Follow TV Tropes


WMG / Beauty and the Beast

Go To

    open/close all folders 

Disney Versions


Belle can’t know about the curse.
The servants very clearly don’t want her to know the castle’s enchanted. Which doesn’t make sense: wouldn’t it be more likely for Belle to fall in love with a human prince who was cursed rather than a monster? But that’s just the thing: the purpose of the curse was to look past appearances. Belle, or anyone for that matter, knowing that the Beast isn’t “actually” a beast defeats the point. So the Enchantress made it a requirement that someone had to be unaware of the curse in order for it to work. This is so the Beast doesn’t find a loophole and instead truly has no choice but to change his personality to become human again.

The Curse is as close as this Alternate History got to the French revolution
Remember, 18th century France, and this is Disney. Rather than the carnage real France went through, in this movie's history, the transition was caused when the current king (the Beast) was cursed and, for all intents and purposes, disappeared, leaving room for democracy to slowly take the missing monarch's place. By the time the curse is lifted, the Beast is probably reformed enough that he won't insist to get his throne back and to just let the Republic be.

The Rose was also the Beast's Soul Jar
The last petal falls just when he supposedly dies.

The Curse froze everyones' ages, except for the Beast
Assuming that the curse lasted for ten years, Chip certainly sounds a lot younger than 10. how was he born if his mother was a teapot?
  • Confirmed: Word of God states that though the Beast's official age is not mentioned in the movie, it is strongly indicated by the narrator's statement that the rose "would bloom until his 21st year." As the rose has already begun to wilt by the time Belle arrives at the castle, it is very likely that the Beast is 20 years (i.e. on their 21st year) of age by this point. This has been confirmed by the Beast's artist Glen Keane, and also in the filmmakers commentary for the extended edition, where it is specifically stated that the Beast's/Prince's 21st birthday would occur at some point after the enchanted rose has lost all of it's petals and the curse had either been broken, or else become permanent.

During Belle's stay at the Beast's castle, "Beast" became a pet name she used.

After living in close quarters with the Beast and his servants for several months, she still only ever calls him "Beast." She should know his real name by then. She calls him Beast because she wants to and because he's okay with it.

  • Perhaps he simply did not want to be associated with his former name while stuck as beast, and simply neglected to tell her it? Heck, he could have told her to call him that.
  • "Beast" is what she calls him in the bedroom.
  • At the beginning of the movie we see that the Beast has regressed to an animalistic state, walking on all fours and growling ferociously. Perhaps by that point the curse was working its effect on his mind and he forgot his name in addition to how to behave like a human, and didn't remember it until he was returned to his proper form.
  • In his first real scene he refers to himself as The Beast. It could be a mocking self-awareness towards his appearance or that could just be what he sees himself. If you ask Belle at Disneyland she apparently says that he was a Beast so long that he forgot his real name. Glen Keane (Beast's animator) said that the longer he spent as a Beast the more animal he became and that after ten years he was more or less half and half. He couldn't remember how to read, using a spoon was beyond him, he was barely wearing any clothes. Keane also said that if Belle had never showed up (or came back) he would have eventually degenerated far enough that he would abandon clothes, forget how to speak and be consumed by his animalistic instincts and lose his human mind forever. This lends credibility to the "its been too long" idea. Maybe he hasn't forgotten and just doesn't identify with it anymore.
  • Another theory (one often used in fanfiction) is that the Beast is so ashamed of himself he doesn't feel as if he's worthy of a name anymore and insists that Belle calls him "Beast" because, in his mind, names are things for men.

The story Belle described is NOT Beauty and the Beast
  • It's Sleeping Beauty.
    • She once describe ANYTHING pertaining to Beauty and the Beast, original story or otherwise, except the magic spells and maybe the far-off places.
      Belle: Far off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise! ... Here's where she meets prince charming, but she won't discover that it's him 'till chapter three.
    • The story for Sleeping Beauty starts off with "Once upon a time", whereas Beauty and the Beast doesn't. There are no swords in the story at all, but Phillip takes down Maleficent with a one-sided sword-fight. The magic spell is not just the curse, but also the fairy gifts. The "prince in disguise" relates to how Phillip looks rather un-princely in his riding costume, and Aurora doesn't discover that he's a prince until much later (the third act).
    • The movie, when the lyrics are sung, shows the almost exact scene where Aurora and Phillip meet and fall in love, about when Aurora stops avoiding him.
  • It's Aladdin, which happens to be the next released movie in the Disney animated canon and already was in the works at that point. Far off places (the exotic East), daring sword fights, magic spells (the genie's powers, Jafar also used magic with his staff) a prince in disguise (poor boy who becomes a prince). And when Jasmine and "prince Ali" go on their date, it isn't until later that she realizes he's actually Aladdin (not a real prince at that point, but her prince charming) in disguise.
  • It's A Song of Ice and Fire. Westeros has lots of sword fights, lots of magic spells, and one, possibly two princes in disguise if you subscribe to a certain popular fan theory.
  • It's The Princess Bride. Far-off places? Check. Magic Spells? Eh, a miracle can count! Swordfights? Double check.
  • Perhaps it's Tangled or The Tales of Flynnigan Rider from there. To Rapunzel, going to the city of Corona feels like a far off place from her tower. Flynn and Maximus sword fight. Magic hair/flower. Mother Gothel "disguised" Rapunzel's identity as a princess from Rapunzel, and disguised princess Rapunzel from the rest of the world.
  • It could also be The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Far-off places? The fantasy kingdom. Daring swordfights? The iconic duels between the two title characters. Magic spells? The Nutcracker’s backstory. A prince in disguise? The Nutcracker himself.

The Beast's servants already started his Heel–Face Turn; Belle only finished it.
I got this from the above WMG about the alternate Broken Aesops. The idea is that Beast was just as much of a jerk as Gaston, but was given a chance to change, while Gaston didn't. But Gaston did indeed have as many opportunities to change, and even knew Belle (the main catalyst for Beast) well before the Beast did.

The key difference was that Beast was horrified, not just by his own change, but by the curse being inflicted on his servants. As has been stated before, it seems pretty unfair that they were punished for his offence (especially the children), and I believe this made Beast realize what a truly selfish jerk he was. He saw how his action affected all those around him, and his bitterness and rage at the start of the film was from his guilt and self-hatred more than anything else. This also explains why the servants didn't seem all that upset about it, even after he let her go; they seemed more upset over the fact that he lost his one true love than about the curse, and even Cogworth seemed resigned to his fate. They never blamed him for what happened; they just wanted him to stop hating himself and find the love he needed to break the spell. As to how this ties to comparisons with Gaston: the servants did challenge Beast to change even before Belle arrived, and while they followed his orders in general, they were more than willing to break or ignore them when necessary (like helping Maurice). Gaston, on the other hand, has his near-sociopathic self-indulgence fueled by the enabling villagers. He is never questioned or challenged, except by Belle.

This is key: it shows that Belle BY HERSELF could not change Gaston nor Beast, and the best part is she knew this. She knew that her love alone wouldn't work; Gaston was a Jerkass through and through, and she was ready to write Beast off as one too. it was only after the servants told Beast what he did wrong and showed him the folly of his ways (something that would never happen to Gaston) did she see anything worth saving in him. It may seem like random rambling from me, but it seems to me that, at least in the Disney version, the servants' role in the Beast's redemption is severly overshadowed.

  • A sort of sub-WMG from this same troper: the Beast/Gaston parallels can be seen as an allegory for substance abuse.
  • Another fridgy guess: the reason Belle knew she couldn't change Gaston or Beast through The Power of Love? She was an avid reader and quite intelligent, and realized the inherent flaws in such a fairy tale-like situation she found herself in.
  • Another thing you have to consider is that the Beast, unlike Gaston, feels guilt from his actions even if there is no one there to call him on them. This ties in neatly to his self-hatred, before his transformation he was much like Gaston in that he was selfish and self-absorbed. He couldn't really love anyone because he was completely in love with himself and it was only after learning to hate himself that he could begin the transition into being a better person. By the time the film takes place he's depressed, bitter, and very, very angry, but he's not really all that selfish because he absolutely hates himself and everything he's become. But while he is often rough with people he feels bad about it enough to try and make it right, case in point when he goes to save Belle after chasing her out of the West Wing. It's one of his first selfless acts and her gratitude is the thing that proves to himself that maybe he can be better.

