The world is an uncertain, scary place, and there’s not much you can be sure of except that you can’t be sure of anything.
And one other thing: Beauty and the Beast takes place in a time loop.
I am surer in this than in the knowledge of my mother’s love or the fact that Donald Trump has never brought a woman to orgasm.
I am sorry that I said “Donald Trump” and “orgasm” in the same sentence.
Let’s break this down.
In Beauty and the Beast, we know that the curse the Enchantress placed on the Beast and his household was put into effect ten years ago. We know the Beast has until his 21st birthday to find love. Conventional wisdom, then, not to mention math, would indicate that the Enchantress cursed the Beast for being an unfriendly little shitdemon *beep boop beep on my calculator watch* when he was 11.
So the Enchantress is a total dick, right? Who curses an eleven-year-old? And for what? For not welcoming a complete stranger into his home? He’s ten. His parents weren’t home. He deserves a second serving of gold-encrusted ice cream for heeding the lessons of Stranger Danger. Sure, he’s a prince with princely responsibilities, and his home’s a castle filled with servants who could protect him, push come to shove, so he still should’ve invited the (by all appearances) starving beggar woman in for some food. But tricking a little kid into doing something assish so you can curse him is A) entrapment and B) way harsh, Tai.
But what if the pre-Beast Beast wasn’t a 10-year-old snot-nosed brat but a 21-year-old snot-nosed brat when the Enchantress put the whammy on him? Think about it. Not only did the Enchantress curse the Beast, she also cursed his household staff—which appears, from the lavish dance numbers in “Be Our Guest,” to be upwards of 100 people. (Incidentally, that’s a dick move no matter how you look at it. The servants didn’t do anything wrong.) How, if ten years passed in the outside world, did not one of these people’s family members realize “hey, wait, I haven’t heard from my son in ten years” and come poking around to see what was wrong? Granted, they didn’t have e-mail in pre-Revolutionary France, so you could go long stretches without hearing from Uncle Now-A-Clock. And certainly not every servant was literate. But ten years? Everyone just disappears for ten years and no one pokes their head in to see if there’s a murder dungeon situation?
“Oh, you’ve just been turned into a wardrobe? Because some crazy witch with a vigilante complex doesn’t understand proportionate response? OK, then. I’ll check back in.”
In fact, the villagers don’t seem to realize the castle is there at all. Which could be because everyone’s managed to forget about their head of government over the past decade, but… really, though? “Where do we send these taxes? I forget.” It never came up? Or: Time bubble. Ten years to the people inside the castle, a few months to a year for everyone else. Einstein shit. Much better explanation.
Further, slowed-down aging would get around the unhappy eventuality of some of the Beast’s staff members dying during their ten-year imprisonment. What happens when you’re a feather duster, say, and you die of malnutrition or plain old age? Life expectancies weren’t high back then. Someone would have croaked. Do the other tools bury you? Or when the curse ends, does everybody revert back to their human forms, and there are a bunch of corpses lying around?
But the most incontrovertible evidence that Beauty and the Beast takes place in a time loop is this guy:
Chip. He’s somewhere in the neighborhood of ten years old. I always thought he was younger, but the actor who played him, Bradley Pierce, was nine years old when the movie came out, so you can say for the sake of argument that Chip is conceivably a ten-year-old with a somewhat immature voice.
Imagine there was no time loop, and everyone ages a normal ten years during the time the curse is in effect. HOW IN THE FUCK DOES A TEACUP GROW? For a baby teacup to turn into a child teacup? How does that even work? The Beast had better be real glad the curse didn’t keep kicking, because then—on top of everything else—he’d have a teenage boy cup going through puberty on its hands.
And that’s not even getting into the most horrifying possibility, which is that Mrs. Potts conceived and gave birth to Chip while she was a teapot. How does a teapot have sex? Who’s the father? Who fucked a pot? What do teapot pregnancy and childbirth look like? I’m sure someone on the Internet has illustrated all this for weed-whacking purposes, but I’d rather not think about the intricacies.
(There is, of course, the possibility that Mrs. Potts is Chip’s adopted mother, not his biological one, which seems reasonable enough when you consider that Mrs. Potts in her human form looks way too old to have a ten-year-old kid. This was the 1700s. They didn’t have IVF or proper pre-natal care. Then again, they didn’t have much by way of skincare either, so maybe Mrs. Potts is a sprightly 25.)
The only reasonable explanation is that Chip was ten when the curse was placed, and he’s ten when it’s lifted, because there’s a time loop. I’ve thought abou this way too much.
I hope the live-action Beauty and the Beast addresses this. Disney already released this character poster of Stanley Tucci’s “Cadenza,” so we already know they’re making good choices:
there's so much to unpack here pic.twitter.com/nLf5cNNCg4— karen h. (@karenyhan) February 24, 2017