter, the mix of her attitude, her sudden interest in Tarzan after saving her life, and her group’s desire to learn more about the gorillas in the region causes her to fall for Tarzan.  And vice versa.  Despite that, there’s also a sort of pain that both feel when the former has to abandon his ape family when he decides to live with Jane, which is a tough decision for anyone with strong family bonds.  Plus there’s a passage of time that the movie shows in their relationship, and that’s a big deal considering that love is a long process (despite it being scored by a Phil Collins song).  If there’s a flaw, it’s rather predictable what happens in the relationship, despite the nice nature of it, and that stems from the ubiquity of the Tarzan mythos before Disney came to be.  In short, it’s a cute romance that proves that love can spawn in the deepest, darkest jungles.

5.         Anna and Kristoff (Frozen)
A couple that start out discussing fairy tale romance and how full of crap it may be?
“Ha Ha!  Knew It!  Fairy tale romance is full of Lionwhyte’s ego.”
As for the backstory spiel, I’m 100% certain that most of you have already seen Frozen at this point.  Also certain that I won’t go into too much detail on the story here, so I’ll just cut to the chase.

They’re a surprisingly good couple together, and a more realistic one than what we got earlier (that is the definition of a doomed romance).  They play off each other well, they manage to fill the gaps the other hasn’t, like Kristoff grilling Anna over her sudden decision to marry a guy she just met that day, while Anna’s, well, Disney princess-isms work well to show Kristoff’s funny and sensitive sides, though I wouldn’t say that his vocalizations of Sven’s thoughts in a goofy voice aren’t funny already.  Plus there’s how they connect to Elsa’s character and dilemma, both directly and indirectly, as Anna is her sister while Kristoff was adopted by rock trolls.  And said trolls’ papa warned Elsa about the extent of her powers if she doesn’t learn to control them (gee, I wonder how that turns out with her and Anna having the most overprotective parents in Disney history).  Plus while the synopsis of their relationship might have helped with understanding why they’re here, the main factor would be that they somehow have more time together than Anna does with Hans (I hope to get to that soon), and this is out of necessity, as Anna can’t travel the frozen landscape alone, as her first time doing so proves.  But what’s interesting is how they both have a friendship with hints to a full romance (which might happen in the sequel if Tumbler doesn’t write the script), as the ending shows.  I mean, it starts as one, though it’s more played for the silliness, then it gets serious when Anna’s heart is frozen by Elsa’s ice magic.
...and understanding Ciaran Hinds’ warnings.
As for that, you know how Anna ultimately surivives (hopefully).  But if there’s a flaw, it’s that there isn’t enough time for them to truly gel or avoid the friendzone issue (this is a countdown about romance after all).  But beyond that, it’s a cute pairing that manages to show how, even when Disney subverts the tropes they’re notorious for, love can still be genuine.  And warm.  And enough to make two references to Brütal Legend.

4.         Aladdin and Jasmine (Aladdin):
Like with the previous mainstream romances Disney did, the pairing of Aladdin and Jasmine can be considered “opposites attract,” but it’s more about how they are on similar wavelengths in regard to how they feel their lives affect them.  Aladdin is a poor thief who has to steal his food and rely on his wits to avoid the guards and imprisonment or, worse, execution by losing their head (the story is set in the Middle East, if you’re wondering).  Jasmine is a princess who feels that her way of life, and her inability to just go out and mingle with regular people, is comparable to being a trapped bird in a cage.  After she sneaks out and gets the attention of Aladdin, she unknowingly sets him on a journey that leads to him finding a genie who may know who Jack Nicholson, Rodney Dangerfield, Peter Lorre, and Arnold Schwarzenegger are and wishing to have the title of prince, which solves the initial problem he had.  After that, they somehow get closer when Aladdin decides to be himself (almost, due to having a sentient magic carpet), while Jasmine warms up to this “prince” that came out of nowhere like magic, but it isn’t until Aladdin thwarts Jafar’s plans, all of them, and Jasmine provides the help and influence she can to aid the Diamond in the Rough.

Where this relationship succeeds is that it’s in how it’s given a start when Jasmine poses as a commoner, then it grows when Aladdin poses as royalty (and later the Genie becomes a combination hookah and coffee maker salesman, with some that makes Julienne fires)
I got myself here.
While the big issue here is that the two are disguising themselves at one point, it’s helped by the fact that they fall for who they really are, as it’s what’s on the inside that counts.  Hell, that’s why it’s up so high.  The only other flaw may be that Aladdin does more than Jasmine plot wise, and later after the two meet, even if Jasmine gives a hand in the fight against the evil vizier, Jafar.  In short, it’s a great relationship, even if it was aided by the wisecracking Genie.

RIP Robin Williams, you will always make me laugh regardless of what mood I’m currently in.

