Beauty and the Beast

Anyone seen it? I really enjoyed it. Even with the way they cheated with the story limit.

Anyway, I’m wondering if this one has a group IC that includes Lumiere, Cogsworth, the Beast, and everyone in the enchanted castle as they are all trying to influence Belle to fall in love with the Beast.

I’m not sure if it had a full storyform or not, but I’ve been trying to figure out the through lines. It seems like the townsfolk have a problematic Fixed Attitude with a concern of Memory. And I guess that fits the castle too.
I’m thinking Belle maybe experiences problems from trying to protect her father. The residents of the castle have problems trying to make someone fall in love with the Beast, and the Beast has problems with how he thinks about unattractive people, I guess? the relationship is about how everyone is stuck. Belle is made prisoner and the residents of the castle are all cursed to be inanimate objects (or a beast). Sound anywhere close?
(Edit: now i’m talking myself into seeing the OS as having problems with Activity, Belle having problems with her Fixed Attitude, the castle residents being stuck, and the relationship about falling in love in Manipulation.)


I thought it was just okay, but I wasn’t crazy about the animated version either (I always seem to clock out after Be Our Guest ends and it gets all relationship-y. Might be my linear mind). No doubt on Optionlock, though.

I think the Memory/Past stuff is all benchmark. The subplot with Belle’s mother and things felt more like a judgement of her growth than any actual concern-level things. And the ‘past lives’ that come with the objects in the house also felt more like a benchmark.

The Overall Story is almost certainly in Activity. Picking the rose; the objects putting on a show for Belle; getting her dressed (physical comedy); fighting the wolves; creating a mob; fighting the intruders etc.

Belle is a be-er but I struggle to think of any instances that don’t include Beast or the Castle. Her determination for something more, though, certainly fits into an Attitude. And a concern of Innermost Desires.

I viewed the IC as mostly Beast, with occasional hand-offs to the objects. Totally situation. They’re stuck in a castle, in bodies that don’t belong to them.

The MC/IC relationship is between Belle and Beast falling in love. Totally right.

Do you think Belle is a Change or Steadfast character? Because she feels like a Steadfast character, and the whole crux of the story is about the Prince’s ‘transformation’ from vanity to modesty, but the prologue at the beginning would suggest that it’s backstory and not the core ‘change’.

EDIT: Just put everything I said here (and the action driver/obvious happy ending) into Dramatica, and it automatically set Belle’s resolve to steadfast!

I think I was looking too much at one part of the story in my initial assessment. Specifically the curse that made the townspeople forget the castle and its inhabitants. But that isn’t really the source of the problem I guess, so I’m sure you’re right, that’s probably more of a Benchmark or something.

In the animated version, the limit is given as both by the time the last petal falls from the rose and by the Beasts 21st birthday, I believe, which makes it a Timelock. Maybe that’s clouded my view, but I still thought it looked like a Timelock in the live action as I didn’t see the petals falling as representing a specific choice. Either way, (spoiler alert) …

The last petal fell and and we see the consequences. And then the witch comes in and does her thing. So either they set it up like a Timelock and switched to option at the last moment (option 1, fall in love by the time the petal falls, option 2, hope the witch sees what happens and changes her mind), or there was a Timelock that they let run out so we could see the consequences and then broke that story limit by saving everyone another way. If the story is an optionlock it would be a success/good. If it’s a Timelock, it would seem to be a Failure/good because they failed to achieve the goal in time but everything worked out. Clearly the story is meant to be a success/good story.

(end spoiler)
And I do see Belle as being steadfast. She starts out wanting more than some provincial life. And through her relationship with the Beast, she gets that. She doesn’t give up that desire.

The chamge in the Beast is strange. You’d think he would need to learn to respect…I don’t know exactly. The elderly? The unattractive? But that’s not really what his Story is about. Instead, he needs to be loved by an attractive young woman. He starts out seemingly indifferent to rather she is his prisoner or her father. Once she makes her decision (or perhaps after she acts in order to save her father?) the Beast decides she is to be a prisoner, but really lets the others run the show as far as how she is treated. His change then seems to be when he (spoiler alert)

Decides to let her go.

(End spoiler)
I lot of that doesn’t feel right, though. Not sure how much is me and how much is the story. Probably mostly me.

And I love the animated. For the longest time, that and Aladdin were my two fave animated movies. They’re still pretty close to favorite.


Well, only the birthday is a timelock there. “By the time the last petal falls” is an optionlock, because there’s a) a finite number of petals and b) no definitive time given for when the last one will fall.

