To honor the 25th anniversary of Beauty and the Beast, I want to answer the age old question; how much time does the movie cover?
Well, no better place to start than the beginning. While Belle is walking around the town, there are a lot of yellows, browns, reds, and greens in the color scheme so I’d say it’s about Halloween time in the beginning; I’m going to guess November 2nd as a starting point. To further this thought, there are NO leaves on the trees in the woods that Mauriece rides through.
Since Belle says that the big fair that her father’s going to takes place the next day from whenever the film starts, I’d say he was gone for three, four days maximum, bringing us to November 6th. If he was gone for longer, I’d think that Belle would get more worried on her own rather than only getting worried when she sees her father’s horse rushing back home. Also, Gaston would need more than a day or two to get people together for his “wedding”. After that, I think it took a few hours for Belle to find the Beast’s castle.
Now, this is where we get…a little mixed up. I’m pulling a different source unrelated to Beauty and the Beast to figure out a few pieces of this. An old musical that takes place in the northern states of the US, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, have lyrics in one of the songs that say exactly how many months in the year feature snow regularly and what months those are. The reason I’m using this as a resource is because Beauty and the Beast takes place in France and France shares latitude with Canada and I personally don’t know…anything related to snow because I live in Texas…and lived in Texas my whole life… I gotta get creative to figure out how long Belle was at the castle.
Anyway, the song June Bride from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers says “In November the snow starts to fly, piling up ankle high”. Early November; so far, so good.
The night that Belle is imprisoned, it starts to snow outside, and there was no snow outside before she entered the castle, so some hours passed before Gaston boasts on himself and conspires against Mauriece. Again, some hours after Belle cries in her room is when Beast declares that “She doesn’t eat with me, she doesn’t eat at all”.
Now, things get…messy. We have no idea how long Belle was held up in her room, refusing to eat, but humans naturally can’t survive without food longer than a few days. However, she was in there long enough for Lumiere to find the feather duster that he’s going steady with and…have…what I could only assume is…weird lamp-feather duster-sex…but not so long for him to forget completely about Belle. So, I’m assuming that she was in there for a day bringing us to November 7th.
The very same night that she sneaks out for food is when Lumiere sings Be Our Guest, she wanders to the West Wing, and Beast scares her into breaking her word to stay willingly. There is no break between these events, so I could only assume it all happened in one night. However, when she leaves, there’s a snow storm (typically in movies, if opening the door makes fires go out as fast as Lumiere’s lights go out, that means a storm of some type). Also, in the sequel, Beauty and the Beast; Enchanted Christmas, Mrs. Potts says that Beast saving Belle happened recently before Christmas. Again, I gotta assume that it took at least until the next morning for her to get cornered by the wolves. Now, with Belle tending to Beast’s wound, we are on November 8th.
Again, same night, Gaston strikes a deal with the…creepy…asylum dude…to take Mauriece away unless Belle marries him (I hear YouTubers say that Beast should be the bad guy of the movie because he gambles and trades Belle and her father, but Gaston does the same thing). Here’s what’s important. There isn’t snow stuck to the ground, or at least not much snow, during that scene; however, when Gaston goes to Belle’s house, there’s a blanket of snow. Therefore, I think that he took a few more days to get everything set up to either take Mauriece away or marry Belle. Since I said earlier that it took 3-4 days, I’ll assume the same here and say it’s now November 12th.
After that, the movie makes a montage through winter and skips ahead to the big dance scene that everyone remembers. In that dance scene, it’s not snowing outside at the castle, and (as we later find out) not at the village either so we can safely assume it’s spring; even more so with the extra musical number, Human Again, where it shows the snow melting. But when is spring? Or better yet, when does snow stop falling to allow spring to come?
Back to Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the song June Bride says “In November the snow starts to fly…In December it’s up to your knees…January, higher still…February finds a drift…March comes in…still the snow never melts…April showers come, so they say. But they don’t and it’s May. You’re about to forget the whole thing, all at once, one day, it’s spring.” Each line is a new month, so with that in mind, and the title of the song into consideration, spring isn’t until June. So, since there is snow literally nowhere else other than the woods and that one pile where Gaston threw Laffu, I’m assuming the big dance is June 2nd (not just because that’s my birthday but because it’s still really early spring since the snow either just melted or is in the process of melting).
Belle was released the same night as the dance, and, since there are no cuts other than a supposed hour or so skip for Mauriece to open his eyes after Belle saves him from the snow, the rest of the movie happens on June 2nd until midnight when Beast turned 21 on June 3rd and the last petal falls from the rose.
So, to recap. While most Disney princess’ fall in love after anything between one glance to maybe a month if they’re lucky, Belle had all winter. And not just a Texas December til Feburary winter (though that’ll still be really high on the lucky scale for Li’l Ms. Beauty), but a real, white, November til June winter. Oh, and also, Laffu dies of pneumonia after the events of the movie due to staying in the snow, not moving from his spot, from November 12th till June 2nd. You know, for kids!
Thank you for reading yet another wacky blog. What do you guys think? If I got everything wrong because of the snow and my lack of knowledge on the subject of snow, let me know in the comments, and have a beautiful rest of your day~!
Wanna witness the months of Beast and Belle (seriously, did the staff ever give that guy a name?) fall in love for yourself? Grab a DVD from Amazon of this tale as old as time. Or, for when you’re in a more festive mood, get the DVD of the Enchanted Christmas, also on Amazon.