The enchantress is just trying to help and is on the Beast's side.
The enchantress seems very like the random magic users in a lot of fairy tales, she is good at heart but doesn’t really know enough about humans to make the punishment or reward fit the action. If the beast was in fact 11 when she cursed him, she was trying to stop him from growing up to be like Gaston (which, it has been pointed out, would be very bad for a person in power) since he doesn’t seem to have any parents and the only other people around do not have any authority. True her approach was overkill, but it does seem to have work.

Furthermore, the enchantress seems to have done everything she could to avoid the beast dying. She left him the magic mirror. Also that rose seems to have been a big draw for people who ought to know better, so it plays a big role in getting Belle to the castle and talking to the beast. You could even argue that the transformation sequence activating at the exact moment it did saved his life.

The Beast rejected the Enchantress because he was mourning his parent's death
He was desperately sad that his parents were recently killed, either by an illness, in the French Revolution or by childbirth (Mother) and either of the two, or a hunting accident. He didn't want the old woman in his castle because he was still coping with grief, and didn't want anyone to know it (This is taking into account that the Beast was 10-11 when he was cursed). However, the Enchantress still cursed him and he... Well... reacted badly, to say the least. The combined stress of losing his parents, as well as thinking he doomed his servants and their families to the same curse, caused some serious mental trauma, which in turn caused him to regress into a beast in body and mind, with the last ounce of his humanity being kept there by the castle servants, then Belle, then she came along.
  • Given that the Beast is a Prince, and a Prince is usually the son of a King and Queen, it's not outside the realm of possibility that his parents were King Louis and Marie Antoinette. thus him shunning the people of France for beheading his parents.

The curse would have ended regardless
Magic is difficult. Permanent magic even more so. When the last petal fell from the rose the curse would have ended regardless, and the sorceress told the prince a lie to make a point. If everyone believes it, what does it matter if it is false? It still served its purpose.
  • On a related note, perhaps there wasn't actually any conditional elements in the curse at all, and even if Belle had confessed her love an hour in, the curse wouldn't have ended until he turned 21.
  • The sorceress was knew the curse-breaking event wouldn't occur until the very last moment anyway so she didn't feel that she needed to actually include the condition.

The Beast would have turned back when the last petal fell because of his servants even if Belle had never shown up.

He clearly loves at least some of his servants in a familial way, above and beyond what was expected of nobility at the time (who commonly treated their servants like furniture). What's to say that one of them, perhaps Mrs. Potts or Cogsworth in a parental way, or Lumiere in a best friend way, didn't love him back?

The Enchantress is the Beast's Fairy Godmother
The Enchantress plays a role similar to the Fairy Godmother, the Blue Fairy, and Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. Unlike her fellow fairies, her charge is complete and total brat. Why give him a spanking and a time-out when she can curse him instead? The entire curse is a lesson designed to help the Beast become a better person. She honestly think she's doing this in his best interest... she just happens to not notice and/or not care that she is also inflicting terrifying body horror onto the innocent servants as well. She's a fairy, this is how they discipline children. Morality is relative. Maybe the reason why the Beast is such a brat is because he has a Fairy Godmother that pulls stunts like this.

The Beast killed his parents in a rage, and their bodies are in the West Wing.
Well, we never do hear about them or see them...and the Beast would have been around 11 when he was transformed...the West Wing being forbidden couldn't just have been about him being embarrassed of the tantrum he threw when he destroyed the furniture. Some people say you can see some skeletons of the Beast's prey in there—who's to say his parents' remains aren't among them? THAT would be a legitimate reason to want to keep Belle out of there...

Gaston survived the fall but...
he turned into a beast, when the Beast turned backed into a human, he turned into a beast who was uglier and more brutish than the Beast was. The villagers killed him on sight.
  • or they wanted to teach him a lesson so they sold him to a circus, where he was displayed in a sideshow and the barker would recount the story of what happened to him (think the beginning of Freaks)

The prince was an adult when cursed.
Or at least in his late teens. The enchantress was giving him twenty-one years, merely freezing everyone's aging process while the curse lasted so that when he turned back the prince looked twenty instead of forty. Lumiere can't do math; or maybe he's just lost track of time after so many years as a piece of furniture.
  • This is not the case in Cartoon-Verse: Word of God states that though the Beast's official age is not mentioned in the movie, it is strongly indicated by the narrator's statement that the rose "would bloom until his 21st year." As the rose has already begun to wilt by the time Belle arrives at the castle, it is very likely that the Beast is 20 years (i.e. on their 21st year) of age by this point. This has been confirmed by the Beast's artist Glen Keane, and also in the filmmakers commentary for the extended edition, where it is specifically stated that the Beast's/Prince's 21st birthday would occur at some point after the enchanted rose has lost all of it's petals and the curse had either been broken, or else become permanent.

The enchantress made everyone forget about the prince
She put a forgetfulness clause in the curse. That's the only way to explain how everyone forgot about him and his castle: Sunnydale Syndrome. The live-action remake canonizes this one.

The curse breaks gradually over the course of the film as Belle and the Beast fall in love.
According to Word of God, the Beast's bestial mannerisms and lack of basic social skills at the beginning are because the spell is slowly destroying his human mind. If the spell were still continuing its natural course throughout the film, then logically he should become more and more animalistic whether he wants to or not. But he doesn't; just the opposite. So maybe his re-learning to walk upright, wear decent clothes, eat with utensils, read, etc. isn't just a matter of effort for Belle's sake. Maybe as he and Belle bond, the spell increasingly loses its grip on his mind. This could also explain the castle's increasingly prettier, less gloomy appearance, even beyond the in-universe explanation of the servants cleaning and opening the curtains. Belle's verbal confession of love in the end is just the final straw needed to turn everyone's outward appearance - and the castle's - back to normal.

After the events of the film, Belle uses her new position as a princess to help the bookkeeper.
He was the only person outside her family who really liked her and supported her fondness for reading, and now that she is a princess, she's got access to even more resources. She may even have hired him to help stock and take care of the castle library, which would benefit them both.


Chip's chip is a reflection of his human status
  • He had a broken arm that didn't heal quite right. It's not enough to cause him major problems (he's a perfectly functional cup) but still not completely fixed.
  • He has/had a physical disability that does not significantly impact functioning, but showed up as a cosmetic flaw when the castle's residents became enchanted objects. Note that when he turns into a human, we see him riding the dog, and his mother picks him up immediately afterward. Maybe the "chip" is a club foot or slight trouble walking.
  • Alternately, he's missing a chip in teacup form because he'd just lost a prominent baby tooth before he transformed, so the "gap" in his smile migrated to his rim.

Gaston's given name is Beauregard.
  • beau is the masculine word for beauty (Belle is the feminine tense).

Gaston is Gaston's last name.
How else would you explain "Madame Gaston" when Belle is singing her reprise? or "Mr.Gaston" by the triplets in "Belle"?

Gaston spent his whole life trying to gain people's respect.
He says that as a kid, he ate four dozen eggs every morning to help him get large. It's unlikely for someone at that age to be so obsessive about it, unless he had severe self-esteem issues. Also, he is good at everything he does exactly because he has been working to be the best at them. Now that he was at last being admired by everybody, Belle's continued rejection of him hit even harder.

