Beauty and the Beast Fans, Learn the Fascinating History Behind Your Favorite Fairy Tale
Our favorite bookish-peasant-turned-princess will soon be gracing the big screen once again. Harry Potter star Emma Watson will star in Disney's live-action take on Beauty and the Beast as Belle, while Dan Stevens will play the Beast and Luke Evans will play Gaston. The official trailer is making us so excited for the movie's premiere on March 17, 2017. The fairy tale has come a long way from its 18th-century French origins. Let's look at the evolution of the fairy tale in pop culture, from classic books to the latest film and TV interpretations!
La Belle et la Bete, 1740
The oldest version of the tale was a 100-plus-page story written by French author Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve that included a lot of subplots and more in-depth back stories on the protagonists. Illustration by Anne Anderson (1874-1930)
Beauty and the Beast, 1756
The version of Beauty and the Beast that we know of today is a simpler reinterpretation of Gabrielle-Suzanne's story by French novelist Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont that was translated into English in 1757. Illustration by Warwick Goble (1913)
La Belle et la Bête, 1946
This French film adds Belle's suitor to the story, who plots to kill the Beast but in the end is transformed into a beast himself.
The Scarlet Flower, 1977
The Scarlet Flower is actually a Russian folktale version of Beauty and the Beast about a father and his three daughters. It was turned into a 1952 Soviet animated movie as well as a 1977 film.
Panna a Netvor, 1981
This Czechoslovakian horror film (translated to "The Virgin and the Monster") portrays the Beast as a sort of bird-monster. Julie, the Beauty, is forbidden from seeing the monster's face, but as she falls in love with him he is transformed.
Beauty and the Beast, 1987-1990
This late-'80s TV show starred Linda Hamilton as beautiful New York DA Catherine Chandler and Ron Perlman as the man-beast she falls in love with who lives in a secret utopian community under the city. In this version of the story the Beast doesn't change into a prince.
Beauty and the Beast, 1991
Disney produced this iconic musical animation version in the early '90s and made some changes from the original like adding the servants as household objects subplot, changing Belle's father from a merchant to an inventor, and having her be an only child.
Blood of Beasts, 2003
In this reinterpretation, the classic story is set in Viking times. The plot revolves around the Beast holding the dying king captive on an island while his daughter, Freya, comes to save him.
Beauty and the Beast, 2009
This dark, modern twist on the tale stars Estella Warren as Belle and Victor Parascos as the Beast, who team up against a troll who's killing villagers. The Australian movie was released in 2009 then aired on SyFy a year later as Beauty and the Beasts: A Dark Tale.
This modern take on the story was based on a YA novel by Alex Flinn and is set in an American high school. The film stars Alex Pettyfer as the Beast and Vanessa Hudgens as the beauty.
Beauty and the Beast, 2012
Last year the CW remade the '80s TV show Beauty and the Beast into a modern tale starring Smallville's Kristin Kreuk as a homicide detective who comes across a "beast" created by military medical experimentation.
Disney's Live Action
Belle, Gaston, and the Beast have been cast in Disney's live-action version of the story. If we were Emma Watson, we wouldn't complain about being in a love triangle between Luke Evans and Dan Stevens!