by Nicholas Pendergast
Disney has always walked a tight line toward orthodox script writing. They have never shifted far from the ‘traditional’ American family values. The princess is typically a damsel in distress who finds true love when her heroic prince charming foils the antagonist’s plot.
All of that is about to change, or at least sort of…
Gaston’s manservant LeFou might conjure memories of an animated chipper ol’ goof with huge teeth and a grin that only a mother could love.
The live action version of the film starring Emma Watson is going to take a huge shift; LeFou is going to retain some of the characteristics essential to his character, but Disney have decided on making a leap forward with a big change to LeFou’s sexual orientation.
Director Bill Condon says, “‘LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston.”
There’s definitely a lot of confusion in this new imagining of Gaston’s servant. ”
“He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realising that he has these feelings. It is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie,” Condon added.
LeFou will sing praises of Gaston, as he did in the ’91 film.
Although this is the first time that Disney has openly addressed a character’s sexuality, this isn’t the first time alternative sexual preferences have come up in the Disney universe. Fans have mused over the sexual orientations of iconic characters for years, including Timon & Pumba from The Lion King.
LeFou’s confused sexuality is not the only big change in the movie; Condon and Emma Watson plan to take Belle’s character a step further into empowerment. In the 1991 animated movie, Belle was known to be a bookworm who had wits to match her grace, and in the new film she is going to take her intelligence to new levels as an inventor.
The beast will be played be brought to life by CGI and the acting of Dan Stevens.
Beauty and the Beast will hit theaters on March 17th.