VIDEO: Is Beauty and the Beast about puberty?

Is one of the movie’s biggest plot holes an intentional metaphor for that uncomfortable time for boys and girls?

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  • Deneb T. Hall

    My own interpretation of the whole aging thing is a bit different. It’s been a little while since I last saw the movie, but as I recall, the business with the rose had little to do with his birthday, but with the time after that – the ‘bloom until his 21st birthday’ bit was just how long it would stay fresh and immaculate, the Beast’s ‘grace period’, as it were; he didn’t really have to worry until said birthday had passed. Then the rose would start to die and the petals would start to fall, but there was never any mention of just how long that would take.
    Therefore, the way I see it is this: the Prince was somewhere in his late teens, maybe 17 or 18, at the time the Enchantress visited. Assuming the whole ‘ten years’ business is correct (although I don’t remember that specific period being mentioned, but I’ll take your word for it), that would mean the Beast’s 21st birthday was six or seven years ago, and the Rose has been slowly dying ever since – VERY slowly, but then it is an enchanted rose.

  • Alas, while at work, I find it easier to read an article than watch a video (and by the time I return home, I’ve forgotten what I thought was interesting).

    But I would posit that the story is more about Belle’s descent into madness:

    “Belle’s story is a tense psychological drama, following her struggle with schizophrenia while using her hallucinations as a lens through which we can examine our own ambivalence towards class conflict. Taking Beauty and the Beast at face value is problematic; it’s the story of a girl who quickly succumbs to Stockholm syndrome, spurns the rescue efforts of an entire town that mobilized to help her, and ultimately decides to live with her captors. And it’s set in a world where powerful spellcasters mutilate hundreds of people at a time for entertainment without suffering any sort of consequences.” – Peter Gross, “Beauty and the Beast’s Dark Delusion” (https://www.overthinkingit.com/2011/10/03/beauty-beast-stockholm-syndrome/)

    I note that even in Cocteau’s original movie, Belle comes across as mildly delusional and decidedly unstable….