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You’ve probably heard of the French fairy tale about a beautiful young girl and an ugly beast. But if you haven’t read it, you may be surprised to discover that there’s much more to the story than what Disney told us in his iconic 1991 film, Beauty and the Beast. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty of the original story written by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, here are seven key elements that make it different from what you know of it now, almost 300 years later.
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If there was ever a classic example of love at first sight, it is Cinderella. As soon as she saw Prince Charming, her heart knew what she needed to do. With all of those chores, though, how could anyone have time for romance? Instead of making excuses for not getting to know him, though, she made it work—even in her way. Through her love for him (and patience), Cinderella was able to make her dreams come true and get a second chance at living happily ever after. True love does exist—you just need to keep your eyes open!
This story is full of magic, love, loss, anger, joy, and pain. Many themes run throughout it that can be associated with a personal situation in someone’s life. One of these themes is learning to forgive people for their mistakes. The beast turns into a handsome prince when he forgives his father for forgetting about him. Another theme is taking responsibility for your actions so you do not let anyone down, including yourself. This relates to Belle because she cared too much about other people instead of herself, which caused her to lose herself in the forest forever.
How their relationship evolved
At first glance, it’s easy to see why a match between Belle and her prince would have seemed so unlikely. Their initial interactions—in which he hunted her down in an attempt to get her father to return home—set up a fairly combative relationship. Yet over time, Belle came to recognize both her intelligence and personality, as well as those of the misunderstood prince. And even though she initially rebuffed his advances at every turn, Belle couldn’t deny what she felt for him or how he made her feel about herself. While he continually tried to win her over with grand gestures, Belle ultimately chose him because of who he was on a fundamental level; she didn’t judge him based on his beastly appearance or actions.
Compared with their classic counterparts
Beauty and the Beast were probably one of my favorite movies growing up. I loved it, but that was a long time ago. Now I’m older, and so is Belle (by three years). Today’s modern version of Beauty and the Beast shows us how much our lives have changed in 20 years. Because in 1991, we had Tiana, who tried to keep her father’s dream alive by opening a restaurant with an unknown investor named Naveen. And in 2017, we have Belle, who tries to follow her dream as a bookshop owner only to fall for an incognito prince charming who can't stay forever due to his immortality curse. But hey, at least he gave her a magical rose before leaving!
Lessons from this classic tale
Time is money. No matter how much love you have, if you’re being exploited, you won’t experience true happiness. You can’t always get what you want (and maybe that’s a good thing). Beauty and the Beast is one of those timeless stories that begs for an adaptation every generation or so.
Beauty and the Beast is a French fairy tale about a beautiful young girl and an ugly beast. Seven key elements make it different from what you know of it now, almost 300 years later. The story is full of magic, love, loss, anger, joy, and pain. Beauty and the Beast were probably one of my favorite movies growing up. While he tried to win her over with grand gestures, Belle chose him because of who he was on a fundamental level. The modern version shows us how much our lives have changed in 20 years.