An enchantress, disguised as an old beggar, offers a rose to a young prince, in exchange for shelter in his castle from the cold, but the prince refuses. For his arrogance, the enchantress transforms him into a beast and places a spell on the castle. She gives him a magic mirror that enables him to view faraway events, along with the enchanted rose that she had offered. To break the spell, the prince must learn to love another and earn her love in return before the rose’s last petal falls on his 21st birthday. If he fails, he will remain a beast forever.
Ten years later, a young bookworm girl named Belle is bored of her village life and seeks excitement. Because of her nonconformist ideals, she is ridiculed by everyone except her father Maurice an odd inventor, the town bookseller, and an arrogant, vain; muscular hunter named Gaston. Despite being popular with the townsfolk, Gaston is determined to marry Belle. She repeatedly rejects his advances.
Maurice and his horse Phillipe get lost in the forest while traveling to a fair to present his wood-chopping machine. After being chased by a pack of wolves, he comes across the Beast’s castle. Inside, he meets Lumière the candlestick, Cogsworth the clock, Mrs. Potts the teapot, and her son Chip the teacup. However, the Beast quickly discovers and detains Maurice. After Phillipe leads Belle to the Beast’s castle, she offers to take her father’s place. Over her father’s objections, the Beast accepts Belle’s offer. While Gaston sulks over Belle’s rejection, Maurice returns to town but is unable to convince the others to save Belle from the Beast.
The Beast sulks in his room when Belle refuses to have dinner with him that night. Despite this, Lumière offers her a meal. While he and Cogsworth also give her a tour of the castle, she wanders into the forbidden West Wing. When the Beast inadvertently chases her into the forest by frightening her in frustration, Belle encounters the pack of wolves. After the Beast is injured while fending them off, Belle thanks him for saving her life. He begins to develop feelings for her while she nurses his wounds and he delights her by showing his extensive library. While the two begin to bond, Gaston pays Monsieur D’Arque to send Maurice to the town’s insane asylum if Belle refuses Gaston’s proposal again.
Sharing a romantic evening together, Belle tells the Beast she misses her father. He lets her use his magic mirror to see him. She sees Maurice dying in the woods trying to reach the castle. The Beast lets her go out to save him and he gives her the mirror to remember him by. She finds Maurice and brings him home. As Gaston is about to bring Maurice to the insane asylum, Belle proves Maurice’s sanity by showing the Beast with the mirror. Realizing Belle loves the Beast, Gaston convinces the villagers that the Beast is a man-eating monster and leads them to the castle to kill him.
Having stowed away into Belle’s baggage, Chip helps Maurice and Belle escape from confinement. Gaston fights the Beast while the servants fend off the villagers. The Beast initially is too depressed to fight back, though perks up after seeing Belle return to the castle. He battles and defeats Gaston in battle on the rooftops, though spares his life by ordering him to leave before he reunites with Belle. Refusing to lose, Gaston mortally wounds the Beast, but falls to his death after losing his footing.[a] Belle professes her love for the Beast, who dies before the last rose petal falls. With the spell broken, the Beast is revived and transformed into his human form, and each of his servants also resumes their human form with the castle restored to its former glory. Belle is last seen dancing with him in the ballroom as everyone else watches in delight.