Disney’s live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast” is the latest in a string of feature films and TV shows that have been based on “La Belle et la Bête,” a fairy tale written in 1740 by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. The story has been told in slightly different forms but at the heart has always be the theme of beauty comes from within.
Here’s are a look at a few of the other productions:
“Beauty and the Beast” (1946): Jean Cocteau’s version is not only the best telling of the story, it is one of the most influential productions in film history. It is a masterful film that skirts against the surreal from set design to story. Jean Marais plays the Beast and Josette Day is Belle.
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“Beauty and the Beast” (1987): The TV version of the story – starring Ron Perlman as the beast and Linda Hamilton as the beauty, set the movie in a contemporary world. Because the story unfolded through 56 episodes, Perlman got to show more of the humanity in the character.
“Beauty and the Beast” (1991): The film marks a turning point in film animation. The combination of beautiful storytelling with dazzling images elevated animated movies to the same level as live-action movies. The proof is that it was one of the nominees for best picture at the 1992 Academy Awards. Paige O’Hara is the voice of Belle and Robby Benson speaks for the Beast.
“Once Upon a Time” (2011): The ABC series has made the biggest changes in regards to the tale of romance. Besides being set in the present, Belle (Emilie de Ravin) doesn’t fall for a prince turned into a beast but loses her heart to Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle). Their relationship is the rockiest of all versions.
“Beauty and the Beast” (2012): This TV version also sets the story in modern times. The big difference is that the beast, Vincent (Jay Ryan), is not the victim of a curse but is a former soldier who gets turned into a beast through a secret government organization. Unlike the other version, Vincent’s appearance is not that of a beast. Kristin Kreuk’s performance as the beauty is one of the toughest versions of all the adaptations.
“Beauty and the Beast” (2014): Christophe Gans’ fantasy adventure is a stunning look at the fairytale. This version of the story not only offers a superbly romantic tale but ramps up the action. Lea Seydoux is a feisty and fun Belle while Vincent Cassel gives the Beast more emotional layers.