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== The curse froze everyones' ages, except for the Beast == Assuming that the curse lasted for ten years, Chip certainly sounds a lot younger than 10. how was he born if his mother was a teapot?
All is not as it seems in this story. The real story is as follows: Belle, victim to a vicious kidnapping, begins to lose her mind in captivity,
believing the the dishes and furniture are speaking to her, when really they're not. She lost herself just enough at first to see The Beast, who in reality was an ugly, very hairy and unkept man, as some sort of inhuman Beast, perhaps as a coping mechanism for not wanting to see her cruel captor as simply a man without much of a conscience but a lower creature who was such. Ultimately, she succumbs to the Stockholm Syndrome and comes to believe that she is in love with her captor. In the end, she becomes completely psychotic, believing that she has changed him into a kind, handsome hero. Her delusions were induced by the books she read and perhaps lack of sleep and other vital stuff.
- But Belle doesn't narrate the story, and we see things that happen when she is not present.
- Furthermore, 'hairy', 'vicious kidnapping' and 'inhuman beast' better describe Gaston than The Beast. The worst he ever did was yell at her; Gaston threatened to send her dad to a nut house and then locked her up.
Gaston's last name is Leroux.
He survived the fall and coped with his humiliating defeat by writing a Fix Fic where the Beast is the Stalker with a Crush who resorts to the Scarpia Ultimatum and the handsome rival is a noble (albeit ineffectual) hero who gets the beautiful girl.
The Enchantress is Nimue
Based off of Disney's Sword in the Stone where Merlin has mobile furniture that can follow orders. Of course Nimue as his girlfriend (in the novel that Disney's Sword and the Stone is adapted from) would have learned the spells to grant furniture mobility from Merlin and have perfected it by turning people into furniture which fixes the bugs (such as Merlin's sugar bowl giving him too much sugar) The enchantress is also a beautiful blonde woman, and Nimue is normally portrayed as blonde. The flaws in this WMG are that granting furniture mobility seems to be a standard trick of magic users in the Disney Animated Canon. The good fairies in Sleeping Beauty as well as the sorcerer (and his apprentice) in the Sorcerer's Apprentice segment of Fantasia show ability in this sort of spell.
- Well, maybe they all learned it from Merlin? Merlin predates all the other Disney magic users. So suppose Merlin invented the spell, teaches it to Nimue (and perhaps others), who go on to teach to others, and so it spreads.
Disney's Beauty and the Beast's aesop might be broken in a way not mentioned on the main page.
Gaston personality wise is pretty much like how Beast probably would have been being an egotistical jerk. Yet, Beast gets a chance due to some spell because the Beast is ROYALTY. Gaston had to work to get his advanced position in society but because he isn't royalty never was given a true chance to try to fix his character or morality.
- Except, nothing was stopping Gaston from changing his egotistical Jerkass antics and predatory ways. He had the opportunity to learn to love Belle with no magic interference involved and blew it. The true moral of his story is "Stay in the Kitchen insults and Scarpia Ultimatums really turn women off."
- You're right that Gaston had a chance any moment to change, and to use the words "true chance" was poor choosing. The WMG is looking at it more from the idea that the Beast redeems himself than the moral that being an evil jerkass turns potential romantic partners off.
- But nothing was stopping the young Beast, either. On the other hand, the enchantress might well have cursed Gaston too if she had run into him. So it may have just come down to happenstance.
- Read the fanfiction of Trudi Rose. Both of these ideas (Gaston getting cursed, Gaston and Belle working it out) are explored in various of her stories.
During Belle's stay at the Beast's castle, "Beast" became a pet name she used.
After living in close quarters with the Beast and his servants for several months, she still only ever calls him "Beast." I think it's highly unlikely that she didn't know his real name, so why else would she call him that?
- Perhaps he simply did not want to be associated with his former name while stuck as beast, and simply neglected to tell her it? Heck, he could have told her to call him that.
- At the beginning of the movie we see that the Beast has regressed to an animalistic state, walking on all fours and growling ferociously. Perhaps by that point the curse was working its effect on his mind and he actually forgot his name in addition to how to behave like a human, and didn't remember it until he was returned to his proper form.
