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    Jossed Theories 
The Beast actually acceded the throne as a child, the man and woman in the portrait are/were his regents.
Looking at the ruined family portrait, the Beast is depicted as a child wielding a scepter, indicating royal authority or sovereignty. In this version, the Beast lost his father at a young age and is actually the King. The man and woman are his uncle (possibly the late King's younger brother who was pushed down the line of succession following the Beast's birth) and mother and respectively, the Beast's prince and queen regents. Maybe it was the Prince Regent who turned away the Enchantress.
  • Mostly Jossed. The adults in the painting are the prince's parents. The prince was very close to his mother, which is why her face went untouched. And it was the Queen who died when the prince was still a child.

    Confirmed Theories 
This film will try to address every issue people have with the original film
Whether Belle has Stockholm Syndrome or not, how much time the castle spent cursed (Was Chip born a teacup? Did they age naturally? Was the Prince really eleven when he was cursed?), where the Prince's parents are, what is his name, and the weird time issues the film seems to have (Lefou staying guarding all winter, Maurice lost in the woods for months)...
  • Mostly confirmed. Not every issue mentioned above is addressed, but quite a few are, as well as others — the biggest one being why the villagers don't know about the castle in the first place!
    • When the curse is explained in the intro, it's mentioned that the prince and the castle have been completely erased from the villagers' memories.

Belle learns about the rose's curse
In the final trailer Belle learns from the household servants that when the enchanted rose loses all of its petals the Beast and the servants remain in their current physical form forever. Lumiere and Cogsworth, though, do not tell Belle that she and the Beast have to love each other, as Beast and Belle have to have a spark between them if the curse is to be broken.
  • Confirmed. To some extent Belle is told that the curse and the rose are linked, but she doesn't learn how to lift the curse.

Lefou will have a more layered/complex interpretation.
I'm guessing this will happen either due to the cartoon physics of the original film not being well-translated onto live-action, or maybe to make a point ("Beauty is found within", aka maybe we shouldn't judge the short fat guy of being evil just because of his looks). Maybe he starts off as the original Lefou, as Gaston's adoring doormat fanboy, but once the plot thickens he starts doubting his friend's plans and the dark path Gaston is taking.
  • Confirmed. The movie gives him a side-arc during which we see him gradually realising that Gaston is not as great as he thought. Despite director's claims though, Lefou is not shown struggling with his sexuality as much as he is struggling with the idea that his life-long friend/crush is deep down a monster.

The movie will not only take inspiration from the original tale, but from early drafts of the animated version.
  • Much like The Jungle Book borrowed some elements from the original story, the film takes cues from both the fairy tale and original ideas for the animated version. This can already be seen in how Maurice encounters the Beast (when he tries to take a rose for Belle), and Philippe's appearance in this film (a white horse that was supposed to be given to Belle by a suitor in early drafts of the animated film: possibly a gift from Gaston this time around?).
    • Confirmed. In addition to the above, Maurice is a music box maker instead of an inventor, referencing a music box's importance in earlier drafts (first as an object he tried to sell to raise money, later as one of the Enchanted Objects).
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    Other Theories 
Had the curse's stipulations in the animated film been the same as in this film, Forte would've been a much more dependable protagonist.
The animated Forte wanted the curse to never break as he felt he performed his role much better as an organ. This film adds in the complication that if the time limit expires and the curse remains unbroken, the servants will become inanimate objects forever. Had this been in play in the animated film, Forte would've actively tried to help break the curse since he will die with the others if it isn't broken. In other words, Cadenza is a look at what a hero Forte could've been had the circumstances (and Forte's personality) been different.

