This week’s #SongLyricsSunday is “look for songs that are written or sung by someone named Tom/Dick/Harry or a song that includes one of these names in the lyrics.” At first glance, I thought about the song “Gaston” from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Then I realized that there is no Harry in this adaption, but a Stanley. This didn’t deter me to talk about my favorite Disney movie as well as my favorite fairy tale for this post.
(#SongLyricsSunday is a weekly song lyrics prompt hosted by Jim at A Unique Title For Me. Anyone is free to join. The rules on how to join are at the bottom of this post)
My Love For Beauty and the Beast
My very first movie was Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. I was two years old when it came out, which can be perceived to be really young to go to the theater. Nevertheless, my aunt took me to see it. I don’t remember if I liked it then or how did I feel afterward as I have no recollections of seeing it when I was little. I have to ask my mom or aunt about it.
Yet, I became obsessed with the movie when I was in elementary school. I would watch the movie every day when I was in the second grade. I would come home from school, pop in the VHS tape, and just watch it from start to end. I wonder if I annoyed my brother and mom every time I watched it.
I still watch the original animated movie from time to time. Recently, I have been watching more of the musical adaption as I recently found some low-quality footage of a national tour and the LA tryouts (before it went to Broadway). I also watch or read other retellings of the fairy tale (that isn’t related to the Disney version). Recently finishing the book A Curse So Dark and Lonely and I liked it a lot. (I would also recommend watching the recent Italian retelling with Alessandro Preziosi and Blanca Suárez.)
Why I am so entranced with Beauty and the Beast? It has to be the main character, Belle. She can be stubborn and headstrong, but she is kind, intelligent, and adventurous. She is highly independent while craves to be different from the crowd. She wants more than the provincial town she lives in. More than the average woman that lives in the town. Her personality is an inspiration as she is the type of person that I yearn for. Belle is my role model as I want to be independent, intelligent, and a bit adventurous.
My Favorite Adaption
I really enjoy the musical adaption as I feel there is more character development for each character, especially with Belle and the Beast. I know that the movie gets a lot of criticism of promoting Stockholm Syndrome; however, I don’t think the movie doesn’t show signs of it. Belle had a choice of leaving the castle (and almost did) but returned because she felt responsible for getting the Beast injured with the wolves. She could have left him to die but she didn’t.
If you watch the musical, you would understand more of The Beast’s personality. He might show an outward appearance of being arrogant and apathetic. But in the inside, he is really shy, insecure, and like a child. During the musical numbers like “How Long Must This Go On?” and “If I Can’t Love Her”, I felt sorry for the Beast more for the situation he was in.
There are talks that Disney will revive this stage production. If you ever have a chance, I would strongly watch it as it a fantastic production!
Who EXACTLY is Tom, Dick, and Stanley?
Tom, Dick, and Stanley are followers of Gaston. They are background characters in the original animated film, usually appearing during scenes with Gaston. They appeared in the 2017 live-action remake with slightly bigger screen time and more character. It is unknown if they are ever-present in the original Broadway production.
Tom, Dick, and Stanley in the original animated version of `Beauty and the Beast`
In the original animated version, LeFou first mentions about three guys named Tom, Dick, and Stanley in the song “Gaston”. The purpose behind the tune was to boost up Gaston’s morals at the tavern. According to a Wikipedia for Disney movies, Lefou names “the shorter man Tom, the thin man Dick, and the husky man Stanley” while tooting about how great Gaston is.
“If you ask any Tom, Dick, or Stanley”
The trio first appeared earlier in the animated version during Gaston’s failed attempt to marry Belle. You can see them with another goon of Gaston’s, who appears to be older, with the three. This older character was cut in the live-action version for reasons unknown. After the failed wedding, you can see the trio during the mob scene at the end of the film.
Tom, Dick, and Stanley in the live action remake of `Beauty and the Beast`
The characters saw that they got a bigger part and more character development during the live-action remake, especially Stanley. The husky man, portrayed by Alexis Loizon, has more character development and screen time than the other two.
Gaston from `Beauty and the Beast
To be honest, I really don’t like “Gaston”. I usually skip the song whenever watching the animated movie because I get bored with the song a lot. Maybe because I don’t like the character that much. Gaston is like the villain of the story: a guy who doesn’t want Belle to have her own happily ever after. He is egotistical, arrogant, and possessive — three traits that would turn me off from someone instantly.