Disney movies have taught us many life lessons over the years:
Live with no worries for the rest of your days.
The only way to get what you want in this world is through hard work.
Just keep swimming.
But beyond quotable lines and irresistible songs, there are actually plenty of etiquette lessons to be learned via the magic of Disney. Just look to Beauty and the Beast.
The beloved animated film is set to get new life this Friday (March 17) with the release of the live-action Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. In honor of this highly anticipated release, we revisited the 1991 movie to see what we can learn about how to treat a guest and how to be a guest.
Though Belle and the Beast eventually fall in love over a series of meals and an iconic ballroom dance, they don’t see eye-to-eye at first. As a result, they throw all table etiquette and proper host etiquette out the window. But you can learn quite a lot from their mistakes.
If You’re Invited to a Dinner Party, RSVP
Sure, Belle is less of a guest in the Beast’s castle than a captive, but she was still extended a formal invitation to join him for dinner. And instead of passing along that she won’t be attending right away, she just doesn’t show up, causing one of the film’s most tense moments. Though she has good reason for doing so, the polite way to respond to an invitation is to give a yes or no response as soon as possible.
Treat Your Guests Like Royalty
Belle may be a princess by the end of Beauty and the Beast, but at the beginning of the fairytale, she’s just a well-read girl from a provincial town. Despite her commoner status, the Beast’s servants treat Belle like the most important woman in the world during her first dinner. In “Be Our Guest,” Lumière and company serenade Belle and outline how a dinner guest should be treated: with outstanding entertainment and magic tricks, a cheery host, and plenty of wine and hot tea with your expertly prepared dessert.
Don’t Slurp Your Soup
The Beast hasn’t been around other people for quite some time, and in the process of living among anthropomorphized household items, he’s forgotten all of his table etiquette. As Belle and the Beast warm up to each other and dine together, the Beast laps at his soup bowl like the buffalo-bear-gorilla-wolf-lion hybrid that he appears to be instead of the handsome 21-year-old prince that he is inside. But as Belle’s heart warms up to the Beast (or as she falls deeper into her Stockholm Syndrome), she teaches him how to properly use a spoon and tip his bowl to every last drop of broth.