Friday, June 28, 2013

Project Disney- Beauty and the Beast

Project Disney: The plan is to tackle all of the Disney films, re-reading the classic stories and tales that inspired many of them and to look at how the changes the filmmakers made, the new elements they introduced and the essential elements they kept. We will, of course, be talking about the films as movies as well, saying why we enjoy them and what some of our favorite moments are, but our focus will be on looking at them as adaptations. For the films that are not drawn from any one work we’ll be looking at some of the possible literary influences that we see in the stories. Inspired by Project Disney hosted by Picture Me Reading.

"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 BĂȘte 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! 

This story is so wonderful it's amazing how many spinoffs there has been.  I still want to see the Broadway show.  I did see the ballet put on by the Colorado Ballet and that was awful.  They did not do a good job.  I haven't checked out the new show Beauty and the Beast on the CW but it's still on so someone must be watching it.  As always in my Project Disneys I include the Twisted Disney pictures (seen above) and the Annie Leibovitz pictures which are always so neat!

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
Snow White  
Peter Pan
Treasure Planet
Sleeping Beauty
The Great Mouse Detective 
The Princess and the Frog
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Lady and the Tramp
Alice in Wonderland
The Rescuers
The Rescuers Down Under
Oliver and Company
The Little Mermaid
101 Dalmatians
Fantasia 2000
The Jungle Book
The Emperor's New Groove
The Sword in the Stone
The Aristocats
The Lion King
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh (2011)
Robin Hood
The Black Cauldron
Mary Poppins
Lilo and Stitch 
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Make Mine Music
Fox and the Hound
Melody Time


  1. Ok now I am singing all of the songs ans grinning thinking about Chip and Mrs. Potts. I loved the movie and the books. Wonderful review and this challenge sounds like a fun one..i look forward to more!

    1. I love this movie too... the two books I liked. This is the first film where Disney really follows the story almost spot on.

  2. This is one of my fave Disney films, so it was great to read your review of it! I think I like Disney's version better than the fairy tale though, they always add so many interesting elements and make the story more rounded.

    1. Disney's version was much more magical this time around. The household items coming alive. In the story the people become statues in the castle. Here they become animated household items (candlestick, clock). Bringing the rose that is wilting to the story was also very genius of Disney. It made the story feel like we need to hurry and save the Beast. In the fairytale really it seems there is a lot of time. When Beauty doesn't go back to the Beast soon enough that is when he begins to die.

  3. This is my next goal for project disney. I really haven't covered a lot of the cartoons yet, but more of the princess movie. I might be a bit biased because the princess movies do happen to be my favorite. I will come back and read this when I'm finished.