3.         Rapunzel and Flynn Rider (Tangled):
All I can say is that this one is just a good pairing in general.  I mean, look at the characters themselves.  You have Rapunzel, who, like in the original fairy tale, is trapped in a tall tower and has multiple skills and interests, but wants to leave and see the lights that come from the kingdom on her birthday every year (which is meant to show the way back for the Lost Princess of that kingdom, whom Rapunzel happens to be).  Flynn is a rogue who has dreams of massive wealth, the ability to do whatever he wants to, and his own property, but has to avoid getting caught and hanged for his crimes to do so.  And they meet like this:
Love at first frying pan attack?
And she ties up Flynn with her hair to further the humiliation.  Then she makes a deal that he’ll take her to see the lights (revealed to be lanterns at that moment), and he’ll get his satchel, containing his most recent theft, in return.  After several moments where Rapunzel somehow saves his life, Flynn reveals his name to be Eugene Fitzherbert, which she calls him by for the rest of the movie, and they get closer, especially on that fateful day, when at night, the lanterns rise in the sky as well as their emotions.  It isn’t until they both realize that her “mother”, Gothel, is a manipulative monster who has been keeping her locked up to maintaining her youth until the end of the story, and Eugene sacrifices himself, after a nasty stab wound to the side (expect to see that later) from Gothel, to save her for good by cutting her hair (who knew a haircut would have dramatic weight).  If this didn’t make you cry, or at least shed a tear or two…
…then you are a qualified candidate for Ghost Rider’s Penance Stare.  Good luck with that.

As for the couple, I really like this one.  They are both great characters on their own, their qualities make them very likeable and entertaining, and the arcs they have are among the best Disney ever written.  But combining the two, and they are a match made in heaven, with Flynn/Eugene’s smart-aleck personality and roguish attitude meshing well with Rapunzel’s naïve optimism and naturally sunny demeanor.  And they’re also very funny together, with several moments that have me laughing that involve either character or both at the same time.  There’s also a strong heart between the two of them the showcases both their personalities and how they each change the other, like Eugene becoming more heroic and sincere and Rapunzel gaining enough confidence to Gothel’s control of her.  And yes, that moment I showed is one of many Disney moments where even I tear up.  Considering what you should know by now about me, I can think that you might be surprised by that.  If there’s a flaw, it’s that it’s a little too brisk, but it also has that Star Wars quality of brisk romance like with Han and Leia (with Flynn/Eugene definitely similar to the former), and I can buy it after the relationship starts to exist as something important to the both of them.  That’s the only issue, and I can say that it might be an almost-perfect Disney romance.  But not perfect like the next few entries.  However, we can agree on the following:
True that.
2.         Tiana and Naveen (The Princess and the Frog):
No frogs were harmed in the making of this entry.
Tiana is a hard-working waitress and chef who has dreams of opening her own restaurant in the New Orleans of the Roaring Twenties, and will not stop working until her dream is fulfilled, even when the possibility is closer than she realizes.  Naveen is a spoiled prince who was kicked out of his kingdom to become a better person, but would rather hang around and play music all day.  And they end up as frogs thanks to dark voodoo magic, and it’s all thanks to the evil Dr. Facilier (with the voice of Goliath asking if you’re ready to become a naval officer).  As a result, they have to both find a way to reverse their curse and fulfill their dreams and ambitions while digging deeper into what’s important in life, like Tiana realizing how love and being there for others is as important as working hard, and Naveen learning the virtues of not being selfish and lazy and being able to provide a helping hand.  It all comes ahead when they decide to stick together rather than let their desires get in the way, and it rewards them with their humanity (plus the two marrying made Tiana a certified princess by default, and voodoo runs on European fairy tale logic here).

I think this coupling is excellent, and probably one of the best.  You have a hard working woman having to deal with the mistakes of a lazy prince, and the two don’t start loving each other automatically.  It’s more out of necessity as Naveen confused Tiana for a princess at one point, then they are both stuck in the bayou, with only the help of trumpet playing alligator Louis…
Nothing weird's happening yet!
…and Ray, a firefly with a crush on a star and the voice of Jim Cummings, to get to Mama Odie, who’s the only one who knows how to break the spell.  As a result, their actions together, the developing romance that comes ahead a few moments before the climax, their chemistry, and how they each fill a hole that the other has is nothing short of great.  You can say that this romance works so well because it’s a great example of…
…DISNEY MAGIC!  Plus, the two are a lot more relatable than previous entries.  If there’s a flaw, it’s that we have that moment when Tiana assumes that Naveen transformed before her and wallows in depression in a graveyard (damn voodoo, be consistent).  But the two ultimately prove that love prevails in any circumstance.  In short, this is a near-perfect coupling that has one or two bumps, but is satisfying to see unfold.  Before we get to the next part, here’s some sharp jazz from Louis:
King Gator, what are you doing here?  Shoo!
Well, that ruined that jazz moment.  Let’s never talk of this again.
Aw nuts, I walked straight into that, didn’t I?
Here are the Honorable Mentions (which will include friendships that could be counted as for other Disney Couples lists):

