Autistic Culture
The Autistic Culture Podcast
Beauty and The Beast is Autistic (Episode 34)

Beauty and The Beast is Autistic (Episode 34)

Illuminating Autistic Culture through the enchanting tale of Beauty and the Beast.
Matt: This is a story about a hairy fanged isolationist who lives in a house full of magic stuff and then meets a woman who loves libraries. Angela: So this is pretty much our show.

Dr. Angela Lauria and her co-host, Matt Lowry LPP, examine how the 1991 Disney film Beauty and the Beast—with its enchanted objects and magical setting—provides a captivating allegory for the Autistic experience, showcasing the value of individuality, empathy, and embracing the beauty in our differences.

“So…when you're not looking at autistic people through an Autistic Culture lens, and you're like, oh, she's strange, or oh, she maybe when she meets the right guy, she'll act normal.”

The writer of the film, Linda Woolverton, is highlighted as someone who frequently writes stories and characters that Autistic people can relate to. Her other works like Mulan, Maleficent, and Alice in Wonderland are mentioned.

The hosts trace the history of Beauty and the Beast tales over thousands of years in various cultures. The 1740 French novel and 1946 French film are discussed as precursors to the 1991 Disney version.

Matt and Angela take a closer look at the Beast: a misunderstood creature with emotional intensity, longing for connection but trapped by society's judgments and expectations—something people on the autism spectrum are all too familiar with. Through analyzing the evolving relationship, the hosts highlight the themes of acceptance, understanding, and the transformative power of love that transcend societal barriers, reflecting the experiences of many in Autistic Culture.

And of course, they explore the tale of Belle: an intelligent and compassionate young woman who, despite facing social isolation due to her unique interests and demeanor, finds solace in a world of books and enchantment—highly relatable for Autistic individuals. Belle's character can be seen as a powerful symbol of neurodiversity and the importance of embracing one's true self, even when it's not understood by others.

“This is the way of our people because with our hyper-connected brains, we have the data hunger. We need experiences. We need reading. We need research. We need to go see places and do things. We need more than these dead-eyed villagers. ‘There must be more than this provincial life.’” —Matt

Musical elements of the film are also analyzed, including songs that depict Belle as an outsider who’s misunderstood. The lyricist Howard Ashman is credited along with composer Alan Menken. Additionally, the character of Gaston is critiqued as representing neurotypical arrogance and ignorance, as he provokes the villagers’ mob mentality.

Don't miss this enchanting exploration of how Beauty and the Beast captivates the hearts of Autistic children and adults, and serves as a reminder that there's magic in all of us.

Do you relate to Beauty and the Beast? What parts?

Related episodes…Episode 18 - Ponies are Autistic, Episode 09: Fairy Tales are Autistic, and Episode 26 - Disney is Autistic

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Autistic Culture
The Autistic Culture Podcast
Welcome to the Autistic Culture Podcast. Each episode we dive deep into Autistic contributions to society and culture by introducing you to some of the world’s most famous and successful Autistics in history!
Whether you are Autistic or just love someone who is, your hosts, Dr. Angela Lauria, the Linguistic Autistic and Licensed Psychological Practitioner, Matt Lowry, welcome you to take this time to be fully immersed in the language, values, traditions, norms, and identity of Autistica!
To learn more about Angela, Matt, and the Autistic Culture Podcast visit