Gaston was cursed too
Specifically, to be adored by all but the woman he set his heart on. This lead to unrealistic expectations, and he felt compelled to brag and ham it up even while not necessarily liking himself much. (His outward ego is so over-the-top it's more like Bad "Bad Acting".) The icing on the cake is that the curse made him more freakishly ugly than the Beast, though only he has the power to see this about himself. Alternatively, the root cause may not have been a curse but a wish granted by a Jerkass Genie.

LeFou is Belle's Foil
Just as Gaston is the Beast's Evil Counterpart, so to is LeFou Belle's Spear Counterpart. If you think about their roles in the relationship with Gaston and Beast, while Belle doesn't take any of the Beast's crap lying down, LeFou is utterly and totally dominated by Gaston, and barely even has a will of his own anymore. In the end, which pairing is better off for it? Also, what was the original meaning behind this story?

Belle was pregnant at the final scene of The Enchanted Christmas (that was after the original movie)
Her body is proportioned much differently than how she is usually shown. Her body seems to have gained slightly more weight around her stomach while her face seems a lot thicker than usual, like she is in the early stages of pregnancy.

Belle is a furry
Watch her face after the Beast transforms. Doesn't she look a little disappointed? Reportedly, in an early draft of the script, she did ask the now-human Beast if he'd ever considered growing a beard...
  • Unlikely because Furries are people who dress up in animal costumes and take on the persona of that animal. They also have 'fursonas' identities they use in the Furry community. Sometimes full-on sex occurs, but often two or more furries engage in a behavior called "yiffing" (dry-humping or other sexualized interactions). Besides she wasn't disappointed but instead is rather confused as to what had just occurred (He just died and turned into a human, and besides she has absolutely no problem with kissing him).

Gaston is not what he seems.
The moral of the story is "Don't judge those who are different". Gaston and LeFou show shades of being intelligent and having some Ho Yay...what if this wasn't accidental? Gaston is actually intelligent and gay, but due to the time period, loathes himself for it and creates a persona of a skirt-chasing meathead in the hopes that nobody's the wiser. He knows he's "different" and instead of accepting himself, acts like a giant hypocrite, thus driving the moral home even harder.
  • If anything regardless this WMG he's bi, but leans closer to men. As he shuns every woman in the entire village (including those three beautiful blondes) except one. While he likes to spend his time in a bar full of rowdy hairy men who constantly praise him on his manliness. Hell, it's even implied that Gaston just wants Belle as a trophy, not as someone to actually embrace. His character trope page even implies he has no interest in sex itself, he just wants kids for the sake of having kids.
  • This would also explain him eating 4 dozen eggs as a kid to get larger. He may have been aware of his homoerotic tendencies as a child and tried to become hypermasculine in order to make up for it. Also explains him still being extremely hammy and over-the-top. And maybe the reason he goes after Belle is because he knows he doesn't stand a chance with her and that even if they get married, they probably wouldn't be very intimate with one another. But then again, he becomes increasingly persistent with Belle, but that might have more to do with his general inability to cope with rejection (be it romantic or not) and just general insecurity, or the reputation he has among the townspeople as a man who stops at nothing to get what he wants (may be an example of Becoming the Mask.

Gaston is exactly what he seems at first glance.
He doesn't read the classics; he's never even seen a Shakespeare play, as low-brow as their audiences often were. He just has a knack for remembering things Belle and LeFou have said and occasionally using the terms and phrases correctly. The crowning achievement in his ingenuity over his entire life was the plan to put Maurice in an asylum. (What? It's not wild enough of a guess by now?)
  • He may have learned the Shakespeare quote from whoever taught him archery. He had to have learned it somehow, and it's highly unlikely he taught himself.

The Beast is a bastard.
No, not that sort of bastard, but it would explain why no-one noticed a prince going missing. He's the bastard son of a king or a prince by some noblewoman or other who was either too low-status to marry or else the mistress of an already-married king. As a result, the Beast was allowed to grow up in a small, unregarded royal property (the French nobility had dozens of them, who'd notice?) and was raised entirely by servants, also explaining his lack of parents at the beginning of the film.

Gaston is illiterate.
In fact, most of the townspeople are. This is a small 18th century village in France, after all. When Gaston takes her book and holds it sideways, demanding to know how she could read it without pictures he is confused. Since he cannot read, he can only decipher stories by their illustrations.

The Prince's real name isn't Adam

A trivia game published by Disney Interactive stated that his real name was Adam, but Disney itself (as well as the animators) confirmed that they never had the time to name the Prince. Any ideas what his name might be?

  • Borderline Jossed. Dan Stevens (who portrayed the Beast in the 2017 movie) and Paige O'Hara (who voices Belle in the 1991 movie) have accepted the name "Adam" in interviews.

Gaston and the Beast are the same person.

That person is the Doctor. Belle was going to be his companion after he regenerated from the Beast into the Prince. He's also Gaston because that was him in the past under the effect of a Chameleon Arch. It's wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff.

Gaston is the Prince's brother
Above there is a WMG stating that the Enchantress put the spell on the Prince so he wouldn't become like Gaston would become (Especially being one in power), which got me thinking. The fact the Castle and all of it's inhabitants seemed to have been erased from the memories of the townspeople. Perhaps Prince Gaston, his personal manservant, and The King and Queen were off traveling somewhere leaving their Prince in control for a few nights to teach him responsibility. When the Enchantress arrived and cast the spell, Gaston and their parents forgot they were royalty, while their clothes transformed into commoner clothing, and no-one else remembered or suspected anything. The King and Queen had been Jerk Asses themselves corrupt with power and greed, so the Enchantress made them "Normal people" as their punishment, hoping the humility would fix them and Gaston (It didn't) LeFou may have even been Gaston's Manservant when he was a royal, and despite not remembering being so, he still subconsciously felt loyal to him.

Belle and Maurice are Jewish.
This covers a couple of plot holes, such as why they seem to be amongst the few educated townsfolk, why they're so ostracized and why Belle's name is so on-the-nose. Her real name likely isn't Belle, but rather a Hebrew name that translates into "beauty", such as "Nechama", which wouldn't work in public in such an anti-Semitic climate.
  • It's quite possible, considering that France has a history as a pretty anti-Semitic country (no more so than some parts of Europe we could name, but history and historical novels do mention this, and modern-day France has experienced quite a spate of anti-Semitism as well). In addition, Belle is highly educated, which is unusual for both her time period and her gender. But throughout history, education has remained extremely important to the Jewish people. It's quite possible Maurice was a benevolent Education Papa, which is how Belle got her love of reading.
  • On the other hand, the sequel does focus on Belle celebrating Christmas. But since none of the original writers or directors were involved with the sequel, we can easily apply Fanon Discontinuity.
  • Additionally, if this theory were to be true, it would give the story a whole new layer. One could make the argument that parts of it serve as a Call-Back to the story of Esther—a beautiful woman, yanked from her home (where she was raised by an older man who functioned as a single parent) to be the captive and queen of a hot-tempered ruler. In Belle's case, there is no Haman, per se, but Gaston functions somewhat in that role when he and the villagers try to kill the Beast/subdue and harm the servants. Regardless of the Haman issue, Belle still serves as an instrument of freedom just like Esther, and part of her reward is royal status.

The Entrantress returned, and, pleased with the Prince's developed character, but also noting Belle, gave him the ability to shapeshift back into the Beast.

Gaston secretly loves girls who read books.
He'd never admit it, of course. The whole town thinks Belle is weird for reading, so it might dent his reputation. He could have had three more available girls who were just as beautiful (and probably wouldn't even mind sharing him), but no, he must have the one who reads.

Belle and Cinderella exist in the same universe, just different eras.
Belle references Prince Charming at least twice during the movie—in her "I Am" Song and its reprise, no less. It's quite possible that like most of us, she knows and loves the Cinderella story and probably considers it a favorite out of the many books she reads. The key is, she has a special relationship with the story because the real Cinderella and Prince Charming were rulers during Belle's childhood. Belle has grown up in a country and century reliant on the monarchy, and she probably idolized the benevolent king and servant-turned-queen. This possibility gets even more poignant when you remember Belle and her father are considered outcasts in their village, therefore lesser people.