HM1:   Phoebus and Esmerelda (The Hunchback of Notre Dame):
Plus with a goat.
I could go into a spiel about how their romance happens in the story, but what keeps it from the list is because the two become a couple when protagonist Quasimodo, who’s in love in Esmerelda as well, gets jack in the love department (we don’t talk about the sequel here).  But where this relationship works is in their chemistry, with Kevin Kline and Demi Moore managing to come off as into each other despite being in recording booths when recording their dialogue.  Plus the characters are great examples of opposites attracting, with Phoebus as effectively a Middle-Ages (probably Renaissance era) policeman and Esmerelda as a rebellious gypsy fighting the actions Judge Frollo perform on her people (all in the name of God, believe it or not).  And they, alongside Quasimode, do everything to thwart Frollo’s plans, which end up being based around Esmerelda as well (did I forget to mention that this movie is dark and mature as all hell, despite its G Rating).  As a result, this is a decent romance.

HM2:   Mulan and Shang (Mulan):
This coupling is more a result of their relationship growing once the movie ends.  Is it a ride to get there?  Yes, but it’s not the best one due to the fact that the relationship started more as a soldier (Mulan) versus her Captain (Shang), and the lack of romance between the two until she’s outed as a woman and then kicks Shan Yu, the villain, into Chinese hell ass first.  Heck, the lack of romance makes certain moments for Mulan somehow more empowering and badass than if they had them.  As a result, I can consider this an honorable mention, but not a truly great couple (mention of the sequel should not be brought up here).

HM3:   Milo and Kida (Atlantis: The Lost Empire):
Anyone remember Atlantis?  Anyone?  Did you know that there’s a decent romance that occurs between the geeky Milo Thatch and Atlantean princess Kida?  Because there is.  It isn’t a deep romance, but it’s more of a result of Milo wanting to learn more about Atlantis and that she’s his key.  But then he realizes what is really going on with the city and her destiny, and he strives to ensure that she makes it to the end.  But where this couple isn’t great enough for the main list is that there isn’t any strong elements to it outside of them having good chemistry (who knew Michael J. Fox and Cree Summer can play off each other well).  Though this film is a little underrated.

HM4:   Bernard and Miss Bianca (The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under):
If you’re wondering how this romance fits in, it’s because most of it, for my money, occurs in the sequel, where Bernard’s dilemma is trying to ask for Bianca’s hand in marriage while on a mission to rescue Cody from Percival C. McLeach in the Australian Outback.  It’s a rather cute and funny series of events that lead to the climatic proposal, but that’s added icing to a very intense, action-packed, pulse-pounding cake.  They make the honorable mention list due to the competition and the fact that I’m not as familiar with the original as I am with the sequel.

HM5:   Thomas O’Malley and Duchess (The Aristocats):
This one is a good relationship, as O’Malley is not just being the man in Duchess’ life, but the father figure to her kittens, all of whom being talented in some sort of art and music.  Hell, the reason they meet is because Edgar tried to kill the cats that were going to get his master’s inheritance (insert crazy cat lady joke here).  But don’t let that make you think this can make the list.  It could have, but the movie gets points off for this list when you consider that the moment when they grow closer includes Paul Winchell singing in a stereotypical Chinese accent.  Don’t believe me?  Here it is:

Did I sudden become an SJW that moment?  Holy crap, hell has frozen over.

HM6:   Pacha and Chicha (The Emperor’s New Groove)
From the hills of Peru comes this married couple expecting a third child, just in time for a dancing emperor to turn their home into his summer resort.  Talk about bad luck, though thankfully Kusco becoming a llama helping him in the attitude department allowed for a great buddy comedy, one that I’m sure has a friendly rivalry with The Road to El Dorado.  But for Pacha and Chicha, they’re great together as both a husband and wife while also providing some hearty laughs.  For that last part, the voices of John Goodman and Wendie Malick help do the trick.

Note: I was considering Ysma and Kronk, but that doesn’t fit with the theme, and they deserve an entry on the best comedy villain duos list.

And Finally:

1.         Belle and Adam, aka. The Beast (Beauty and the Beast)
What else was it going to be?  Was it going to be two characters who aren’t a couple that Tumbler is demanding to be couple?  Was it going to be a character that may be Elsa’s female companion in the Frozen sequel?  Was is going to be Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz due to the fact that we’re getting Wreck-It Ralph 2?  Was it going to be from a Disney fanfiction?  That last one is obviously not able to even make this list.  Was it going to be a future character?  No!  It was going to be the obvious choice because we all knew it was going to be the obvious choice.  The gold medal goes to Belle and Prince Adam, or as we know him as for most of the movie, the Beast.

