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"Beauty and the Beast": Sacrificial Love

Beauty and the Beast, a Walt Disney animated movie, tells the story of a beautiful French girl, Belle, who finds the love of Beast, a prince condemned long ago to live a life of shame and ugliness because he could not love.

One night, Belle's father, Maurice, gets lost in a forest and is thrown from his horse. When the horse returns without Maurice the next day, Belle sets off to find him. She follows her father's horse to an imposing castle, set deep within the forest. The castle looms over Belle, its twisted, hulking form inspiring fear. When she finds her father's hat lying inside the gate, she cautiously enters, despite her fright.

Once inside, a talking candlestick leads Belle to a dungeon where she finds her father huddled in a cell—alone, cold, and sick. Maurice, having seen the monstrous beast who put him there, pleads with Belle to leave. Belle refuses and tries to free him.

Suddenly, a booming voice growls from the darkness. "What are you doing here?" Beast challenges Belle from the shadows.

Belle learns that her father is being held for trespassing and that there is no escape from from the punishment for his offense. As her father gasps and wheezes, Belle offers, "Take me instead!"

Beast is momentarily startled and asks, "You would take his place?"

"If I did, would you let him go?" Belle bargains.

"Yes, but you must promise to stay here forever," answers Beast.

"You have my word," Belle vows.

"Done!" Though puzzled by her sacrifice, Beast makes the trade and frees Belle's father.

Elapsed time: Measured from the beginning of the opening credit, Belle begins her search for Maurice at 22:00, and the scene ends at 24:00 with the sacrificial trade.

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