1. #1. Don’t you have people for that?
Beautifully depicted in the film’s stained glass opening montage, Prince Adam turns away the old beggar woman when she offers a paltry rose for shelter from the cold.
QUESTION: Don’t you have people for that?
How odd/cute for the Sovereign Prince to be answering his own damn door in the middle of the night. Perhaps his general bad attitude — which famously gets him into serious shit mere seconds later — keeps him up late, angrily checking up on his servants, making sure they’re doing their jobs? Whatever the reason, you can be sure that in the subsequent decade he’s cursed the name of whatever household guard was supposed to be on Front Door Duty that night. But in all fairness, that person has probably had it bad enough being transformed into an umbrella stand or a hat rack for the audacious crime of having a dick for a boss.
2. #2. Is this powerful, meddling woman still at large?
The beggar woman reveals herself to be a beautiful enchantress, who curses Prince Adam… as well as absolutely every other living creature in the immediate vicinity (butlers, dogs, children, etc.)
QUESTION: Is this powerful, meddling woman still at large?
For a person of unimaginable, staggering magical power, it’s fairly alarming to think that she’s just out and about, poking around the French countryside. All we know about her is that she showed up with no warning along with a pretty rigid black/white morality test, and decided to dole out the deranged punishment without asking many follow-up questions. Does this terrify anyone else? The movie would have us believe that she is a benevolent force — working in mysterious ways to better the lives of all involved in a long-range plan — but tell that to poor little Chip who has to sleep in a cabinet every night and have his head filled with boiling tea every day.
3. #3. Is LeFou a masochist, or merely addicted to physical torture?
Choked, beaten, throttled, thrown, humiliated — LeFou suffers repeatedly at the hands of Gaston in every scene in which he appears.
QUESTION: Is LeFou a masochist, or merely addicted to physical torture?
It doesn’t appear as if he’s getting paid money to endure the never-ending crap heaped upon him, so we can deduce that LeFou is a willing lacky — a remora fish stuck to the shark’s side. And while, clearly, being Number One Toadie to the most popular jock in town probably has residual benefits (free beer? desperate women?) it doesn’t seem like it would be worth the physical abuse to any normal person. Yet, for every eye-bulging head punch, LeFou bounces back grinning. While it may be that LeFou is simply infatuated with Gaston to an unhealthy degree, after the sheer amount of physical punishment we witness, we’re forced to conclude that on some level, LeFou might be getting off on it.
4. #4. Does Gaston have something against aggressive women?
This nameless trio of buxom, beautiful blondes openly fawn over Gaston whenever they appear. He neither seems to notice them nor care that they’re (literally) falling all over themselves with lust.
QUESTION: Does Gaston have something against aggressive women?
Everyone has their preference, and perhaps Gaston just really LIKES shy, bookish women who make him feel stupid. His reasoning that Belle is the most beautiful girl in town — and therefore, “the best” — seems reasonable, by egomaniac standards. But maybe for all of his boasting, he’s insecure about getting it on? Sexy, aggressive triplets would probably be a nightmare for anyone who was gun shy in the bedroom.
5. #5. Is it really wise to let a man with a head injury out for a drive?
Maurice’s invention works! And beans him upside the head with a fucking LOG.
QUESTION: Is it really wise to let a man with a head injury out for a drive?
Immediately after being cracked in the skull by said log, he’s having his daughter hitch up the wagon and he’s off to the fair. Cross-country. In the middle of the night. And we’re surprised he gets lost, WHY? On a fair day Maurice is a bit scatterbrained, but getting absolutely clobbered like that could have severely impacted his ability to drive the horse and navigate the map. Belle really bears the responsibility for this one, having witnessed the accident but failing to follow common sense and apply basic first aid.
6. #6. Are those Cogsworth’s organs?
In his introductory scene, Cogsworth survives the double indignity of being burned by Lumiere, then poked and prodded by Maurice, before suffering a third insult — falling down the damn stairs.
QUESTION: Are those Cogsworth’s organs?
Gears, screws, and springs are strewn across the steps in a frightening display. These things were INSIDE COGSWORTH and now they are OUTSIDE COGSWORTH. We never see him retrieve these bits to fix himself, but it’s hard to ignore that they came erupting from his innards when he was injured. The good news is, he’s fine. The bad news is, he is immediately run over by a tea cart.
