15 Disney couples ranked on relationship functionality

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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Photo: Disney Enterprises, Inc.

14. Belle and Adam (The Beast)

It’s a tale as old as time: Beauty and the Beast. It’s certainly romantic, and has a great moral at its center. This Disney classic has been retold in countless variations on screen, and each time, it teaches audiences that true love and true beauty start from within.

Prince Adam, as he was known before he was cursed by the witch, was a pompous prince, only attracted to superficial beauty. He was neither kind nor understanding. Those were traits he only came to learn once he was cursed into beastliness. And he needed a lot of help from Belle to get there.

Given how headstrong Belle was, she probably wouldn’t have stuck around hoping to change him if she wasn’t being held as his prisoner. It’s easy to forget, what with all the cute bonding moments and montages they shared, but at the end of the day, Belle was technically Beast’s prisoner.

It’s one of the biggest criticisms of the movie today, with many people arguing that Belle is a prime example of someone experiencing Stockholm Syndrome. It’s even a concern that Emma Watson had when she first took on the role for the live-action adaptation.

Watson argued that Belle willingly sacrificed herself, rather than being kidnapped, and defied the Beast as often as she could at the beginning of their relationship.

Even so, in the real world, this relationship would never make it long term. Belle would be the type to actively fight for women who found themselves in the same scenario.