Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast is a film that audiences grow up watching over and over again — which means they eventually notice all the little inconsistencies that somehow got past the filmmakers. Thanks to the Internet, plenty of fans have pointed out those plot holes, and Disney has taken pains to avoid them (or at least, lovingly poke fun at them) in the live-action remake. Here are 10 plot holes and unanswered questions from the 1991 film that have been fixed for the 2017 version, which opens in theaters on Friday.
Warning: Spoilers to follow
Plot hole: The timeline of the Beast’s curse doesn’t add up.
This is the most gaping plot hole in the 1991 Disney film. According to the opening narration, the Beast has only until his 21st birthday to find love before the petals fall off the rose and he is doomed to remain a Beast forever. Then in the song “Be Our Guest,” Lumière sings that the servants have been living as household objects for “10 years” … in which case, the prince must have been cursed when he was 11. How does that explain the painting of him in the castle as a grown man? And does that mean young Chip was born a teacup? The new film sidesteps the confusion by being unspecific about the time since the curse and changing Lumière’s lyric “10 years we’ve been rusting” to “too long we’ve been rusting.”
Plot hole: Belle’s village has a bookstore, even though she’s apparently the only person who reads.
In the animated film, the other villagers make fun of Belle for having “her nose stuck in a book,” yet somehow the big bookstore in the middle of town manages to stay open — and flush enough that Belle is allowed to borrow books without paying. In the new film, Belle borrows books (including Romeo and Juliet) from a small library kept by the town priest, Père Robert.
Plot hole: Everybody in the village loves Gaston, even though he treats them horribly.
Sure he’s handsome, but come on. The 2017 film establishes that Gaston was a war hero, which explains the villagers’ awe and LeFou’s devotion.
Plot hole: How did Belle get the wounded Beast on the back of that horse?
He’s clearly too heavy for tiny Belle to lift after he’s mauled by wolves. In the new film, Belle urges the Beast to get to his feet and participate in his own rescue, saying, “You have to help me.”
Plot hole: Mrs. Potts is far too old to be Chip’s mom.
When the objects become human at the end of the animated film, we see that Mrs. Potts (voiced by Angela Lansbury) is an adorable old lady, and her son, Chip, is a little boy of no more than 10. Emma Thompson, who plays Mrs. Potts in the new film, is a somewhat more plausible mother (the actress is a young-looking 57) — and the film adds a joke in which the teapot steams with offense when someone calls her Chip’s “grandmother.”
Plot hole: Where is Mr. Potts?
And why isn’t he part of the tea set? In the 2017 film, we discover that Mr. Potts has been living in the village, having forgotten about his family because of the enchantress’s spell. Presumably he was off-site when the castle was cursed.
Plot hole: If the Beast is a prince, the castle should also have a king and queen.
The remake includes some flashbacks to the prince’s earlier life, one of which shows the young prince at his mother’s deathbed. His father’s death is not explained, but it is suggested that the king was cruel and lived long enough to mold his son in his image.
Plot hole: What happened to Belle’s mother?
Like too many Disney heroines (including Ariel, Jasmine, and Pocahontas), Belle has a living father but no mother. The mother is never referenced in the animated film, but the new film dedicates a scene specifically to explaining the fate of Belle’s mother, as well as explaining how Belle and her father ended up in that “poor provincial town.”
Plot hole: No one in the village notices the enormous castle down the road or remembers the prince.
The animated film hints that the castle is enchanted — why else is it snowing there when it’s spring in the village? — but the new film makes it more explicit. There’s also a suggested amnesia element that makes the villagers forget about the prince. Finally, the enchantress from the opening narration reappears in the remake, with the suggestion that she’s been keeping an eye on the castle and villagers the whole time to ensure her spell’s success.
Plot hole: Belle doesn’t eat dinner.
Except for a finger’s worth of “the gray stuff” (it’s delicious!), a nip of ragù, and a single berry from a pie, the animated Belle is never seen eating the elaborate meal presented to her in the “Be Our Guest” number. In the new film, she … also doesn’t eat. But this time, the movie makes a joke about how much Belle wants to eat, but keeps getting thwarted by the frantically dancing flatware.
Watch Emma Watson talk about getting tricked into singing on set:
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