The film will be successful to the point that Disney will make plans to do a Crisis Crossover film for it and some of the other live-action remake films, both previous and upcoming ones.
The films used will be shown to be part of a Shared Universe, albeit in varying time periods. Yen Sid uses his magic to bring some of the characters from the previous films together in order to create a team to help him defeat the evil Fusion Dance of Dragon Maleficent and Chernabog. Yes, it would essentially be a Disney version of The Avengers, but taken Up to Eleven as it would take influences from Crisis on Infinite Earths, with the characters included being:
  • Yen Sid: Introduced in the crossover film.
  • The Beast: The one from this film of course.
  • Belle: Of course she would be part of it too.
  • Mulan: From the upcoming 2018 film adaptation.
  • Mowgli: From the live-action Jungle Book film.
  • Alice: From the two previous films... but only so they can still profit from the character without having to give her previous film after it was a Box Office Bomb.
  • Maleficent: TBD.
  • Christopher Robin
  • And possibly more, but that'll have to wait until more is known about the upcoming films.

The spell was going to be broken the whole time.
It is strongly implied the curse created by the Enchantress was actually only temporary and that the Enchantress was going to return everything back to the way it was, regardless if Belle said she loved Beast or not. Despite Belle saying she loves Beast, after the rose lost its last petal, the Enchantress who was disguised as Agathe the beggar woman Belle showed kindness to, knew Belle was the chosen one as Lumiere predicted and she rather set up the whole story so that Belle will break the spell. In short, the Enchantress was really a chess master and knew the prince was cold hearted at the start of the film but wanted to test his attitude. So she really only punished Beast for a limited time so he can have a chance to think about what he had done and to redeem himself and it works.

The debutantes from the ball at the beginning of the movie became the wolves.
It seems wrong that Madame, Credenza, and their dog all got cursed without having a hand in the Prince's personality but the debutantes don't. Especially since they laughed at the Enchantress. In the animated film the wolves were gray. In this film they're white. What color were all the debutantes wearing?
  • It makes sense to have the wolves be a part of the curse in general. The wolves seem to herd Maurice to the castle at the beginning of the film and when Belle flees from the castle they give chase. . . As if to take her back.
  • During "Be Our Guest" there are many peacock dusters as well as Plumette. It's likely that the debutantes were them.

This film is about what Hermione Granger did on her gap year before university
The propensity of magic in the story makes me want to connect it to the Harry Potter universe. Hermione decided to take a year off after the Battle of Hogwarts, went on a time travel vacation, and assumed the identity of Belle, but forgot her wand. Both characters are played by Emma Watson, love reading, and are in excessively magical circumstances at a castle. This is a 'sequel' to Harry Potter's experiences with The Woman in Black.
  • Except that time travel in the HP universe is only possible via time turner, which only turns back hours, not years. Not to mention that all the time turners were destroyed during the battle at the Ministry of Magic in Order of the Phoenix.
    • The Cursed Child actually undoes all those arguments. There are more time turners in it and they travel back years.

The Portal Book can show you a copy of another place and time, but it cannot actually teleport a person to a physical place or show any people other than the ones using the book.
Which is why Belle didn't use it to get back to the village to save her father. It's also why Belle's childhood home looks so well-preserved when they go there...I have no idea how she got the rose thing though. Magic or something.
  • Not confirmed, sadly, as this would have been a perfect explanation as for why it was used to tie up the loose ends of a small subplot.

Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are set in the same universe, and are linked through Jean the potter.
Jean's actor, Gerard Horan, is also in Cinderella as Lord Veneering, so if we're going incredibly meta, then Jean is an ancestor of Lord Veneering (or vice-versa).
  • Adding to this, they both exist in a world where magical beings go around testing people's kindness disguised as beggars. Maybe the Fairy Godmother and the Enchantress are in cahoots?

The wolves represent the Prince's cruel father.
The leader of the wolves has a scar across its face on the same side as the claw marks across the painting of the father.

Gaston saved Lefou's life
The reason Lefou dotes on Gaston so much even though he's straight is because Gaston saved Lefou's life in the war. It's already confirmed they fought together.

Lefou's parents
One of my theories about Lefou is that he was born in an asylum as the child of an inmate - which is why he was given the name of 'Lefou' and is so eccentric, even though the stereotype of Camp Gay wouldn't have been around in late 1700s France. In fact the entire concept would only have existed as a kind of madness. It would also explain why he's so very disturbed about sending Maurice to the madhouse when everybody else goes along with it - he knows they're not nice places. It also would fit in with him being almost wholly illiterate, having never gone to school.