- But one would assume that the servants, at least some of whom had probably known him his entire life, would know his name. Unless they all forgot too.
- In his first real scene he refers to himself as The Beast. It could be a mocking self-awareness towards his appearance or that could just be what he sees himself. If you ask Belle at Disneyland she apparently says that he was a Beast so long that he forgot his real name. Glen Keane (Beast's animator) said that the longer he spent as a Beast the more animal he became and that after ten years he was more or less half and half. He couldn't remember how to read, using a spoon was beyond him, he was barely wearing any clothes. Keane also said that if Belle had never showed up (or came back) he would have eventually degenerated far enough that he would abandon clothes, forget how to speak and be consumed by his animalistic instincts and lose his human mind forever. This lends credibility to the "its been too long" idea. Maybe he hasn't forgotten and just doesn't identify with it anymore.
Gaston's given name is Beauregard.
- Do you mean Beauregard La Fortunatine from American Dad?
- No. Is there any reason at all for you thinking that I meant to reference a minor character from a show that's only been around for a fraction of the time of the Disney movie?
- It's because beau is the masculine word for beauty (Belle is the feminine tense).
Gaston spent his whole life trying to gain people's respect.
He says that as a kid, he ate four dozen eggs every morning to help him get large. It's unlikely for someone at that age to be so obsessive about it, unless he had severe self-esteem issues. Also, he is good at everything he does exactly because he has been working to be the best at them. Now that he was at last being admired by everybody, Belle's continued rejection of him hit even harder.
Only the furniture with faces were once people
There was a complaint in the JBM about the fact that Beast seems to have HUNDREDS of servants. Well my idea is this; only the characters like Lumière, Cogsworth and Mrs. Pots were people where as the other things such as the spoons and cups were always cups and spoons that the curse had animated.
- That's an interesting idea and all, but then how do you explain Chip?
- Chip has a face, so I presume that only objects with faces are actually people.
- But what about the footstool? Sure he wasn't a human, but he ended up being more than just an animated furniture item--he was an actual dog. But he didn't have a face...
- Again, only the furniture with faces were once people. The footstool did not have a face and was not previously a person; it was a dog, which is not the same thing as a person. All moving peices of furniture without faces were either animals or normal furniture before the curse,
- The enchanted silverware and the like could have very well been a provision by the enchantress for the type of scenerio that happens in this film, to help the servants make a guest feel confortable when they lack the dexterity and means to cater a guest by themselves.
- Alternatively, people could conceivably have become more than one item. Lumiere may have been, or have been in control of, all the candlesticks in the castle. The silverware did synchronize awfully well...
- That could explain also, how Chip was able to load, ignite and pilot Maurice's woodchopping machine without any hands.
Gaston was cursed too
Specifically, to be adored by all but the woman he set his heart on. This lead to unrealistic expectations, and he felt compelled to brag and ham it up even while not necessarily liking himself much. (His outward ego is so over-the-top it's more like Bad Bad Acting.) The icing on the cake is that the curse made him more freakishly ugly than the Beast, though only he has the power to see this about himself. Alternatively, the root cause may not have been a curse but a wish granted by a Jerkass Genie.
The story Belle described is NOT Beauty and The Beast
If anything, its Sleeping Beauty. She doesn't once describe ANYTHING pertaining to Beauty and The Beast, original story or otherwise, except the magic spells and maybe the far-off places. She says: "Far off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise!" "Oh, isn't this amazing?/ It's my favorite part because you'll see/ here's where she meets prince charming/but she won't discover tht it's him/'till chapter three."
Firstly, the story for Sleeping Beauty starts off "Once upon a time", whereas Beauty and The Beast doesn't. Second, there are no swords in th story at all, but Phillip takes down Maleficent with a one-sided sword-fight. The magic spell is not just the curse, but the fairy gifts. The prince in disguise and the lyrics relates to how Phillip looks rather un-princely in his riding costume, and no, se doesn't discover that he's a prince until much later (which is the third act).
The movie, when the lyrics are sung, show the almost exact scene where Aurora and Phillip meet and fall in love, about when Aurora stops avoiding him. Ergo, the story she describes is Sleeping Beauty.
