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Jason Toews and fifi (the band)

Beauty and the Beast

Director: Jean Cocteau
Country: France
Year: 1946


“To enclose the collected works of Cocteau one would need
not a bookshelf, but a warehouse…”
W.H. Auden


Interesting facts about Jean Cocteau:

  • Father was a lawyer and amateur painter who committed suicide when Jean was 9
  • Left home at the age of 15
  • Published his first book of poetry (Aladdin’s Lamp) when he was 19
  • Was nicknamed “The Frivolous Prince” by his boho art friends (after the title of another book of poetry, this one published when he was 21)
  • Wrote a ballet (Parade), novels (including Les Enfants Terrible) and plays (La Voixe Humaine)
  • Designed the sets for an opera (Pelléas et Mélisande by Claude Debussy)
  • Co-wrote an opera with Stravinsky (Oedipus-Rex)
  • Wrote and directed a stage adaptation of Antigone, with sets by Picasso and costumes by goddamn Coco Chanel
  • Drove an ambulance on the Belgian front during WWI

  • Among his close personal friends/lovers: Edith Wharton, Andre Gide, Marcel Proust, Erik Satie, Edith Piaf, Man Ray, Jean Marais, Raymond Radiguet, Lee Miller (who warrants a whole article to herself; for one thing, she was the first human model to appear in an ad for tampons… see Man Ray portrait to right)
  • BFF: Pablo Picasso
  • Completed Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days itinerary, and wrote a book about it (My First Voyage), half a century before Johnny-come-lately Michael Palin got around to doing the same
  • Depressed over the death of a young lover (by typhoid fever, the most romantic of all fatal illnesses), Cocteau became an opium addict, then recovered and (of course) wrote a book about it (Opium)
  • Did I mention he was also a painter and illustrator of some renown?
  • Directed eleven films (including today’s Janus film, Beauty and the Beast) and acted in thirteen (according to IMDb, at least)
  • When ill health forced him into semi-retirement in 1953, Cocteau “had his face lifted and started to wear leather trousers and matador’s capes”
  • Declared “decadent” by the Vichy government during World War II
  • Elected in 1955 to Belgian Academy and the Acadèmie Française (as a side note, Picasso’s design for the sword hilt of the Academician’s traditional insignia was a drawing of a toilet seat, a flushing chain and a toilet-bowl brush)
  • Honorary President of the Cannes film festival
  • President of the Jazz Academy
  • Commander of the Legion of Honor
  • Painted by Andy Warhol as part of his “icon” series
  • Grand Master of a secret brotherhood, the Priory of Sion (which may ring a bell if you’ve read Holy Blood, Holy Grail or The DaVinci Code)
  • Painted frescos in the town hall of Menton and in the chapel of Saint-Pierre at Ville-franche-sur Mer… at the age of 70
  • In 1963, Cocteau was working on a radio tribute to his friend, Edith Piaf, when he received word that she had died. “Ah, la Piaf est morte, je peux mourir!” he exclaimed, and fell to the ground, dead. (Actually, he died a few hours later, but I prefer to imagine him crumpling to the ground and dying immediately; the trip to the hospital and the gradual sputtering fade-out spoils the poetic symmetry.)

As disclosed in previous articles, I CAN HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS, and can answer your next question before you have even posed it. The answer to your question is, “Yes, Jean Cocteau was also a manager of professional boxers.” I shit you not. As near as I can tell, Jean Cocteau was the bisexual Chuck Norris of the Surrealist movement.

Beauty and the Beast was Cocteau’s third film.


The film opens with Jean himself writing the titles on blackboard, and a grip snapping the clapper thing, which announces clearly that we are watching a Movie with a capital “M” (or Film with a capital “F”). Either way: fantastic artifice, not pedestrian realism, is entirely the point of today’s exercise. Cocteau emphasizes this by (politely) asking us to suspend our disbelief: “Children believe what we tell them… I ask of you a little of this childlike simplicity…”

Our story begins with two young ne’er-do-wells (dressed in the latest Sherwood Forest fashions) carelessly shooting arrows at the side of a house. Soon enough, we shall be introduced to these two jackanapes and learn their names: Avenant, Belle’s gruff and manly suitor; and Ludovic, Belle’s drunken and dissolute brother. Predictably, some of the arrows fly through an open window and cause young women to shriek with fright.