You’re right. The Beast’s change feels strange. I’m not sure whatsoever where it’s based. This is the opening of the wikipedia summary:

Somewhere in Rococo-era France, an enchantress disguised as an old beggar woman arrives at a debutante ball and offers an enchanted rose to a prince in exchange for shelter from a storm, but he refuses. For his arrogance, the enchantress places a spell that transforms him into a beast to match his inhumane character, turns the servants into anthropomorphic household objects, and erases the castle from the villagers’ memories. She gives the Beast a magic mirror that shows faraway events and leaves him the enchanted rose. To break the curse, the prince must learn to love another and earn her love in return before the rose’s last petal falls, otherwise the prince will remain a beast forever and his servants will lose their remaining humanity.

Which is exactly what you said, and that definitely backs up the goal of Obtaining and consequence of Becoming so clearly we’re on the right track.

I think it might be that Beast’s Critical Flaw is Self Interest (since he doesn’t really care too much about anything else), and that’s played up a little more than whatever the actual problem/solution is. I have a feeling it’s a Hinder to Help problem/solution for the IC, but I don’t have enough of an argument to back that up yet. I just like the IC Preconception quad for him (Help/Hinder/Control/Uncontrolled).

I feel pretty confident there’s a storyform there, I think it’s just presented a little light. Belle is the only throughline that I feel confident about seeing elements – the whole ‘there must be more than this provincial life’ felt like a very strong indicator for an issue of Dream. Do you have any thoughts on her throughline?

You saw it more recently than I did, so I might be thinking wrong.

The animated version contains both, but emphasizes the Optionlock waaay over the Timelock.

I can definitely see that perspective, but it just doesn’t feel comfortable to me without each petal being tied to a specific option somehow. Without that, it feels to me like like each falling petal is more like the hands on a clock ticking down the remaining time. Anyway, I can let it go.

I would say Belle feels like she’s in the Dream area as well but don’t have a chart in front of me at the moment to go to far with that. I’ll think about her throughline some more and come back.

That’s a great example of something Chris mentions a lot (and I think it’s in the theory book): “as the options of an optionlock dwindle, it feels like they’re running out of time; as the time of a timelock counts down, it feels like they’re running out of options.”

It’s a weird thing, but that might be what you’re feeling! I definitely think that’s the intention.

Maybe, but I thinks more like…in Inside Out, Joy and Sadness have so many Personality Islands or whatever where the can try to cross over to headquarters. When those are gone, Joy can trampoline over while snagging Sadness off her cloud. The islands falling don’t feel like clock hands ticking down because each represents an option back to headquarters in that each has a bridge back to HQ.

In B&tB, I didn’t notice that each rose petal was tied to any specific option. So while I can see that each petal is an option, it just doesn’t feel very defined to me. It’s not like the characters are thinking, “okay, let’s try singing ‘Be Our Guest’ to her to see if she falls in love or if it causes a petal to fall.” It feels to me like the next petal could fall at any moment. At the end of the song, the middle, while Belle is going to save her father, whatever. I’m probably looking at it from the character POV too much, though.

Maybe if I go back and watch again I’d see the moments each falling petal is tied to and see the options more clearly.

It’s really about the difference between Space and Time. The petals are not tied to a specific amount of time; rather, they are related in terms of space. The Audience perceives the shape or spatial context of the rose as dwindling, not the time it takes.

This Story Point is only important insofar as it relates to the Problem-Solving Style of the Main Character. Male/Optionlocks twist up differently than Female/Optionlocks and the same with Female/Timelocks and Male/Timelocks. This has everything to do with the Female blindspot towards our current concept of Time.

I always look to Space and Time to differentiate between the two different kinds of stories.

Hey guys,
Sorry I missed this one until now… I saw the film last week and really enjoyed it, and came up with a storyform for it last week, though not 100% sure on everything. But it has a lot of similarities to what you are discussing – IC Issue of Preconception, Benchmarks of The Past & Memories, etc. I actually had the OS in Psychology though, although maybe that’s wrong, but it made some pretty good quads at the element level (RS Problem of Disbelief and Solution of Faith! IC Problem of Uncontrolled and and Response of Help!) It did seem to me that the Overall Story problems were internal, however I might be mixing things up because of a sub-story (see below).

Belle is definitely Steadfast. And I didn’t mind the Beast’s change to let her go; true love means willingness to sacrifice and putting the people you love ahead of yourself (RS Issue of Morality?).

The rose petals are definitely just a clever way of showing they’re running out of Options. I bet if you watched the film carefully, each petal dropping would symbolize a different option that failed. (And technically the last petal could have taken a year to drop, or three minutes, so it’s definitely not a Timelock.)