Um in both movies..there wasn't much a fight..since in SB-only ONE PERSON had a sword.. but the other one was a dragon...can't call it much of a swordfight..when both sides don't have swords.. and in B&tB neither had swords, but Gaston did have an arrow and a club and it was a much longer fight in B&tB then in Sleeping Beauty. Oh and for another thing.. THIS is the begging of the movie: "Once upon a time, in a faraway land" so it could be either SB OR BB since they both start off "Once Upon a time in a farway land", they both have spell(s), both have a royalty in disguise (expect the former in SB didn't mean to). Techinally the picture shown the prince looks more beast-like then what is shown in SB.
Just as Gaston is the Beast's Evil Counterpart, so to is Le Fou Belle's Spear Counterpart. If you think about their roles in the relationship with Gaston and Beast, while Belle doesn't take any of the Beast's crap lying down, Le Fou is utterly and totally dominated by Gaston, and barely even has a will of his own anymore. In the end, which pairing is better off for it? Also, what was the original meaning behind this story?
The ten years passing, and the rose wilting at Beast's 21st year may not be a continuity mistake
If you think about it, it seems a mistake that they say 10 years have passed when the rose is supposed to wilt when Beast turns 21, making him 11 when he was cursed. But the curse supposedly paused the cursed people at the age it was set, so it seems impossible for both to be true and not have Belle be a pedophile, or Beast to be an abnormally developed 11 year old. But the Beast is the only ORGANIC cursed person, everyone else was turned into normally inanimate and unaging items. The Prince was turned into an organic and aging being, so perhaps he was 11 when cursed, and aged to 21, where everyone else didn't age because of the nature of what they were turned into?
- The problem with that is it would seem rather cruel for the enchantress to curse a CHILD for being petulant? All children are mean and selfish at the age of 11. I'm still under the belief that the Beast was at least in his late teens/early twenties when the spell was cast--and simply had to wait 21 years before the spell became permanent. Even if he was an organically cursed person, he was still a creature made of magic and could've easily remained trapped in the same age as the others until the spell was broken. Ergo, the entire castle was practically trapped in time and would've remained like that forever if Belle didn't drop by.
- The Enchantress in the original tale was a Jerkass who cursed the prince largely out of spite, and there's no reason to assume anything different here.
- In my original post, I simply meant it as a plausible theory, and as most seem to agree that she (the enchantress) is a Jerkass, then she might not have thought about preserving the Beast's youth. It could simply be negligent oversight, and that she just meant to curse them, and given no thought that the Beast might age, while the servants do not. Or, it was her being even more cruel by having the master eventually age and die and leave the servants with no one to serve, thus they become no more meaningful than the items they resemble? Utter cruelty, yes, but for someone who cursed a whole castle for one person's mistake, you can't really expect her to pull punches.
- Well, replace 'Sorceress' with 'Fae', and it is plausible. First rule when dealing with the Fairies is don't piss them off because they have a horrible sense of Disproportionate Retribution. Hell, the Beast may have kindly said that he couldn't let her stay and she could have cursed him for that. Or he could have been in a temper tantrum at the time and the Enchantress/Fae appeared then, to everyone's misfortune.
- If the Beast ages and the others didn't, that might be intentional (and benevolent) on the Sorceress' part. The Beast ages because that way, if the curse never ends he'll at least die and thus be put out of his misery. And if the curse does get broken, the lost years (spent as a Beast) could serve as a reminder. It's part of the punishment. As for the servants, they don't age so that when the curse ends, they won't have any 'lost' years (the reason they are changed is because they likely in part made Beast who he is). Don't ask about what would happen if the curse didn't though...
- The Enchantress in the original tale was a Jerkass who cursed the prince largely out of spite, and there's no reason to assume anything different here.
The Beast's servants already started his Heel Face Turn; Belle only finished it.
I got this from the above WMG about the alternate Broken Aesops. The idea is that Beast was just as much of a jerk as Gaston, but was given a chance to change, while Gaston didn't. But Gaston did indeed have as many opportunities to change, and even knew Belle (the main catalyst for Beast) well before the Beast did.
