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The 1991 disney adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, we see several references to technology that seems out of place with the setting, including rifles and steam powered machines. It makes it hard for me to try and judge when the film would be set.

Is there any official answer, on when the film is mean to be set?

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Discussion. –  Pureferret Mar 27 '12 at 15:23

3 Answers 3

up vote 17 down vote accepted

Beauty and the Beast was originally a French fairy tale written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and published in La jeune américaine, et les contes marins in 1740. An abridgement was published in 1756 by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, in Magasin des enfants, ou dialogues entre une sage gouvernante et plusieurs de ses élèves, with an English translation appearing in 1757. This places the story in the mid-1700s. Both rifles and steam-powered machines had been invented by that time, so their inclusion in the story would not be anachronistic.

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In the Disney movie, the Eiffel tower is shown (during the song "Be our guest"), however construction of the Eiffel tower wasn't until the late 1880s, so it could have been set around then (or else it's sloppy work by Disney).

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I wouldn't judge the entire movie's time period based on a quick image in the Be Our Guest song. Remember that in Aladdin the Genie does impersonations of comics/individuals living in the 20th century. Doesn't mean it's set in the 20th century or that Disney did sloppy work. I'm inclined to agree with the mid-late 1700's answer. –  user7834 Jan 29 '14 at 11:35

It would at least be 1800 as the matches that Lumiere uses in be our guest were not invented until that time period.

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