For many years, Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s classic ‘tale as old as time’ – La Belle et la Bête – (abridged from Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s original story) has been retold in literature, media and theatre, delighting generations of fans across the world.
In Beaumout's abridged version Belle, or rather, Beauty (Belle being French for Beauty) was the youngest of six children-consisting of three brothers and two sisters- of a merchant who lost his fortune and were forced to move from their mansion in the city to a humble cottage in the country. On the merchant's journey back( after failing to retrieve his seized cargo), he lost his way during a storm and came upon a castle, whose doors magically opened for him. After a good dinner and a good night's sleep, the merchant came across a magnificent rose garden. As Beauty had requested for a rose(unlike her sisters who asked for jewels and clothes), he plucked one... which turned out to be a mistake, as it incurred The Beast's fury, suddenly appearing before the terrified man. As a condition in exchange for his life, he's allowed to take the rose to Beauty and other gifts but demanded that he returned with her. Beauty hears of the deal and insists on it be met... and the tale really begins to unfold and then later ends on a happy note.
The Disney animated musical version was released in 1991; the memorable scene with Belle and the Beast waltzing across the ballroom in the castle and its main soundtrack, Beauty and The Beast (which won an Oscar for Best Original Song) adding to its popularity and earning it a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture- Musical or Comedy, the first animated film to be nominated and win such.
Following last year’s successful live action remake of Cinderella, Disney is set to release Beauty and the Beast on the 17th of March, 2017; starring Harry Potter alumni Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as The Beast, Luke Evans as the villain Gaston and Kelvin Kline as Belle’s papa, Maurice.
View official trailer below: