Now that you’ve seen Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, you probably have some questions. After all, this is a timeless tale about a young woman (Emma Watson) from a quiet village in France who falls in love with a surly beast who’s actually a handsome prince (Dan Stevens) under a spell. There’s even an enchanted book and talking candelabra! So of course there are going to be questions.
But aside from the obvious — i.e., why would Belle fall in love with a beast who not only imprisons her but is hella rude to her father? — director Bill Condon’s remake leaves us with an entirely new set of questions. Let’s address some of them, shall we?
[Spoilers for the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast ahead.]
Did the Enchantress overreact?Disney
Do you want the short or the long answer? Because the short answer is yes, she certainly did overreact by turning a vain young prince into a beast and his entire staff into household objects. That said, the live-action film at least tries to justify her actions with an extended prologue: Instead of turning the old hag away at the door, the prince humiliates her in front of his posh guests. In fact, he turns her away twice before she reveals herself to be a beautiful enchantress. As punishment for “having no love in his heart” (whatever that means), she curses him and his staff. Why? Because Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth, and the rest of the employees watched silently as the prince turned into a cruel young man — and did nothing to stop it.
So while the Enchantress’s punishment was severe, at least everyone eventually learns a valuable do-unto-others lesson.
Why didn’t the Enchantress curse Gaston?Disney
Here’s the thing: If the Enchantress was living in the village the entire time, then why the hell didn’t she curse Gaston for being a total monster? We know she likes to punish men for their narcissism, and no one’s more in love with himself than Gaston. She could have easily taken care of Gaston, but I guess she saw the future and knew how instrumental Gaston would be to the final act of this tale.
Why did the Enchantress give the Beast that magical book anyway?Walt Disney Pictures
This was such a crazy plot device to get that little bit of backstory for Belle. Aside from the enchanted rose and the enchanted mirror, the Enchantress also gave the Beast an enchanted book that has the ability to transport him anywhere in the world. He called it her cruelest gift. After all, it’s not like a large, talking beast popping up in the middle of Paris would go over well with the public. But was the Enchantress really teasing the Beast by leaving it for him, or did she foresee his time with Belle? What if she gave it to him knowing that one day he’d use it to take Belle to the Paris of her childhood? OK, now I’m just talking in circles. TL;DR — who knows. Maybe she thought the Beast would like to steal away to Ibiza every now and then.
Is every last inch of Gaston still covered with hair?Disney
In the animated film, Gaston claims that every last inch of him is covered with hair. But this celebrated line is decidedly absent from the live-action version of “Gaston.” Does this mean Gaston is no longer a hairy dude? Or is he being a bit more modest about his natural endowments? (LOL. Yeah, right.) Gaston doesn’t even know what modesty means. While Luke Evans doesn’t look as hairy as his animated counterpart, he’s at least not as patchy as Justin Bieber.
What is Beast’s favorite Shakespeare play?Disney
He seemed to really detest Romeo and Juliet. While the obvious response here would be Hamlet — because that man has some serious daddy issues to work through — I’d like to think the Beast was secretly a fan of Much Ado About Nothing. I say “secretly” because he’s not the type who wants you to know he likes comedies. But his easy banter with Belle has touches of Beatrice and Benedick.
Will the prince grow a beard?Disney
As Belle and the now-human-again prince dance around the ballroom at the end of the film, Belle jokes that she wants him to grow a beard. (Fun fact: This was something the original voice of Belle, Paige O’Hara, ad-libbed while making the film in 1991. It ultimately didn’t make the final cut in the animated film.) To be fair, the prince most likely misses all that fur — central heating didn’t exist yet, and that castle looks cold AF in the winter — so he probably should grow a beard to keep his poor face warm.
Did Gaston really die?Walt Disney Pictures
How are we supposed to know if Gaston really died if there aren’t any tiny skulls in his eyes as he falls to his seeming death?! Show me a mangled, dead body or I simply don’t believe it.
How much does Maurice charge for his music boxes?Disney
Not a lot, right? It just seems to me like selling handmade music boxes isn’t the most lucrative business, but I guess that’s why he lives in a quiet village with his daughter. The time period of Beauty and the Beast has long been debated. The original French fairy tale was published in 1740, but the Eiffel Tower (as seen in “Be Our Guest”) wasn’t constructed until 1889. That said, the live-action film doesn’t show the Eiffel Tower during Belle and Beast’s visit to Paris, so I’m going to assume this was set sometime in 18th- or 19th-century France. Seeing as Maurice was a skilled craftsman, I found a datafile that suggests Maurice would have made roughly 1.10 to 1.20 livres a day for his work. (Today, that’s about 20 to 23 cents USD per day, or $80 a year.) I don’t know what any of this means, but I think Belle paid too much for that bread!
Did Belle accidentally give her father the plague?Disney
Hear me out: when Belle and the Beast are transported to Paris via that enchanted book, they find themselves in the “crumbling, dusty attic” where Belle lived with her parents as an infant. She discovers old drawings of herself as a baby, as well as a rattle shaped like a rose. Meanwhile, the Beast spots a plague doctor’s mask (bone-white, long, and beaked). In a flashback, we see Belle’s dying mother kiss the baby rattle and tell Maurice to take Belle someplace safe, somewhere away from her. Later in the film, when Belle returns to her poor provincial town to save her father from Gaston’s mob, it’s revealed that she swiped the baby rattle — the same one her dead mom kissed with her plague-infected mouth!! — on that time-travel trip to give to her dad as a keepsake.
So, did Belle just give everyone in her town the plague?! The answer is no, of course she didn’t. The plague is a bacterial infection, and bacteria can’t really grow on metal. There’s no possibility her mother’s germs would still be active on that rattle after 20 years of collecting dust. But Belle’s dad should probably wash it first.