Expanding on the above... The Beast is the son of Cinderella and her prince.
As per this fanfic.

Belle and Maurice live in the village due to the death of Belle's mother.
Belle cameos in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. As mentioned on the WMG page for that film, it's possible that she and her family once lived in Paris, but Frollo expelled them because he considered Maurice's inventions and Belle's intelligence dangerous. In addition to this, it could be that Belle's mother was considered dangerous as well. Maybe Frollo lusted after her the same way he did Esmeralda. Or maybe Belle's mother was a healer, but Frollo considered her herbal remedies "witchcraft." At any rate, Frollo somehow caused or exacerbated the death of Belle's mother, so she and Maurice got out of Dodge, only to sadly find they were still outcasts in the new village.
  • Possibly jossed: According to a page on Midroad Movie Review that displays a chronological timeline for all the Disney movies, Hunchback of Notre Dame took place in 1482 while Beauty and the Beast took place in the 1770s, making it unlikely that the figure that looked like Belle in Hunchback of Notre Dame was actually her. It is more likely that this was one of Belle's ancestors.

Belle's family is Protestant.
If this is true, and if it is also true they once lived in Frollo's Paris, they would have been forced to flee because they would be considered anti-Catholic. To add, Belle seems too educated to buy into a version of any religion that says scaring and oppressing people is the way to gain control over them.
  • Unless you consider the first sequel subject to Fanon Discontinuity, then it would also explain Belle celebrating Christmas.
  • Possibly jossed: According to a page on Midroad Movie Review that displays a chronological timeline for all the Disney movies, Hunchback of Notre Dame took place in 1482 while Beauty and the Beast took place in the 1770s, making it unlikely that the figure that looked like Belle in Hunchback of Notre Dame was actually her. It is more likely that this was one of Belle's ancestors.

Belle knows about Quasimodo.
It's possible that she was a very little girl when Quasimodo was born. She may have grown up hearing about Quasimodo, the same way the children around Clopin's performance stall did. Naturally, she and Quasi never would have met, but she would have thoroughly appreciated his story. This may have stirred compassion in her—a compassion that became deeper as she got older and was later bestowed on the Beast, who looks scary but is truly a prince.
  • Possibly jossed: According to a page on Midroad Movie Review that displays a chronological timeline for all the Disney movies, Hunchback of Notre Dame took place in 1482 while Beauty and the Beast took place in the 1770s, making it unlikely that the figure that looked like Belle in Hunchback of Notre Dame was actually her. It is more likely that this was one of Belle's ancestors.

Belle has a young aunt or an older cousin who is her doppelganger.
If nothing else, this explains her Hunchback of Notre Dame cameo—notice we see her adult character in that brief scene. It's not really Belle—it's a relative who remained in Paris. Or...
  • Possibly jossed: According to a page on Midroad Movie Review that displays a chronological timeline for all the Disney movies, Hunchback of Notre Dame took place in 1482 while Beauty and the Beast took place in the 1770s, making it unlikely that the figure that looked like Belle in Hunchback of Notre Dame was actually her. It is more likely that this was one of Belle's ancestors.

The "Belle cameo" is really Belle's mother.
As noted, Frollo either caused or exacerbated her death.
  • Possibly jossed: According to a page on Midroad Movie Review that displays a chronological timeline for all the Disney movies, Hunchback of Notre Dame took place in 1482 while Beauty and the Beast took place in the 1770s, making it unlikely that the figure that looked like Belle in Hunchback of Notre Dame was actually her. It is more likely that this was one of Belle's ancestors.

Gaston has mind-control powers
Very subtle ones, and it's doubtful if he knows he has them, but that seems to be the case. Why does the village worship the ground he walks on if he treats them like dirt? Because they're being influenced into doing so! His powers don't work on Belle or Maurice, perhaps because they're too smart, or maybe because they're "odd." Further evidence can be seen with the villagers going along with his despicable plans. And take a look at Monsieur D'Arque. When Gaston tells him what he wants to do with Maurice, his response is a genuinely horrified "that's despicable!" But once Gaston's influence takes hold, he pulls an immediate about-face. Let's not forget that Gaston managed to convince the townsfolk of the Beast's existence and malevolence, when he himself was doubting it not long before. As the final bit of evidence, nobody seems particularly upset about Gaston's death, because his control died with him.

Lumiere is bisexual.
It's just that it's an easier explanation as to why he seems flirty to both Cogsworth and the feather duster lady.

It's not Belle who is suffering Stockholm Syndrome, It's the Beast!
Just a thought concerning the hot topic over whether or not Belle is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. Everyone is missing that Beast is largely resigned to his fate, he and his remaining servants pretty much no longer even remember his name and he constantly focuses on the rose. Stockholm Syndrome is not just romantic, it is to allow the captor to "win" and control their fate.
  • Belle, from the beginning, has complete control over her situation, only the wolves in the forest stopping her from leaving outright when she flees after the Beast notices her looking at the rose, and she's rebellious, if not anti-social, towards the Beast until he allows her past his gruff exterior.
  • Meanwhile, The Beast has completely embraced his new beastial nature, deciding that someone who the servants let in for his own safety is trespassing and making him a prisoner purely for that small reason, and doesn't expect the curse to lift at all, and just waits for the penny, or rather the last rose petal, to drop. Classic Stockholm Syndrome sufferer behaviour.

The Enchantress cursing an 11-Year-Old Beast was completely justified.
Contrary to fanon, he wasn't practicing "stranger danger"; he was surrounded by his servants, who could have watched the beggar woman and made sure she meant no harm if he had let her stay for the night. He shut out someone in need, intending to leave her outside in freezing cold weather that could have killed her, for no better reason than that she was ugly and in rags. If she hadn't cast the spell on him, he would have grown up into The Caligula and ruined the kingdom... or at least gotten himself killed through either assassination or revolution, in which case the Enchantress's spell can be viewed as Cruel to Be Kind.

The Enchantress was being petty, if not outright villainous.
First of all, if someone is knocking on your door at that late an hour, it's unlikely they're up to anything good, so you really shouldn't answer the door at all if you have any sense. Second, the math says the young prince was, at the oldest, 11 years old (i.e., still in the age bracket to be watching Saturday morning cartoons without anyone giving him grief over it). Even granting that he might've been a rude brat to her, the worst punishment that would call for is a stern talking too and/or a spanking, not a traumatic magical transformation that's likely to take him a decade to find a cure for. Third, why was the young prince the one answering the door? Any family wealthy enough to own a castle would also employ a squad of armed guards to defend it. If anyone at all would've been answering the door under those circumstances, it would've been one or more of the guards. So what are we to presume happened to the castle guards? Did she turn them into talking swords and crossbows? Or did she perhaps add several counts of murder to her list of misdeeds?

Belle and the Beast are both on the autism spectrum.
Belle is a highly intelligent yet introverted bookworm who wants friends but has none, whose neighbors consider her "odd" and "dazed and distracted," and whose hyper-focused passion for books none of them can relate to. The Beast struggles with basic social skills and person-to-person interaction to a degree that seems strange for a prince, even one who's lived in isolation for years (of course, Word of God says that's because the spell is slowly destroying his sentient mind, but the actual film never states as much), and his roaring, furniture-smashing rages bear more than a little resemblance to extreme ASD meltdowns. Of course neither has been diagnosed, since they live in too early a time period, but they would be if they lived today.

Belle is Happily Adopted.
She and Maurice look nothing alike! Besides, there's a portrait of Belle's mother at the "Enchanted Tales with Belle" attraction, and she has blue eyes. Maurice has green. If Maurice is Belle's biological father, where did Belle's hazel eyes come from?

