Beauty and the Beast over the years

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The tale of loving somebody for who they are and not for their physical appearance is what French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s fairytale, Beauty and the Beast taught all of us. Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont rewrote the story and published it, giving us the story that we hold dearly. Our childhood would seem a little incomplete had this story not been made into the Disney animated film that we all love. This version, thought the most popular, is however not the only adaptation of the tale. With Emma Watson and Dan Stevens starring in the latest version of the fairytale, we thought we’d take a look at the different adaptations of ‘Beauty and the Beast’!

  1. La Belle et la Bête (1946)

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This French version of the traditional fairy tale, written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont in 1757 was directed by French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau; the film stars Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as Beast. This was the first film adaptation of the story. The set designs and cinematography were intended to evoke the illustrations and engravings of Gustave Doré and, in the farmhouse scenes, the paintings of Jan Vermeer.

  1. The Scarlet Flower (1952)

Beauty and the Beast over the years
This film is a 1952 Soviet feature-animated version of the tale. The film is an example of the Socialist Realism period in Russian animation, which lasted from the 1930s to 1950s; it featured heavy use of ‘rotoscoping’ as well as a focus on adapting traditional Russian folk tales. Nearly all of the character animation was first performed by live actors or animals and then traced by the animators. It was restored at the Gorky Film Studio in 1987.

  1. Beauty and the Beast (1962)

Beauty and the Beast over the years
This was the first English language adaptation of the tale! The film was directed by Edward L. Cahn and starred Joyce Taylor and Mark Damon in the lead roles. The film was shot in Technicolour and was a “fairytale for everybody – no messages, no menace,” according to the film’s executive producer, Edward Small.

  1. Beauty and the Beast/Die Schöne und das Biest (1987)

Beauty and the Beast over the years
This was an American/Israeli musical film, part of the 1980 film series Cannon Movie Tales. It is a contemporary version of the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast. The movie was shot in Israel and popularized the taglines: “The monster they feared was the prince she loved” and “The classic fairy tale about seeing with your heart”

  1. Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Beauty and the Beast over the years
This was the 30th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series and the 3rd in the Disney Renaissance period, and the 1st English language animated version of the film. The Disney version also names Beauty “Belle” and gives her a handsome suitor (named Gaston) who eventually plots to kill the Beast. What many do not know about this very popular version of the film is the fact that Walt Disney first attempted unsuccessfully to adapt Beauty and the Beast into an animated feature film during the 1930s and 1950s!

  1. Blood of Beasts (2005)

Beauty and the Beast over the years
How would Beauty and the Beast be if it was set during the time of Vikings?! Well, Hollywood has an answer for that in the form of the 2005 film Blood of Beasts. Freya (Beauty), a warrior and the beautiful daughter of a Viking king, is held prisoner on an island castle by a Beast who has been cursed by Oden. The film however has received negative reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes rating it at 24%.

  1. Spike (2008)

Beauty and the Beast over the years
Spike is a gorgeous and haunting meditation on love and death, childhood and fantasy. Director Robert Beaucage’s adaptation can be described as a dark fantasy version of the film set in modern times. The plot of the film goes like this: Through a series of dreamlike images, a girl (Sarah Livingston Evans) and her three friends find themselves stranded in a dark and surrealistic forest by someone; or something (Edward Gusts) who has obsessively loved, watched, and waited for the girl ever since childhood.

  1. Beastly (2011)

Beauty and the Beast over the years
Yet another modern rendition of the film finds its way onto our list. This Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer starrer is also said to be loosely based on Alex Flinn’s supernatural novel of the same name (2007). It tells the age-old tale in a modern-day New York city setting. The story places the basics of the original fairy tale in the context of a contemporary American high school. The film also features Neil Patrick Harris as Kyle’s blind tutor and Mary-Kate Olsen as the girl responsible for cursing Kyle and causing his subsequent transformation.

  1. La Belle et la Bête (2014)

Beauty and the Beast over the years
This is a Franco-German romantic-fantasy version of the traditional fairy tale. Written by Christophe Gans and Sandra Vo-Anh and directed by Gans, the film stars Léa Seydoux as ‘Belle’ and Vincent Cassel as ‘Beast’. The film was nominated for the People’s Choice Award for Best European Film at the 27th European Film Awards. It also received three nominations at the 40th César Awards, winning Best Production Design.

  1. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (2017)

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Emma Watson and Dan Stevens starrer is the next film to join the long history of film adaptations based on this fairy tale, stretching back to the earliest days of cinema. Principal photography began at Shepperton Studios in May 2015, and ended on August 21. The film is to be released on March 17, 2017, in standard, in RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D!

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