When Does ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Take Place?

It’s a tale as old as time. Beauty and the Beast tells the story of one small-town girl who dreams of adventure in the great wide somewhere. She didn’t anticipate meeting a beast and getting trapped in an enchanted castle. 

Here’s what we know about Disney’s animated and live-action adaptations of Beauty and the Beast

Actress Emma Watson attends the New York special screening of Disney's live-action adaptation 'Beauty and the Beast'
Actress Emma Watson attends the New York special screening of Disney’s live-action adaptation ‘Beauty and the Beast’ | ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Disney released live-action and animated versions of ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Hot off of the heels of The Little Mermaid, Disney released their animated film, Beauty and the Beast in 1991. This movie featured the to-be princess, named Belle, on her adventure in an enchanted castle. 

She makes a few friends along the way, including a temperamental beast that she falls in love with. In 2017, Walt Disney Studios released a live-action adaptation of this film with Harry Potter alumna, Emma Watson, as the title character. 

This movie took place in a similar setting, featuring beloved songs like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Be Our Guest.” However, Disney has not specified what year or what part of France this movie takes place.

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During what time period does Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ take place?

There is no official date from Disney regarding Beauty and the Beast. The original Villeneuve fairytale of Belle and her beast was published in 1740, leading some Disney fans to believe this story took place around that era. According to Fiction Horizon, the animated film takes place “between the late 1790s and the early 1880s.”

In the live-action adaptation of this Disney film, Belle and the Beast travel to Paris via the Enchantress’ book. It’s there that the Beast finds a doctor’s mask and hypothesizes that Belle’s mother died of the “plague.”

Assuming he’s referencing “The Plague of Provence,” a later version of the Bubonic plague, as well as pneumonic manifestations of Yersinia pestis, this epidemic took place in France from 1720 until 1722, according to the Environment and Society Portal. That means the story of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast would’ve taken place during the mid-1700s. 

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Where does Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ take place?

There’s no name for Belle’s little town/quiet village. Fans did learn that this film takes place in France. Consequently, this character sometimes appears at the France Pavillion in Walt Disney World’s theme park, EPCOT. 

Disney’s live-action and animated versions of Beauty and the Beast are available on the streaming platform, Disney+. Additionally, some fans also anticipate the spinoff featuring the characters Gaston and LeFou. 

For the Disney+ original series, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, the members of the East High School drama department put together a stage production of Beauty and the Beast.

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