Beastly by Alex Flinn

It’s no surprise that I was going to read this book. Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Disney movie! I had very mixed feelings about this movie when it first came out. I had seen previews for the movie, and saw the movie, before I really knew that there was a book to it. Because I had seen the movie before I had read the book, normally the book still stands on top. As I was reading the book, I wasn’t so sure about that. So I finished the book, and watched the movie again. 

While reading the book, I would remember things that I liked about the movie that were not in the book, making me dislike the book. However, there were things in the book, that were not in the movie, making me unsure of the movie. After completing the book and re-watching the movie, I have decided that both have its downfalls.

The events in the book are not the same as from the movie. The movie is more modern and hollywood, where as the book is much more toned down. Perhaps one of the biggest differences (which I don’t think would ruin much of anything) is the fact that the book portrays the Beast as the hairy creature. The film still keeps the Beats more human, just disfigured. In the film, despite the fact that the Beast is disfigured, I think because we know what he looks like and because of his physical form, the hollywood version is an “attractive Beast.” The novels version of the Beast is covered in hair, which I can see being much more repulsive that the hollywood tattoo’s with some scars. Our hollywood Beast definitely had it easier than the novel Beast.

Something from the book that brings me to the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast, is the magical mirror. The Beast is given this magic mirror by the witch, just like in the film. He says “Show me…” and is able to watch this person. There is no mirror in the film. I have a feeling if they would have incorporated it into the film, it would have had poor imagining and made the film cheesy. They were also able to take away the mirror without loosing much of the story. In the novel, the Beast watches old friends as well as people he has never met before. The witch also shows herself in the mirror to speak to him. In the film there is direct contact with her.

The characters in the book vs film as well as scenes and events differ greatly. They both still get the point across. The obvious benefits of reading the book is being able to read more of the characters feelings. In films, you only get to see the feelings they portray, and the thoughts they vocalize. The novel is able to show the Beauty and the Beast bonding and having real conversations. An interesting addition throughout the book, is a chatroom that the Beast visits. It says that he found it online, and was unsure of it. It is hosted by a man who helps those who have been “transformed.” In this chatroom there is a Grizzly character, a frog, a mermaid who wants to marry her prince, the Beast, and the host. It is almost a chapter break, and to fill in spots or to introduce the next part of the story.

I recommend that you read this book, as well as see the film. I think they compliment each other by giving what the other may lack. The book is a very light read. Despite the fact that it is almost 300 pages, you can breeze through it.



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