The shrieking young women are encased in outrageously over-engineered dresses which manage – despite the several cubic yards of material, frill, and ornament involved – to frame and accentuate their ripe medieval bosoms. We immediately dislike these women, with their shrill complaining and sour faces, even before learning that they are the “evil stepsisters” par excellence: Felicity and Adelaide. They order Belle (our heroine!) to scrub the floors, even as they prepare to attend a society ball.

“May the devil himself splatter you with dung!” Felicity screeches at a footman, in the same tone that I imagine Courtney Love uses when screeching at a hapless manicurist.

Besides the already-obvious family dysfunction, there are some financial troubles: Belle’s father is an unskilled businessman, and has lost everything.

Avenant, he of the broad shoulders and majestically dimpled chin, proposes marriage to the long-suffering Belle: “Even the floor longs to be your mirror!” he booms, which is an odd sort of compliment, but Belle is having none of it.

“I couldn’t possibly leave my father alone,” she counters sadly, if sensibly. Stymied, Avenant challenges Belle to an impromptu wrestling match, but Ludovic intervenes.

Father (I never did catch his name) has a bit of hopeful news: One of his lost ships has finally come into port! All of their myriad troubles are about to end! “Bring us back some brocade dresses!” squeal Adelaide and Felicity with greedy delight. This proves to be only the opening gambit in an ever-escalating series of demands, which eventually include jewels, fans, ostrich feathers, and – inexplicably – a monkey. All Belle wants (thereby demonstrating her essential sappy goodness) is a single rose. A rose – what could be simpler?

All of their glittering visions of boundless wealth come to jack squat, since the ship’s cargo is immediately seized by the authorities to cover Ludovic’s gambling debts. Sounds like the intro scenes of a “very special” episode of Intervention; one that begins with the standard ingredients of alcoholism, sibling rivalry, and gambling addiction, but that eventually spirals out to include Werewolves with Magical Teleportation Gloves (more on that later).

After settling up with “The Taxman” at “The Port,” Father finds that he can no longer afford to stay overnight at “The TraveLodge,” despite the substantial Senior Discount. Despondent, he heads home through the haunted forest, in the gloom of night, during a force ten hurricane. In the uncharted depths of the forest, he comes upon a spectral, foreboding castle, which – in a surprising bit of good luck – is bounded by a garden of beautifully-tended roses. “At least I can bring Belle a rose!” he says to himself before plucking the brightest, most lustrous rose from the unholy rose garden of the ghost-castle in the demon-forest. Predictably, a monster appears (Beast, with facial hair like a member of Band of Horses), who informs him that the roses are his “special” roses, and no one – and I do mean NO ONE, not even a deer – is allowed to pluck those roses.

“The punishment for this simple theft: DEATH!” roars the Beast. And thus the central conflict of our story becomes clear, kinda. Turns out there is a loophole: “…unless one of your daughters agrees to pay your debt and take your place.” Father is given a horse named Magnificent, and allowed to return home for three days, during which time he can try to convince one of his daughters to gallop out to the Castle of Mordor in the Forest of Doom and die in his place at the hands of a flesh-eating werewolf-king.

Father returns home and tells his (admittedly bizarre) story to his gathered family. “That’s what happens when a fool asks you to bring her a rose!” harrumphs Adelaide, which is not very helpful. At least Ludovic and Avenant, lunkheads that they are, have a plan: Steal Magnificent, ride out to the castle, and Kill The Beast! Pitchforks and blazing torches optional.

Sad-sack Belle beats them to it, however, and presents her luscious self to Beast as a ransom sacrifice, in much the same way as Our Most Exalted Lord Jesus Christ died for your sins. You know, in that other fairy tale. Zing!

Belle is so radiant, so innocent, and such a goddamned “oh, don’t worry about my suffering” goody-two-shoes that Beast can’t quite bring himself to devour her flesh in a depraved orgy of crazed bloodlust, as is his custom. Instead, he promises to have a light dinner with her every night at 7PM, to be followed on most evenings by an aperitif, some specially-prepared French pastries, and a friendly proposal of marriage under threat of death.

Belle agrees (to the standing dinner date, not the proposal of marriage), and their relationship continues in this manner for an unspecified number of months. Oh, there’s also a standard-issue Magical Mirror that shows anything you want (which remains sadly unexploited for the purpose it seems clearly designed to fulfill: spying on medieval wenches in their dressing-chambers), statues with moving eyes, and the requisite “Room Which You Must Never Enter.” Perplexingly, there is no teapot with the voice of Jessica Fletcher, and no Maurice Chevalier-esque candelabra lothario seducing the cutlery.