Maurice and Belle are related to the miller's family from The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Originally, this was going to be they were the miller's family, but the end of the portal book scene pretty much made that impossible, as Belle's mother dies, and the miller's wife in Hunchback survived (and it could have been handwaved that one of their two children died had this not been the case). However, given that this takes place in the 18th century and not the middle ages, it's easy to conclude that after Frollo burned the original windmill down, it was rebuilt, and a few generations since took it over, thus allowing Maurice (or his wife) to inherit it later.

Maurice is Phoebus from The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Belle's mother was Esmeralda.

Of course this isn't really feasible, given the different time periods. But both Maurice and Phoebus are Kevin Kline in Paris, and Belle's mother was vaguely Romani looking, with long, luxuriant dark hair, and is said to have been "fearless," so let's just pretend. Even with Frollo dead, Phoebus was still technically a deserter, so he changed his name to Maurice to evade the law and became an artist. He and Esmeralda then settled down and had a daughter, but sadly Esmeralda caught the plague, Maurice was forced to flee with baby Belle, etc. Where Quasimodo is during all this, and if he's still alive during the main Beauty and the Beast timeline, is an open question.

If a live-action Hunchback of Notre Dame is ever made, the characters from this movie will appear, even if just as The Cameo.
Either just Belle being seen in the background like in the animated version (implying that she lived in Paris before she and her father moved to Villenueve), or maybe even Belle, the prince, and some of the other now-human characters from this movie (maybe they come there for a visit like the Feast of Fools). Or, if the Crisis Crossover film proposed above is ever made, perhaps Quasimodo and the prince could become friends over their similar past experiences (being horribly ugly, hidden in a castle/cathedral, falling in love with someone they didn't think could love them back, and growing up with an abusive father figure).

The Enchantress' magic still lingers.
Although the curse is lifted, those affected by it will never be fully rid of the magic that was part of their lives for so long. This is the reason why Lumiere's wig briefly catches fire and the prince is able to growl with the same force as the beast.

Belle and her family are English
Consider the following:
  • Belle and Maurice both speak with English accents, even though no one else does
  • Maurice speaks with an English accent, even though Kevin Kline did a passable French accent in French Kiss
  • Maurice is indeed a French name, but not at all uncommon in England
  • Belle recites Shakespearean sonnets, indicating that she can speak and read English

Belle and Beast are a yin-yang interplay of Enlightenment and Romanticism.
Belle's the village weirdo, despite being the town's "most beautiful woman". She can read, has mechanical inclination (anticipating her father's next needed tool/component, designing, prototyping, and constructing a churning clothes washer), has pro-education sentiments, and asserts herself rationally towards Beast's and Gaston's obstinacy. However, she has a romantic streak when it comes to reading stories (as per the "Prince Charming" part of her "I Am" Song at the beginning and her love for Romeo and Juliet). Beast, conversely, has had his broodiness dialed up to eleven, and now a dyed-in-the-wool Byronic Hero. However, despite having his pick of beautiful debutantes as shown in the prologue; he's attracted to Belle because of her enlightened intellect ("Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind"), shares her dislike of rustic life ("Your village sounds terrible"), and has an initial dislike of silly romance stories (until he catches the bug from Belle). Belle is Enlightened with a Romantic streak, Beast is Romantic with an Enlightened streak.

The film is an allegory of The French Revolution and its aftermath
It goes like this:

  • The House of Bourbon is represented by the Beast, who is removed from power because of his cruelty towards his subjects.
  • The French Revolution itself is represented by the curse, which removes the Beast from power and leaves his subjects to continue on without him.
  • Marianne (that is, the spirit of the French people) is represented by Agathe, who removed the Beast from power after he mistreated her and will ultimately decide whether he rules again.
  • Napoleon is represented by Gaston, the popular war-loving "hero" who rules the village in the Beast's absence.
  • Wellington is represented by Belle, who saves the Beast from Gaston.
  • The breaking of the curse represents the Bourbon Restoration. It brings the Beast back to power, but now he knows he won't be able to rule over his subjects like he used to. (Well, at least until Charles X's metaphorical rule starts, but that's for the sequel.)

