Once upon a time, there was a prince who lived in a castle. Though he had everything his heart desired, he was spoiled and rude. One stormy night, an old woman knocked on his door and offered a single rose in exchange for shelter for the night. The prince was repulsed by her haggard appearance and turned her away. She warned him not to be deceived by appearances, but that beauty was found within. But when he dismissed her again, she transformed into a beautiful enchantress. The prince tried to apologize, but she had seen that there was no love in his heart. She transformed him into a hideous beast, and changed all the servants into household objects. The rose that she had offered, was an enchanted rose, which would bloom until his 21st birthday. If he could learn to love another, and earn her love in return, before the last petal fell, he would return to normal. If not he would remain a beast for all time. The beast gave up hope and locked himself in his castle, with a magic mirror as his only window to the outside world. For who could ever learn to love a beast?
In the town, the beautiful Belle was on her way to the bookshop to find a new book to read and return the one she had borrowed. The townspeople wondered at how beautiful she was, but how it was a shame that she didn't fit in. They all thought her to be crazy like her father, Maurice the inventor.
Gaston, the stuck-up snob of the town, followed Belle with his heart set on marrying her. He took away the book she had and told her that she should spend her time with him instead of reading books. Every other girl in the town loved Gaston, but Belle did not. Gaston tried to get Belle to come to the tavern and look as his hunting trophies with him, but at that moment there was a loud explosion from Belle's home. Belle rushed off to help her father as Gaston and his sidekick, Lafou, laughed.
Belle helped her father repair his invention as she talked about how out-of-place she felt in the village. Soon, the machine was fixed. Belle went to saddle the horse, Felipe, and her father rode off to the fair with his invention in tow.
Maurice and Felipe were soon lost in the woods. Felipe became extremely scared and ran off, leaving Maurice by himself. Maurice was soon being chased by wolves. He ran to a nearby iron gate and scrambled inside just in time. He walked inside the castle to ask for shelter, but found no one. Soon, Lumiere and Cogsworth, the talking candelabra and clock found him. As Lumiere and the other servants made Maurice comfortable, Cogsworth tried to get him out. Unfortunately, the Beast walked in and dragged Maurice up to the dungeon as he pleaded for mercy. Meanwhile, Gaston had paid a visit to Belle. She sighed and let him come in.
As he paraded around her home, Belle tried to find a way to get him to leave. But soon, he had trapped her and asked her to marry him. But Belle quickly opened the door and Gaston fell out into the mud. He stormed away vowing to make Belle marry him no matter what.
Belle ran out to a meadow behind her house to dream of far away places and princes in disguise and anything but Gaston. Her dress ruffled in the wind as she sang to herself.
Suddenly, Philipe came running up to Belle without Maurice on his back. Belle realized that something had happened to her father, and rode into the forest on Philipe. Philipe took Belle to the mysterious castle where Maurice had vanished into, and Belle wandered inside. As Lumiere and Cogsworth followed her, she went upstairs to the dungeon and found her father. Maurice warned her to leave, but it was too late.
The Beast came up to Belle from behind. Belle, refusing to let her father be locked up, offered to take his place as the Beast's prisoner. The Beast, suddenly aware that she could break the spell, agreed to let her take Maurice's place and hauled Maurice away to be taken to the village before Belle could even saw goodbye.
As Maurice was taken back to the village, the Beast showed Belle to her new room. As he took her through the castle, she was awed at everything she saw. The Beast granted her permission to go anywhere she liked except for the West Wing. After showing her to her room, the Beast told Belle that she must come to dinner, slamming the door behind her. Belle fell crying on to her bed as the Beast stormed away.
TO BE CONTINUED