No matter how old we get, I suspect most of us enjoy the beauty that only a fairy tale can inspire now and then. Especially for those of us who have watched any of the popular Disney movies of the 90s. Not unlike the publications I’ve shared on Persuasion or Jane Eyre, I thought I’d look at Beauty and the Beast adaptations; or at least variations of the story, and to be honest, Jane Eyre is in some ways also a form of this story.
This one might stretch some of the adaptations a little bit since some viewers may not feel all of these apply as a kind of “adaptation” of the story, but I wanted to have some fun with this, so I’m going to press on with including them. Let’s take a look at some of the ways this ‘tale as old as time’ has been re-spun for new generations, and of course, we look at the classic.
Beauty and the Beast Adaptations
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1: Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Because my memory is not good, I don’t know what went through my mind the first time I saw this. But if I know myself now and judging from pictures of us watching a movie at home, I suspect I was transfixed. Who doesn’t love the story of a bookish girl who inspires change in a beast, yes, but on the plus side, he also happens to be a prince! I mean, that’s the ideal story for any bookworm. Find digitally on Amazon Video
2: The Beautician and the Beast (1997)
I don’t know if this claims re-telling status, but I see more similarities than the play on its title. Plus, this one is just plain cute with a side of adorable. I mean, how can any of us resist the beauty-culture teacher who’s mistaken for a science teacher and the brooding president? It’s a contemporary rom-com trope lovers dream. Find digitally on Amazon Video
3: Beastly (2011)
Though I feel as though I’m in the minority, I really do enjoy this modern adaptation of the story. Based on the YA novel by Alex Flinn, the story features Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer in the lead roles, and while the reason Hudgen’s “Belle” character comes to live with the Beast is a stretch, all of these versions are since this falls into the “fairy tale” genre, which always requires some suspension of disbelief. Find digitally on Amazon Video
4: Beauty and the Beast, CW TV Show (2012)
With a dark edge, this CW show used to be something that impressed me quite a lot. I liked the cast and the palpable chemistry between Kristin Kruek and Jay Ryan. Her past resembles a little too closely to Beckett’s from ABC’s Castle but what I saw of this is entertaining. Which reminds me, I still do need to finish this four-season run, a solid run which I’d guess is adequate to tell this story.
5: Beauty and the Beast (2014)
Only recently did I watch this two-part miniseries, it’s a foreign production with a cast I don’t recognize. I take serious issue with some of its relationship (this one seems worse than any I’ve seen) elements, and still I don’t regret watching this. (And while I did have the word “toxic” here, I detest that buzzy word because I think it’s tagged on things when it shouldn’t be.) This has its good qualities, and I like to believe, no matter what, that its more realistic approach to telling this story will leave its characters in a healthy, “good” place as they begin a bright future. Find digitally on Amazon Video
6: Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Of course this stunning version is the most recent live-action re-make from Disney. Featuring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey), this one is gorgeous to look at. Plus for 90-some percent of the film, it captures the same nostalgic feel of the 90s adaptation. Plus, who knew, Dan Stevens has some impressive pipes! Find digitally on Amazon Video
What’s your favorite Beauty and the Beast adaptations of this fairy tale – or don’t you like this type of fairy tale? Did I leave off your favorite version? Comment all of your thoughts below on which is your favorite or if you have a dream cast for a someday re-make. Share all the thoughts below.