Sometimes, Beast’s fur smokes.

As required by the story, Belle comes to see that Beast is not so much a vicious and satanic misanthrope, but more a misunderstood and emotionally stunted introvert in a shame spiral. Love soon blossoms, and the significance of this may vary depending on whether or not you’ve taken a Women’s Studies class.

Beast and Belle take romantic, contemplative walks through the grounds surrounding the castle; walks which are sometimes cut short when a deer runs past and Beast bolts off, slavering, to devour the helpless animal and howl at the moon, his beard stained with blood and viscera.

“I have a good heart, but I am a monster,” Beast acknowledges to Belle. “Besides being monstrous… I am not quick-witted.” If only I had a nickel for every time I’ve said that to a disappointed girlfriend or wife.

In the Magical “see-anything-you-desire-with-the-glaring-exception-of-Belle-in-her-undies” Mirror, Belle sees that her beleaguered Father is dying, and begs permission to return home. On that note: Does anyone else think that Belle’s father is kind of a jerk? He loses all the family’s money, his only son (Ludovic) is a 12-step program dropout, two of his three daughters (Felicity and Adelaide) are scheming banshees and the third (Belle) is a passive-aggressive holier-than-thou “purity pledge” Christian who probably listens to Michael W. Smith. The whole household is one step away from appearing on Dr. Phil. Beast’s predilection for kidnapping, murder, and witchcraft seems almost charming by comparison.

Getting back to the synopsis, Beast allows Belle to return home for one week, with an entirely fair and undeniably reasonable pre-condition: she must marry Beast upon her return, and submit willingly to his carrion-breathed and hirsute love-making.

Before Belle leaves, Beast shows her Diana’s Pavilion – which no one may enter! – and also gives Belle the Golden Key to unlock its door… if she (or anyone else) enters the Pavilion, Beast will die, and, under Massachusetts Common Law, ownership of his estate will transfer to Belle, unless said transfer is contested by next of kin. As a final demonstration of his trust for Belle, Beast reveals the five secrets of his power: Rose, Mirror, Golden Key, Horse, Glove, Enthusiasm, and Name Repetition. Wait… the SEVEN secrets of his power: Rose, Mirror, Horse, Positive Attitude, Bejeweled Glove, Izod Shirt with Popped Collar, Book of Cheat Codes for Half-Life… wait…

So Belle returns home, using Beast’s previously-mentioned Magical Teleportation Glove. Her Father is healed by her glorious presence, and her sisters rub onions in their eye sockets causing their noses to run, which convinces Belle to stick around past the clearly-stated One Week Deadline. Also, Belle now cries diamond tears, which conveniently resolves the financial difficulties outlined in Act One. Because she is an insufferably selfless paragon of saccharine goodness, Belle also offers to give to her cruel sister a priceless gift that Beast had previously given to her: A Pearl Necklace (stop snickering). As she hands it to her wretched, greedy sister, however, the Pearl Necklace transforms into a Rotten Vine. Make Of That What You Will.

Ludovic and Avenant snatch the Golden Key and ride Magnificent to Beast’s castle. Belle follows, but via the Magical Teleportation Glove route (less traffic at that time of day), only to find Beast dying of a broken heart.

Soon after, Ludovic and Avenant arrive, and break in to Diana’s Pavilion, causing Beast to die immediately. In the Pavilion, a statue of Diana awakens and shoots Avenant with some sort of specially-tipped arrow, which causes him to turn into a beast (just like Beast). By the inscrutable rules of a child’s fairy-tale, Avenant’s transformation causes Beast to be resurrected and transformed in reverse, from hideous Beast to sexy, sexy golden-haired Prince Ardent. Confusingly, he now looks just like Avenant (same actor [and Cocteau’s lover]: Jean Marais), which causes evident disappointment to Belle, leading me to speculate that she had formed a kinky fixation on his former Grizzly Addams look.

“Love can turn a man into a beast,” declares The Artist Formerly Known As Beast in dulcet, princely tones, “but love can also make an ugly man handsome.” After delivering this pithy summation for those of us who just walked in, the loving couple leap into the air and fly to Beast’s far-away kingdom, where Belle will be reunited with her father, and where her sisters will pay for their misdeeds.

