Once upon a time, a young Prince lived in a shining castle. One cold night an old beggar woman arrived, offering him a single rose in return for shelter from the cold. Repulsed by her ugliness, he turned her away. Suddenly, she transformed into a beautiful enchantress and to punish the Prince, she turned him into a hideous beast.
Then she gave him a magic mirror and an enchanted rose, telling him it would bloom until his twenty-first year. To break the spell, he must love another and earn that persons love in return before the last petal fell.
Thinking only of her father, she makes a bargain with a Beast who holds her father captive in his castle. Though the Beast now holds the key to Belle's prison, he doesn't have the key to her heart, and her yearning spirit won't be kept prisoner.
But after he risks his own life to save hers, she begins to see past his appearance. She realizes that deep inside him there might be something more than she or he has ever dreamed.
Then slowly, through her courage and compassion, he begins to discover the secrets of his own heart and learns that even a beast can be loved.
The eccentric inventor and loving father gets lost, and ends up a prisoner at Beast's castle until Belle exchanges her freedom for his.