Want to learn how to write an adaptation of an adaptation? Look no further than Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos’s 2017 Beauty and the Beast script. We’re going to break down the Beauty and the Beast script by looking at its characters, quotes, and ending. By the end, you’ll know how Chbosky and Spiliotopoulos renovated a 250+ year story while staying true to the original.

Beauty and the Beast Script 2017 PDF Download

Click to view and download the entire Beauty and the Beast script PDF below.  

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Stephen Chbosky Headshot StudioBinder
Evan Spiliotopoulos Headshot StudioBinder

Who Wrote Beauty and the Beast?

Written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos

Based on Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont and Disney’s 1991 animated film written by Linda Woolverton.

Chbosky's previous screenwriting credits include Rent, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Wonder.

 Spiliotopoulos' previous screenwriting credits include HerculesThe Huntsman: Winter's Warand Charlie's Angels.

Story Breakdown

STRUCTURE OF THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST SCREENPLAY

Here is the story structure for the Beauty and the Beast screenplay:

Exposition

A selfish French Prince is turned into a beast for refusing to help a haggard old-woman. To break the spell, the Prince must find true love before a special flower wilts, else he’ll stay a beast forever.

Plot Point One

A young bookworm named Belle refuses to marry Gaston, a successful, yet dim war hero. 

Inciting Incident

Belle’s father Maurice gets lost while travelling in the woods, and is captured by The Beast.

Plot Point Two

Belle travels to the castle to rescue Maurice, but is forced to choose between saving herself or him. She chooses to save him; The Beast locks her in a cell and carries Maurice away.

Rising Action

Belle is taken to a private room by Lumiere (the castle’s host whose been turned into a candelabra) and Cogsworth (the castle’s head of household whose been turned into a clock). There she meets Cadenza (a harpsichord), Madame de Garderobe (a wardrobe), Plumette (a feather duster), Mrs. Potts (a teapot), and other anthropomorphized household items, learning that they’re all cursed like The Beast.

Midpoint

After a magical dinner, Belle ventures into the West Wing of the Castle, where she finds The Beast’s wilting rose. The Beast accosts Belle for entering the room, prompting her to run out of the castle into the night.

Plot Point Three

Gaston rallies a crew to rescue Belle from The Beast. On the way, he tells Maurice of his intention to marry Belle. Maurice tells Gaston she’ll never marry him — and as a result, is left to die with the wolves.

Build Up

Maurice is saved by the haggard old-woman, Agathe. Meanwhile in the woods, Belle is attacked by wolves — but is saved by The Beast, who is seriously wounded in the fight. Belle takes The Beast back to the castle and cares for him. 

Rising Action

Belle and The Beast bond over their love of books and a shared “outsider” identity. Over time, they fall in love; eventually leading to the iconic ballroom scene.

Climax

With The Beast’s approval, Belle returns to the village to look for her father. There, she finds Maurice being carted away at the behest of Gaston. Gaston then calls Belle crazy and vows to kill The Beast.

Finale

Gaston leads a raid on The Beast’s castle. Meanwhile, Belle and Maurice escape and help The Beast (as well as the others) fight off the onslaught. 

The Beast is mortally wounded by Gaston in the conflict, but is saved by the haggard old woman. Believing Belle truly loves him, the old woman turns him back into The Prince. 

Denouement 

The denizens of the castle celebrate their restored freedom with the village people.

Beauty and the Beast Script Takeaway #1

Beauty and the Beast character goals

Have you ever noticed that most kids' movies revolve around characters who know exactly what they want? Pinocchio wants to be a real boy, Simba wants to be a king, Ratatouille wants to be a chef. Screenwriters structure their stories around strong-willed protagonists because they want to make things as simple as possible for the audience.

In Beauty and the Beast, Belle wants to escape “provincial life” — heck she has a whole song dedicated to it!

We imported the Beauty and the Beast screenplay PDF into StudioBinder’s screenwriting software to take a closer look at the Beauty and the Beast 2017 characters in the opening scene. Click on the link below to see how Chbosky and Spiliotopoulos structure their musical numbers.

Beauty and the Beast 2017 Full Script

Belle makes it abundantly clear in the script’s opening number that she wants to leave her provincial town and find adventure. She also alludes to Romeo and Juliet, which foreshadows a love plot.