7. #7. Can we really blame Gaston for being a prick?
Gaston is a jerk, yes. But when you take into consideration how every single person in town kisses his ass like they’re trying to win a prize for it, he might not even be aware of it.
QUESTION: Can we really blame Gaston for being a prick?
That’s not to say he isn’t responsible for his actions, but as far as him being completely delusional, self-absorbed and entitled, doesn’t the rest of the town bear a small amount of the blame? “For there’s no man in town half as manly. Perfect, a pure paragon” — actual words sung to his actual face. If half of the village secretly hates his guts, they sure are good at hiding it. Belle finds him insufferable, but she is literally the ONLY person in town who shows even moderate dislike for Gaston — that includes her own father, who simply refers to Gaston as “a handsome fellow.”
8. #8. Is it wrong to drink tea out of a little boy?
Lots of tea is consumed during this movie, and every drop of it came from Mrs. Potts’ insides and out of her son.
QUESTION: Is it wrong to drink tea out of a little boy?
It’s been debated back and forth about which characters in the film are actual cursed humans, and which are merely enchanted objects. While most of the china might just be plain old magic dishes, Mrs. Potts and Chip were definitely people. Like everyone else in the castle, they seem to have adapted pretty well to their roles as objects, but it still seems more than a little disturbing that Mrs. Potts first act upon meeting Belle (and earlier, Maurice) is to let everyone put their lips/mustaches all over her kid.
9. #9. What sorts of pervy things has the Beast seen?
He says “show me the girl” and bam! He’s right there in her bedroom.
QUESTION: What sorts of pervy things has the Beast seen?
There don’t seem to be any rules to the enchanted mirror beyond simply saying what it is you want to see. It’s basically the internet. She gave the Beast the internet. Who knows what ten years of hardcore peeping and zero human interaction would do to a person? The odds that he abused that mirror and abused it hard seem pretty good. We know that before the curse Prince Adam was morally bankrupt — allegedly — so who’s to say what bizarre, depraved stuff he stumbled into? What happens in the West Wing stays in the West Wing.
10. #10. If someone is a stove, is someone also a toilet?
While almost all of the cursed staff has free roam of the castle and grounds, the poor chef is firmly bolted to the floor. We understand that there are varying degrees of imprisonment attached to this curse.
QUESTION: If someone is a stove, is someone also a toilet?
Every piece of furniture in the castle is enchanted in some way, why not a toilet? It’s unnerving to think about, but it’s a distinct possibility that for ten years some poor chap has been quietly ticking away the hours, caulked to a tile floor. Now, on the plus side, no one has been actually USING the bathroom in the proper style since the spell was cast. Teapots and clocks don’t produce excrement and it’s more likely that the Beast is just shitting in the yard, if we’re honest. But Belle had to poop somewhere.
11. #11. Why does Belle waste everyone’s time?
Belle skips dinner with the Beast, but sneaks downstairs later and observes the Stove complaining that the whole kitchen’s efforts had gone to waste. Belle then tells Mrs. Potts that she’s “a little hungry” and everyone cranks it into overdrive putting on an elaborate show.
QUESTION: Why does Belle waste everyone’s time?
She proceeds to eat the following: one taste of gray stuff, one taste of beef ragoût, and the cherry from the top of a pie. That’s it. For all the re-doubled efforts of the staff, that’s still a hell of a lot of wasted food and beverages. Granted, there was probably no way that Belle could conceivably have eaten an entire serving dish of beef ragoût, so they were bound to be throwing most of that out anyhow.
12. #12. Was he actually going to hit her with that gigantic snowball?
Belle and the Beast bond as they feed birds in the snow. Belle playfully hits the Beast with a snowball. He retaliates by gathering up a huge, deadly-looking boulder of snow — which he drops as he’s beaned by a second snowball.
QUESTION: Was he actually going to hit her with that gigantic snowball?
For all of the careful direction his household staff had given him, they neglected to explicitly tell him “do not kill the only human girl you’ve seen in ten years.” Even if being walloped in the face by that much snow didn’t instantly snap her neck, it almost certainly would have given her a couple of black eyes and whiplash. The last thing you need when you’re wooing a person under time constraints is to set the clock back with a completely preventable head injury.
13. #13. Is Belle wearing a dead person’s clothes?
