Beauty and the Beast was always one of my favorite movies as a kid and still is to this day. I could watch it for hours and not get bored. But when you're older it does leave a lot of unanswered questions.
Even as a kid I was pretty analytical. So once I got old enough to actually pay attention to what the pretty objects were singing about and what the ominous narration was saying , things didn't add up.
The Narrator says that the Rose would bloom until his 21st year. Then Lumiere says that they've been that way for about 10 years. So one would think that Adam has been a Beast for about 10 years and from there I figured out Adam was only 11. Of course proud of myself I went and told my mother who said it wasn't important to know that and to leave it be. I'm happy to see others have come to the same conclusion but it has also brought up some other questions and other theories have popped up. Which brings me to my first theory debunking.
1: Stranger Danger and Did He Deserve Being Turned Into A Beast?
Keeping in mind the theory that Adam was only 11 when he was changed has given rise to that he didn't deserve it and that he was just a kid. And also that the Enchantress was a stranger and of course he wouldn't let her in. We were all taught not to talk to strangers, let them in, or accept rides etc. But that's now. Back then it wasn't uncommon for a traveler to seek shelter for the night wherever they could. Maybe not so much as asking for shelter at a castle but at a farm or a home along the way and people would let them in. Totally the norm back then.
Adam didn't let her in because he thought she was ugly even though it was freezing like the dickens outside and his castle was probably the only place where she could find shelter. She was just this little old lady who needed shelter and he turned her away. Again not uncommon for strangers to come up to your door and ask for shelter for the night.
So Adam was being a brat and was judging her because of her looks. Which led to his downfall for a time.
True she was an enchantress but what if she really had been this poor little old lady who did need shelter from the bitter cold? She would have frozen to death and he would have been responsible.
Do I agree with the methods the Enchantress used? Eh....No not really. I mean turning him into a beast was rather cruel considering he was 11 years old. A nasty little brat, but still 11. But you have to keep in mind that he didn't have love in his heart. Imagine what would have happened if he had grown up this way, he'd possibly end up a tyrant.
While turning him into a beast was a bit extreme, his lesson was learned and he became a better man because of it.
The spell turned him into what he was on the inside, a beast.
Conclusion: Adam was a spoiled brat who needed to be shown the error of his ways, just got really hairy. It works out in the end.
2: Where Are His Parents?
Another question we all have is, where are his parents? Surely they would have been there to teach their son right from wrong. Which leads me believe that possibly they're dead. I mean it would explain why he's so spoiled and rotten. The palace staff raised him and try to make him happy by giving him everything he desired, as stated by the narrator the prince had everything his heart desired. Which would explain why he's so nasty. Besides Disney has a way of having one or both parents dead a vast majority of the time for characters. (I could go on about the list but I'd rather not. Too long) So in their efforts to make him happy, the palace staff unintentionally turned him into a spoiled and mean spirited little kid. I mean in the Christmas film, he's all high and mighty in his throne demanding his presents. And he's given a book that's from all the staff and it's obvious they put a lot of thought and love into the gift and he just throws it to the side like it's garbage.
Conclusion: Parents are dead and he ends up a spoiled brat.
3: Aging and Chip
We know Adam is implied to be about 21 based on the implication that he's 11 when he's turned. Now the narrator wasn't specific on if Adam had until he was 21 or possibly his 21st year as a Beast. But we can quickly get rid of the 21 years as a Beast because as Lumiere so helpfully explained, they've been that way for for 10 years.
Another thing that has to do with the whole aging thing is Chip. Many who haven't seen the second film wonder how Chip came to be. Well it's fairly obvious to those who have seen it that Chip was around when the curse was cast. But that brings up another point. In the second film he seemed to be pretty young and much smaller than a 10 year old would be. And he sounds much younger than one as a tea cup too. So did Chip not age at all? It's plausible considering that Chip wasn't flesh and blood for the 10 years. So there wasn't any real way for him to grow up. Adam was the only one who grew up and changed physically is because he was made of flesh and blood....and lots of fur. And besides it'd be really awkward if he changed back after he and Belle confessed and he was back in his 11 year old body. Not all that appealing.
So it's safe to say that thanks to being made of china for 10 years, Chip really didn't grow up. It's noticeable in his size when he returns to normal, his mentality that we see in his speech and behavior, and the fact Mrs. Potts was able to pick him up. I know from plenty of experience that 10 year old children are not easy to pick up and hold like Mrs. Potts holds Chip.
Same thing can be applied to the rest of the Enchanted Objects. They were not flesh and blood, so they weren't able to get any older, so when they became human again, they looked exactly like they did when they were cursed.
Conclusion: Enchanted objects cannot age while those made of flesh, blood and fur can.
4: How Were People In The Village Not Aware Of The Beast For 10 Years?
This one has popped up quite a lot recently, and I believe I have a good idea as to why.
The village people as we have seen, are very involved in the life they lead, same as the day before, day after day. They have a routine that they like keeping. From what we can see, anyone who thinks differently than they do, like Belle and Maurice, are considered odd. Belle dreams of traveling beyond the village and having an adventure. She's always reading and they even say she's a puzzle to them. They're pretty narrow minded people, who obviously don't like things shaking up their daily life.
So, it's quite clear that anything beyond the village doesn't interest them. Plus, later on during the Mob Song, they refer to the castle as haunted. Which got me thinking. What if they did know about the castle but they believed it was haunted. Beast did ask Maurice if he had come to stare at the Beast which makes me think that in the early days of the curse, people did get curious to know what happened to the prince who vanished and went to see. There they were confronted with a very angry Beast who no doubt locked them up in the dungeon like he did to Maurice and they were never seen again. This probably led to the village people saying the castle was haunted and no one went back again. They even admit they don't like what they can't explain and that it scares them. No one talks about it because they're scared.
When you watch Maurice traveling to the fair and ultimately getting lost, you can see he traveled a fair distance from the village before winding up at the castle in the middle of the forest. Which leads me to believe that the castle is pretty far from the village. Far enough away to be hidden from the outside world, but still close enough that they can travel there.
He was left alone for nearly 10 years. People forget.
Conclusion: Fear of the unknown and being so involved with their lives in the village, made it possible for Beast to live in relative peace for 10 years.
5: The Enchanted Objects
Everyone knows Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, Cogsworth, Chip, Sultan, the Wardrobe and Babette (Fifi depending). They're most remembered as their Enchanted object forms. We know the curse affected everyone who lived in the castle but it raised questions too. Like were all the objects that can move human once? When you pay attention, you notice only very few actually have faces and speak. There are those who can speak but they don't have faces.
I believe the ones who do have faces and speak were members of the staff and those who don't were ordinary objects before the curse. I don't think this applies to everything though as we do see objects that are pretty stationary, like the table Belle knocks over, some bowls and silverware.
The suits of armor could easily have been castle guards or just suits of armor before the curse. Things like the coat rack moves and acts human but it doesn't actually speak. The ones we do know were members of the staff have faces. I don't think this applies to the dog, because it'd look kinda weird if he had a face and all he does is bark.
So when the curse was lifted, the objects that were simply objects before the curse, returned to normal.
Conclusion: Objects that have faces were members of the staff and those that don't were simply objects before the curse.
So there you have it!