Are you ready for this? Beauty and the Beast premiered 25 years ago. Belle is a quarter-century old! The Beast is a quarter-century old! Gaston is a quarter-century old! Maurice is...well, let's not think about where Maurice might be right now.
But back to the happy thoughts. It's safe to say that Beauty and the Beast was one of the most pivotal Disney movies of our collective youth. No matter if you were zero in 1991 or twelve, you were captivated by that little town and its storybook-worthy residents. The bookstore, the tiny houses, the gaggle of sheep—it all fit so perfectly into our childhood imaginations.
This isn't the time or the place to get into a qualitative debate on the merits of each Disney movie, so we'll just say that Beauty and the Beast was bomb and we can't believe it's been 25 years.
Of course, we would be remiss if we didn't mention just how long a quarter century really is. For most of us, the last time we sat down to watch Beauty and the Beast all the way through, the Internet wasn't even the Internet. The Spice Girls were a brand new band. There was only one Mission: Impossible and one Independence Day. Not only was Brangelina not divorced, but they weren't even Brangelina. They were just...Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, two people who happened to be famous yet had nothing to do with each other.
So what is it like to view Beauty and the Beast as a grown adult? In a word: surreal. It's just as magical, the morals are just as sentimental, and Maurice is just as cute. And yet, you start to notice some things that you definitely didn't pick up on two decades ago. As such, here are our observations.
Seriously, what's up with this idiot? We know we're supposed to feel bad for him because he's just the bumbling fool who gets abused by Gaston on the regular, but seen through the lens of our newfound wisdom, he's absurd. Also, can someone explain why he thinks it's a compliment to tell Gaston he has the thickest neck?
2. LeFou's groupies are the worst.
Seeing how our feelings towards LeFou have strengthened, you can guess how we feel about his hangers-on in the pub. As much as we appreciate the physical comedy involved in this swing move, they should take their drunken brown nosing elsewhere.
3. Gaston is still disgusting.
This isn't a revelation so much as it was a reinforcement that Belle was so totally right to rebuff him that way. Our adult selves can confirm that he's just as creepy as he seemed in the '90s. Even disregarding that thick neck business.
4. The side effects of magic brownies.
As children the talking household products were adorable. Magical even! Today, we see that the way in which Disney created this magic was to stick all the animators in a room together and bake them some very special brownies. It totally worked, but just...wow
5. The Beast eating is all of us.
Is this guy hilarious with porridge or is this guy hilarious with porridge? We all know what it's like to be seriously so hungry and also have no room in our lives for utensils. (Especially after 2 a.m., amirite?). The only difference is that The Beast has an evolutionary excuse and we don't.
6. Mrs. Potts and Chip are the best Disney family.
We just said something incendiary, we know. With this pronouncement we are putting aside our love for Dumbo and his mom, all those Dalmatians, and even Simba and Mufasa. But just look at them! Mrs. Potts' accent could not be more adorable—she literally is Angela Lansbury in animated form. And Chip is definitely the only teacup we'd ever agree to babysit.
7. Gaston's groupies make us sad.
This was just a really hard week/month/year to watch them, you guys. Here's hoping they're out there somewhere, having wrenched free of Gaston and LeFou's clutches, exhibiting all the independent personalities they so choose.
8. Maurice should be rich.
You heard it here first: Maurice was totally the original Tim Cook. Just give the guy some funding and watch the genius roll out of him.
9. We really missed the important lesson about inclusion that the writers were trying to throw at us.
As children we were too d--n preoccupied by Belle and Beast's love story and talking about her stupid party dresses to pick up on the cautionary tale that was the torch-wielding villagers. Of course, maybe that was on our parents to explain it. Either way, as adults this just serves as yet another reason why Disney is genius.
10. The real-life Beast may look like Fabio, but man his love scenes are hot.
This guy totally doesn't do it for us (he's nothing compared to Eric in The Little Mermaid...hubba hubba!). That said, these animators should win awards for the way they draw a kiss.
11. There really should have been more fires.
Um, fire marshal? Fire marshal?