Popular fairy tales Disney adapted into their most famous movies, are not as innocent as we think. They tend to sand the edges off some details, so neither stepsister loses a toe in "Cinderella" nor does the "Little Mermaid" die in the end. Every generation gives their version due to their idea of what young people can handle.

That is why it is very interesting that the tale of "Beauty and the Beast" is among the darkest versions of the tale. Here, darkness doesn't reflect in death or mutilation, but in psychological violence and suffering.

Disney’s film, the darkest of them all

Though there were many retellings of this tale, all of them kept the tense relationship of the "beauty and the Beast." However, the 1991 Disney film is actually the darkest retelling of all, despite all those musical numbers.

Gabrielle-Suzzane Barabot de Villeneuve wrote that the "Beauty and the Beast" tale is an allegory of an arranged marriage: a beautiful young woman is handed off to an ugly, rich noble. But, what makes this story even more horrible? Belle’s consent. Besides their rocky introduction, Beast punishes and threatens Belle. She is required to forgive all of Beast’s outbursts and to tame his temper (which is the true barrier, not the looks) before friendship can begin, which is actually an additional emotional burden.

However, she just accepts everything as it is and shows no rebellion. In this, Disney is more akin to Czech horror "Panna a netvor"!

2017 version of Belle is a whole new character

So, what about the latest adaptation of the tale? Well, the new Belle bristles at her captivity, she is declining dinner, shaming Beast for demanding her company and she even makes plans to escape even though Beasts’ behavior isn’t changed.

He now allows a brief farewell, but he still has demands with violent implications. This time they removed his early moments of conscience when he released Belle from the dungeons, so this time Lumiere does it. Story supervisor Roger Allers admitted why some changes were made: "It's basically a story about a girl who keeps coming to dinner and keeps being asked to marry and saying no—that's pretty boring, you know?" (Vice).

What we know for certain is that the tale of Beauty and the Beast left an indelible mark on pop culture. It’s led to a widespread assumption that beautiful women will find love in less attractive men and to look beyond appearance, and also reminded young men how to conduct themselves. The story carries the sense that their relationship is imperfect, and all of us can relate!