Part One – Part Two – Part Three – Chip Interlude – Part Four – Part Five
The story structure of Beuaty and the Beast is all about balance: balancing drama and comedy, major and minor characters, and Belle and Beast. A serious Beast scene has just ended, so now it’s time to get back to Belle and to lighten the mood a bit. Even the backgrounds tell us that this scene is going to be far more cheery than the one preceding it. We go from a dimly lit castle at night to the countryside near Belle’s home on a beautiful sunlit day. The bright scenery, cheery music, and a few physical gags at Lefou’s expense are just what’s needed to break the tension caused by Beast imprisoning Maurice.
Gaston may have been “making plans to woo and marry Belle,” but now he’s decided to dispense with the wooing and cut straight to the marriage. Despite Belle’s obvious disinterest in him during their previous encounter, Gaston remains convinced that any woman would be thrilled to be asked to marry him, so much so that he has already set up the wedding before he’s actually asked Belle to be his bride. To him and to the rest of the townspeople, the proposal is almost a joke because the outcome is such a foregone conclusion.