Bilingual is Better

As much as my husband hates to admit it, his “princesa” is at a stage where fairies, princesses and pink are what make her happy.  It’s difficult for a man to understand that this is a natural right of passage for a girl. One that, when embraced with acceptance, can fuel her imagination.

Her new obsession is Belle, or “Bella” as we know her by her Spanish name, from Disney’s classic “Beauty and the Beast.” My aunt had given her the Belle doll last Christmas, and she loved her, but she had no idea who she was–just another Princesa.  Last week we received the newly released Blu-ray and DVD combo pack of “Beauty and the Beast” and we’ve been enjoying the Spanish version, available as an audio option, together, and she’s been glued to her Bella doll again.

It’s been 19 years since the original movie came out in theaters.  I was a freshman in college then (yikes!) and am surprised at how well I still remember the songs;  songs now my daughter is dancing, singing and twirling to herself. I’m always amazed at how well Disney continues to transcend borders and generational gaps.

I had forgotten that Belle is one of the Disney princesses that moms can use as role models.  One focused on real values of grasping the beauty within all of us and one that prefers reading, her nose always buried in a book, over hanging out with the popular, self-absorbed macho guy in town–Gastón.  I do think I overdid it the first time Camila and I watched it together because I kept repeating over and over, “Mira, a Bella le encantan libros. Le encanta leer.”

If you’ve never seen the movie or heard the songs in Spanish, here is a clip of the Spanish-version of the Oscar-winning song “La Bella y la Bestia Son.”

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