Even though we might think that we know Disney's Beauty and the Beast back-to-front, there remain a few gaps in the storyline that have been definitely niggling at our minds.
For one thing, fans have been deeply frustrated by this hotly debated topic: How old was the Beast when he was tragically cursed?
The prologue of the movie refers to him as just a "young prince" but when we stop to think about it, how young is "young?" Was he merely a child, in his teens or already in his 20s when the formidable enchantress transformed him into a terrible beast?
Thanks to the fantastic team over at Buzzfeed, it looks like we are finally being provided with answers. Jenna Guillaume posted a fascinating article that attempts to put to rest any confusion.
Let's take a look at what she has to say!
As already mentioned above, the movie begins with a tale about a "young prince" and explains his curse. The enchanted rose, kept in a glass cabinet, would bloom until he was 21-years-old, by which time he is to find true love by this deadline to break the fearful spell.
The curse has been in place for 10 years
We learn later that the petals have almost fallen off the rose, which means that the 10 years is nearly up! Repeatedly, the household characters complain of their imprisonment, confirming their fears that this time period is approaching its final hour.
So, according to this, clearly the Beast is almost 21-years-old. This proves that he must have been cursed when he was 10 or 11.
But, what about his portrait?
The above theory would fit perfectly if not for one thing - the portrait of him in human form shows him clearly as an adult. This leads us to wonder if the curse actually was also responsible for suspending his aging process?
Could the 21-year statement actually be the length of the curse itself? If yes, then this clearly comes head-to-head with Lumiere's "10 years we've been rusting" comment.
Chip seems much younger than 10-years-old
This theory is also strengthened by Chip. The little tea-cup behaves as if he is much younger than 10, so it seems as if he hasn't aged during the curse either.
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas proves all
Yet despite this, it appears that Disney shed light on the mystery themselves back in 1997 with the movie sequel, which sees Belle trying to reignite the spirit of Christmas at the castle. This happens before the curse is broken.
Take a look at the flashback he experiences back to the time when he was a spoiled brat in the clip below:
The scene clearly explains why the Beast hates Christmas so much. It was the day he was cursed and it's obvious that he is not going to have fond memories of that!
Either way, the flashback clearly shows him as a young 10 or 11-year-old.
And later, when he transforms back into his former self 10 years later, he looks older.
So, clearly he was 10 or 11-years-old when he was transformed, and the curse was indeed imposed upon him for 10-years, culminating with the deadline of his 21st birthday.
Thank you to Buzzfeed for your hard work at putting our minds to rest over this confusing matter.
All that remains now is to go and re-watch the original Disney animation in order to pin-point these indicators for yourself.
Relive the Beauty and the Beast trailer here below:
What do you think about all of this?
Would you want to visit the Beast's castle?