Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Other Beauty and the Beast Concepts

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. These are some of the various concepts and interpretations done of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST over many years. Since we discussed Jean Cocteau's brilliant film, LA BELLE ET LA BETE, I thought it would be interesting to see what other creative minds had come up with. Where I have a source, I've included it. If you recognize a source I have omitted, please let me know and I'll add it. Read more about the origin, story and other interpretations of Beauty and the Beast here.

1) This is artist Angela Barrett's very sensitive and beautifully rendered version of the tale. I love her interpretation of the Beast. Read more about artist Angela Barrett and see more of her work here.

2) I have no source for this illustration. It features the Beast as a lionesque or cat-like creature which is probably the most popular or familiar version.

3) This is the well-known Walt Disney interpretation. The Disney film version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was a huge hit, starring as it did the voices of Angela Lansbury and Jerry Ohrbach among others. Not my favorite Disney film, but I must admit I do tear up whenever I see Beast and Beauty begin their waltz.

4) Art by Walter Crane. The beast in this illustration might have possibly influenced the Disney version?

5) Art by Marianna Mayer. The Beast again has the cat-like face here. I think the feline face is most popular because of the inherrent lines of nobility in the cat.

6) Well Vogue had to get into the mix at some point or other. This is a beautiful photo. Again we have the noble lion as Beast. Portfolio by Annie Leibovitz.

7) This is famed painter Arthur Rackham's interpretation and my least favorite. His Beast looks too much like an alien from outer space for my taste.

8) Art by Warwick Goble. Here we have what looks like an equine interpretation of the fallen Beast. Interesting.

9) Art by Eleanor Vere Boyle.This time the Beast is interpreted as some sort of saber toothed cat.

10) The Beast as a bear by an artist named Bowley. Another interesting, though, perhaps not as successful interpretation. Maybe the Beast looks too cuddly?

11) I was very fond of the 80's television show. It's really too bad that Linda Hamilton left the show just after her character and Beast had come together. Didn't do her career much good and I often wonder whose advice, if any, she was following. Obviously, though they tried to carry on without her, the show didn't last long.
(I understand now, from a comment left on this post, that Linda Hamilton was pregnant at the time and had some health issues which precipitated her leaving the show.)


  1. I like a lot of the images but the first has to be my favorite. There is something so sad about it with such a longing, that I can't help but be moved by it.

    I love the boar image in number 4. There is something so animalike in a boar that doesn't exist in the bigger cats. It's more beastly, if I can use that rather generic term for it.

    Image 5 for me is almost too much like a book cover for my taste. It's the perfect example of what should appear on a reissue of the story. It's rather pretty, but not all that memorable.

    I love the darkness in 9. The background is absolutely forboding and ominous, but it has my full attention.

    Ten just looks like it belongs in a baby nursery. It's cute.

  2. 11. I loved that show too. Yikes...was it that long ago?

  3. 1)Yes Ryan, mine too. If you use the first link in my post, you can see a bit more of the Beast from inside the book. He is amazing.

    4)The boar makes me smile. Look how he's sitting. Such a bon-vivant kind of attitude.

    5) I think you may be right.

    9) Yes.

    10) I agree.
    I do like seeing all the illustrations bunched together, even the Vogue cover. I wonder that someone hasn't done a retrospective in a gallery somewhere. It would make for a great show.

  4. mjoy: Yes, I couldn't believe it myself. I've tried to go back and watch some of the episodes but I'm always afraid that they won't be as good as I remember them being. I loved Ron Perlman's interpretation of the Beast. And by the way, he's shockingly good in the Hellboy movies as well. A very underrated actor.

  5. Linda Hamilton did not "abandon" Beauty and the Beast. She became pregnant! Having previously suffered a miscarriage, she asked the producers of the show for time off and also that she not spend so much time in the Tunnels because the smoke they used to produce the underground effect was very hard on her lungs and she was worried that it might harm her unborn child. They chose to ignore her wishes so she was able to opt out of her contract due to a clause that the writer's strike allowed her to use. Yes - it did effectively end the show when she left but she was really left little choice.

  6. Anonymous: Didn't know that about Linda Hamilton. I've never read this before, her being pregnant and needing time off, I mean. Well, it's good to set the record straight. Thank you.


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