Gaston has a secret Jekyll & Hyde complex that only he and LeFou know about.
Gaston really is an unintellectual boor. His more intelligent, malicious moments come from a Superpowered Evil Side, which we'll call "Gaston". It's not until Gaston starts stewing over Belle's rejection that "Gaston" starts to emerge in the movie, which would justify this exchange in Gaston's song:
Gaston: LeFou, I'm afraid I've been thinking.
LeFou: A dangerous pastime.
Gaston: I know.
  • Gaston and LeFou must have somehow discovered "Gaston" long ago and tried to kept him hidden, fearing that the townsfolk would hate "Gaston" and Gaston would subsequently lose his reputation. Ironically, though, in the climax, when "Gaston" takes over Gaston's body, the people don't notice at all and love "Gaston" just as much as they loved Gaston.

Gaston's other reason for marrying Belle is so she can bear his children.
During the scene where he is proposing to her, Gaston assumes that if they got married (which they didn't), they'll have "six or seven strapping boys, like him", failing to take into consideration that they could also have daughters too. If they did, he'd most likely divorce Belle like Henry VIII and marry someone else just to get a son. Also, any children they have would've most likely taken after their father.

Gaston smells awful.
The man eats 5 dozen eggs a day, which means he gets a lot of protein. Too many eggs can cause lots of smelly gas and bad body odor. Too much protein in general causes bad breath.

Gaston has terrible health.
Eating too much protein, and especially too many eggs, can give a person a lot of health problems, both physical ones and mental ones. For physical symptoms, Gaston would be experiencing abdominal discomfort, bloating, brain fog (part of why he has trouble reading Belle's book), constipation, diarrhea, exhaustion, headache, and nausea, as well as being constantly thirsty and needing to urinate a lot. For mental symptoms, Gaston would be experiencing mood swings, irritability, anxiety (some people either use arrogance as a coping strategy for anxiety or their anxiety is misinterpreted as arrogance), and depression, as well as giving him his inclination towards picking fights with people. Lastly, if he hadn't been killed at the end of the film, he would have been at risk of dying young from either cancer or heart disease.

Gaston eats one big meal of eggs a day and that's it.
The average human stomach can hold about a quart at a time. The average egg is about a quarter cup. That means that the average human could eat no more than about 16 eggs at a time. A professional competitive eater can expand their stomach's capacity to between two and four liters. This means a professional eater can eat between 33 and 68 eggs at a time. Gaston could have used methods similar to those of professional eaters to eat 60 eggs a day for breakfast. However, professional eaters don't eat between 2 and 4 liters of food at every meal. They only eat that much for competitions, and they fast right before and right after. So in order to eat 60 eggs a day for breakfast, Gaston would have to have one big meal of eggs and then eat nothing, or almost nothing, for the rest of the day.

Lefou was originally owned by the Beast
Lefou is clearly a Little Person a.k.a someone with Dwarfism. In the 18th century, such people were considered curiosities and status symbols, especially among royalty. According to the sequel, the spell was cast on Christmas. Lefou was a Christmas gift from another ruler to the Prince who became the Beast, but the messenger transporting Lefou had trouble on the road, and by the time the messenger arrived, the Enchantress had come and gone, thus sparing Lefou from the curse. The messenger was unable to get past the shut gates, so he took Lefou to Gaston's town and sold him there as a slave to cut his losses. Gaston, with his champagne tastes (like how eggs are so expensive that the egg seller told someone who wanted a half dozen that they were too expensive for her, yet Gaston eats five dozen a day), either buys Lefou himself or gets his parents to buy him with the goal of making him his personal slave. Hence why he treats him so badly yet Lefou never leaves him.

Gaston and Lefou both have C-PTSD
In his book, Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving, Pete Walker talks about four different subtypes of C-PTSD: Fight, Flight, Freeze, and Fawn. Based on the descriptions in the book, Gaston is a Fight type, and Lefou is a Fawn type. Fight types are controlling, entitled, condescending, narcissistic bullies who tend to monologue. They criticise others and take the moral high ground. Some can be friendly and charming, but only towards their favorites, and favorites are people who do what the fight type wants them to do. If someone doesn't, watch out! They rage, intimidate, criticise, and resort to physical violence to bring others into line. If a child was the spoiled child who could do no wrong in their parents' eyes and were never limited, they will usually become fight types. Fawn types abandon their own needs, wants, and boundaries to be who other people want them to be. They stifle their individuality and find it almost impossible to stand up to someone else's awful treatment. They are helpful, compliant codependents who take care of other people's needs and wants while ignoring their own. They act like coaches, housekeepers, parents, babysitters, confidants, or entertainers.

The Bookseller's absence in the mob scene
The trope "Betrayal by Inaction" mentions that the bookseller "betrayed" Belle by not being there to help her when the mob came to have Maurice locked up. In reality... it's late at night, he's old and was probably asleep already, so Gaston — knowing the bookseller and Belle were friends, and not wanting anyone who'd support her being around to interfere — purposely avoided having him woken up to find out about the mob. The next day, he learns what happened and is both horrified by Gaston's actions and worried about Belle; when Belle eventually comes back to the village to pack up her and Maurice's things, she meets the bookseller in the process, and he apologizes for not being awake to help her when Gaston did what he did. Belle, being Belle, is understanding and forgives him.

Gaston owns the hunting lodge
While Gaston is shown to be a hunter, so he could be selling the things he kills to the local butcher, he may have another more passive income with the hunting lodge that the song "Gaston" takes place in. He has his own chair reserved for him, motions to the various antlers on the wall when mentioning how he uses them for decorating, and always seems to be there when not going about town. If Gaston owns the only bar in town it could go a long way to explain why everyone in town tolerates him at worst and idolizes him at best, as he is a skilled hunter and probably one of the more profitable business owners in town.

Cogsworth and Mrs. Potts are from England

Besides the obvious with them having British accents, they also have English-sounding surnames. Mrs. Potts’ object form is also a teapot, and tea is very popular in England.

The reason why Chip doesn’t have his mother’s accent is because he was born and grew up in France.


Only the furniture with faces were once people
There was a complaint in the JBM about the fact that Beast seems to have HUNDREDS of servants. However, only the characters like Lumière, Cogsworth and Mrs. Potts were people. The other things, such as the spoons and most of the cups, were always cups and spoons that the curse had animated. The footstool did not have a face and was not previously a person; it was a dog, which is not the same thing as a person. All moving pieces of furniture without faces were either animals or normal furniture before the curse, The enchanted silverware and the like could have very well been a provision by the enchantress for the type of scenario that happens in this film, to help the servants make a guest feel comfortable when they lack the dexterity and means to cater a guest by themselves.

The curse is more fair than it seems
The Beast's servants, despite being innocent of wrongdoing themselves, were cursed along with him. We never saw what would have happened had the curse not been broken, but I theorize that everyone but the beast would have turned human regardless. They were cursed with him not as punishment, but to help him learn the lesson. (Of course there was a lesson, otherwise why would there be an escape clause?) If that last petal fell and the Beast became irredeemable, there would be no point in keeping everyone else in the castle. A few of them would try and stay, but with hope gone the Beast would become progressively more unstable and violent until it wasn't safe to stay.

The wolves that attack Belle and Maurice are part of the curse and protect the castle
In Real Life, wolves almost never attack people and tend to ignore humans unless provoked for whatever reason. While there might be other reasons for why the wolves attacked people despite this going against their natural behavior, this guess suggests that they are supposed to be guardians of the path leading to the castle and part of the Enchantress' curse. They try to keep people from entering the castle first (Maurice's experience; he just got lucky when he survived) and also try to keep people from leaving (which is why Belle was attacked and possibly why the Beast never left the castle). You could say they were actually trying to attack Philippe, but wolves would be smart enough leave Belle alone while they gorged on the horse, yet they tried to attack her too. The wolves being guardians of sorts would also explain why no one else had succeeded in finding the castle and why no one ever left the castle itself (that we know of, at least).
  • As for why they let Belle get to the castle: they could sense that she had the power to make the Beast love, so they let her pass and stayed out of the way during other occasions of people moving to/from the castle because they sensed the importance of the events unraveling before them (Belle coming back to save the Prince, the mob would have been too much to fight and were important to the curse's resolution as well, etc.)
  • In fact, in addition to protecting the castle, they could have also been there to arrange for the curse to break. After all, they drove Maurice to the castle, and the gate unlocked itself to let him in. Maurice getting there was the catalyst for the curse breaking. So in addition to keeping people in, they're also the agents of Contrived Coincidence the curse used to resolve itself.
  • It's all but directly stated that the forest was cursed as well (the stained glass window shows it changing alongside the castle, the opening shot of the movie shows the castle grounds pre-curse and the forest is very obviously different, etc). So it's very reasonable to conclude that all the animals that lived in the cursed forest were affected to become more aggressive and stuff as well.

