Once upon a time there lived a handsome prince whose heart had been bewitched by an evil fairy, La Feé Misérable. She had turned the prince into an evil man, enslaving the people of his court. When the good fairy, La Bonne Feé, arrived at the castle she was dismayed by La Feé Misérable's wicked deeds. The two fairies took to the heavens to battle – the forces of good against evil. The prince, caught in the crossfire, was turned into a monstrous beast and La Feé Misérable, confronted by his ugliness, fled the castle. The court also took flight, leaving the beast alone in his misery. La Bonne Feé took pity upon the beast, and revealed an image of his former self with a beautiful girl holding a rose, but warned him that this happy ending will only come to pass if he wins her heart. The image disappeared to be replaced once again by his beastlike reflection.
A miner, Monsieur Desparé, lives with his three daughters in a little house on the outskirts of a forest. Two of the daughters are lazy and believe themselves to have been stolen at birth from a wealthy family. All of the work is left to the youngest daughter, Beauty. One day Monsieur Desparé returns home in great excitement, having discovered a beautiful jewel in his mine. The two lazy daughters decide to accompany him to the city, where they intend to buy all of the luxurious possessions they feel they deserve and Beauty decides to join them to keep her father company.
As the family travels through the strange forest it becomes very dark. Suddenly a beautiful fairy appears in the company of goblins. Although she seems friendly the fairy, La Feé Misérable, and her goblins attack the family and steal the precious jewel. In the confusion Beauty finds herself alone. She wanders through the forest until she finds a beautiful rose and then, to her astonishment, a magical giant peacock appears before her and takes her further into the forest. Some distance away Monsieur Desparé is still searching for Beauty but, now that the jewel is gone, her sisters no longer want to go to the city and insist that she must be dead.
Beauty, in the meantime, has arrived at the door of a huge castle and, as the doors magically open, she climbs cautiously up the imposing staircase into her new life.
She finds herself in a dark and cold hall. Suddenly a beast leaps out and seizes the terrified Beauty. Her attempts to escape are futile and, in the ensuing struggle, Beauty picks up the rose. As the beast takes it from her he sees their reflection in the mirror and remembers the image shown to him by the good fairy.
Trying his best not to frighten her he motions to her to join him. Statues which stand around the room suddenly come to life to serve a wonderful banquet.
As they eat the beast becomes anxious and frightens Beauty, but her gentleness encourages him to open his heart to her and tell her of his pain. Suddenly realising how ugly he must look to her he loses his courage and, hiding his face, he motions to her to leave. But as Beauty climbs the staircase she gazes down upon the beast and, moved by his suffering, she returns to him. The beast cannot bear her to look at him, but slowly he becomes encouraged. However, Beauty is still frightened and pulls away and the beast, distraught, flees.
Exhausted by her terrifying ordeal she falls asleep on enchanted pillows. The beast returns to find her sleeping and watches over her from a distance.
Beauty has spent many weeks in the castle and has watched the beast slowly change, becoming more gentle and less frightening. One night she dreams the beast has become a handsome prince. Beauty awakes to find herself in the great hall and sees that the beast is watching her. Confused about the strange dream she joins the beast for their usual dinner. The beast is in a playful mood and Beauty suddenly finds herself close to him, but as she reaches out to take him in her arms a vision of her father appears in the mirror. Confused and scared she begs the beast to let her go to her father and he sadly agrees. He gives her a magic cloak, to transport her to her destination, and an enchanted mirror and she departs for home. The castle once again takes on a gloomy atmosphere, this time not of anger but of despair.
Once back at home Beauty realises she misses the beast and thinks constantly of him.
Seeing his beloved daughter brooding Monsieur Desparé tells her to return to the castle. Her sisters overhear and decide to steal the magic cloak and mirror to transport themselves to the castle, where they intend to claim their much desired wealth. Beauty follows them out into the woods where the sisters, fighting over the magic cloak and enchanted mirror, destroy both items. Fearing that she may have lost her only route back to her beast Beauty falls to her knees in despair. La Bonne Feé appears before Beauty and, seeing true love in her eyes, decides to return her to the castle.
Sad and alone the beast has given up all hope of Beauty's return. La Feé Misérable and her goblins have returned to taunt him. Beauty returns to find the beast caught up in a net. The goblins seize her and, just as the evil fairy is about to stab her, the beast leaps in front of Beauty and takes the mortal blow himself.
Instantly the spell is broken and La Feé Misérable, defeated, flees from the castle as La Bonne Feé arrives to claim victory. To Beauty's amazement the handsome prince from her dreams steps from the mirror. Anxiously looking for the beast she looks into the prince's eyes and realises that he is her beast. The two embrace and joyfully prepare for their wedding.
And, as in all fairytales, they lived happily ever after…