The key difference was that Beast was horrified, not just by his own change, but by the curse being inflicted on his servants. As has been stated before, it seems pretty unfair that they were punished for his offence (especially the children), and I believe this made Beast realize what a truly selfish jerk he was. He saw how his action affected all those around him, and his bitterness and rage at the start of the film was from his guilt and self-hatred more than anything else. This also explains why the servants didn't seem all that upset about it, even after he let her go; they seemed more upset over the fact that he lost his one true love than about the curse, and even Cogworth seemed resigned to his fate. They never blamed him for what happened; they just wanted him to stop hating himself and find the love he needed to break the spell. As to how this ties to comparisons with Gaston: the servants did challenge Beast to change even before Belle arrived, and while they followed his orders in general, they were more than willing to break or ignore them when necessary (like helping Maurice). Gaston, on the other hand, has his near-sociopathic self-indulgence fueled by the enabling villagers. He is never questioned or challenged, except by Belle.
This is key: it shows that Belle BY HERSELF could not change Gaston nor Beast, and the best part is she knew this. She knew that her love alone wouldn't work; Gaston was a Jerkass through and through, and she was ready to write Beast off as one too. it was only after the servants told Beast what he did wrong and showed him the folly of his ways (something that would never happen to Gaston) did she see anything worth saving in him. It may seem like random rambling from me, but it seems to me that, at least in the Disney version, the servants' role in the Beast's redemption is severly overshadowed.
- A sort of sub-WMG from this same troper: the Beast/Gaston parallels can be seen as an allegory for substance abuse.
- Another fridgy guess from the same troper: the reason Belle knew she couldn't change Gaston or Beast through The Power of Love? She was an avid reader and quite intelligent, and realized the inherent flaws in such a fairy tale-like situation she found herself in.
- Another thing you have to consider is that the Beast, unlike Gaston, feels guilt from his actions even if there is no one there to call him on them. This ties in neatly to his self-hatred, before his transformation he was much like Gaston in that he was selfish and self-absorbed. He couldn't really love anyone because he was completely in love with himself and it was only after learning to hate himself that he could begin the transition into being a better person. By the time the film takes place he's depressed, bitter, and very, 'very angry, but he's not really all that selfish because he absolutely hates himself and everything he's become. But while he is often rough with people he feels bad about it enough to try and make it right, case in point when he goes to save Belle after chasing her out of the West Wing. It's one of his first selfless acts and her gratitude is the thing that proves to himself that maybe he can be better.
The French Revolution took place while the Prince was in beast form.
The monarchy sent him to live in some remote castle because he was such a Spoiled Brat and they were tired of dealing with him. He escaped the Revolution because he was quietly assumed dead when he turned into a Beast. This is why the Beast doesn't seem to rule over anything even though he's a "prince" and there don't seem to be any other royals. And note that he's actually only referred to as a prince in the prologue, back when the monarchy was intact.
The enchantress is just trying to help, and is on the beasts side.
The enchantress seems very like the random magic users in a lot of fairy tales, she is good at heart but doesn’t really know enough about humans to make the punishment or reward fit the action. If the beast was in fact 11 when she cursed him, she was trying to stop him from growing up to be like Gaston (which, it has been pointed out, would be very bad for a person in power) since he doesn’t seem to have any parents and the only other people around do not have any authority. True her approach was overkill, but it does seem to have work. Furthermore, the enchantress seems to have done everything she could to avoid the beast dying. She left him the magic mirror. Also that rose seems to have been a big draw for people who ought to know better, so it plays a big role in getting Belle to the castle and talking to the beast. You could even argue that the transformation sequence activating at the exact moment it did saved his life.
Gaston was the hunter who killed Bambi's mom
I don't know when/where I first heard this theory but look on the wall during the Gaston song...
- That's an interesting idea. The only problem is that "Beauty and the Beast" is set in France, while Bambi lives in an American forest, according to animal species in it.
- It happened in Toontown, Gaston had a bit part in Bambi!
- In the original novel Bambi is a roe deer, not a white-tailed deer, which are found throughout Europe.
- A further note on the original novel, it was first published in Austria and it's a high possibility that's where the setting is.
- I remember hearing that this theory is what the filmmakers were trying to imply when they made the film.
