Who doesn't love a good Disney movie? With grand castles, quaint villages and dashing princes, it's not hard to see why so many continue their Disney obsession well into adulthood.
Beauty and the Beast is most definitely a beloved favorite amongst the Disney fanbase. Originally based on a French novel by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, the 1991 animated original was absolutely enchanting; and now that same magic has been recaptured in live action.
While the original novel was published in 1740, speculation over the exact time period of the new Disney version has been under some speculation. Was it set around the same time the novel was released — 18th Century France — or in another medieval era entirely?
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Is 'Beauty And The Beast' Set During The 18th Century?
The 1700s were a tumultuous time in France. There was famine, war, and revolution. The French Revolution saw the execution of Marie Antoinette and signaled an end to monarchy in France, and the beginning of the French republic.
This political unrest could explain why the villagers in Beauty and the Beast are all too eager to march on the beastly Prince's castle and kill him, despite his royal title. However, the French Revolution took place decades after Barbot's novel was written; not to mention the new film's explanation of the villagers' attitude towards the Prince.
So how can we determine when Beauty and the Beast is set? Luckily, Luke Evans dropped a big hint in an interview with Entertainment Weekly whilst divulging some of Gaston's backstory. He said that in 1740, Gaston fought off Portuguese marauders "when he was about 16". Gaston's current age is unknown, but he could be anywhere from mid-twenties to early forties— which means Beauty and the Beast is set sometime between 1750-1770.
The Answer's In The Fashion
Disney's 1991 #BeautyAndTheBeast contained a few indicators of its potential time period— for example, Maurice's steam-powered inventions, and the use of matches. However, its costumes were a little too Disney-fied to be able to accurately place it in a specific decade.
The live action remake, on the other hand, has a plethora of captivating costumes with incredible detail, and it's easy to see exactly which era they've been plucked from. While it's difficult to narrow down an exact year, Beauty and the Beast does an amazing job of replicating that 18th Century French look with its costumes. Take a look at some of the clothing from the film and see just how close the designers came to the real deal:
Gaston's riding gear makes him look just like an 18th Century French lord— a very obnoxious one, of course.
2. The Prince
The Prince's baby blue embroidered peacoat looks like it was taken straight out of the history books.
3. Village Children And Teacher
Beauty and the Beast totally nailed that color scheme.
4. Village Women
Their bonnets, curled hair and aprons transform these women into quintessential 18th Century French maidens.
5. The Ball
The costume designers obviously took inspiration from traditional puffy, embroidered ball gowns and added their own Disney twist.
How do you think the live action Beauty and the Beast remake compares to the 1991 animation?
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)