Aloha my wonderful merfolk!
Disney is well known for their interpretations of fairytales. They take influence from the original story and make it their own. This usually means they take out the less than family friendly details and make them suitable for family members of all ages. They also alter parts to make them fit in with their interpretation and to help the story flow a little better.
Beauty and the Beast is no exception to this. The story, first released in the 1740s has been taken and changed slightly in order to create the iconic Disney movie we all know and love.
In the Disney movie we all know, the Prince was turned into a Beast due to his selfishness and for turning his back on an old lady. In the original story however, the Prince is turned into a beast for refusing to marry an old lady who had helped raise him. This is so he appears as stupid as he is horrible. After being turned into a Beast, a kind fairy took pity on him and shrouded the castle in fog so no one would enter his castle. Everyone surrounding the castle was frozen by the fairy so they wouldn’t share the Princes secret.
In the movie, Belle is the only child of Maurice however, in the original tale, Belle has two sisters. The father is also a stay at home father in the novel, wherever he is an inventor in the Disney movie. As well as this, in the movie, Maurice is found by Belle in the woods. In the original story however, the Father dies after a long time of sickness.
In the Disney movie, the rose counts the days the Beast has to break the spell, with the petals falling as each day passes.
In the original, the rose is what instigates the curse. When Belle’s father goes away on a business trip and comes across the castle, he picks a rose from the garden in order to keep his promise to his daughter. The beast then tells the father to choose between staying as his prisoner or sending one of his daughters to stay with in his place. Belle feels guilty as it was her request for the rose. She then insists she becomes the Beasts prisoner.
Gaston was not a character in the original story. No Gaston means no mob that charge on the castle to try and kill the beast. The original story focused much more on Belle and the Beast and their locations and family.
As there is no Gaston, there i also no mention of LeFou in the original story either.
Living Household Objects
In the original story, the servants turned household objects were not there. Instead, in their place were birds and monkeys. The people of the castle were around, however they were frozen as statues so that they wouldn’t escape an tell the world of the Beasts secret.
In the films, Belle and the Beast fall in love over time, however, in the original tale, the Beast hardly talks to Belle. Every night she eats alone and when the Beast proposes to her she rejects him.
In the original story, Belle dreams of a handsome stranger that she falls in love with. During her dreams she asks Cupid what she needs to do for them to be together. He replies with ‘Judge not by thine eyes’. This is a hint that the handsome stranger is indeed the human form of the Beast.
The Big Reveal
In the films, the ending shows the big reveal where the Beast transforms into a handsome Prince. In the original story however, this happens about half way through.
In the story, Belle agrees to marry the beast, but the romantic moment does not change him immediately. It isn’t until the next morning when Belle wakes that she see’s the handsome man from her dreams asleep next to her. The Prince’s mother arrives and thanks Belle for freeing the Prince of his curse, but also states that a merchants daughter could not possibly marry her son. The Princes wakes and tells his mother Belles story.
a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below