The original animated “Beauty and the Beast” is a masterpiece ― aka the type of stuff they keep in the Disney vault. It’s hard for any remake to live up to that, even with Emma Watson’s Hermione Granger magic. But what enchantment the new movie lacks from the original, it makes up for in fan service.
Though a cherished classic, the original movie seemed to leave us with a lot of plot holes and unanswered questions: What happened to Belle’s mom? Is there something dark going on with all that broken furniture? And ― biggest of all ― what is up with that confusing timeline?
For those who don’t remember, the original movie informs us the magic rose would bloom until the prince’s 21st year. The problem is the song “Be Our Guest” confirms it’s been 10 years since the prince was cursed for not letting the old-woman enchantress stay at his castle.
“Ten years we’ve been rusting,” says Lumiere in “Be Our Guest.”
Using this logic and math (an enemy more dangerous than Gaston), that would put the prince at barely double-digits, 10 or 11, when the curse happens.
So the whole story is basically predicated on a selfish 10-year-old getting punished for not letting a creepy old stranger into his castle at night?
Harsh. But it gets more confusing when you see the Beast destroy a portrait in the beginning of the movie. This picture looks like the prince as he appears at the end of the film.
How does it exist if he was cursed at age 10 and he’s been a beast the whole time?
Plus, if all of this took place over 10 years, how does the town totally forget about the castle?
Thankfully, the team behind the live-action version thought about this and all our other unanswered questions, too.
Minor spoilers ahead. Don’t worry ― we’re not giving away specifics.
1. The confusing timeline finally gets fixed.
Disney apparently already attempted to fix the timeline with “Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.” As BuzzFeed once pointed out, this movie showed the young prince looking very similar to his older self even before the curse, which would explain the portrait. But there’s no need for that anymore.
The new movie eliminates the old timeline, making the prince older when the curse happens and being vague on specifics of exactly how long the curse has been going. It also says the curse made the townsfolk forget about the castle and everyone inside it, fixing that problem, too.
2. We finally find out about Belle’s mother.
Belle’s mom has always been a big mystery in “Beauty and the Beast.” Who was this woman that married crazy old Maurice, anyway?
In the upcoming movie, Belle’s mom becomes an emotional plot point, and fans finally find out exactly what happened to her.
3. All those casual murders are explained.
Beast tells Belle to stay out of the West Wing, and, yeah, we get it. That place has the rose. (Plus, it’s gross there.) But is there an even more sinister reason Beast wants to keep it private?
It’s theorized that the broken furniture pieces in the West Wing are actually unfortunate servants that Beast unknowingly destroyed after being cursed. It turns out that’s probably not the case.
In the new movie, Belle holds a very normal-looking hairbrush in the castle and asks if everything is alive. The answer: It’s not. That’s just a hairbrush.
Since not every item is alive, all that broken stuff was probably just normal furniture that was already in the castle.
But by answering that question, the movie raises another one. Why aren’t all the items alive?
As The Huffington Post’s Matt Jacobs puts it, “Hairbrushes are people, too.”
Just because some items were always inanimate objects, it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to sing along with everyone else.
Hang in there, hairbrush.
4. How did Belle get Beast on the horse?
One of the best scenes from the animated version is when Beast saves Belle from a hungry pack of wolves. That stuff is sick. But the scene also leaves us with a frustrating question: How the hell did Belle get a limp, injured Beast onto that horse?
After the wolf attack, Belle somehow gets Beast onto the back of a horse and brings him back to the castle.
No offense to Belle. (We’re sure she’s a secret body-builder in her spare time.) But there’s no way she’d be able to lift Beast on that horse by herself. Even in a story with talking teapots, that’s a little ridiculous.
The movie fixes this, too. Belle just asks Beast to get up. Problem solved.
5. We finally learn what Beast can do with a snowball.
It’s always seemed kind of lame that Beast makes a giant snowball and totally wastes it.
Get it together, dude.
In one of the standout moments from the movie, we finally get to see what happens when Beast throws a snowball, and it is glorious.
The new movie will never replace the original. It just can’t be done. But the live-action film does give the “tale as old as time” a bit of an update, and it’s enough to make us say, “Aw, Belle yeah.”
”Beauty and the Beast” hits theaters March 17.
Update: This post was updated to further explain why hairbrushes deserve more than this inanimate provincial life.