Anyone who knows me is well aware of my obsession with the Disney film ‘Beauty and the Beast’. I’ve been watching it constantly since I was a little kid. In fact, it used to be my mom’s sure-fire method of shutting me up when I was being bratty. My obsession with the movie has gotten to the point where for my 18th birthday, I had a Disney themed party and wore Belle’s ball gown (I regret nothing).
Now, I don’t want to hazard a guess at just how many times I’ve seen the movie, so let’s just be content with the fact that I’ve watched it a lot. And because of this, over the years I’ve put some serious thought into the plot-holes of the movie and I thought I’d use this post to share my findings.
1. “Ten years we’ve been rusting…”
This is a debate I’ve seen quite a bit on the internet; what age was the prince when the enchantment was cast on the castle?
In the song ‘Be Our Guest’, Lumiere sings “for ten years we’ve been rusting, needing so much more than dusting”. Given that the main body of the movie takes place just before the Beasts twenty-first birthday, it could be assumed that the enchantment was cast when the Beast was eleven, and that the staff have been living as objects for ten years.
However, the line may not be as literal as it seems, and ‘rusting’ may just refer to the amount of time that the staff have been out of use. Given that the Beast is the only occupant of the castle, it seems unlikely that the unwelcoming prince would be throwing parties and entertaining guests, so whilst the Beast has been in charge, the staff of the castle may have had very little to do.
This really depends on your personal opinion. Given the depiction of the young Prince in the Christmas sequel, I see him as being older than eleven at the time of the enchantment, so tend to go with the second explanation.
2. How does the enchantment work?
I’ve always had a hard time getting my head around this, and the more I think about it, the more confused I tend to get.
If we assume that every animated object in the castle is a member of staff, then the castle clearly has far too many staff members, given that the only need to care for the Beast.
I tend to assume that the objects with facial features who have the ability to speak (like Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs Potts etc) used to be members of staff. Whereas the objects with no faces and no voices are simply objects which have been enchanted into semi-consciousness.
Unfortunately, this theory doesn’t exactly pan out since ‘Be Our Guest’ includes a large number of forks with faces, and beer tankards with no faces but the ability to sing. I figure that it’s easier to just dismiss these anomalies as animation errors and stick to the idea that if they have a face, then they used to work in the castle.
3. Where did Chips siblings go?
During one part of the movie, Mrs Potts sends Chip into a cupboard filled with a huge group of his siblings, who then mysteriously disappear.
I’ve never understood this. Even if you assume that the other teacups are just the staffs children who Mrs Potts has just adopted, it’s weird that they’re never mentioned again, and just disappear until a few of them show up in the battle scene.
4. Where are the Beast Parents? Who’s running the country?
The movie is obviously set in a French speaking country. So, assuming its set in France, that makes the Beast the Prince of France.
…So where are the King and Queen? Are they still alive or did they send their son away for being too bratty?
Also, how come none of the villagers seem aware that the Prince of the country is living in a nearby castle?
What the hell guys?
5. The Beasts name.
Seriously, regardless how long Belle stayed in the castle, she probably should have learned her captors’ name.
Understandably, the staff all refer to him as ‘master’, but even in the climax of the film Belle yells out “Beast!”
Which begs the question; can it really be true love when you don’t even know the guys name?
There was a lot of debate about the Beasts name being Adam. This is because a few games included this information, but it’s been mentioned in the DVD commentary that the Beast just doesn’t have a name.
The opening song makes it clear that they live in a French speaking country… So why do hardly any of the characters have a French accent?
I’d probably understand if they made all of the characters accent-less. But Lumiere and Fifi have very exaggerated French accents whilst Cogsworth and Mrs Potts have distinctively British accents. And I have no idea why…
7. Issues of introducing characters during the mid-quel.
There are a lot of problems with introducing characters during the mid-quel, because it disrupts the continuity.
For example, during the final battle of the first movie, surely the thousands of Christmas decorations that they had would have been a massive help. Or were they just hibernating in the attic?
If Forte was so close to the Beast and such a massive influence on his life, why wasn’t he mentioned in the first movie?
Where were Angelique, Fife, Axe, Webster, Crane, LePlume and Chandeleria in the later part of the first movie? If they met in the middle of the story, then they should have appeared at the end. Furthermore, Fife should have been leading the orchestra when the Beast and Belle dance at the end of the first film.
All in all, there are a LOT of continuity errors in the Beauty and the Beast series, but I love it regardless. Let me know if you have any additional thoughts that might explain some of the aspects of the movies which I just can’t. I’d love to hear other people’s opinions on the plot holes of my favourite film.
Ps, if you want to see a horrifying attempt at making a live action series based on the Disney movie, click this link! (This will never not be funny to me.)