Oh, how they will pay.

What I Liked

I enjoyed the winking nods to the audience, like Cocteau writing the titles on a blackboard. The sets, particularly the castle exteriors, were stunningly realized, ominous and eerily beautiful. The film was full of low-tech, but surprisingly effective special effects, like the branches that would slowly part to reveal a footpath, or the statues with roving eyes, or pearls and jewels spontaneously gathering in Beast’s paw to form a necklace. The romantic score by Georges Auric perfectly matched the sumptuous, poetic visuals. I expected Beast’s hairy face mask to look silly, but it did not. Jean Marais, who I have never seen before, was excellent as Beast; moody and petulant one minute, malevolent and slightly crazy the next, and genuinely heartbroken near the end.

What I Didn’t Like So Much

Cocteau claimed that the ending of the film, where Belle and Prince Ardent (nee Beast) fly off to his kingdom, was supposed to represent the inevitable triumph of banal, disappointingly conventional marriage over magic and romance. That may be what he intended, but the film doesn’t really play that way, and that’s too bad; I would have welcomed a little more ambiguity. Alas, Beauty and the Beast is a fairly standard fairy tale with Good Guys (Father, Belle, Beast) versus Bad Guys (Felicity, Adelaide, Avenant) and not much room for shades of gray.

Should You See It?

I enjoyed the film immensely for its technical ingenuity, its poetic visuals, and the performance of Jean Marais as Beast. If you enjoy beautiful classic black-and-white cinematography, if you are a fan of the darker strain of fairy tale, and especially if you are a student of French cinema or admirer of Jean Cocteau, I recommend you see Beauty and the Beast. If the previous sentence does not describe you, I predict that you will find this week’s Janus film pretty to look at, but underwhelming as a narrative.

Next: Black Orpheus


  1. Thank you, Jason, for setting this up and opening it up, and thank you, Matt, for extending the invitation. What a wonderfully fun way to broaden one’s horizons!!

    Unfortunately, that’s not all that’s broadening, what with all the potato chips, cookies and ice cream I’ve been eating while watching these flicks and trying to write pithy reviews. Ha ha! I’m going to have to start making some healthy popcorn instead.

    Best regards!

  2. Theresa, I’m so glad you decided to join us in this project!

  3. Beaux pantalons! That was my very first thought while watching this film. I was amazed and at times slightly distracted by the costumes, but ya gotta hand it to the French. They can carry off wearing a curtain rod across their shoulders, complete with draperies hanging off, as haute couture. (I guess Carol Burnett must be French!?) Oh, those voluminous pants! Oh, that dress with the bell sleeves each a mile wide! Oh, those shoulders on la bête! Mrowr!! And oh, what fun, to sashay around the sets in these outfits!

    And the sashaying! The voice that came forth unbidden in my brain was that of the classic “Acting!” of Master Thespian/Jon Lovitz. But just when I thought Belle was going to be way too overly dramatic with her swaying and posing, as she was moving across the sets, instead she turned it into a perfect mix of hesitation, courage, doubt, conviction, and yes, drama, but of just the right amount.

    Along with the costumes, the special effects were lots of fun, and clever, too, considering the age of this movie. I caught on immediately that the last scene was filmed and then run in reverse to simulate flying (instead of falling), but I had no clue as to the same trick being used for the self-lighting candles in the hallway. (I think I’m going to have to read the IMBd trivia section before I watch these movies, so as to not miss these kinds of things.) And I loved the kitty ears perking up when the beast became aware of the deer nearby, and how they flattened in shame when in the next moment, he once again became painfully self-aware of his loathsome duality.

    This is such a classic story, I could have been bored by it, but the side plots were given so much more depth, it kept me interested in the movie as a whole. Belle’s father’s finances rise and fall like a roller coaster, and there couldn’t be a more timely story to watch on the “big” screen right now. (Small consolation during the taking of their furniture: “We always leave the beds.”) The plot among the three ladies was a little tiring in its similarity to Cinderella and her wicked stepsisters, but the parts were performed with such efficacy that I didn’t dare blink for fear of missing the subtleties. The taller evil sister chewed through her scenes with gusto. And the interplay between brother Ludovic and friend Avenant was a perfect mix of healthy friendship and straightforward enmity when Ludovic must defend Belle’s honor and fisticuffs ensue.