The black characters are Haitian gens de couleur who came over from French-ruled Saint-Domingue.
They all came to work in the castle. This was considered a very good gig and was open to them because the Beast's mom was so open-minded. As a man of God, Père Robert was immune to the curse, so the Enchantress had him expelled from the castle and sent to live in the village.

Gaston suffers from a form of PTSD after his time spent as a soldier.
Gaston shows a myriad of symptoms indicative of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, likely stemming from his experiences in the French Revolution, which may help to explain his sudden devolution into the villain of the movie.
  • Gaston has angry outbursts, such as when he steps in a mud puddle and when he threatens Maurice.
    • Lefou helps Gaston to control himself by reminding him of the violence and bloodshed (and the widows).
  • Hypervigilance, when Gaston perceives danger from the Beast and turns on the woman he loves and his best friend.
  • Inability to reconnect with loved ones (Lefou and Belle in the mob scene)
  • At the beginning of the movie, he is trying to cope with his mental issues, but by the time of the mob scene, Gaston has experienced a psychological break and is lashing out at anything he perceives as a threat.

The prince was not actually the prince to any kingdom.
In France, back in the day, it was not unusual for "prince" to simply be an aristocratic title, of someone with a high rank of nobility, but without ruling any actual territory and without any link to the royal family. Think about it, not once, are the prince's parents referred to as "King" or "Queen" (except for in the credits). In the prologue it's mentioned that the prince heavily taxed the village, but how if he didn't actually rule the village? Simple! It's an isolated provincial town, he (or his father) just made them believe he was royalty (he sure seemed to be). Alternately, he could be a relative of the royal family (possibly a nephew or cousin), just not in direct line for the throne.

There used to be more servants but they hit the Despair Event Horizon
After the curse was set upon the prince and everyone he ever shook hands with, obviously the entire staff of the castle (and some others) were all transformed into enchanted objects. By the time the film takes place, there's only about half a dozen who are still up and about. This is because these select few—Lumiere, Cadenza, Chapeau, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, Madame de Garderobe, Plumette, and Chip—were the most strong-willed of them all and had the most faith that the prince could reform himself and eventually break the curse. The rest, however, lost hope over the years and this caused them to turn into objects "permanently"—they came back when the curse was broken. Up until that point, it was very difficult for the rest of them to wake up again and that's why the castle seems so empty and they only appear in a few scenes (such as during "Be Our Guest"). They didn't show up immediately after the curse was broken because it took a little longer for the magic to wear off for them, but they did all come back in the end.

The Enchantress is one of The Fair Folk
She has amazing magical powers, her curse has arbitrary rules that have to be followed and she seems to follow a Blue-and-Orange Morality where punishing the staff fits into the plan to make the Beast find love but she feels no need to punish Gaston despite his rather worse crimes. She's also quite the shape-shifter and quick to take offense. Seems very Fae to me.

The finale was setting up another curse.
The reason The Enchantress was present for the final battle was to see if a new curse would be placed, this time on the villagers. However, when Gaston died and Belle announced her love for the Beast, the original curse was lifted instead. If Gaston had succeeded in killing the Beast and then claiming/killing Belle, he would become the next Beast and the villagers would also be cursed in poetically appropriate ways.

The Enchantress's life as "Agathe" was meant as a punishment.

The Enchantress, or "Agathe" is a member of some sort of magical coven/fae realm/whatever; powerful in her own right, but bound by the laws that govern her particular group. Unfortunately, cursing the entire castle/the town nearby broke those rules. No one would have objected if she had cursed the prince alone, and maybe those who actually had a hand in raising him to who he was, but everyone else as well as removing the memories of the people in castle from those in the town? That was too much, and as a result, the Enchantress was forced to take the form of "Agathe" and live within the town without powers until the curse broke or the last petal fell. That's why she never did anything about Gaston, or the insane asylum, and why she couldn't cast any magic until the very end.

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