June 19, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Bedtime Story for Kids

We've branched out from Frozen thank goodness, and added some variety into our bedtime stories. We watched the live action Beauty and the Beast and now she's even more obsessed with Princess Belle. I grew up on this story, it's my favorite classic Disney movie but honestly, recounting it twice a day word for word is getting a wee bit tiresome. I know you understand my pain.

Anyway, moms and dads, give your brain a rest and mindlessly read the condensed story to your demanding little ones instead of having to make it all up every night!

(PS: Here's FrozenMoanaCinderella, Little Mermaid, Mulan and Rapunzel too.)

Beauty & the Beast
aka "Mommy Why Did the Beast Take Belle Prisoner?" and Other Fun Questions

Once upon a time in a castle there lived a spoiled, selfish prince. One cold rainy night a haggard old woman knocked on the door, seeking shelter from the bitter cold in exchange for a single rose. Repulsed by her appearance, the Prince turned her away. She warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for true beauty lies far within. When he scorned her again, the woman's ugliness melted away to reveal a beautiful enchantress. The Prince tried to apologize but it was too late, she had seen there was no love in his heart.

She transformed him into a hideous beast and placed a powerful spell on the castle and all who lived there. The Beast concealed himself in his castle with a magic mirror as his only window to the outside world. The rose she had given him would bloom for many years. If he could learn to love and earn another's love in return by the time the last petal fell, the curse would be broken. If not, he would be doomed to remain a Beast for all time.

Nearby, a girl named Belle lived in a small French town with her father, Maurice, who was an inventor. Belle loved reading because the stories in her books took her on adventures she couldn't get in her small town.

One day, Maurice hitched the wagon to their horse, Phillippe, and took his invention through the woods to enter it into the fair. But along the way they got lost. Phillippe got spooked and bolted, leaving Maurice alone. Then, wolves attacked! Maurice had to seek shelter in a dark and gloomy castle.

Inside the castle, Maurice was amazed to find that the servants were enchanted objects. The clock, candelabra and teapot could all talk! They put him by the fire to warm up, but just then the master of the castle, a huge and terrifying beast, came in.

"I-I didn't mean any harm," Maurice stammered. "I just needed a place to stay."

"I'll give you a place to stay," the Beast growled, and he locked Maurice in the dungeon!

Meanwhile, Gaston, a brutish man from town who thought Belle was very beautiful, called on Belle at her house. He'd arranged everything in her front yard for their wedding, then he went inside and asked her to marry him. Belle politely declined.

Gaston was humiliated and upset. "I'll have Belle for my wife," he vowed, "Make no mistake about that."

When they'd all gone, Belle went outside again to do her chores. Just then, Phillippe came trotting up, without Maurice. Belle knew something had happened to her father, so she got on Phillippe and he took her back to the castle.

Belle crept inside, calling, "Hello? Is anyone there? I'm looking for my father." She followed a flickering light to the dungeon, where she found Maurice locked in a cell.

"No, you must go!" Maurice tried to warn Belle to run, but just then the Beast found her. Belle offered to take her father's place as the Beast's prisoner and he accepted. He freed Maurice, and then showed Belle upstairs to her own room.

"The castle is your home now, you may go anywhere you like," the Beast said. "Except the West Wing. It is forbidden!"

The Beast asked Belle to join him for dinner that night, but she refused. She'd just lost her father and her freedom all in one day and she was very upset. But later that night when she grew hungry she crept downstairs and the servants were happy to serve her dinner, with singing and dancing.

Meanwhile, Maurice had made it back to town and begged the townspeople to help him free Belle from the horrible Beast. But the townspeople laughed and called him "Crazy Old Maurice." But Gaston hatched a plan to get Belle to marry him.

After dinner, Belle wanted to explore the castle so she slipped away from the servants and crept up to the West Wing. She was startled to find ripped curtains and broken furniture. She also found a rose glowing under a glass dome. Some of the petals had started to fall. She reached out as if to touch it. But just then the Beast came into the room.

"What are you doing!" he bellowed. "Do you know what you could have done? Get out! Get OUT!"

Belle was so frightened that she ran right out of the castle, got on Phillippe and rode out into the woods. But in the woods, wolves attacked! Belle fought them off with a big stick, but then the Beast jumped in to protect them. He fought off the pack of wolves but was badly hurt. He staggered and fell in the snow.

Belle could have left, but she was kind and took the Beast back to the castle to tend his wounds.

"By the way, thank you for saving my life," she said.

"You're welcome," the Beast replied.

After that, Belle saw a gentler side of the Beast. He gave her his entire library of books because he knew she liked to read.  They went for walks in the snowy garden and read by the fire. One night, the Beast put on an elegant dinner and afterward they danced in the ballroom. He asked Belle if she was happy there with him. She said she was but she missed her father.

So the Beast showed her the Enchanted Mirror, which would show her whatever she wanted to see. Belle asked to see her father. The mirror showed Maurice alone in the woods, lost, cold and sick.

The Beast knew what he had to do. He released Belle, giving her freedom again.

"You must go to him," he said. He gave Belle the Enchanted Mirror, so she would always have a way to look back on him and remember.

"Thank you for understanding how much he needs me," she said. Belle found her father in the woods and got him back home to warm up. He asked her how she had escaped the terrible Beast.

"I didn't escape Papa, he let me go," Belle said. "He's different now." But before she could explain, there was a knock at the door. It was Gaston with the man from the asylum, come to take Maurice away.

"I can clear up this little misunderstanding," Gaston promised, "If you marry me."

"I'll never marry you!" Belle said. "My father's not crazy and I'll prove it!" Belle got the Enchanted Mirror and showed the townspeople an image of the Beast. They were afraid of him. "Oh no, he's not dangerous," Belle assured them. "He's really kind and gentle. He's my friend."

Gaston was jealous of the way she spoke of the Beast. He snatched the mirror and rallied the townspeople to march on the castle and kill the Beast. They locked Belle and Maurice in their cottage, but Chip had stowed away in Belle's bag, and he helped them escape so they could go warn the Beast.

The enchanted servants had fought off the townspeople at the castle, but Gaston slipped upstairs and found the Beast. He shot him with an arrow and the Beast fell out the window onto the roof. Gaston followed, but the Beast wasn't fighting back. Without Belle, he no longer cared about anything.

But just then, he heard Belle's voice, shouting, "No!" Hearing her voice filled him with hope and he found the will to defend himself. He grabbed Gaston and said, "Leave and never come back." Then he climbed up the roof to the balcony where Belle was waiting. But Gaston surprised them and stabbed the beast!

Gaston slipped on the wet roof and fell. Before the Beast could fall, Belle grabbed him by the collar and pulled him over the railing.

"At least I got to see you one last time," the Beast whispered.

"No," Belle cried, "Please don't leave me. I love you."

As she spoke, the last petal fell from the enchanted rose. Suddenly, magical sparkles began to swirl around the Beast. He rose into the air and turned slowly in a shower of light. Belle watched as he transformed into a man! He stood and turned to Belle.

"Belle, it's me!" he exclaimed. She looked into his eyes and realized it was true.

"It is you!" she said. Prince Adam kissed her. All over the castle, the enchanted servants were turning back into their human selves. Belle had broken the curse!

Belle and Prince Adam were married, and Belle became princess of the castle. And they all lived happily ever after. The End.

(What's your kid obsessed with? I take requests.)