    Along with the just-described conflict of friendship and foe between Ludovic and Avenant, the shorter evil sister’s doubts about the success of their dastardly plans was another example of this movie’s interesting duality theme. She wants to see Cinderella–I mean, Belle fall off her new-found pedestal, and at the same time she knows it’s wrong to take steps to make that happen. And Belle, of course, is torn between her duty to take care of her poor father, and her desire to enjoy the luxurious lap of the beast. The beast’s ugly fur-covered, claw-nailed hands are more often than not smoking (I’d never heard of that one before), but one of the most sensuous scenes was of him lapping water out of Belle’s dainty little hands.

    Our lives are often full of conflicting experiences, emotions and choices, and this movie does a brilliantly subtle job of documenting many examples of those conflicts.

    These stories were told with directness and honesty; the characters meant exactly what they said and how they said it; and the film was executed with rich texture and layers of beauty — any of which is hard to find in today’s film industry.

    I’m beginning to really LOVE these old movies!

  4. Oh my heck. I laughed all the way through both reviews, boys. I feel like watching the film might ruin my experience of it. Even so, I’m gonna try and find it at Blockbuster (doubtful) and check it out. I’ve always been a sucker for the girl-meets-monster-and-changes-him-into-a-hero-with-her-selfless-devotion story (no reflection on either of you – you were both lovely creatures when I met you all those bazillion years ago).

  5. I’m not much of a “reader.” Oh, I read newspapers, “Entertainment Weekly” and books on film-making but I’m not really that hip into literature. So when Jean Cocteau’s “Beauty and the Beast” showed up on the Janus list my only real source of reference where children’s books from my, well, childhood and, of course, the Disney Film.

    So I can’t tell you how faithfully it followed the book but I can tell you how faithfully it follows the Disney animated musical.

    So…comparison away! Okay, I’ll try not to compare them both.

    First the film starts out with the titles being written on a chalk board. I guess this is to say that it’s a Children’s Story but I don’t know if it is, or not. Is it a movie for kids? This follows with a long written introduction by Mr. Cocteau that is, of course, all in French. Since the people at Criterion didn’t want to bother translating it for the minute or so it’s on screen, I can only guess it says something: “Enjoy my film. Jean”

    We land in the whimsical country-side where Belle (Beauty) is in full Cinderella mode. Seems that her sisters like to treat her like crap and force her to do all the work while they gallivant around and act all snooty. Why her father doesn’t step in…I don’t know. He’s got other problems. Like a ship full of goods that has been delayed, or stolen or something. So the family is on the verge of being poor. Though don’t tell the sisters that. They’ve got Balls to go to and societies to impress.

    Belle, though, keeps cleaning.

    When the father makes it to the seaport town to find out his ship has come in – literally – and they will be rich once again – alas, it’s NOT true and they’re not only poor – but the creditors are going to take everything.

    On his way home, the father ends up in the beast’s castle and steals a rose. The Beast (in a costume that is quite convincing for the day – I kind of expected something a bit “cheaper looking.”) plans to kill papa since he took that rose. But he pleads for his life and heads home – only to be told he must give up a daughter to take his place.

    Now, all this was covered in the Disney movie pretty quickly. In Cocteau’s film (I love saying Cocteau – it sounds so…dirty) this takes up nearly 20 minutes (if not more) of the 94 minute running time.

    Still, Beauty/Belle runs away from home to the castle of the Beast (“Take me where I want to go. Go go go!” she says to the magic horse) where she enters in all sorts of “Dracula Castle” glory.

    Now…here’s the big difference of animated films and live action films on a budget. In Disney’s film you see this GRAND CASTLE with libraries and hallways and dining halls and forbidden wings, etc. In the Beast’s castle – you get a couple hallways, two rooms, a dining room, a few doors and lots and lots of “hand candles” (candles that magically light – the film is run backward) being held by hands that move. I didn’t really get the sense that this place was very VAST in its grandeur and beauty.

    Now…relationship alert. To actually make a movie like this pay off you need to establish a plausible relationship between a man/Beast and a fair lady. In the Disney version they did this well, with an enormous library, a montage of “cute cut scenes” and some overall prattle by talking furniture. Not to mention the wonderful music score.