The Beast rejected the Enchantress because he was mourning his parent's death
He was desperately sad that his parents were recently killed, either by an illness, in the French Revolution or by childbirth (Mother) and either of the two, or a hunting accident. He didn't want the old woman in his castle because he was still coping with grief, and didn't want anyone to know it (This is taking into account that the Beast was 10-11 when he was cursed). However, the Enchantress still cursed him and he... Well... reacted badly, to say the least. The combined stress of losing his parents, as well as thinking he doomed his servants and their families to the same curse, caused some serious mental trauma, which in turn caused him to regress into a beast in body and mind, with the last ounce of his humanity being kept there by the castle servants, then Belle, then she came along.
- given that the Beast is a Prince, and a Prince is usually the son of a King and Queen, it's not outside the realm of possibility that his parents were King Louis and Marie Antoinette. thus him shunning the people of France for beheading his parents.
- Except the prologue explicitly stated that enchantress could see there was no love in the prince's heart. Someone mourning his parents would not have turned her away in the way described.
Belle is a Time Lord
How else can you explain her cameo appearance in Hunchback of Notre Dame which is supposedly set 200 years before her birth?
- There's no specific time for when the movie actually takes place; this troper always thought that Belle and Maurice lived in Paris and moved to the village later, hence the line: "Every morning just the same/Since the morning that we came/To this poor provincial town".
Belle was pregnant at the final scene of The Enchanted Christmas (that was after the original movie)
Her body is proportioned much differently than how she is usually shown. Her body seems to have gained slightly more weight around her stomach while her face seems a lot thicker than usual, like she is in the early stages of pregnancy.
The Beast is a Time Lord
Just look at the transformation sequence at the end, the beams of light erupting from his fingertips and face, and also remember that he just got (apparently lethally) stabbed. He's not turning back into a human, the wound actually was deadly and he's regenerating! The fairy in the beginning did not turn him into a monster, she outright killed him, causing his regeneration into a less human-like appearance and changing his personality from Jerkass to frowning recluse.
- On a related note, the castle is his TARDIS. Notice how it changes dramatically after his transformation, up to and including the weather? This is also how Belle appears in Hunchback- she becomes his companion and gets her 'adventure in the great wide somewhere' after all.
- If we're doing crossover guessing, then Beast is actually He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, since his Word of God name is Adam, he's a prince, and blonde. The enchantress was probably Evil-Lyn.
The curse is more fair than it seems
The Beast's servants, despite being innocent of wrongdoing themselves, were cursed along with him. We never saw what would have happened had the curse not been broken, but I theorize that everyone but the beast would have turned human regardless. They were cursed with him not as punishment, but to help him learn the lesson. (Of course there was a lesson, otherwise why would there be an escape clause?) If that last petal fell and the Beast became irredeemable, there would be no point in keeping everyone else in the castle. A few of them would try and stay, but with hope gone the Beast would become progressively more unstable and violent until it wasn't safe to stay.
The curse would have ended regardless
Magic is difficult. Permanent magic even more so. When the last petal fell from the rose the curse would have ended regardless, and the sorceress told the prince a lie to make a point. If everyone believes it, what does it matter if it is false? It still served its purpose.
- On a related note, perhaps there wasn't actually any conditional elements in the curse at all, and even if Belle had confessed her love an hour in, the curse wouldn't have ended until he turned 21.
- The sorceress was Genre Savvy and knew the curse-breaking event wouldn't occur until the very last moment anyway so she didn't feel that she needed to actually include the condition.
Belle is a furry
Watch her face after the Beast transforms. Doesn't she look a little disappointed?
Gaston is not what he seems.
The moral of the story is "Don't judge those who are different". Gaston and Le Fou show shades of being intelligent and having some Ho Yay...what if this wasn't accidental? Gaston is actually intelligent and gay, but due to the time period, loathes himself for it and creates a persona of a skirt-chasing meathead in the hopes that nobody's the wiser. He knows he's "different" and instead of accepting himself, acts like a giant hypocrite, thus driving the moral home even harder.
Belle's mother was a member of V.F.D.
