Warning: There are spoilers below for the live-action “Beauty and the Beast.”
If you’ve watched Disney’s animated “Beauty and the Beast” numerous times, one of the biggest plot holes of the classic tale is exactly how much time Belle spends at the Beast’s castle.
Belle falls for the Beast over what appears to be a few months — the seasons change and she’s there through part of winter. However, if you pay close attention, you know there’s no way that’s possible, especially due to the movie’s subplot.
After returning to the village and asking Gaston for help, Belle’s father, Maurice, almost immediately goes out on his own in search of the Beast’s castle to save his daughter. Meanwhile, Belle has been at the castle for about a day. Her first night in the castle ended with the Beast saving her life from a pack of wolves. The next day, we see Belle in a green dress where the Beast gives her the library. We then see Belle in a pink dress where she and the Beast have a snowball fight. Let’s presume this is another day.
Later that night, Belle dances in her iconic yellow gown to the titular “Beauty and the Beast” song with the Beast in his ballroom. It’s at the end of the song where Belle asks to see her father and we see him sick, out in the cold.
Let’s be real. There’s no way Maurice was wandering around in the woods for months on end. It’s a plot conundrum even co-director Kirk Wise pointed out. Surely, Maurice would have died of hypothermia or would have been found by those pesky wolves.
Fans have picked up on it over the years as well, with some believing Belle’s at the enchanted castle for only two or three days before falling for the Beast. Later straight-to-video releases make the timeline more complicated suggesting Belle was there through holidays, but I don’t consider those canon. At most, Belle is at the Beast’s castle for a few days. For those who may go back and watch the animated movie, it’s pretty obvious and eye-opening.
If you think that’s too quick for a girl to fall in love with her captor who happens to be a giant beast, the live-action adaptation remedies the original film’s questionable timeline a bit.
Though it’s never said how much time Belle spends at the castle, it’s clearly more than two or three days. The live-action film makes a big change to Maurice’s story, and I imagine it may have been because filmmakers knew his fruitless search for Belle in the original was problematic to the timeline in the original film.
Instead of going searching for Belle on his own, Maurice gets accompanied by Gaston and LeFou. The trio go searching for Belle for an unspecified amount of time until Gaston eventually gives up and accuses Maurice of telling a tall tale.
Upon watching the movie a second time, it’s more clear the entire movie takes place over at least five days when you take Belle’s wardrobe changes into account. There’s even a point in the film where I’m certain a character mentions “the last five days” so, at the least, Belle is gone for about a week, but definitely not months. It’s still not a long time to fall for the Beast, but it’s definitely a bit better than two to three days.
Kids may still believe Belle’s there throughout the winter, but, as we learn in the movie, the special enchantment over the castle makes it exclusively wintertime there while it is June in the village.
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'Beauty and the Beast' clears up one of the biggest plot holes in the original movie by: Greezoo published: