The 1991 Walt Disney Feature Animation film Beauty and the Beast, directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, remains one of the most influential animated classics of all time.
We owe several cultural staples to this animated movie: Be Our Guest, the ride and the song, the concept of a wilting enchanted rose as imagery for love, and fashion queues from Belle’s dress and Beast’s castle.
The Beast is a cantankerous, violent curmudgeon whose spiky attitude almost dooms him to life in that monstrous form.
The film’s success is a testament to this message’s evergreen status; it’s a billion-dollar moral for Disney before counting the cash from Emma Watson’s live action remake.*
*This version has a surprisingly low 71% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Beast’s Age
Movies from this early Disney era didn’t have deep descriptions of the characters or their lives; some details are rough and up in the air. Keep reading for a little bit of illumination.
How Old Is the Beast?
Voice by Robby Benson, Prince Adam, otherwise known as the Beast, was cursed for over a decade.
Knowing the curse placed on him, and how close the rose was to wilting completely, his age is apparent. (With one inconsistency.)
The Enchantress cursed young Prince Adam to remain in that form forever if he did not find love by his “21st year.”
The Beast is 20 years old during Beauty and the Beast; He is 21 when the rose in the west wing is fully wilted at the end of the movie.
How Old Was the Prince When He Turned Into the Beast?
This is the minor inconsistency we mentioned. Timing-wise, given the scene that we see in the 1991 animated film that depicts him getting cursed shows a somewhat mature young man.
According to the 21st year condition of the curse, he should have been 10 or 11 years old when he turned into the Beast.
Lumiere claims that the staff have been transformed for ten years. Simple math tells us that 21 – 10 = 11. That just doesn’t track, but it doesn’t really matter.
These movies are more about the small-scale story and the moral, not the coherent, overarching plot.
Imagine a little ten-year-old being interested in only a pretty young woman like Prince Adam was depicted as being interested in. It’s just a little creepy to consider.
To be fair, when’s the last time you let someone into your house from the outside, uninvited? Never, right? Justice for Prince Adam!!!