Belle calls the town "poor", yet it's not that badly off as it has a market for fine hats and a books (admittedly, only one quite small shop devoted to each). There are not one, but several people who are not only on the same economic level as Belle but better dressed. Thus, we may assume that her mother was a noble member of V.F.D. in all senses of the word, and encouraged a reputation of harmless eccentricity by marrying an inventor instead of someone on her class level, which also allowed her to teach Belle to read. Thus, Belle was used to a higher standard of living and a more intellectual lifestyle. Due to her parent's marriage, she was also taught that money isn't everything, which easily translates to "looks aren't everything".
Let's assume that Belle's mother died when Belle was young, before she could receive higher-level training, the tattoo on her ankle, or actually knowing her mother (and/or father) was a member of V.F.D. As she is grown and apparently well adjusted, this may explain why she never speaks about her mother.
Maurice may or may not have been an associate himself. His wife's death is the reason they had to move. He may have been provided for by an in-law before falling on really hard times, shortly before the beginning of the film. He may have been told that the area was dangerous and fled from town to town, under the excuse that his inventions weren't catching on and they could no longer afford their old place. He may have simply moved around following the fairs. And if Maurice had been planning to go to Valencia's Fair Day...
As for Maurice never telling Belle about V.F.D. should he be a member of it, he may have wanted his daughter to live a safe, normal life--or he was just hopelessly busy making machines for V.F.D. and couldn't find the time to recruit Belle. His remark on Gaston may have been a test to see if she had her priorities straight and could tell noble people from ignoble people.
Belle was also taught to be a flaneur (or, flaneuse?), as she is very good at observing people. At the beginning of the movie, everyone still acts as if it Belle is the new girl--they know her name, yet aren't completely used to her oddness. But Belle herself is incredibly bored, knowing off the top of her head the entire current inventory of a bookstore which is small but full. The way she walks through town, avoiding a splash of dirty water, skipping through children's jumprope games, and using a wagon to her advantage, is not simple coincidence or luck. She settled into her own routine so quickly that she knows, and has gotten used to, everyone else's schedules as well.
This exchange cements Belle as a precise speaker, as V.F.D. members are known to be:
Gaston: A rustic hunting lodge, my latest kill roasting on the fire, and my little wife, massaging my feet, while the little ones play with the dogs. We'll have six or seven.
But she also uses more precise language than the bookshop owner himself. He states that she has "read" the book he gives her twice. It may be true that Belle has read it twice... but it doesn't mean that she has only read the book twice. From their dialogue, the book at the beginning of the film was not a book which she had read before, and she had borrowed it from him yesterday. This means that she, like many avid readers, can read a good-sized book in one sitting if particularly absorbed with nothing else to do. From her knowledge of his inventory, it is also implied that the book she returned was the last book she hadn't read in the shop. And from that we may assume that a new shipment of books came shortly after she worked her way through the old inventory (some more than once), which took place within a few months at most. Thus, she asked him if he'd gotten anything new yesterday, because she was about to run out of things to read... again.
Belle never confirms or denies the number of times she has actually read a book. All she says is that she has come to return the book she had "borrowed", not that she has come to return the book she had "read". She may very well borrow a book once or twice, but read it multiple times because she has nothing else to do, and she never corrects the owner because she is too polite and wants to remain on good terms. Also, due to her upbringing, Belle appears to have gotten lonely, but doesn't know how to connect with people who don't read as much as she does--if they even read at all. So in an attempt to look a little more normal, she glosses over her exact level of intelligence to put everyone at ease. So, the only thing we know for sure is that Belle has read the book at least twice.
Note: Belle's idea of downplaying her intelligence is "letting people assume that she only reads a book once when she borrows it". She still reads while she walks, talks about books and borrows them regularly, and helps her father with his inventions. However, this is likely because she acted the way she usually did on her first day in town. By the time Belle realized everyone was freaked out about her constant reading instead of staring at her because she was pretty, it was too late for her to pretend she didn't know how to read at all.
Back to V.F.D.: The bookshop owner may be the only member in town. Judging from his imprecise language and the dearth of V.F.D. members (since the shop is completely empty), he is a bit rusty. He gave Belle that book so quickly, not only because it is an old book which no one except her seems interested in, but because it has a coded message, which is one or both of the following:
1) It recruits Belle into V.F.D. As she is obviously smart, having memorized his current inventory, as well as reading the book at least twice, the owner trusted that she would notice anything odd this time around.
