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Figure 1: La Belle et la Bete movie poster.
"Jean Cocteau and Rene Clement's" tale of a beautiful young women who is almost forced upon to falls in love with a hideous monster by how he refuses to let her leave his magical kingdom and really tries hard to make her fall in love with him. The tale of how the two met is also a reflection on the beasts cruel look on life by Belle's father accidentally coming across his fathers land and was then given a choice to either he dies or one of his daughters do.
Figure 2: the magical arms holding the candles.
Roger Ebert commenting on the film for how well it is made and that "before the days of computer effects and modern creature makeup, here is a fantasy alive with trick shots and astonishing effects, giving us a Beast who is lonely like a man and misunderstood like an animal."(R Ebert 1999). This statement is completely true as For a film to be made in this time period and still give us such a mythical and fairy tale narrative is quiet astonishing considering there was no computers or make up artists the standards they are to this day. The production and costume design behind this film is superb as they really do capture the time period that its meant to be set in but they also emphasise certain things to make it look more like a fairy tale.
Figure 3: Still shot of beast.
No matter what age or generation people may be this particular fairy tale will forever be known not just because of its compelling story telling but but the commercial success of this version of the tale and the Disney adaptation of the story. For a film of its time it was a huge hit "attracting an audience of just under four million, as well as garnering widespread critical acclaim and winning the prestigious Prix Louis Delluc" (James Travers 2000). The 1991 Disney version was also an incredible hit but wasnt just seen as a kids fairy tale film as it was the first animated film to have won an Oscar.
Figure 4: Belle & Beast in together company.
It is clear that this film was made for entertainment purposes but there is allot of hidden meanings and lessons to be learnt from this film. Lisa Thatcher also commented on this explaining that " is a story that teaches the incorruptibility of courage, patience, stoicism, understanding and above all else, not judging a book by its cover"( L. Thatcher).
R. Ebert (1999): http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-beauty-and-the-beast-1946
J. Travers (2000): http://frenchfilmsite.com/review/1946-B/La_Belle_et_la_bete.html
L. Thatcher: http://lisathatcher.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/la-belle-et-la-bete-jean-cocteau-re-imagines-fairytales-film-review/
Figure 1: http://cineclap.free.fr/la-belle-et-la-bete-1946/la-belle-et-la-bete-1946-a02.jpg?lzv1ok
Figure 2: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dNDME2wSnOE/TTXBcG5ZqlI/AAAAAAAAAEw/bFDrBarRJXo/s1600/beauty3
Figure 3: http://planetaua.net/uploads/posts/2012-10/1350799100_1.png
Figure 4: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wIAfH85Z2SE/UU-t8Kp5YqI/AAAAAAAAALw/XueLhXv6TB0/s320/BeautyandtheBeast1-460x349.jpg