Belle is dressed in various beautiful gowns throughout the movie.
QUESTION: Is Belle wearing a dead person’s clothes?
The dresses and cloaks that Belle is dressed in throughout the movie are clearly too rich to have belonged to any of the household staff. With the exception of the golden ballgown — which may have been sewn explicitly for the occasion, we don’t know — we see the other dresses when Belle first meets the Wardrobe. That really only leaves two options. Either the person who owns the clothes is counting down the days as an enchanted tchotchke, or more likely, they’re dead. The movie leads us to believe that Prince Adam is the only royal left in the castle — in which case, shouldn’t he be KING Adam? — so the most promising answer to this question is that these are the clothes of a departed relative. Though, granted, everyone who buys clothes from a second-hand shop or thrift store runs the risk of wearing a dead person’s clothes, so it’s not that out of the ordinary.
14. #14. Were Belle and the Beast about to become intimate?
Belle and the Beast share a romantic night of dinner and dancing. It’s a lovely sequence that cements our affection for both characters.
QUESTION: Were Belle and the Beast about to become intimate?
Probably the most basic question on this list, it still warrants a look. Later, when Belle weeps over the gravely injured Beast she tells him that she loves him. To our knowledge as the viewer, this is without understanding the entire story behind his enchantment, or the knowledge that her love would transform him into anything at all. If she knew the details, wouldn’t she at least be calling him Adam? It seems as if she truly loves him for his big furry self, unconditionally. So we’re left wondering, had the magic mirror not revealed Maurice to be in trouble, would Belle and the Beast have gotten intimate? When you look at their feelings for each other that developed before the magical ending of the film, it’s pretty clear that Belle would have stayed with the Beast regardless of the curse — which might be extremely creepy except for the fact that it’s also pretty heartwarming.
15. #14. How terrible ARE these villagers anyway?
Belle is tending to the recovering Maurice when there is a knock at the door. She is horrified to discover that Monsieur D’Arque has come to take custody of her father. By his side is a torch-wielding mob.
QUESTION: How terrible ARE these villagers anyway?
It’s easy to forget during the ensuing dramatic trek to the castle to “kill the Beast” that the villagers didn’t bring those torches, pitchforks, and bats for him. They brought them for Maurice. Yes, the very same people who recently bandied together to sing a cheerful, whimsical ode to Belle are the exact same people who showed up to drag an old man kicking and screaming from his home. And while the whole ordeal is set in motion by Gaston’s bribery, that doesn’t absolve the mob who followed him to Maurice’s door. It’s a good thing that everything turns out well for Belle and Maurice in the end, because returning to live in town would probably have been fairly awkward.
16. #16. Isn’t Gaston just doing his job?
Gaston leads the mob of villagers to the enchanted castle in order to kill the Beast.
QUESTION: Isn’t Gaston just doing his job?
If you take a moment to look at things from his perspective — and lets, for the sake of argument, forget that he’s a complete asshole — what exactly does he know? Everything Gaston knows about The Beast Situation comes in a massive infodump. First, that Maurice was right and that the Beast exists. Second, that the Beast had indeed kept Belle as his prisoner and, according to Maurice again, that she’d been locked in a dungeon. Third, Gaston sees with his own eyes that the Beast is one deadly-looking sonofabitch. As a hunter by trade, is it beyond reason that these things would lead Gaston on a mission to murder the Beast? If you look at the facts he’s working with — and ignore his ulterior motives — he’s basically just doing his JOB.
17. #17. Does breaking the curse heal grievous injuries?
Belle tells the injured Beast that she loves him just as the last petal falls from the rose. Her love breaks the spell and Prince Adam is restored to gorgeous human form.
QUESTION: Does breaking the curse heal grievous injuries?
Lest we forget, the fact that he was in Beast form was only part of the problem in the end, the rest being that he had recently been shot with an arrow AND stabbed — on his birthday, no less! This question is moot since it’s clear that Belle’s love does heal his wounds in addition to his curse, but what a depressing thought that at the last second, it might not have. It wasn’t clear if the Beast was actually DEAD when he slumped to the ground, eyes rolling back up into his skull, but he certainly looked dead. This gives rise to a whole weird gray area in regards to the curse being lifted. If the Beast was dead good and proper, would Belle’s love still have resurrected him as long as she got those three little words in under the wire?