Tell us again…just how old IS the Beast?

First, let me declare that Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite movies. I make my 16-month-year-old nephew watch it regularly. The music is beautiful, the artwork is lovely, and I think it is a very sweet retelling of the classic fairy tale. Plus, I have a thing for redheads.

But the logic behind Beast’s age has always bothered me. Here is what we know:

  • Beast has until his 21st birthday to fall in love and have the spell broken, returning him to human form (“The rose she had offered was truly an enchanted rose, which would bloom until his twenty-first year.”).
  • During “Be Our Guest,” Lumiere reveals that the castle and its inhabitants have already been enchanted for 10 years (“…ten years we’ve been rusting, needing so much more than dusting…”).
  • We know that the enchanted rose’s last petal is about to fall, meaning Beast is approaching his 21st birthday. (“But the rose has already begun to wilt!”)
  • Twenty one minus ten is eleven.

Logically, this makes Adam only eleven at the time he was cursed by the Enchantress, but he’s shown as an adult in the stained glass windows during the film’s opening. (It would also suggest that Chip was born as a teacup, unless only Adam continued to age. I’ve always assumed Chip was about five. I’d also like to know how teapots reproduce.)

So, assuming Adam was only eleven at the time the Enchantress paid him a visit, what was he doing living in a castle by himself with just his staff? Where were his parents? Weren’t there any other adults around? I would also like to know what kind of Enchantress goes around punishing children for being selfish by turning them into Beasts. That seems a little severe. Surely a spanking would have been more appropriate.

Every time I bring this up, people say to me, “It’s a kid’s movie.” Sigh. I suppose.

Don’t even get me started on Belle having Stockholm Syndrome…



Excellent points by Kent regarding B&tB:

“Also that Lumiere line about ‘needing more than dusting’ becomes kinda a dick thing to say when you remember that he’s like, doing the feather duster.”

“Also, were their names always French for something close to what they were turned into? or did they adopt those names once they turned. I could see the prince renaming all of them if he were 11, then just being a huge dick about it as he got older and more bitter. Then once they turned back going hahaha, no you keep your names.”

Love it.

3 thoughts on “Tell us again…just how old IS the Beast?”

  1. Ha! This is brilliant. We’ve been watching a lot of this DVD recently and it did occur to me that it was a little harsh to punish an 11-year-old who grew up in a castle for being arrogant!

    I do think Belle is the epitome of the 90s teen – so arrogant and convinced that she’s both so very different from, and superior to everyone she knows. I wonder how many 90s teens were influenced by the film!

    1. Thank you SO much for your comment! My family always looks at me funny when I start to overanalyze a Disney film, so I’m glad I’m not the only one who caught this.

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