Want to see the opening scene in action? Check out the clip below.

Beauty and the Beast 2017 Characters  •  Beauty and the Beast Opening

The Beauty and the Beast characters are characterized clearly by what they want. We already touched on Belle’s wants, so let’s take a look at the wants of a few other characters.

  • The Beast: wants to find true love so he can dispel the curse that keeps him a beast and his staff household objects.
  • Gaston: wants to marry Belle.
  • LeFou: wants to support Gaston.
  • Maurice: wants to protect Belle and make her happy.


The Beauty and the Beast characters are characterized by their wants in the first act of the script, which perfectly sets them up for executable character arcs. Over time, the heroes succeed in their wants while the villains fail. It’s a simple approach to character writing, but effective nonetheless.

2017 Beauty and the Beast Script Takeaway #2

Beauty and the Beast quotes are lyrical

Music is a huge part of the 2017 version of Beauty and the Beast. In fact, it’s such a huge part that it permeates just about every scene. Some movie musicals opt to make music secondary to the action, Beauty and the Beast takes the opposite route by placing it center stage.

Let’s take a look at a musical scene from the Beauty and the Beast screenplay to see how iconic quotes are communicated in song verse. Can you guess which song we picked?

Beauty and the Beast 2017 Quotes in Lyrics

Musical songs are most successful when they communicate tonal aspects of characters. It’s for this reason that “Gaston” is so successful. The song has a light tone that communicates the egocentric nature of Gaston’s character.

I especially like the back and forth with LeFou and Gaston, where LeFou says, “In a spitting match nobody spits like Gaston,” to which Gaston responds “I’m especially good at expectorating!” That may be true Gaston — but you certainly aren’t good enough of a linguist to know what expectorating means.

All jokes aside, “Gaston” is a great musical song that’s well-structured in the screenplay. Here’s a short clip of the song in the 2017 movie version.

Beauty and the Beast 2017 Movie Script to Screen: the Gaston Song

The “Gaston” song contains a few great Beauty and the Beast 2017 quotes. Here are some others:

  • "She warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within." – The Narrator
  • "Take it with you so you'll always have a way to look back ... and remember me." – The Beast 
  • "He's no monster, Gaston; you are!" -Belle

If you’re thinking about writing a musical, consider writing the lyrics into the script dialogue like Chbosky and Spiliotopoulos did in Beauty and the Beast.

2017 Beauty and the Beast Script Takeaway #3

Beauty and the Beast storybook ending

Beauty and the Beast is one of the most enduring fairytale stories of all-time. And because it’s in the public domain, its basic plot structure has served as the blueprint for countless adaptations all over the world. Some of these adaptations have offered new endings, but a vast contingency of them end with Belle and The Prince living happily ever after. 

So, there’s two ways Disney could have gone with the 2017 adaptation: 1) they could stick with the tried and true storybook ending, or 2) they could do something new to make the audience reassess themes in a critical new light. Disney went with the first choice.

Let’s take a look at the Beauty and the Beast movie script to see why some critics felt it’s ending didn’t offer much worthwhile.

Beauty and the Beast 2017 Full Script  •  Beauty and the Beast Ending

The 2017 Beauty and the Beast ending is very similar to the 1991 ending, which begs the question: why? Well, it’s clear Disney didn’t want to take many risks, but since they were adapting an all-time classic, some critics expected there would be more noticeable differences.

In the end, there’s little difference between the end of the two versions. But if you want to see the 2017 version, check out the clip below.

Beauty and the Beast 2017 Movie Script to Screen  •  Beauty and the Beast 2017 Ending

Of course, it’s worth noting that my critique of the 2017 Beauty and the Beast comes from a place of creative criticism, not business criticism. The 2017 Beauty and the Beast film grossed $1.264 billion against an estimated $160-255 million budget at the box-office!

That’s an enormous success by anyone’s standards. Disney doesn’t need to explain itself for churning out the same movie because it’s something the people were clearly willing to pay for. Nor should screenwriters Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos be judged for penning an unoriginal script.

All things considered, things turned out well for all involved. But I’d be remiss if I avoided saying can we please get some more originality, Disney?

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1 comment

  1. This is horrific example of writing. If anything, this is an example of WHAT NOT TO DO. It's a complete mockery of the original classic.

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