ByTom Chapman, writer at
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Tom Chapman

It may be a tale as old as time, but fans just can't get enough of 's live-action . An all-star cast of Sir Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson are wowing as and twirl around the ballroom one more time. Sure, we may not have Angela Lansbury's vocals this time around, but the film makes up for it in other ways.

Among the '90s nostalgia feels, the new adaptation moves forward beyond 1991's cartoon classic, while the reimagining also fixes several plot holes from its predecessor. However, for all the good it's done, the live-action film also seemingly created a gaping new plot hole when it came to messing with time. Now, the latest fan theory may suggest that not all is well in Belle's provincial town with a mind-blowing piece of information on the miracle of everlasting youth!

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Beauty and the Beast.

Age Before Beauty

'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]

One of the biggest gripes of the 1991 film is that the singing villagers failed to notice the giant gothic castle looming next to their town, casting shadows and wolves into the surrounding forest. Unless they were all in serious need of a trip to the opticians, something wasn't quite right here. That all changed when Belle suddenly found herself trapped up there and Gaston started singing about mounting Beast on his walls, but why did it take them so long? Bill Condon's film fixed that by explicitly stating that the Enchantress's magic had erased the town's memories of such an incident and their missing relatives — hooray, problem solved! Well, not quite.

This then opened 2017's film to its biggest plot hole. When the castle inhabitants were freed from their curse, they were all the same age as when they were placed under it many moons ago. A young Chip and Mrs. Potts were eventually reunited with her plate-hoarding husband, but how can she look the same age as him? Emma Thompson may have spent considerable time locked away in the best china cupboard, but she is clearly a human of adult years, as is Mr. Potts — in fact, you could say they are the same age.

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Same Old, Same Old

'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]

Well, Reddit user Hainted poses the theory that the castle's dark curse had actually spread down into the town too, therefore solving that tricky aging issue by locking them in a never ending horror of musical numbers:

"The village of Villaneuve is caught in the Enchantress' curse as well. It's stated outright that she erased the memories of the Prince, his lands, and servants from the villagers' minds, but if you pay attention she also locked the village in a time loop."

It might not quite be Groundhog Day, but if the town was trapped in its mundane existence and unable to leave, it makes a lot of sense. It would certainly explain how Belle knew what the villagers were doing everyday, even remarking that the baker always has the same tasty treats and chirping the line "every morning just the same." It would also explain why Belle and "crazy ol' Maurice" are considered odd. If the pair moved to the town after the curse, they remain unaffected and are also susceptible to aging.

Voila, problem solved. Now we just need someone to explain whether Chip's substantial chunk missing from his head will result in any lasting brain damage, so if you could clear that up please, Reddit, thanks!

Check out 10 Things We Learned From Beauty and the Beast, and don't forget our poll below!

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Is the aging mystery solved?

[Poll Image Credit: 'Beauty and the Beast' - Disney]


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