13 'Beauty and the Beast' Adaptations

3:16 PM 3/10/2017

by Arlene Washington

From the Disney animated classic to the live-action remake, the story of beauty meets beast has been a tale as old as time.

  • La Belle et la Bete (1946)

    Jean Cocteau’s 1946 live action follows parts of the original story that Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve published in the 18th century. with an abridged version later released by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. In the film, Belle is devoted to taking care of her father until he is held prisoner after picking a red rose from the Beast's garden. Belle takes her father's place and the Beast tries to win her heart.

  • Beauty and the Beast (1962)

    Lady Althea and Duke Eduardo are set to be married in this fantasy film, except Eduardo holds a secret that he turns into a beast every night due to a curse by a sorcerer who wants the throne for himself. Althea later finds out she is the only one who can break the curse.

  • Beauty and the Beast (1976)

    The Hallmark Channel took a stab at the storyline where a maiden married the Beast and lived in his castle in order to save her father's life.

  • Faerie Tale Theater

    A 1984 episode of Faerie Tale Theater, which was a live-action retelling of children's fairy tales, featured Susan Sarandon and Klause Kinski reenacting the tale.

  • Beauty and the Beast TV series (1987)

    The CBS series followed a New York district attorney Catherine Chandler (Linda Hamilton) whose life is saved by a lion/“beast” man Vincent (Ron Perlman) who introduces her to an underground community of characters living below the city. Rather than Vincent transforming, the show focuses on his kindness changing Catherine’s shallow personality. Game of Thrones’ George R.R. Martin was a writer and producer on the show that lasted for three seasons.

  • Beauty and the Beast (1991)

    In the beloved Disney classic set in France, Paige O'Hara voices Belle, intelligent, confident woman who becomes a prisoner in the Beast’s enchanted castle in place of her father. Opposite from the 1946 version, the Beast has to change himself in order to win Belle’s heart and break the spell that has turned the workers of the castle into talking objects including the teapot Mrs. Potts voiced by Angela Lansbury. THR's critic wrote that the film is the "pinnacle of animated accomplishment."

  • Beautician and the Beast (1997)

    The comedy is a mix-up of Beauty and the Beast and The Sound of Music, following a New York beautician (Fran Drescher) who is enlisted to educate a the children of beastly dictator of the Eastern European country Slovetzia and evenutally falls in love with him.

  • Blood of Beasts (2005)

    Blood of Beasts is Beauty and the Beast, Viking style. The medieval film follows a princess named Freya who sets sail to a cursed island in hopes of finding her father and her lover, Agnar, who were believed to be lost at sea. She encounters a beast who has held her father on the island and she exchanges herself for her long-lost pa. Freya later discovers the island is not what it seems, and in the end a sacrifice transforms the Beast back into Agnar.

  • Beastly (2011)

    Beastly, based on Alex Finn’s 2007 novel, is a more modern update on the Beauty and the Beast tale co-starring Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen and Alex Pettyfer in a prep school setting. Pettyfer, who plays a shallow, popular senior Kyle, has a year to say “I love you” to a girl or he will remain permanently Beastly due to a spell performed by a fellow student named Kendra (Olsen).

    Before Alex’s transformation, he meets fellow student Lindy (Hudgens). Rather than taking her father’s place as prisoner in a castle, Lindy’s addict father kills a drug dealer, and leaves Lindy in Kyle’s hideaway prompting the two to get to know each other.

    The film also features Neil Patrick Harris as Kyle's blind tutor. THR’s critic said the bottom line is that the film is “D.O.A.”

  • Beauty and the Beast TV Series (2012)

    The hourlong CW drama was loosely based on the 1987 CBS show. Kristen Kruek stars as a detective who teams up with a scientist/Beast, Jay Ryan, to solve crimes. The show ran for four seasons and ended in 2016.

  • Once Upon a Time (2012)

    Belle (Emilie de Ravin) becomes a regular Storybrooke character except she has a relationship with recurring character Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) who helps Belle's father battle ogres and takes Bell in return. Although the Beast is not part of the series, Sir Gaston (Sage Brocklebank) makes an appearance.

  • La Belle et la Bete (2014)

    Vincent Cassel (Black Swan) and Lea Seydoux (The Grand Budapest Hotel) star in the French fairy tale similar to the 1946 version and follows Belle who asks the Beast to take her father's place as prisoner after he is sentenced to death for stealing a rose from the Beast's garden. Belle tends to reject the Beast's advances, but his past is revealed to her in her dreams. Later, she opens her heart to him and breaks him from his curse.

    The film screened at the Berlin International Film Festival where THR critic Jordan Mintzer called it "overblown and unconvincing" with "some choice moments, but mostly bites the dust."

  • Beauty and the Beast (2017)

    Emma Watson and Dan Stevens star in Disney’s live action remake along with an A-list cast including Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Ewan McGregor (Lumiere), Kevin Kline (Maurice), Luke Evans (Gaston), Ian McKellen (Cogsworth) and new characters, including Stanley Tucci's Cadenza. The film, released 26 years after the 1991 classic, chronicles the animated version along with providing a backstory to many of the original characters’ past. THR's critic Leslie Felperin called the film a "Michelin-triple-starred master class in patisserie skills that transforms the cinematic equivalent of a sugar rush into a kind of crystal meth-like narcotic high that lasts about two hours."

    Josh Gad plays Gaston’s sidekick LeFou, who also appeared as Disney’s first gay character in the film. Gad told THR at the film’s L.A. premiere that he would let the “lovely moment” at the end “speak for itself.”

    For 25 years, people have been asking this question about this character," he said. "What I would love to see is a moment when we no longer have to ask this question. I would love it if it weren't such a story."