A to Z Challenge: More Fictional Favorites! Day 22: Vincent from Beauty and the Beast

V is for — Vincent from Beauty and the Beast A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0

I’ve always loved the storyline of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale — the cursed beast-prince angry and brooding in his dark castle, saved by the love of a kind and beautiful woman.

In 1987, Ron Koslow created a TV show based on this fairytale, but with a twist. The Beast, in this case, isn’t a witch-enchanted prince, but an extraordinary man named Vincent (played by Ron Perlman) with princely bearing who looks to be part lion. His tawny hair resembles a lion’s mane, and his features, a lion’s face. He is tall and incredibly strong and fierce, but with the heart of a poet.

Beauty is a woman named Catherine (Linda Hamilton of Terminator fame) who initially works in her father’s law firm, then becomes assistant district attorney in New York City. In a case of mistaken identity, she is brutally beaten by thugs and left for dead in Central Park. Vincent finds her, takes her to his underground home, and nurses her back to health. Through an empathetic connection, he senses her feelings and knows when she is in danger, rescuing her often, like a guardian angel.

The story takes place in Manhattan, both above and below ground, focusing on Catherine’s life as an ADA and Vincent’s life with his adopted family/community that lives in tunnels deep underground, hidden away from the real world. Catherine and Vincent’s sweet relationship grows throughout the series, strengthening into pure and true fairytale love.

One of the things I loved most about the show was the classical music and poetry they wove into each episode. This is where I first heard the beginning of William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence.

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour…”

Vincent had the most wonderful voice that brought to life the poems he read aloud. My favorite was Shakespeare’s Sonnet XXIX. Absolutely exquisite. The episodes inspired me to delve into the music and literature referenced, which expanded my knowledge and appreciation of poetry and classical music in general.

I really enjoyed the first two seasons of the show. Linda Hamilton left the show early in the third season because she was pregnant, and the show never recovered and was cancelled.

An interesting bit of trivia: Author George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) was one of the producers of the show and wrote fourteen episodes.

To learn more about Beauty and the Beast, visit http://www.classicalliance.net/.



Photo Credit: IMDB







© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

A to Z Challenge: Fictional Favorites, Day 2

B is for — Bilbo Baggins and Belle — from The Hobbit and Disney’s animated film, Beauty and the Beast.

Bilbo Baggins, the unlikely hero from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, has always been one of my all-time favorite characters. The way he goes from timid, complacent stick-in-the-mud to spider-slaying, dragon-braving adventurer inspires those (like me) who hesitate, and encourages us to go forth out our doors and into the wild.

Many times I watched the 1977 Rankin-Bass animated Hobbit, living Bilbo’s journey with him, persevering even though I’m arachnophobic and not nearly as good with riddles. One of my favorite moments from this movie is when the Dwarves are singing — “Far over misty mountains cold…” — and Gandalf and Bilbo speak:

Gandalf: “There’s a magic in that music.”

Bilbo: “And it moves through me.”

Gandalf: “You feel the love of beautiful things.”

Bilbo: “To go and see the great mountains and hear the pine trees and waterfalls.”

Gandalf: “To wear a sword instead of a walking stick.”

Bilbo: “Just once…”

Another favorite moment is when Bilbo climbs the tall tree in the middle of Mirkwood and sees all the butterflies fluttering in the sunshine and feels the breeze on his face. He doesn’t speak, but shares his thoughts: “There are moments which can change a person for all time, and I suddenly wondered if I would ever see my snug hobbit hole again. I wondered if I actually wanted to.”

Those moments always stir in me a yearning to take that step out my door and go.

Belle, from Walt Disney’s animated classic, Beauty and the Beast, is another such inspiration. The “odd” girl with her nose in a book could so be me. I admire her spunk, her courage, and her cleverness. She’s not afraid to stand against the crowd.

When I first saw this movie when it came out in 1991, I was entranced. Everything about it was magical — the exquisite colors in the opening sequence, the engaging heroine, the wonderfully quirky denizens of the enchanted castle, the rousing and romantic songs, and the Beast — a cursed prince who needed someone to find enough good in him to love. Add to that the scary scenes with the wolves, a frighteningly charismatic antagonist in Gaston, and the hilarious battle between the ensorcelled castle servants and the villagers and you get a movie that immediately became my #1 favorite Disney movie, ever. It still reigns today. Not even the excellent Tangled or Frozen could knock Beauty and the Beast from its pedestal.

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's Hobbit Photo Credit: LOTR Wikia

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in
Peter Jackson’s Hobbit
Photo Credit: LOTR Wikia

The Hobbit!

The Hobbit!

Belle from Disney's Beauty and the Beast, 1991 Photo Credit: Disney Wikia

Belle from Disney’s
Beauty and the Beast, 1991
Photo Credit: Disney Wikia