The wolves were indirectly Gaston's fault.
He killed all the deer and other prey animals in the forest, leaving the wolves with nothing to eat. This made them desperate enough to go after humans that they would normally avoid. No one screws up an ecosystem like Gaston!
  • This would have made Gaston´s original fate of being devoured by them a BIG Karmic Death.

Beast is actually He-Man

Yes, that He-Man. One story or game has his name as Adam, he's a prince, and blonde. The enchantress was probably Evil-Lyn.


The ten years passing, and the rose wilting at Beast's 21st year may not be a continuity mistake
If you think about it, it seems a mistake that they say 10 years have passed when the rose is supposed to wilt when Beast turns 21, making him 11 when he was cursed. But the curse supposedly paused the cursed people at the age it was set, so it seems impossible for both to be true and not have Belle be a pedophile, or Beast to be an abnormally developed 11 year old. But the Beast is the only ORGANIC cursed person, everyone else was turned into normally inanimate and unaging items. The Prince was turned into an organic and aging being, so perhaps he was 11 when cursed, and aged to 21, where everyone else didn't age because of the nature of what they were turned into?
  • Most seem to agree that the enchantres) is a Jerkass, then she might not have thought about preserving the Beast's youth. It could simply be negligent oversight, and that she just meant to curse them, and given no thought that the Beast might age, while the servants do not. Or, it was her being even more cruel by having the master eventually age and die and leave the servants with no one to serve, thus they become no more meaningful than the items they resemble? Utter cruelty, yes, but for someone who cursed a whole castle for one person's mistake, you can't really expect her to pull punches. First rule when dealing with the Fairies is don't piss them off because they have a horrible sense of Disproportionate Retribution. Hell, the Beast may have kindly said that he couldn't let her stay and she could have cursed him for that. Or he could have been in a temper tantrum at the time and the Enchantress/Fae appeared then, to everyone's misfortune.
  • There's a shot near the beginning of the movie where the Beast rips up a portrait of himself as a young man. He is absolutely older than 11 in the painting, possibly as young as 15 or 16 but he may as well be in his early 20s. I imagine he must not have aged during the curse because he looks the same after transforming back to a human as he does in the painting, despite being 10 years older. Perhaps the comment by Lumiere that they have been "rusting for 10 years" was an approximation, or he was unable to keep track of how many years have passed.
  • Word of God states that though the Beast's official age is not mentioned in the movie, it is strongly indicated by the narrator's statement that the rose "would bloom until his 21st year." As the rose has already begun to wilt by the time Belle arrives at the castle, it is very likely that the Beast is 20 years (i.e. on their 21st year) of age by this point. This has been confirmed by the Beast's artist Glen Keane, and also in the filmmakers commentary for the extended edition, where it is specifically stated that the Beast's/Prince's 21st birthday would occur at some point after the enchanted rose has lost all of it's petals and the curse had either been broken, or else become permanent. In other words he was 10 turning 11 years old at the time he was cursed and was turned human when he was 20 turning 21 years old.

The French Revolution took place while the Prince was in beast form.
The monarchy sent him to live in some remote castle because he was such a Spoiled Brat and they were tired of dealing with him. He escaped the Revolution because he was quietly assumed dead when he turned into a Beast. This is why the Beast doesn't seem to rule over anything even though he's a "prince" and there don't seem to be any other royals. Note that he's actually only referred to as a prince in the prologue, back when the monarchy was intact.
  • So Beast is Louise XVII, the son of Marie Antoinette who was rumored to have been smuggled out of Temple prison during the Revolution.

The Bimbettes (AKA Silly Girls) were originally meant to be Belle's sisters
In many versions of the original fairy tale, Beauty has sisters (usually two, but three works fine), who are almost as beautiful as she is, but are spoiled, vapid, and flighty, in comparison to Beauty's kind heart and intelligence. The Bimbettes fit this description rather well- they do little of importance, are quite ditzy, and fawn over Gaston's good looks while Belle sees through him to the ugly interior.

At one point those three characters really were meant to be Belle's sisters — but this role of theirs was cut, to save time, because they weren't necessary, or both. They were still left in, but as mere background dressing, to establish that Gaston has fangirls.

The Beast is the personification of The Five Stages of Grief.
  • He seems to go through all five stages throughout the film (although the first two are only hinted at in the prologue)
    • Denial: I'm not a bad guy Ms. Enchantress, really!
    • Bargaining: Please don't do this, I'm sorry! I won't do it again!
    • Anger and Depression: He's stuck in these two for most of the movie, with the two of them tightly connected. He often swings wildly from bouts of explosive rage to crushing self-loathing and loneliness.
    • Acceptance: When he finally decides to change for Belle's sake and improve himself in an effort to be worthy of her love.
    • He slides back into depression after releasing Belle, almost to the point of suicide, but perks back up once she returns and even accepts his own death when stabbed by Gaston.

The Beast is the son of Napoleon
Napoléon François Joseph Charles Bonaparte was a prince (technically he was styled King of Rome, but in practice he was a crown prince), and was known to have been quite bitter against his mother for abandoning Napoleon and having the children of another man while still married to him. What if he had not stayed in Reichstadt (with the duke Franz being only a lookalike) and, even before being 10, returned to France with a small following intent into restoring the Empire? He rejected the Enchantress because he was feeling particularly bitter over his inability to restore the Empire after Louis XVIII's death, and was about to reopen the gate and take her in (as he had realized what he had just done was criminal) when she blasted in and started cursing.Upon recovering his humanity he decided that staying with Belle was better than messing up with Louise Philippe's reign (at the time still beloved, and a good king anyway), and by the time his cousing Napoleon III took over he didn't want the throne anymore.
  • The Enchantress was actually Joséphine de Beauharnais' ghost: she and Napoleon's ghost had seen that he was becoming a bad person, and, after dream warnings failed to make him correct his actings, decided to give him a lesson and transformed him in a Beast. How? It's Napoleon, he had picked up a few tricks as a ghost. Why? Given what had happened with Napoleon François' mother, both Napoleon and Josephine weren't in the mood to leave anything to chance and went overboard...

The prince isn't the heir to the throne of France; he's a younger brother.
Think about it for a second; how could the heir to the throne of France go missing overnight without throwing the country into disarray? The King and Queen of France would have given orders for the entire country to be searched, soldiers would have traveled to the Prince's castle and encountered the Beast, and if they hadn't killed him, they'd have at least spread the word that the prince had been killed by a monster. Yet, the inhabitants of the "small provincial town" nearby didn't seem to be aware that there was a monster in the big castle nearby...

The explanation? The prince isn't the Crown Prince, and nobody noticed his mysterious disappearance because he'd been sent away from court (due to his bad temper and behaviour) to live in a castle in the countryside with a small group of servants until his manner improved. His parents were waiting for the servants to send word of a change in his behaviour before they would visit him, and when the curse struck, the servants weren't able to send word, so prince's parents just assumed he was still as bad as ever and didn't bother to check up on him.

