Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Does Belle Have Asperger's?

On Sunday, we took our daughter to see the Disney movie, "Beauty and the Beast." I have only seen the movie once, when it came out in 1991. We went to a glorious old theater in Hollywood called the El Capitan. This theater was built in 1926 and fully restored. It's absolutely gorgeous, and a great place to see a movie, if you're ever visiting Los Angeles.

This presentation was in sing-a-long format. All the words to the songs would show up on the screen so everyone could join in and sing. Of course, no one did! But it was great seeing all the lyrics flash on the screen. During the opening musical number called Belle, I was struck by the words! Here are some excerpts from the song:

Look there she goes that girl is strange, no question
Dazed and distracted, can't you tell?
Never part of any crowd
'Cause her head's up on some cloud
No denying she's a funny girl that Belle

Look there she goes that girl is so peculiar
I wonder if she's feeling well
With a dreamy far-off look
And her nose stuck in a book
What a puzzle to the rest of us is Belle

And in the course of this song, we also find out that her father is a crazy inventor! I knew there was a parallel between Belle and my daughter in their love of reading, but I was really struck by the thought of Belle having Asperger's. During the course of the movie, however, Belle stopped appearing to have Asperger's. She really wasn't as "off" as the townsfolk sung about. She was just a smart girl bored by her surroundings who loved to read. And, of course, who saw the inner beauty of a beast. Whatever. For a few moments, I really enjoyed the thought of a Disney princess being on the spectrum.

My daughter did relate to Belle a lot and now wants to be Belle for Halloween instead of a fairy.

Sounds good to me!


  1. beauty and the beast is my favorite of the princess movies. my eldest was belle for halloween once.

    i am glad your dd enjoyed it. sounds like an awesome place to watch the movie. i would have sang..lol.

  2. Your daughter would make the most beautiful Belle! I'm so glad she enjoyed the movie.

  3. I always liked Belle because she had brown hair. I remember seeing it for one of my friend's birthdays when it came out.
    And I LOVE the El Capitan. A couple of my friends from Disney have worked events there. If there was a Belle or Beast when you went...I might have known them. ;-)

  4. I love that!

    It's funny -- when we start looking at the most interesting characters in kids' literature, a lot of them start looking a bit "spectrum-y" (yes, that's a new word I just made up)!

    Can't wait to see pics of beautiful Belle...


  5. "She really wasn't as "off" as the townsfolk sung about. She was just a smart girl bored by her surroundings who loved to read. And, of course, who saw the inner beauty of a beast." Love this.

  6. My favorite Disney Movie! I find myself picking out things too. My favorite to watch is BONES. Dr. Temperance Brennen is so "spectrum-y". When Someone told her fish are just like us and she looked at them and said "No, fish can breath under water. We can't". It sounded just like something my little guy would say. I too know it's just TV but enjoy seeing the quirks are what give them/us an original and rare perspective.

  7. Sounds like a cool theater. We go to open captioned movies for my son, and I really enjoy having the words on the screen. It makes it easier to not miss anything.

  8. I love this story. It's all about perspective. This applies to anyone, especially young girls, who dance to a different drummer, for any reason. I love that Belle was so confident and comfortable in her skin. Confidence is something we can give our girls in this world. That charming characteristic of Amy's. That's a true princess.
    xo Jill Merin

  9. It does point out that for so many children, there is no one out there in pop culture who is like them. There is not nearly enough diversity in pop culture.

  10. I never knew the lyrics to that song and the parallels are amazing. Beauty and the Beast was one of my children's favorite bedtime stories.

    I'm sure your daughter will be a beautiful Belle!

  11. Ah, so sweet. I'm sure she'll make a lovely Belle. It's been so long since I've seen that movie too, I don't recall that song.

  12. I love it! I found your blog from SITS and I'm adding you to my blog roll. My son has just been tentatively diagnosed as being on the spectrum (my guess is he'll eventually end up with an Aspergers diagnosis) and my husband and my younger brother both have Aspergers as well.

    It's a bit of an overwhelming journey at times, but gosh I love some of the things that ASD brings to the table and I wouldn't change my family for anything!

  13. Typical Disney...if a girl likes to read books she's some kind of a freak!

  14. awwwww... I love it... you better take some pix of her!!! ps.. I have sung that song so many times w/o really listening to the words....

  15. Belle is my favorite princess!!!