One of the hot debates my friends and I had recently was during a re-watching of Beauty and the Beast (at my birthday party, in fact!). And that has to do with the timeline of the whole movie. How long has the Beast been a Beast? During the song “Be Our Guest,” Lumiere has a line which states, “for 10 years we’ve been rusting,” which would mean they have been enchanted for 10 years. However, we also know that the Beast has to find love before the last rose petal falls – by his 21st birthday. So what does this mean?
The witch cursed a little kid
If we assume that they have been enchanted 10 years, and the Beast is currently 20 years old, that means that he was 10 when he was cursed. Let’s let that sink in a moment – a witch cursed a 10 year old boy to this terrible fate, all because he wouldn’t let a stranger into his house. Kinda hurts the whole idea of him being a terrible person who needed to learn a very important lesson if he was still a kid.
The Beast doesn’t age while he’s cursed
I like this idea, except that then there can be no concept of a 21st birthday. If he was 20 when he was cursed, but then he doesn’t age, how can his 21st birthday ever be approaching? But if he was a child when he was cursed, why is there a portrait in the castle of the Beast as a human looking like he is his current age? Was someone just really good at predicting his future appearance?
Lumiere likes to exaggerate
It could be as easy as this. Maybe Lumiere just embellished on the truth a little bit to get some pity. He seems like the type that might do that. Perhaps it’s only been 2 or 3 years, but because they’ve been cursed that long it just feels like ten.
Chip was an infant when he was cursed
We see Chip turn back into a boy at the very end of the movie, and he’s definitely a young boy – he doesn’t even look like he could be 10, but let’s assume for the sake of argument that he is. That means that when they were all enchanted he was less than a year old. Only a baby, cursed to grow up as a teacup!
Someone made a mistake
This is perhaps the most likely, and unfortunate, situation. Perhaps someone wasn’t thinking when they wrote the “10 years” line, or they didn’t pay too much attention to the timeline. There is unfortunately two very contradictory elements to the movie: the fact that we are told 10 years have passed, in addition to the fact that there is a portrait of the Beast of a human somewhere in the ages of 18-20. I can’t find any logical explanation to reconcile these things, as much as I would like to.
Do you have any explanations for this?