The Beast is Louis-Charles, the uncrowned King Louis XVII, son of Louis XVI of France and Marie Antoinette.
The film takes place in an alternate universe where Louis-Charles never died. In 1793, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette are executed. The 8 year old Louis-Charles is given to a cobbler named Antoine Simon to be raised. In 1794, Simon's wife falls ill and he can no longer care for Louis-Charles. Instead of imprisoning the Dauphin, Louis-Charles is sent to the country where he is visited by the Enchantress, an ardent revolutionary with magical powers. When she learns that Louis-Charles still thinks of himself as a prince, she curses him and his royalist servants. During the chaos of the Reign of Terror, everyone believes that Louis-Charles was murdered. When he becomes human again, it is 1805 and the second year into Napoleon's reign (hence, the Napoleon style bicorn Cogsworth wears).
  • An 1805 date would explain some of the fashion choices, from Gaston's long tight trousers and tall boots, Lefou's waistcoat, high collar, and cravat, the narrow dresses sported by Belle and the other village women, the Bimbettes low necklines and short sleeves. The few who are still wearing breeches are older gentlemen, such as Maurice. The exception is Belle's yellow ball gown, which is loaned to her and has likely been in storage since the 1790s.


Gaston's last name is Leroux.
He survived the fall and coped with his humiliating defeat by writing a Fix Fic where the Beast is the Stalker with a Crush who resorts to the Scarpia Ultimatum and the handsome rival is a noble (albeit ineffectual) hero who gets the beautiful girl. As for how he knows how to write, he was downplaying his smarts in the movie. Either that or he had Easy Amnesia and someone convinced him to become a scholar and once he remembered his past, he started writing.
  • Alternatively, perhaps he was dictating?

The Enchantress is Nimue

Based on Disney's The Sword in the Stone, where Merlin has mobile furniture that can follow orders. Of course Nimue as his girlfriend (in the novel that Disney's Sword and the Stone is adapted from) would have learned the spells to grant furniture mobility from Merlin and have perfected it by turning people into furniture which fixes the bugs (such as Merlin's sugar bowl giving him too much sugar) The enchantress is also a beautiful blonde woman, and Nimue is normally portrayed as blonde. The flaws in this WMG are that granting furniture mobility seems to be a standard trick of magic users in the Disney Animated Canon. The good fairies in Sleeping Beauty as well as the sorcerer (and his apprentice) in the Sorcerer's Apprentice segment of Fantasia show ability in this sort of spell.

Gaston was the hunter who killed Bambi's mom
Look on the wall during the Gaston song... In the original novel Bambi is a roe deer, not a white-tailed deer, which are found throughout Europe.A further note on the original novel, it was first published in Austria and it's a high possibility that's where the setting is. This theory is what the filmmakers were trying to imply when they made the film.

Belle is a Time Lord
How else can you explain her cameo appearance in Hunchback of Notre Dame which is supposedly set 200 years before her birth?

The Beast is a Time Lord
Just look at the transformation sequence at the end, the beams of light erupting from his fingertips and face, and also remember that he just got (apparently lethally) stabbed. He's not turning back into a human, the wound was deadly and he's regenerating!The fairy in the beginning did not turn him into a monster, she outright killed him, causing his regeneration into a less human-like appearance and changing his personality from jerkass to frowning recluse.
  • On a related note, the castle is his TARDIS. Notice how it changes dramatically after his transformation, up to and including the weather? This is also how Belle appears in Hunchback- she becomes his companion and gets her 'adventure in the great wide somewhere' after all.
    • I suddenly really want to see Beast and Belle cosplay as the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane.

Belle's mother was a member of V.F.D.

Belle calls the town "poor", yet it's not that badly off as it has a market for fine hats and a books (admittedly, only one quite small shop devoted to each). There are not one, but several people who are not only on the same economic level as Belle but better dressed. Thus, we may assume that her mother was a noble member of V.F.D. in all senses of the word, and encouraged a reputation of harmless eccentricity by marrying an inventor instead of someone on her class level, which also allowed her to teach Belle to read. Thus, Belle was used to a higher standard of living and a more intellectual lifestyle. Due to her parent's marriage, she was also taught that money isn't everything, which easily translates to "looks aren't everything".

Let's assume that Belle's mother died when Belle was young, before she could receive higher-level training, the tattoo on her ankle, or actually knowing her mother (and/or father) was a member of V.F.D. As she is grown and apparently well adjusted, this may explain why she never speaks about her mother.

Maurice may or may not have been an associate himself. His wife's death is the reason they had to move. He may have been provided for by an in-law before falling on really hard times, shortly before the beginning of the film. He may have been told that the area was dangerous and fled from town to town, under the excuse that his inventions weren't catching on and they could no longer afford their old place. He may have simply moved around following the fairs. And if Maurice had been planning to go to Valencia's Fair Day...

As for Maurice never telling Belle about V.F.D. should he be a member of it, he may have wanted his daughter to live a safe, normal life—or he was just hopelessly busy making machines for V.F.D. and couldn't find the time to recruit Belle. His remark on Gaston may have been a test to see if she had her priorities straight and could tell noble people from ignoble people.

Belle was also taught to be a flaneur (or, flaneuse?), as she is very good at observing people. At the beginning of the movie, everyone still acts as if it Belle is the new girl—they know her name, yet aren't completely used to her oddness. But Belle herself is incredibly bored, knowing off the top of her head the entire current inventory of a bookstore which is small but full. The way she walks through town, avoiding a splash of dirty water, skipping through children's jumprope games, and using a wagon to her advantage, is not simple coincidence or luck. She settled into her own routine so quickly that she knows, and has gotten used to, everyone else's schedules as well.

This exchange cements Belle as a precise speaker, as V.F.D. members are known to be:

Gaston: A rustic hunting lodge, my latest kill roasting on the fire, and my little wife, massaging my feet, while the little ones play with the dogs. We'll have six or seven.
Belle: Dogs?

But she also uses more precise language than the bookshop owner himself. He states that she has "read" the book he gives her twice. It may be true that Belle has read it twice... but it doesn't mean that she has only read the book twice. From their dialogue, the book at the beginning of the film was not a book which she had read before, and she had borrowed it from him yesterday. This means that she, like many avid readers, can read a good-sized book in one sitting if particularly absorbed with nothing else to do. From her knowledge of his inventory, it is also implied that the book she returned was the last book she hadn't read in the shop. And from that we may assume that a new shipment of books came shortly after she worked her way through the old inventory (some more than once), which took place within a few months at most. Thus, she asked him if he'd gotten anything new yesterday, because she was about to run out of things to read... again.

Belle never confirms or denies the number of times she has actually read a book. All she says is that she has come to return the book she had "borrowed", not that she has come to return the book she had "read". She may very well borrow a book once or twice, but read it multiple times because she has nothing else to do, and she never corrects the owner because she is too polite and wants to remain on good terms. Also, due to her upbringing, Belle appears to have gotten lonely, but doesn't know how to connect with people who don't read as much as she does—if they even read at all. So in an attempt to look a little more normal, she glosses over her exact level of intelligence to put everyone at ease. So, the only thing we know for sure is that Belle has read the book at least twice.

Note: Belle's idea of downplaying her intelligence is "letting people assume that she only reads a book once when she borrows it". She still reads while she walks, talks about books and borrows them regularly, and helps her father with his inventions. However, this is likely because she acted the way she usually did on her first day in town. By the time Belle realized everyone was freaked out about her constant reading instead of staring at her because she was pretty, it was too late for her to pretend she didn't know how to read at all.

Back to V.F.D.: The bookshop owner may be the only member in town. Judging from his imprecise language and the dearth of V.F.D. members (since the shop is completely empty), he is a bit rusty. He gave Belle that book so quickly, not only because it is an old book which no one except her seems interested in, but because it has a coded message, which is one or both of the following:

1) It recruits Belle into V.F.D. As she is obviously smart, having memorized his current inventory, as well as reading the book at least twice, the owner trusted that she would notice anything odd this time around.
2) It informs her of her mother's real occupation. A member of V.F.D. who knew her family paid for it, put in the message, then told the owner to give it to Belle before going back into hiding (or being killed).