2) It informs her of her mother's real occupation. A member of V.F.D. who knew her family paid for it, put in the message, then told the owner to give it to Belle before going back into hiding (or being killed).
Belle never finished the book this time around, because the film happened and she got a library full of other books, which she likely began to read at once due to them being entirely new to her and she assumed there was nothing new about the book the owner gave her. Thus, she never found the message.
Lastly, her name is Belle. If her mother was a noblewoman, she would likely have been exposed to other languages and the common name has a double meaning. "Beautiful" in French, which has a homophone in English for "an object which makes a ringing sound". There is also a bell on the door of the bookshop. And which code taught to members of the V.F.D. uses a bell?
The plot is the focal point for a vast, inter-movie conspiracy
It starts with Gaston. His dumb-brutishness appears to be a facade. We know that the town doesn't treat intellectuals well. They ostracize Belle and attempt to get Maurice institutionalized. Gaston could simply be acting stupid defensively. When doing something that interests him (like talking about himself or preparing for a showdown) he becomes verbose and obviously well-read. He uses the word "expectorating" in context and quotes both Macbeth and the Bible in the Mob Song. When it would be more noticeable, though, he turns books sideways, smacks chessboards around, and decries the "dangerous pastime" of thinking. If nothing else, he knows psychology, easily speedchessing his way into getting what he wants. Due to the Bambi's mother theory above, we can open the possibility that there's more going on here, in regards to the rest of the Disney universe.
Now we move to the Disproportionate Retribution of the enchantress. The cruelty of cursing an entire castle for the rudeness and inhospitality of an 11-year-old prince feels almost contrived. Perhaps it was. But by whom? Well, we know that it's set in France in a time when royalty was a thing. If the timeline fits, one is tempted to suspect Merlin. After all, crippling the government of a neighboring country is a good way to ensure that your young king (Arthur) gets to grow into a responsible leader without the country going to hell by being invaded. But doing it himself would most certainly open the door to war anyway, so he would need an accomplice. Because of the Madame Mim fiasco, we know that sorcerous entities in this universe associate with one another. It's possible that he requested the help of a magic user with experience with curses and something to gain. Enter Maleficent, who has a castle of her own, so it stands to reason that she's interested in territory and rulership. She could be the enchantress. But there is a third suspect. The Queen from Snow White. She, like the Beast, has a magic mirror. A magic mirror that lends her the ability to see her competition when it comes to beauty. It's possible that she saw the girl NAMED "Beauty" and decided that she needed in on this plan, if only to exterminate her. Merlin and Maleficent would surely enter her into the pact, what with her mirror's omniscience.
Their plan would have gone off perfectly... if not for one thing. Gaston. Now, in Snow White, we see that the Queen's mirror doesn't like her much. It could be the case that, much like the wizards, the mirrors have a secret society of their own, complete with plans and counterplans. It could be that Beast's mirror and the Queen's mirror arranged for a third mirror to get into the hands of Gaston who, due to the precognitive abilities of the magic mirror, formulated a plan concerning the Beast and Belle. This is supported a bit by his predilection for reflective surfaces, and how comfortably he wields Belle's magic mirror. Now, if he presented himself as any kind of threat to the conspiracy, his ability to subvert it would be negated. So he pretends in front of everyone that he's all brawn and no brains, while simultaneously behaving in a self-centered and off-putting way towards Belle. He knows that if she and the Beast profess their love for one another in time, his country will be restored, and Belle saved from certain magical doom. In that context, everything he does makes much more sense. Angrily stating that Belle has feelings for the Beast? Planting the notion in her mind. Sending the mob? Getting Belle back to the castle before the rose wilts. Stabbing Beast in the back? A Heroic Sacrifice, since Belle wouldn't have professed her love in time unless she thought it was the last thing she'd have to say to the Beast.
Gaston turns out to be the good guy all along, shaping his whole life around a vision granted him by the mirrors. All his villainy, under this theory, is attributed to an omniscience-guided plan that required it. Especially since everything did, indeed, turn out for the best.
- This troper has read some crazy fanon in his time, but this ... this may be the single greatest fan theory ever. Thank you, whoever wrote this. Just wanted to say that.