Today is the joyous day that marks the beginning of Reading Week, a much-deserved week off for students. It’s been a gruelling past few weeks with assignments and runny noses and cars that won’t start so I am certainly looking forward to some time off! And what better way to spend Reading Week than reading and binge watching episodes on Netflix? Needless to say, I’m totally excited.
So I just finished watching every single episode of Once Upon a Time, one of the greatest shows ever – I swear, it was made with people like me in mind! – and while not every story in the series sticks to their traditional origins, every single story makes me super happy. I love fairytales, people. I grew up reading the classic Grimm fairytales (more gruesome than you might think) and watching Disney princess movies. I’m well-versed in my Hans Christian Andersen stories. BUT my all-time favourite fairytale was not written by Andersen or the Grimm brothers…
I have so much love for Beauty and the Beast. It’s my favourite Disney movie – I have it on both VHS and DVD, and I also have the soundtrack. I even have a Chip cup in my kitchen cupboard, which I acquired on my first trip to Walt Disney World (yes, I’ve been more than once). Every time I do a Disney quiz on Facebook (yes, I do those – no shame!), my result is always Belle. She loves books. She gets to live in a castle. She ends up with a prince. It’s kind of awesome, right?
So who wrote this masterpiece, if not Andersen or the Grimms? Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (born 1695 in Paris, France) is known as the author of La Belle et la Bête, the oldest known variant of the fairytale Beauty and the Beast. I wanted to track down the original story to see the difference between the Disney version and the Once Upon a Time version and so I did a little interweb sleuthing and found the story online. If you’re looking for some light reading this week, read this. I gotta say, the Disney version is still my favourite version.
The other reason I wanted to bring Beauty and the Beast to your attention is because a few short weeks ago, it was announced that Emma Watson (a.k.a Hermione, another favourite literary character) will be playing Belle in Disney’s upcoming live-action reboot of Beauty and the Beast. STOKED. You can read all about that little piece of happy news here. Doesn’t this make you want to watch a good old Disney film? Yeah, me too.
Here’s to a grand week off!