Counselor For Gaston
Was Gaston from Beauty and the Beast really the bad guy? I want you to peer deep into the recesses of your humanity and try and extricate the answer you truly believe. Disney certainly wants him to be the bad guy, but for some reason, I find myself at various points throughout the movie wondering why am I rooting for this behemoth? Here are various arguments why Gaston is a far more appealing protagonist in theory than The Beast.
Gaston uses antlers in all of his decorations
Seriously, that’s like the coolest thing I’ve ever heard anyone do…ever. Also, did you see what is apparently Gaston’s house? If it’s true that Gaston did the interior decorating, it can only be assumed he owns the place, right? Check out the song, full working bar, hella tables and room. This guy is an innovator and quite the business man. Clearly more intelligent than we initially give him credit. Also, things you find out about Gaston in this little song: 1) he can juggle eggs, 2) he’s especially good at expectorating, 3) he’s got a nice baritone, 4) he’s beloved by literally the entire town (can’t be too bad of a guy, right?), 5) he wore boots out to the bars before wearing boots out to the bar was cool.
Gaston has the looks
Eric, Aladdin, Hercules, John Smith, that guy from Cinderella…these are Disney’s male heroes and they all have he common factor of being attractive…well for animations I suppose.
The villains (Ursula, Jafar, Hades, Governor Ratcliffe) are all misshapen in some way or another. Enter the large, unruly, terrifying Beast. I get the whole “beauty is on the inside” bit Disney is trying to play with, but why is it no other male protagonist, aside from our old pal Quazi from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, is in any way portrayed as ugly? Gaston is the strong, handsome male protagonist Disney has sold for generations. I didn’t even arrive at the princes from Sleeping Beauty and Snow White until this juncture! Disney is the corrupt power which has bred generations believing the good-looking are the ones to cheer for! You can’t make this stuff up! However, Gaston’s attractiveness goes far beyond his chiseled frame!
He’s The “All-American” Boy Story
Being the All-American boy goes beyond being handsome. Gaston is also athletic, after all, no one fights like Gaston or bites like Gaston, spits like Gaston…you get it. Also, Gaston has the background of the type of hero for whom we all like to root: the underdog. The Beast grew up in a castle as a prince. I’m 99% sure the Prince did not build the castle, usher in servants, and accumulate vast wealth all before he was 21, also know as the age he was when the rose would be done blooming.
Gaston, on the same hand, is a small town (provincial town, maybe?) man whose success is built entirely off his own hard work as a child…and his steady diet of 4 dozen eggs every morning to help him get large. Finally, Gaston has the sense of arrogance which makes him strangely right for a protagonist. You don’t want the hero being some wimpy guy you can push around and shove into the ground whenever you deem it necessary. Gaston is prepared to do anything to get the girl.
Gaston really just wants to marry Belle
Quoth Mandy Patinkin in the Princess Bride, “True love […] you could not ask for a more noble cause”.
His tactics may seem brash, but Gaston is honestly the only person in the town who seems to like Belle in the least bit. Refer to one of Disney’s finest musical pieces: Here. The rest of the townspeople sing about how she’s rather odd and doesn’t fit in, but Gaston sees past her idiosyncrasies and dreams to one day marry her because he thinks she’s the best damn girl in town. Tis there a more nobler cause? Or something Shakespearean.
Gaston accepts the losers
All Belle talk aside, Gaston’s main man is the buffoon known as Lefou whose attributes consist of being short, being stupid, and the inability to best a candlestick in one-v-one combat. Gaston may be narcissistic about himself, but he’s not even enough of a bad guy to rebuke the poor little guy whose balls are probably a little too un-dropped. Give Gaston credit, he’s not one to shun people and create outcasts like, oh everyone else in the town and the Beast. I mean if the Beast hadn’t kidnapped his love interest he probably would have just hungout with the guy and played an online dynasty or something.
Gaston just wanted to save the day!
Quick! Mario, Link, and Gaston all have something in common, what is it? The answer is all three attempt to save a damsel in distress from some horrifying, possibly (probably) raper kidnapper. When he sees The Beast in the magic mirror, Gaston has only one assumption to draw: the Beast is dangerous especially to his love (Belle). This undoubtedly satanic creation kidnapped Belle’s father, drugged him with crazy pills, kidnapped Belle, raped her (probably), and roars bloody murder into the peaceful, French, provincial countryside. So maybe Gaston does throw Belle into the cellar, but only to keep her safe from the bloodthirsty, raper monster; a monster Gaston has only seen scream into the night, kidnap the girl he planned to marry, and cry.
So Gaston, in conclusion, is the handsome underdog who has built himself through his own hard work, determination, and charisma to become the most popular and sought after bachelor in town; however, he decides to hang around with this imbecile who, we mention again, cannot even best clocks in combat while trying to marry a girl who is shunned and ignored by the bulk of the town’s populace because she just isn’t like the rest of them; furthermore, he is willing to march against this terrible, way too hairy. Beast in order to ensure the safety of this damsel? That sounds like a hero to me.