A Hero’s Journey: Beauty and the Beast


Michele Romito, Editor

Many films include a character that portrays heroic characteristics that lead them to a hero’s journey. A hero’s journey must include a birth, a destiny, help from a wise character, villains, romance, the final battle, and the journey home. In the Disney film, Beauty and the Beast directed by Bill Condon, the main protagonist, Belle, has a hero’s journey by saving the Beast from remaining a beast forever and has many heroic characteristics such as helpful, caring, intelligent, and selflessness. 

Belle was born in Conques, France. She lives with her father Maurice in a small town village. Her mother, however, is unknown in the cartoon film but in the action film she passed away when Belle was an infant. Belle’s destiny that she must complete is to turn the Beast back into a human along with his servants who are enchanted characters. To complete her destiny, Belle has to fall in love with the Beast before the last petal on the magical rose falls.

Along the way, Belle gets help and advice from Mrs. Potts. Mrs. Potts introduces Belle to the castle and greets her to the other characters like Chip, Lumiere, and Cogsworth. One helpful action Mrs. Potts did was she had a special dinner made for Belle, even though the Beast said Mrs. Potts wasn’t allowed to when she first exited her room. This was to make Belle feel comfortable in the new castle where she was being held captive by, at the time, a scary Beast. Secondly, Mrs. Potts helped the Beast and Belle fall in love which is a major factor in Belle’s destiny. Mrs. Potts isn’t afraid to go against the Beasts orders and instills that in Belle. Specifically, when the Beast was attacked by wolves Belle kept cleaning his wounds even though he told her to stop. 

The constant villain throughout the film is Gaston. Gaston lives in Belle’s small village and tries to get Belle to marry him. Gaston is very selfish and only cares about what he wants. One villainous act that Gaston did was he went to the Beast’s castle to go and kill him. He does this because he found out that the Beast was “friends” with Belle. Belle never told Gaston that she was really falling in love with the Beast. Also, the Beast constantly treats and talks about Maurice poorly which is Belle’s father. The romance in the film is between Belle and the Beast. During the movie, they both fall for each other. They realize that each other’s personalities are more important than their looks which is also a theme portrayed throughout the film. At the end of the movie, Belle now lives at the Beast’s castle without being forced to. Both the Beast and Belle falling in love with each other leads to the journey home and the completion of Belle’s destiny.

The final battle of Beauty and the Beast was between Gaston and the Beast. Once Gaston, the villain, found out that the Beast was close with Belle, he wanted to kill the Beast. When Gaston arrived at the castle, the Beast was almost out of time and was starting to fade away. Gaston and the Beast both wound each other as Belle is trying to stop their fight. When both Gaston and the Beast are right at the edge of the castle, Gaston stabs the Beast one last time but falls to his death. Belle saves the Beast by helping him get onto the balcony safely. The journey home was Belle deciding to live with the Beast after she confessed her love for him in the last moments of his life. She turns the Beast back into his human form along with all his servants. The spell on the castle is finally broken. 

All in all, Belle completes her heroic journey. Belle completes her destiny which was to save the Beast and his servants from remaining in their enchanted forms forever. Belle is aided through her hero’s journey by Mrs. Potts who gives her advice on how to handle and fall in love with the Beast. She and the Beast defeat Gaston, the villain, and end up falling in love. This film and Hero’s Journey both end with a happily ever after. 

Sofia Corcione- Author