"Tale as old as time... song as old as rhyme"... This week's Project Disney's book and movie is Beauty and the Beast. I am so excited to write about this movie.. it's one of my favorites! This movie is based off of two stories La Belle et la Bête by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumon and
The Story of the Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (you can read both stories from the links). I read both stories though the latter is much much longer and has a lot more detail. I recently watched this movie in theaters when it was re-released in 3D. Now that was amazing and if you didn't take the time to go to the theater and watch it you sure did miss out.
The book starts out with Belle having many sisters and brothers. Her father becomes poor because of a huge house fire and the family is disgraced because of this. In the book she is not called Belle but Beauty. Which causes her siblings to be jealous of her. Beauty's father then goes to the city to find some of his fortune that may have returned from sea. When her father gets there the fortune has already been stolen. He makes his way back to the country where his family is and becomes lost. The father comes upon a castle and enters it for shelter where he sleeps and keeps finding food ready for him. The father then thinks that the castle is his to own and begins to gather roses. Then the Beast reveals himself and is angry that the father was taking his roses (for Beauty). The father told the Beast the the rose was for his daughter Beauty. The Beast then tells the father that he can leave for exchange for one of his daughters. Who of course is Beauty.
Beauty sees her father in a magical mirror and sees that he isn't well. Beast asks her to marry him every night but Beauty refuses. He tells her she can go visit her father since he is alone now and her siblings have moved away. Beauty and the Beast story should be the story of the evil stepsisters, not Cinderella. The sisters see how happy Beauty is and decide to keep her longer at the house then a week (which is how long she told the beast she would be gone). Beauty finally says yes to the Beast and wants to marry him. Before they get married though... there is a twist in the story that is much different from the movie. You can also read about the Beast's story here. The fairy that we see at the beginning of the film actually raises the prince. When he is older the fairy wants to marry him (gross right?). She is an older lady and the prince doesn't feel right marrying her. The fairy is angry and turns him into the beast.
The Disney movie really follows this story quite well. The mirror, the library, the painting of Beast as a man, the spell on Beast. The household items aren't alive but there are monkeys and birds that talk to Beauty. My favorite characters of the film are the household items that talk like Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, her son Chip, and Cogsworth. The music in this film is amazing. I can sign along to every song. The art work for the film is one of the best I have seen yet in 2D form. The character Gaston is amazing for a great villain. He is cocky, charming, and evil all at the same time. Belle is one of my top Disney Princesses. I mean she READS BOOKS!
I can't end this post without posting a song from the movie!
Reading this story and comparing it to the film is really interesting. The story is really good if you want to take the time to read it. A really good fairy tale full of detail. This film too is outstanding. Several people I know says it's their favorite Disney film (mine is still Cinderella). What do you think of the movie and story?
Check out my other Project Disney
The Great Mouse Detective
The Princess and the Frog
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Lady and the Tramp
Alice in Wonderland
The Rescuers Down Under
Oliver and Company
The Little Mermaid
The Jungle Book
The Emperor's New Groove
The Sword in the Stone
The Lion King
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh (2011)
The Black Cauldron
Lilo and Stitch
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Make Mine Music
Fox and the Hound