Study Guide

Beauty and the Beast What's Up With the Ending?

What's Up With the Ending?

The ending is just about what we'd expect from a Walt Disney production.

They take their happily ever after seriously in the House of Mouse, and there's little doubt that Belle and her restored beau will be waltzing away to the perfect life once Belle has broken the spell.

That's pretty close to the way things ended in the original story. Disney always takes great liberties with their source material, but in this case, they made all of the changes early in the film. For example, in the fairy tale, Belle has two wicked stepsisters and Gaston is nowhere to be seen. Disney changed all of that in part to get away from the whole Cinderella vibe and made Gaston the "wicked stepsister" by default.

But, the end is pretty much just the same (okay, okay, without the rampaging villagers). Belle returns to find the Beast dying, and as he expires, her tears transform him back into a human again. The happily ever after goes off the same way, and Belle and the Beast get the same upbeat finale that the movie delivers.

That's actually a good thing. Disney's previous fairy tale movie, The Little Mermaid, got into a little hot water for changing the melancholy ending of the original Hans Christian Andersen story for something a little more upbeat. We're not complaining; you sign up for Uncle Walt's hayride, you're gonna get a happy ending. Them's the rules.

Besides, it's a great ending, isn't it? Makes us cry every time.

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