Beauty and the Beast
A fairy tale that gained the world
"Whatever is to be will be".
(Beauty and the Beast)
No one seems to mind if we say
that The Phantom of the Opera is a variation to the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast.
A fairy tale Beast becomes a Prince Charming, his physical transformation happens, and the Gaston Leroux’s novel
presents a spiritual transformation, Erik, the Phantom of the Opera, regrets the evil that he has done to his beloved Christine.
Beauty and the Beast fairy tale has been known since ancient times, different people have their own stories where in one
form or another there is She – a beautiful girl and He – a beast, often a beast-like creature. The most famous and popular
fairy tale version
was published in 1756. Its author was Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont (1711 - 1780), a French writer, an author
of several novellas with moralistic implied sense.
In her turn, Madame de Beaumont borrowed the storyline from her country woman, Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
(1695 - 1755), published her novella in more than three hundred pages in the magazine La jeune ameriquaine, et les contes marins
sixteen years before. The novella had a lot of storylines, including the Prince Charming’s story bewitched in the Beast
and also about the way Beauty and the Prince uncharmed by her lived together after the wedding. Madame de Beaumont has
greatly reduced the Madame de Villeneuve’s novella, leaving, in fact, only the storyline of the Beast transformation.
Many theater interpretations and after the cinema was created, many movies had been based on Madame de Beaumont’s fairy tale
from the late eighteenth century to our time. Perhaps Beauty and the Beast is one of the most popular and most applicable
storylines. Judge for yourselves. Here are a few examples.
The most famous screen adaptation happened to be was the Jean
Cocteau’s movie with brilliant Jean Marais starring in three roles at once. The movie was done in 1946, and fifty years
later Philip Glass put the movie dialogues to music and created an opera, the movie with opera music was released in 1995.
In 1976, USA/Great Britain co-production broadcasted Beauty and the Beast with interesting twist: Beast’s face was not
lion-like, but boar-like with snout and fangs. George Scott as Beast gained the Best Actor nomination for Emmy. Also Costumes
and make-up gained its own nomination for Emmy. When shooting, Scott and Trish van Dyke (who was Beauty in this movie) were
already married for some years.
Another interesting adaptation was the Czech version 1978.
Jean Cocteau’s cult film were reshooted in 1984 as an episode in Faerie
Tale Theatre series with Susan Sarandon as Belle and Claus Kinski as the Beast.
In 1987 new movie Beauty and the Beast starring Rebecca De Mornay came out.
Blood of Beasts appeared in 2005, co-production of Great Britain and RSA. The story took place during ancient Viking era,
and it has an interesting twist in the end, and that’s all about it. Acting and costumes as well as special effects are not impressing at all.
In 2009 audience saw absolutely awkward fantasy version of Beauty and the
Beast starring Estella Warren.
But later, in 2012, German Die Schöne und das Biest
appeared – truly fairy and almost historical adaptation giving great impression.
2014 presented bright and colorful French screen adaptation starring
Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux. Probably this version outweighs all previous movies in visual effects. Also this year Spanish adaptation
La Bella y La Bestia starring Aitor Luna and Michelle Jenner took place.
And at the end of that year a new Italian/Spanish
La Bella e La Bestia mini series appeared.
By the way, that series was not the first. In 1987 in America the series that became cult with Linda Hamilton
(Sarah Connor in Terminator) and Ron Perlman came out. A story of Beauty fell in love with the Beast has been moved to our time. It is
interestingly enough that several details of the series have much in common with The Phantom of the Opera. The Beast’s makeup reminds
makeup used in the Cocteau’s movie.
In 2012 series was given a new born, it's on screens till the present.
But the most smash hit in recent times has become the screen version of classic Disney animated film of 1991. Movie was screened in 2017
and — not a surprise though — took the box office. Beauty and the
Beast, starring Dan Stevens and Emma Watson.
To be sure, it would be strange for this fairy tale not to be caught by cartoonists.
In 1988 Japanese animators created their own version – Story of Summer and Winter
Garden also known as The Beauty and the Beast (夏の庭と冬の庭の話)
as an episode of New Grimm Masterpiece Theater anime.
But, of course, the most popular animated version is Disney's full-length
movie released in 1991 in which apart from the story about Beauty and the Beast, if desired, allusions to the story of The Phantom of the Opera
can be found. In addition one of the roles is voiced by Richard White a first performer of the Phantom in the
musical by Kopit/Yeston.
In 1992 British Beauty and the Beast animated version appeared with brilliant Cristopher Lee voicing one of the roles.
In the same 1992, co-producing USA and Japan,
Beauty and the Beast cartoon was broadcasted. It looked like 1976 movie version, with snout and fangs. In general,
the whole cartoon looks unpresentable.
Japanese series called Anime Sekai no Dowa was produced in 1995. It was based on tales by famous fairy tale writers such as Andersen,
Carlo Collodi, Hoffmann and Perrot. Tale Beauty and the Beast was presented in episode 3.
In 1997 Walt Disney Studios released the second part of the cartoon called Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.
Die Schöne und das Biest episode of German animated series Simsala Grimm (season 3 episode 10) was shown on TV in
1999. Each episode of this cute series for children two fairy creatures – Yoyo and Doc Croc get into one of Grimm’s fairy tale and, not changing
the plot of the tale, help characters to overcome difficulties and reach the happy end. In this version Beast looks like bear.
And among screen adaptations it is worth to mention
Shrek, a merry parody for many famous stories
including for Beauty and the Beast.
Every Russian knows this story as the very unique Russian interpretation.
For the Russian audience the story tale plot was rewritten by Sergei Aksakov (09/20/1791 – 04/30/1859). In 1858 he published
The Scarlet Flower fairy tale, in the preface to which he wrote that
the story was told to him in his childhood by the housekeeper Pelagia. A Russian Union Animation Film
cartoon and two feature
movies were based on the Aksakov’s fairy tale.
Beauty and the Beast history found its way into a variety of novels and short stories, movies and plays. Modern writers every
now and again turn to the old story drawing inspiration from it.
And, of course, the most extensive field for creativity is the books. A fairy tale of the Beauty and her beloved Beast is one
of the most popular in the literature, so it has generated a lot of imitations
and retellings on a new basis. The old story can be met in love stories, erotic novellas, and in dramatic thrillers. There are so many
books for every taste, of any volume and with a variety of characters so it makes you dizzy. Choose what rings your chime!
Based on the cartoon in 1995 a musical was created in which
various well-known actors, including, for example, Steve
Barton, the first performer of the Raoul’s role in the Webber’s
musical, played. In 2008 this musical was staged in Russia.
In spring of 2011 the Japanese theater Takarazuka released its
own version of the fairy tale.
In Russia, in addition to the Disney musical adapted by Stage Entertainment (its revival will be on stage in October 2014) Beauty and the
Beast's story was adapted into Vangelis & Eagling ballet and produced by the State Kremlin Palace.
In 2018 Tatiana Navka produced musical on ice The Scarlet Flower
based on the Aksakov’s fairy tale.
Well, how we can miss computer games in the age of information technology! Here are two games based on the fairy tale:
Mystery Legends: Beauty and the Beast and
Fairly Twisted Tales: The Price Of A Rose.
Here we demonstrate the most famous and vivid incarnations of Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. But in world culture
this story is used over and over again.