I had the exact same thought! With the Beast in Situation it seems that everyone at the castle is basically in the same Situation, the same curse, and they all influence Belle in the same manner.

I was wondering though if there might be a sub-story about the Town and the townspeople that has an OS of Fixed Attitude. (It’s even possible that Lefou is the Change character there!) And I felt some weirdness when the townspeople came to the castle at the end, sort of like the way they melded the two stories together was a bit rough / unexpected. Although by the very end the weirdness was gone – it was only a small rough patch.

But that’s why I find it hard to be certain of a storyform, because if there is a sub-story, you have to really be clear about what belongs where and what the scope of each story is.

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Hadn’t thought about a sub-story. You might have a point there. I don’t remember enough about it to add anything more, though.

I struggled to decide between Psychology and Activity – also because of the townfolk – but the sheer amount of physical comedy coming from within the castle and the musical numbers, etc. (and consequences of Becoming – which feel perfect to me) made me think it was an Activity story. What makes you think it’s a Psychology story?

It seemed like the root of the problem was more to do with manners of thinking, rather than physical activities. It wasn’t an external process like a war that needed to be stopped. Even the Enchantress’s curse wasn’t the root of the problem – it was in response to the way they treated her, which is similar to how everyone treats the Beast, or treats Belle for being different.

If you took away the “bad activities” like storming the castle and the wolves, these internal problems would still remain.

(That said, a lot of what I describe above sounds like Fixed Attitude, and maybe some of it’s in the sub-story? This is where I start to get confused…)

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That does make sense. I’m not sure.

I guess we’d have to define what falls under the substory, because that does sound like it’s right on the borderline between Psychology and Fixed Attitude.

Mike, I wondered if there was a second story as well, but decided not to pursue that line of thinking, although I felt like the townspeople really needed to be in an internal quad of their own somehow as well.

Regarding the falling petals, I can see that it’s meant to be an option lock. Still feels to me like the witch coming in to save everyone after the last one has fallen is cheating.

Oddly enough, it doesn’t necessarily feel to me like Joy was cheating when she uses the trampoline after the last Island of Personality has fallen. Perhaps this is because the rose was specifically named as the limit to solve the curse while the Islands were not said to be the only way back to HQ, but the fastest?

Maybe what’s really going on is a bit of misalignment, rather than a sub-story.

  • The IC throughline definitely seems to fit Situation in this story. The Beast and any potential co-ICs in the Castle have the curse as the root of their conflict, and are stuck in the external situation it created.
  • Belle definitely seems to fit Fixed Attitude: longing, dreaming, trying to remember her mother, etc.
  • But the OS seems to fit Fixed Attitude best, at least to me, and the RS actually would fit Situation really well too!
    • The problems in the overall story seemed to stem from everyone’s attitudes and prejudices about hags, girls reading or being taught to read, beasts, physical prowess (Gaston), etc.

So, maybe this is why the film has 70-odd percent on Rotten Tomatoes rather than 90+%? That said, I saw it more than a week after it opened and everyone in the theater applauded at the end – so there was still a good story in there!

Hey everyone,

Sorry to bump this up again, but I just went to an (extremely impressive) high school production of this and couldn’t stop thinking about the storyform and was surprised to see it hadn’t been done already. Did anyone come up with anything more on it?

On my own (before reading this thread) I came up with:


OS: Psychology/Becoming
MC: Mind/Subconscious
IC: Universe/Future
RS: Physics/Obtaining

Working on some other choices now.

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Its also an optionlock.

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I wouldn’t mind going through it again. I’d most likely come up with something very different, and much better, than what I would have said last year. How similar was the version you saw to either Disney version? Because those are the only ones I’m familiar with.

Also, what are the problems for each throughline as you have them listed?

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“OS: Psychology/Becoming
MC: Mind/Subconscious
IC: Universe/Future
RS: Physics/Obtaining”

I agree. And what about OS Problem as Temptation?
(Examples: " The woman asks for shelter from the cold, and in return, offers the young prince a rose. Repulsed by her appearance, the prince turns her away. The beggar warns him not to judge by appearances, but the Prince ignores her and shuts the door on her.", “(Belle) is the object of unwanted attention from the local hunter, Gaston”,"The Beast, however, is enraged when he discovers Maurice and is about to throw him out, not caring that the wolves would eat him, when Maurice says he needs a place to stay. ", “After dinner, Belle asks the servants for a tour of the castle. Lumiere and Cogsworth happily oblige, but Belle manages to sneak away from them and penetrate into the forbidden West Wing…” etc. (synopsis:

It seems to me that there is a decision driver, and MC’s Unique Ability is Hope (she is the only hope for the Beast).

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