    For Cocteau’s (giggle) film the relationship is basically established like this: “We’re going to meet for dinner every night at 7. I’ll ask if you want to “hook-up” and wait for your response. Rinse. Repeat.” And that’s it! Oh, sure, there’s some wandering around and the Beast does give her pretty necklace and puts her up in the fanciest room with a mirror that talks and a door that talks and some statues that watch her every move…but for a relationship, golly, there really isn’t one. Okay, I just remembered that there IS a sweet moment where Belle/Beauty lets the Beast drink out of her hands. But…seeing that the beast has hands (with opposable thumbs) I have no idea why he has to drink from the pond like a common kitty-cat.

    Finally feeling lonely and tired of the “want to hook up?” questions from the Beast – Belle/Beauty asks if she can go visit her sickly father. The Beast okays it, but she must be back in a week. He gives her the “power glove!” (which enables her to go anywhere her heart desires – I guess the magic horse will take too long) and the “key” – this key goes to some glowing gazebo out in the garden – neither of which can enter (or something) – I may have looked up just as the subtitle went by.

    She travels home where her beauty and loveliness revives her father but then her jealous sisters, lay-about brother and ex-boyfriend, all want here to stay and not return to the beast. Now, she tells him that the Beast is a great guy, loves to play Bridge, dabbles in macrame, and makes a great potato salad – but they are jealous (and poor) and want to kill the Beast and take his gold.

    Still…they can’t have Belle/Beauty return to him because that would foil their plans so when the week is up they convince Belle/Beauty to stay. Now…here is where the film takes another slightly illogical turn. Belle’s bitchy spoiled sisters plead for her to stay or they will “surely die, along with father…” So using guilt they convince Beauty/Belle to make a promise that she’ll stay. Almost IMMEDIATELY they all bitch back up again and laugh in her face. It’s like some strange code of honor that since she said she wouldn’t go back they can all treat her like crap again…huh? Oh, and one of the sisters takes the magic key.

    Planning on killing the beast but not knowing where the Beast hangs his hat, the ex-boyfriend – coifed like an adult dickwad, and the slacker brother decide to take the magic horse. The horse showed up with magic mirror from Belle’s room. What does the mirror show when people look into? I assume it’s what they desire…because early on one sister wanted a monkey and when she looks in it, she sees a monkey. When Belle looks in it she sees the Beast. But when the OTHER sister looks in it, she sees an old lady. Is this some sort of weird lesbian sub-current going on in Cocteau’s (snicker) vision?

    When Belle/Beauty sees the Beast she uses the “magic glove!” and heads to his side where he’s dying?(!) Now, I don’t get this. Maybe it’s in the book, or something, but during the film the Beast occasionally gives off smoke and/or steam. I don’t know what this means and they sure didn’t cover this in the Disney film. But when he shows up, he’s got a bleeding nose and is steaming and looks pretty poorly.

    Slacker Brother and Ex-Boyfriend find their way onto the property and, climbing on a wall find themselves above the “glowing gazebo” where they look down and see the riches and someone named “Diana” – now this name is mentioned early on in the story and I have no idea who this “Diana” person is. Maybe Jason knows. Maybe Wikipedia knows. But I sure as hell don’t know.

    Instead of using the key, they decide to break the glass and jump in. Why the hell not?! So they do…but once the ex-boyfriend is in, a statue kills him with an arrow and he (GASP!!) turns into the Beast while the Beast…..turns into HIM! Or a reasonable, not so dickwad looking – but, golly, still pretty gay looking – ex-boyfriend resembling guy. And he’s ALL BETTER!

    Everyone lives happily ever after.

    I’ll admit I was hoping for a “Disney End” when the door changes back into a person or the “wall candelabra arms” become humans or SOMETHING more than: “Do you recognize me?” “Kinda. Lets go have a mocha.”


    Well, from this review you can probably guess that I was none to impressed with this fantasy of Cocteau’s (chortle). The castle was kinda interesting and the low-budget people as statues and wall sconces was kind of neat but I think there could have been soooo much more.

    The bitchy sisters were fun.


    ***ponder*** The castle could have been better. The relationship between the Beast and Belle/Beauty could have been fleshed out more. The supporting characters were very one-dimensional. It didn’t seem as magical as it could have been. Now, when it was released it was probably VERY magical. 2009? Not so much. Oh, and there could have been more cleavage.

    Bottom line: Not completely terrible but… this is the worst of the bunch, so far.

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