When I went to hear author Eloisa James speak last month she mentioned the original story of Beauty and the Beast and I realized that it had never occurred to me to wonder if Disney had taken liberties with the source material. So, I did a little looking around and found that the tale originated with Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in 1740 and, yes, Disney and others since then have molded and shaped the stories into something different.
Instead of Gaston there were brave brothers. Instead of jealous village beauties there were jealous sisters. Instead of enchanted servants there were fairies that seduced and helped. But, in the end, a rose is still a rose and the tears of a beauty still transformed a beast.
Some researchers think that the Beast could have inspired by this real man, Petrus Gonsalvus, who had hypertrichosis.
I admit that I prefer Dan Stevens, interesting likeness just the same. I like the Disney version, although having read more about the original I’d like to see that onscreen too!
I did like the new version with Emma Watson and nothing can beat the songs. Have you seen it? What did you think?
22 thoughts on “B – Beauty and the Beast, a tale as old as time”
Thanks for the historical perspective. Very interesting. I thought it was terrific. I have to give the edge to Cinderella. But this was darn good too.
I think Disney always takes liberties with stories. I haven’t seen the new movie and don’t think I will. For some reason, I’m not that interested in it.
Growing up, one of my favorite books to read with my dad was Beauty and the Beast. It wasn’t the Disney version, but more based off the original where Beauty had jealous sisters and there were no dancing housewares. I remember being a little miffed when Disney came out with their version–it wasn’t the story I grew up on! Hrmphf. It is one of my favorite Disney princess movies though and I really enjoyed the live action version that just came out as well.
Lucky you that you grew up knowing the original! Now I really want to read it. I won’t miss Gaston a bit!
I have read many Beauty and the Beast tale type variations from around the world – some are better than others. My favorite is probably East of the Sun, West of the Moon. I have not seen the movie yet, but I hear it follows the cartoon pretty closely. I wish they had done something new with it, like they did with Maleficent.
The Multicolored Diary: WTF – Weird Things in Folktales
Yes, I think they completely based t off of their cartoon. The only better was the beast 🙂
One of my Disney favorites! We saw it performed in Disneyland many years ago. Have not see the new movie yet but might give it a go. Nice job on the A to Z!
B is for Bon Jovi
The music alone is worth it 🙂
I have read many of the other interpretations of this story, but i did not know it may have been based on that gentlemen. Great Info, thanks! I loved the Disney version and the new version Beauty and the Beast, Emma was amazing! I didnt love all the songs in this one, but who can expect to love everything, right?
I loved Emma too 🙂
Disney doesn’t do any book the way it was originally written. It is a poor “keeper of fiction and facts”! The movies are enjoyable, but not much remains of what the author intended.
Yes. And Beauty and the Beast has changed many times over the years, way before Disney got a hold of it. Probably why it still seems fresh.
I loved the new version! It was perfect. I liked the little nods back to the source material as well, like Belle’s father trying to get a rose for her, and the town being called Villeneuve.
Cait @ Click’s Clan
It was good. I took myself to see it so that I could lose myself in the magic and not be bothered by an eye rolling husband 🙂
I love Beauty and the Beast it is my favourite fairy tale. I also did a post on the origins of the tale back in March. However, my theme is Disney and I am attempting to draw “Disney Sidekicks” or supporting characters. B is for I look forward to following your challenge. xxx
I look forward to your Disney art!
I’ll probably rent it when its available. I love the music from the version when my kids were little.
The music is still good 🙂
I enjoyed this latest movie although I wish sometimes they had held the camera more still and allowed us to take in the fantastic scenes and costumes, sometimes it was just too whizzy. This is one where I had not read the original story or seen the earlier cartoon.
B is for Borneo
Anne’s family history
Disney, as any other entertainment company does justice only to be an entertainer and nothing about the book or the author. Launching SIM Organics
I haven’t seen the new movie yet -don’t feel like paying cinema prices to see it, but will probably catch it when it comes out on DVD or video, purely for Emma Watson 🙂
Ros from Fangirl Stitches
Excellent post. It was a very fun movie. It’s interesting how movies can take such a different view on the source material (books). The songs are classics.