|Fig. 1 La Belle et la Bête (1946)|
While Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' tells a decent chunk of the story through song lyrics, there isn't a massive amount of dialogue in Jean Cocteau's version which is in French. Although this story varies from what most people remember from Disney's take on the fairytale, it is easy to follow even if immersion is somewhat disrupted by subtitles (if you don't speak French at least). The costumes, sets and props in this film easily recaptures attention due to the immense amount of detail that went into the designs.
Jean Cocteau worked with fashion illustrator and designer Christian Bérnard to help imagine and create the look for this film. The contrast between average life where Beauty's family lives and the lavish surroundings in Beasts castle were apparent and captivating. The costumes worn by both Beauty and Beast "are exquisite affairs, glittering and imaginative, lacking only the glow of colour," (Crowther, 1947) paired with atmospheric effects such as fog/smoke, swirling curtains, haunting furniture and other details exaggerate the feeling of fantasy.
Crowther, B. (1947) La Belle et la Bete (1946) At: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9B03EFD71E3EEE3BBC4C51DFB467838C659EDE Accessed on: 27/10/2015
Ebert, R. (1999) Beauty and the Beast At: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-beauty-and-the-beast-1946 Accessed on: 27/10/2015
Macnab, G. (2014) La Belle Et La Bete: Film review- Cocteau's Forties fantasy is still a thing of real beauty At: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/reviews/la-belle-et-la-bete-film-review-cocteaus-forties-fantasy-is-still-a-thing-of-real-beauty-9035506.html Accessed on: 27/10/2015
Figure 1. La Belle et la Bête (1946) [Poster] At: http://40.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ljsf06IXMc1qj5qvfo1_1280.jpg Accessed on: 27/10/2015
Figure 2. [Screenshot] At: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-p-kqgbVvFJo/VTnN_pHFOJI/AAAAAAAAGaI/Bg8MH5QWguc/s1600/still%2B-%2BBeauty%2Band%2Bthe%2BBeast%2B%3A%2BLa%2BBelle%2Bet%2Bla%2BBe%CC%82te%2B(1946).png Accessed on: 27/10/2015
Figure 3. [Screenshot] At: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NVGqoZNK_lg/VWvPtUeBzOI/AAAAAAAAFec/OuNeOFrkNQc/s1600/la-belle-et-la-bete%2Bb.jpg Accessed on: 27/10/2015