Monday, March 13, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Week Tag

It's Beauty and the Beast Week over at Meredith's blog, On Stories and Words!  I reviewed The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux for this yesterday on my book blog, and today, I'm going to fill out the tag Meredith kindly provided.

1.When did you first experience Beauty and the Beast? 

Sometime in the mid-'90s, a friend loaned us the Disney animated movie, but the part where Belle's dad gets chased by wolves in the forest scared my little brother so much, we had to turn it off.  I'm sure I read some version or other of it as a kid, but I didn't see the whole Disney version until I was in college.  I liked it okay, but didn't love it.

2. In what forms (book, movie, retelling) have you experienced Beauty and the Beast? 

I've seen the Disney animated movie a few times, and I've read the Five Enchanted Roses collection of five retellings from Rooglewood Press.  I've also seen the movie Rigoletto (1993), which I love and wish I could find on DVD for a decent price.  And I've read The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux and seen the 2004 movie of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based on it, as well as the 1925 silent film version.  I've also read the children's version of the story by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont.  But by far, my favorite retelling is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë!

3. Who is your favorite character in Beauty and the Beast?

Usually the beast.  I have a lot of sympathy for him.  Beauty is cool too, but she doesn't quite grab my emotions the way he does.  Though in some retellings, that's not true.

4. What is your favorite song from the cartoon Beauty and the Beast?

The title song.  It makes me cry!

5. If you were turned into a piece of furniture what you want it to be?

A bookshelf :-)

6. What would your dream cast for Beauty and the Beast be?

Hmmm.  I rather think Hugh Jackman would be an amazing beast.  And Alicia Vikander is quickly becoming a favorite of mine, so I'll cast her as Belle.  This would be a pretty serious movie, I think, delving deeply into issues of appearances versus reality, inner and outer beauty, and what promises really mean.  Self-sacrifice and loyalty would be major themes as well.

7. If your school were performing BatB, which character would you want to play?

Mrs. Potts, I think.  I'm too old to be Belle.

8. Like Belle, do you enjoy reading books multiple times?

Absolutely!  I am a devoted re-reader.

9. If you were to write a retelling, what would you change?

Interesting question, because I've been pondering writing a western version, but I can't quite find the right angle yet.  I think I would make the beauty a little older so that when she decides to stay with the beast, she's making a mature decision about her future, not being impetuous.  Not that I'm saying Belle is impetuous, necessarily, but... I'd like to write her as an older heroine, someone in her thirties at least.  I think that would be cool.

10. Are roses your favorite flower?

Nope, daffodils are.

Don't forget to visit On Stories and Words this week to join in all the Beauty and the Beast fun!


  1. So fun! Your dream cast looks like a great pick and best, Rachel. Also, best of luck with your rewrite of this classic; hope you can find the right angle. :)

    I have BATB stuff planned this week... we'll just see if I get it all put together. ;)

    1. Rissi, wouldn't that be a fun cast? I have to admit that writing this post has given me a glimmering of an idea for a retelling, so we shall see.

      Hope you can get your BATB stuff rounded up! I'm looking forward to reading other peoples' posts :-)

  2. I always forget that Jane Eyre is a retelling! I do enjoy that one!

    A bookself! Yes!!!

    Get that retelling out, I would read it!

    1. MovieCritic, like I just said to Rissi above, writing up my dream cast for this has given me a glimmer of an idea for a retelling, so we shall see. It could happen!

  3. I forgot, I've seen Rigoletto! Wow, that was a WEIRD movie. I like Alicia Vikander as Belle, but I think Hugh Jackman is overrated, hmm. I think I'm thinking this from the JE comparison, but Fassbender might be a good beast (not my ideal, but thinking along ?JE lines). And a western take would be AWESOME.

    1. Livia, I liked Rigoletto for its weirdness. I own the soundtrack.

      I actually thought of Michael Fassbender for Beast, since he and Alicia Vikander are a real-life couple. He's been taking over my brain for other stories a lot, though, so I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of having this one too.

      And Hugh Jackman is my third-favorite actor of all time, as well as the actor I relate to the most. Given his emotionally riveting performance in Logan, I would love to see him in just about anything right now.

  4. "Jane Eyre" is a BatB retelling . . .

    Mind = blown.

    No, seriously--I had never thought of that before!! But that's SO COOL.

    (Have you listened to the soundtrack for the new movie yet, by the way? Emma Thompson is FABULOUS and I can't believe what a good job Luke Evans is doing.)

    1. Jessica, it's not an original thought to me, and when I first read that somewhere, I felt the very same way. Duuuuuuuude. Cuz it so works.

      No, I haven't. I must confess I'm still trying to dredge up the courage to go. My bff is going to see it first and then report to me on whether I will enjoy it or not.

      I do love Luke's voice, though. In fact, him singing is what boosted me from "Wow, I like him as Bard the Bowman" to "I am a fan!!!" in the first place. First it was this, which led me to this, and then finally to this, and by the end of the third one, I was completely gone. I do love a guy who can sing!

    2. Well, I could understand if you decided you didn't want to see it in the first place, since Luke Evans plays one of your favorite characters in another movie . . . Like, I don't want to watch the BBC version of "Our Mutual Friend" because I know David Morrissey plays a reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally creepy villain, and I don't think I would quite know how to handle that.

  5. I never thought about Jane Eyre being a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but it makes sense once I think about it.

    A Beauty and the Beast movie with Hugh Jackman and Alicia Vikander would be amazing!

    That would be interesting if Belle was older when she made her decision to stay with the Beast. It would give a different perspective to the story.

    1. Ekaterina, that's just how I felt the first time I heard someone pose the idea of Jane Eyre as BATB. It just works once you think about it.

      Thanks, I'm glad you like the idea of an older Belle, as I'm now tumbling that very idea around and around in my head to see what sticks to it.

  6. I want to watch your cast of Beauty and the Beast, complete with the themes you mentioned, AND I want to read your Western retelling with an older Belle. That would be brilliant!

    1. Thanks, Natalie! I'm kind of combining both those ideas in my head right now, see what they turn into.

  7. I forgot that Jane Eyre was a BatB retelling. That's so cool!

    Hugh Jackman would make an excellent Beast.

    Huh, I like the idea of an older Belle...

    Thanks for participating! :)

    1. Meredith, thanks for hosting the whole week! I still have some posts to catch up on, I know -- hoping to do that soon. It's been fun :-)

  8. Jack man and Vikander would be perfect!! Daffodils are my favorite too ;)

    1. I think so too, Phyl. In fact, I'm currently dreaming up a western version of Beauty and the Beast "casting" Hugh Jackman, Alicia Vikander, and Michael Fassbender as the main characters.

      I plant more daffodils just about every year because I can't get enough of them!


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