I could summarize their romantic development, but it’s a tale as old as time, so it isn’t worth mentioning unless I add a dumb joke.  Or say something in an over the top French accent.

I’m instead going to explain why it works.  It’s because Belle and Beast grow towards each other as the movie goes on.  What I mean is that there were some hostility initially, thanks to the circumstances the two ultimately met, and Belle was practically a prisoner to an overgrown man-child at this point (don’t ask me, ask the dishes).  Hell, she wouldn’t even talk to him after that.  It isn’t until they help each other out and start interacting more often when they start getting close.  What started as a ploy to rescue her father from imprisonment in an unfamiliar castle culminates into that iconic ballroom dance scene and the two realizing they love each other.  That’s the first point.

The second point is how the Beast compares to Gaston, the films villain.  Here’s the thing, Beast is an angry 20/21-year-old who was cursed as a preteen due to being a brat to an enchantress, and ultimately lost what he had.
Not a great plan
Gaston is practically the same character if the prince was never cursed, and he wasn’t hated.  The other differences include their personalities, where Beast is wayward, confused, controlled by his temper, and pretty awkward, while Gaston is confident, jovial, ego-centric, and reveling in his accomplishments.  Plus there’s their methods in dealing with others, with Gaston using the townspeople to ensure he gets what he wants, while the Beast, ashamed of his appearance, would rather avoid contact with others and try to scare them out, isolating himself out of shame and defeat.  You can also discuss their appearances, and how they mask that they are different characters, especially at the end, on the inside, with Beast as a gentle, kindhearted person and Gaston as a jackass.  It all comes ahead at the climactic battle, and their ultimate fates.

The third point is Belle herself, who’s the kind of woman who’d be able to soften the heart of any man and convince them to better themselves (except for Gaston, because no one is perfect for Belle like Gaston, except not).  She’s smart, caring, driven, and the kind to make sacrifices for others, even if it means she’s screwed, like with how she bargained for her father’s freedom by being prisoner in his place.  She’s also curious, able to look into things that no one would and determine how to solve problems that seem impossible, which is one fact that ultimately broke Beast’s spell.  That and she’s just pretty all around (What?  Is it wrong to say that?).  Her devotion to the people she loves, who are her father Maurice, who wants to ensure his boneheaded contraption works, and ultimately Beast, is the ultimate factor that ensures her iconography as a character.  Hopefully Emma Watson gets this great character right this March.

The final point is how it’s a part of the story.  It IS the story, for all I care.  This is about two people who don’t like each other, then they become friends, then ultimately they become something more than that.  And one of them is a literal beast, challenging the notion that women should stick to Prince Charming.  Plus, the beast part can be correlated to a person with an attitude problem that willingly betters himself when the opportunity of love comes along.  The film is a perfect showcase of what happens when true love develops between the most unlikely pairing ever, and that it happens over time in the story itself (there’s a sense of time passing on throughout the movie, even if it’s less noticeable at first).  Plus, this is how the film is resolved, their admittance of love to each other leads to the spell being broken (and Beast alive, well, a better person, and human again).  Belle didn’t get Prince Charming.  She earned him, and Beast earned that status the right way.  As a result, I can rightfully give the rank of the best Disney couple to the titular Beauty and the Beast.
He said it.  He said it.
You knew this joke would repeat.

And no, this is not me shilling out to Disney to promote the remake coming this March.

So that was my countdown on the Disney couples that I consider the best.  If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.  If you feel like I missed a couple, tell me what you think and why I should have put them on the list.  I’d like to know any Disney couples (this can be from Pixar, live action, Marvel, Lucasfilms, and, thanks to Doug, Studio Ghibli if their films were localized by Disney) that you consider the best.

Next week, we go Into the Metallic Ring of Rock ‘N’ Roll Hellfire!  6 Hair Metal icons will enter.  One will come out on top!  There will be metal, rock, anthems, ballads, shredding solos, enough Aquanet to turn your hair into spiky anime hair, makeup, and enough hot girls and booze to make a mess.  Bring your spandex, leather jackets, spiked duds, makeup set, hairspray, pink Ibanez RG, tiger-stripped pants, boots, leopard-spotted scarf on a mic stand, band t-shirt, and your own booze, girls, anime, comics, manga, games, and drinking horn.  I will bring mine in spirit.  This will be a wild ride.

Until next time, this is The Rock Otaku.  Love Loud, Play Hard, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

All used references are done under the rules of fair use and are owned by their original creators.  Especially Disney.

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