‘Beauty and the Beast’: This Classic Disney Song Has a Much Darker Meaning Than You Think

Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney’s most beloved films. The story of the bookish loner and the cursed beast has won the hearts of millions. It has been over 25 years since the film’s release, yet it is still one of the most well-regarded animated classics of all time.

But believe it or not, one of the songs from the movie has a much darker meaning than you might think. Keep reading to discover which song.

"Beauty And The Beast" New York Screening
‘Beauty And The Beast’ | Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Has ‘Beauty and the Beast’ won any Academy awards?

Beauty and the Beast has won several awards during the year of its release. In fact, it is the first animated Disney film to ever be nominated for the “Best Picture” category at the Academy Awards.

The 1991 classic won that year for “Best Score” as well as “Best Original Song” for “Beauty and The Beast.” Other songs, such as “Be Our Guest” and “Belle,” were both nominated as well.

This Disney song from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ has a much darker meaning than you’d think

Dan Stevens and Emma Watson arrive for the world premiere of Disney's live-action "Beauty and the Beast"
Dan Stevens and Emma Watson arrive for the world premiere of Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” | Jesse Grant/Getty Images

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One of the songs from the movie, “Kill the Beast” actually has a much more heartbreaking meaning than one might expect. According to the producer of Beauty and the Beast, Don Hahn, the song was written by Howard Ashman, who struggled with AIDS.
Ashman has written the lyrics for countless Disney songs, including “Be Our Guest,” “Belle,” and all of the classic tunes from “The Little Mermaid.”

“Howard Ashman was struggling with AIDS at the same time (of the making of the film),” Hahn revealed in an interview with Den of Geek. “The ‘Kill The Beast’ song was almost a metaphor for that. He was really dealing with a debilitating disease in an era when it was stigmatized. And so, there were so many of those underpinnings to the movie that people may not have seen. And shouldn’t have seen. It wasn’t about the HIV epidemic at all. But if you study the man and his struggles and then look at his lyrics, you understand what he was going through.”

Belle is partially based on this iconic literary character

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens attend UK launch event for "Beauty And The Beast"
Emma Watson and Dan Stevens attend UK launch event for “Beauty And The Beast” | Mike Marsland/WireImage

Belle is one of the most beloved Disney princesses. This is because, unlike many of the princesses before her, Belle has deep interests outside of marriage. In fact, Belle doesn’t even want to get married in the first place. Instead, she is deeply passionate about reading, something that was very much frowned upon for women at the time.

And interestingly enough, her character is partially based on a famous literary character, according to Cosmopolitan. The character she is based on is Jo March from Little Women, written by Louisa May Alcott. This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, considering Jo March is also considered “peculiar” for not going along with the social norms of the time.

And as Cosmopolitan reports, her physical appearance has been inspired by two celebrities: Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music and Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.

How cool?