Beauty and the Beast
Belle reading

The Story

Disney's Beauty and the Beast is a wonderfully romantic tale. It begins with a story of an arrogant young prince who casts out an old lady based purely on her haggard appearance. For this he is cursed to remain a beast until his 21st birthday. As a timer, the beast is left a rose which will wilt and die as he reaches his birthday. His castle staff are placed under the spell and become furniture and utensils within the castle. All of the castle inhabitants must stay in their altered forms until the young prince/beast learns to love for the beauty that lies within. If he doesn't do this before the last petal on the rose falls they shall remain under the spell forever.

Enter the heroine, Belle, the most beautiful woman in town. A read-a-holic who wants more out of life than to marry the most handsome man in town ( hiss). She wanders the first scenes reading and helping her eccentric father. She also dodges Gaston's advances.
After Belle's father is taken hostage by the Beast, Belle offers to take his place and be the Beast's Prisoner. Fate steps in and after a multitude of romantic scenes Belle and the Beast fall in love.

The Beast Just as the viewer thinks that the two will come together and break the spell on the Beast and his castle, Belle is called back to her father who is dying. Gaston threatens to put her father in a lunatic assylum if she refuses to marry him. Belle reveals the secret of the Beast and Gaston decides to hunt him down to add to his trophy collection.

After a terrible battle, the beast lies dying in Belle's arms. As the last petal on his enchanted rose begins to fall, Belle whispers "I love you", and the Beast 'dies'.

Luckily Belle's declaration saves the beast who transforms into a handsome prince. All of the major characters transform from their enchanted forms into human shape once more. Beauty and The Beast are happily united in marriage and they all live happily ever after.

Beauty and the Beast was Disney's attempt to win the first Best Picture Academy Award, with an animated feature. It displayed beautiful characters with feelings and ideas. There were a lot of concepts that only adults would pick up. It is a timeless masterpiece that will continue to be popular well after Disney has created 35 more animated features.

Maggie's Links to Beauty and The Beast Sites