Children believe what we tell them. They have complete faith in us. They believe that a rose plucked from a garden can plunge a family into conflict. They believe that the hands of a human beast will smoke when he slays a victim and this will cause the beast shame, when a young maiden takes up residence in his home. They believe a thousand other simple things. I ask of you a little of this childlike simplicity, and, to bring us luck, let me speak four magic little words, childhood's "open sesame". "Once upon a time..." ~ Jean CocteauThis film is just exquisite. Because of the small budget after WWII the "special effects" were very minimal but still leave a fascinating impact. One example of the lack of budget is a scene filled with sheets hanging out to dry. These hundreds of sheets were "donated" by surrounding communities for this one shot. An example of the fantasy aspect of the film, the candlesticks on the walls are held by real hands and the statues throughout the Beast's palace have seeing eyes. One of my favorite parts in the film is Belle's introduction to the palace and the magic that inhibits it; not only does she find this eerie but faints upon first sight of the hideousness of the Beast, who than carries her to her room and while crossing the threshold her simple dress turns into an elegant gown. Lastly, not only is it fun to read the book see this movie, but is also interesting to compare Jean Cocteau's version to that of Disney's as they stole so much from it.
This clip is a nice comparison if you will (and also my favorite scene in the movie.)