Pat Wahler, Author

Penning stories to savor.

Yes-I’m a Romantic Fool

Unless you live under a rock, you know this weekend is the premiere of Disney’s live action film, Beauty and the Beast. Although this particular version is new, the story is definitely not.

Beauty and the Beast, print circa 1875. This beast has a distinctly walrus look. (Pook Press)

Beauty and the Beast may have sprung from the classic myth of Cupid and Psyche, where the beautiful Psyche is offered as a sacrifice to a monster. French author, Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villenueve, is credited with turning the myth into a story and publishing it in 1740. Over one hundred pages long, and containing a very savage beast, the story had plots and sub-plots and action galore.

In 1756, Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont, shortened the story and pared down the number of characters. This version is closer to the one most of us know today, where a simple working girl tames the beast, saving him with her love. Having a working-class girl as the heroine of a story with trouble brewing in the time before the French Revolution, must have made reading it a dangerous pleasure.

Beauty and the Beast, print circa 1885. This beast has evolved to the appearance of a wild boar. (Pook Press)

Over the years, the story of Beauty and the Beast has undergone many incarnations, but each of them seem to boil down to the same notion. Belle discovers the true nature of a man is found in his heart and soul, not in his appearance.

There are probably a hundred variations on this theme found in literature, movies, and plays. And why not? Who doesn’t love a story where good triumphs over evil, where what you are inside matters more than your imperfect exterior, and where true love triumphs over all.

Beauty and the Beast, print circa 1923. (Pook Press)

Will I be heading out to see this movie? You bet. I admit to being a romantic fool.

How about you?

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14 Comments

  1. Well, you already know I’m a hopeless romantic, and—yes! My daughter and I are going to see it this afternoon. She was four when the Disney animated film released, and together we’ve watched that version probably hundreds of times. We’re both excited for this film. I didn’t know the history behind the story, but it’s interesting. “Tale as old as time…” Some stories really are timeless.

    • Pat Wahler

      March 19, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      Lisa, I think we’re both of the same mind. I won’t be able to see it this weekend, but I’m looking forward to seeing it (hopefully) next week.

  2. Pat–You never fail to shed some light during your posts. I always learn something (or a few things) when I read a post of yours, and it’s consistently done in an entertaining way. Thanks.

    I look forward to seeing this movie. I heard that when you see thousands of candles in one scene, it’s not CGA–it’s the real thing.

    • Pat Wahler

      March 19, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      Sioux, it will be fun to compare this to the animated version. I’m looking forward to it, too!

  3. The walrus beast strikes me as too funny looking to be scary. I do like the story and I’ll probably see the movie eventually. I probably won’t rush out to see it just because my boys have a societally induced aversion to “Girl movies.” Grrrr. You’ll have to let me know what you think.

    • Pat Wahler

      March 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      Sarah, I’m thinking the boys might enjoy it, though I totally understand where they’re coming from on this one.

  4. Your photos are great, and the history lesson wonderful. I’m supposed to avoid crowds, so most likely I’ll catch this one on DVD.

    • Pat Wahler

      March 20, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      Donna, my plan is to see it at the theater, but more often than not, I don’t see a movie until I can rent the darn thing. Maybe this time, I’ll actually make it to the show!

  5. Lynn Obermoeller

    March 20, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    You bring such knowledge to your posts! I’m a hopeless romantic, but I’ll probably wait for the show to come on the cable channel… I like watching things at home.

    • Pat Wahler

      March 22, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      Lynn, that’s usually what I end up doing, but I’m looking at trying a rush hour show somewhere. I’m in the mood for popcorn!

  6. Linda O'Connell

    March 28, 2017 at 8:28 am

    I heard an older male radio announcer claim he thought he would hate it, but it was one of the best movies ever. He suggested, “Women, take your men. They will love it.”

  7. Katie went to see it with her daddy. Now her grandma and I want to take her too. She wants to go again so she loved it even though she said it was a little scary. Of course she also said nothing about the romance. 😉

    • Pat Wahler

      April 6, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      I saw it last weekend and thought it was outstanding. Great sets and amazing special effects. However, I agree with Katie. Toward the end it became very intense, even for an old lady like me!

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