Belle never finished the book this time around, because the film happened and she got a library full of other books, which she likely began to read at once due to them being entirely new to her and she assumed there was nothing new about the book the owner gave her. Thus, she never found the message.

Lastly, her name is Belle. If her mother was a noblewoman, she would likely have been exposed to other languages and the common name has a double meaning. "Beautiful" in French, which has a homophone in English for "an object which makes a ringing sound". There is also a bell on the door of the bookshop. And which code taught to members of the V.F.D. uses a bell?

  • Going with this, am I the only one who noticed how the bookseller looks like Count Olaf? Hm, hm, hm…

The plot is the focal point for a vast, inter-movie conspiracy
It starts with Gaston. His dumb-brutishness appears to be a facade. We know that the town doesn't treat intellectuals well. They ostracize Belle and attempt to get Maurice institutionalized. Gaston could simply be acting stupid defensively. When doing something that interests him (like talking about himself or preparing for a showdown) he becomes verbose and obviously well-read. He uses the word "expectorating" in context and quotes both Macbeth and the Bible in the Mob Song. When it would be more noticeable, though, he turns books sideways, smacks chessboards around, and decries the "dangerous pastime" of thinking. If nothing else, he knows psychology, easily speedchessing his way into getting what he wants. Due to the Bambi's mother theory above, we can open the possibility that there's more going on here, in regards to the rest of the Disney universe.

Now we move to the Disproportionate Retribution of the enchantress. The cruelty of cursing an entire castle for the rudeness and lack of hospitality of an 11-year-old prince feels almost contrived. Perhaps it was. But by whom? Well, we know that it's set in France in a time when royalty was a thing. If the timeline fits, one is tempted to suspect Merlin. After all, crippling the government of a neighboring country is a good way to ensure that your young king (Arthur) gets to grow into a responsible leader without the country going to hell by being invaded. But doing it himself would most certainly open the door to war anyway, so he would need an accomplice. Because of the Madame Mim fiasco, we know that sorcerous entities in this universe associate with one another. It's possible that he requested the help of a magic user with experience with curses and something to gain. Enter Maleficent, who has a castle of her own, so it stands to reason that she's interested in territory and rulership. She could be the enchantress. But there is a third suspect. The Queen from Snow White. She, like the Beast, has a magic mirror. A magic mirror that lends her the ability to see her competition when it comes to beauty. It's possible that she saw the girl NAMED "Beauty" and decided that she needed in on this plan, if only to exterminate her. Merlin and Maleficent would surely enter her into the pact, what with her mirror's omniscience.

Their plan would have gone off perfectly... if not for one thing. Gaston. Now, in Snow White, we see that the Queen's mirror doesn't like her much. It could be the case that, much like the wizards, the mirrors have a secret society of their own, complete with plans and counterplans. It could be that Beast's mirror and the Queen's mirror arranged for a third mirror to get into the hands of Gaston who, due to the precognitive abilities of the magic mirror, formulated a plan concerning the Beast and Belle. This is supported a bit by his predilection for reflective surfaces, and how comfortably he wields Belle's magic mirror. Now, if he presented himself as any kind of threat to the conspiracy, his ability to subvert it would be negated. So he pretends in front of everyone that he's all brawn and no brains, while simultaneously behaving in a self-centered and off-putting way towards Belle. He knows that if she and the Beast profess their love for one another in time, his country will be restored, and Belle saved from certain magical doom. In that context, everything he does makes much more sense. Angrily stating that Belle has feelings for the Beast? Planting the notion in her mind. Sending the mob? Getting Belle back to the castle before the rose wilts. Stabbing Beast in the back? A Heroic Sacrifice, since Belle wouldn't have professed her love in time unless she thought it was the last thing she'd have to say to the Beast.

Gaston turns out to be the good guy all along, shaping his whole life around a vision granted him by the mirrors. All his villainy, under this theory, is attributed to an omniscience-guided plan that required it. Especially since everything did, indeed, turn out for the best.

  • This ... this may be the single greatest fan theory ever. Thank you, whoever wrote this.
    • That goes for me too.
  • That's great indeed; at the very least the part about him acting stupid still makes sense while standing on its own.

The Enchantress is one of the Weird Sisters from Gargoyles
Mainly because they have the same voice actress (at least in The Enchanted Christmas), but it would explain why she was so heartless about transforming a kid and his servants into a beast and things.

The Enchantress is Evangeline, and Belle became Chachazero after the Revolution
That christmas Evangeline was passing by, and felt like not passing the night in the snow and asked hospitality masked as an old woman to avoid causing a lynch mob if there was someone who recognized her, but when the prince refused hospitality she stormed the castle, cursed him into a beast for that and the servants for not teaching him the value of hospitability, and ate all the food (she was tired from all the transformation. She then went for her way until she felt the curse being lifted, and when Belle dared to face her after her appearance scared everyone she gave her a magical doll as reward for her courage.Comes The French Revolution, and the villagers team up with nearby villages, storm the castle and murder everyone, Belle last after watching helpless the deaths of her husband and child (or children?) and being gang-raped. Somewhere during her murder she snapped, and upon her death she possesses the magical doll and massacres everyone, being stopped from destroying the villages and massacring their families only by Evangeline's arrival. Evangeline is spotted by mages and thought to be the killer and Belle-doll has exhausted the magic, so they decide to team up: Belle, now rechristened Chachazero, would be Evangeline's combat partner, and Evangeline would provide her with magic to stay alive, books and chances to exact the blood of murderers, rapists and other violent criminals.

The Enchantress is The Enchantress.
  • Disney does own Marvel now. So why not?

The bald eagle head in Gaston's tavern is a griffon.
I can't be the only one who notices how much it looks like Gilda.
  • "No-one jumps realities like Gaston!"

Belle is a Princess.
  • The way she ends up healing the Beast's heart and redeeming him might indicate a Calling of Mender, and the way she acts almost like a caretaker to her absent-minded father is called out as a common Mender trait. Court affiliation might be Diamonds, for her love of books.

Gaston is descended from Robert Baratheon.
A tall, strong, black-haired, blue-eyed, gluttonous, lustful Boiserous Bruiser? It's hard to call that a coincidence, especially considering how many illegitimate children Robert fathered. Even if Gaston is in a different universe, who's to say one of his ancestors didn't somehow end up in the Disney Animated Canon universe?

Gaston becomes Brom Bones.
Gaston survives the fall (albeit with a few broken bones), which literally knocks sense into him to give up with Belle. A year or two later, he changes his name to Brom Bones and moves to America to start a new life. You know what happens then.

Non-Disney Versions

(Villeneuve version) Beauty’s sisters know or suspect she isn’t their fully biological sister.
  • In the original version of the tale, by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, the audience gets background on both the Beast as well as Beauty. According to Villeneuve, Beauty isn’t the merchant’s daughter at all. She is the daughter of a king and a good fairy, and a changeling. To protect her (from the same evil fairy that later cursed the prince), she was swapped with the merchant’s deceased infant daughter (who was sent to the country with servants to recuperate from an illness).

The sisters would not have known about the swap. All they would have known is that the child that their (possibly deceased) mother apparently bore grew up to have next to no family resemblance to them or their father.

The obvious conclusion they would come to would be that their mother had been unfaithful and Beauty was their half-sister, fathered by their mother’s lover. Hence their disdain for her. Beauty clearly being their father’s favourite would have been especially annoying.

They may not have even come to this conclusion on their own. When the merchant had wealth, he had servants. Servants 1) see everything, 2) gossip. The eldest daughter (since the merchant appeared to be a single father) would have been in the position of lady of the house. The servants would answer to her (through the hierarchy), allowing her to hear the gossip through the grapevine.

  • There is a fanfic that includes this premise: [1]