Aimee Bender on Beauty and the Beast, the most romantic story ever told:
On the one hand, the Disney film, which came out in 1991, hit this particular generation of college students nearly at birth, and it makes sense that Belle, Gaston, and the rugged, burdened Robby Benson-Beast shaped their views of film and love and storytelling. Many of them have watched it dozens of times. But the story’s appeal is deeper than that. Like all lasting fairy tales, and possibly even more than the others, Beauty and the Beast resonates with some harp string tucked deep in our DNA.
What is it about this tale and its various extraordinary retellings?
Click here for more from Aimee on the classic fairy tale, or read up on some of those extraordinary retellings. We have Merrie Haskell on Beauty, the first English-language novel-length take on the tale. Sherri Smith revisits The Fire Rose, set near San Francisco in 1905 with a bookworm of a heroine not unlike Disney’s Belle. Finally, Beast sets the action in Persia, telling the story from the Beast’s perspective.
Beauty and the Beast is a classic fairy tale, and we all think we know the story. But do we?