From bland swim team bros like Prince Erik to date rapey swim team bros like Prince Charming, few Disney princes have ever made their audiences swoon. It's no wonder, then, that one of the greatest romantic leads in the fairytale canon isn't a prince but a monster: Beauty and the Beast's cursed manimal, a prince who, specifically because of his hulking presence and heaving hirsute pecks, has sexually awakened more prepubescent Millennials than Justin Timberlake's frosted tips. 

Disney

So why is it, then, that any dude who has had to dress up as The Beast as part of a couple's costume for Halloween (or Valentine's Day, no judgment) always looks like he just got his face painted by a birthday party clown who forgot to refill his antipsychotic medication?

Amazon

Or, worse, looks like the world's least ambitious steampunk furry?

Amazon

Even elaborate, one-drop-of-sweat-and-you're-eating-that-deposit fancy dress costumes can offer no better than turning real-life Beasts into either a cursed Liberace ...

Costume World Theatrical

Or the kind of painted horror you'd expect to see in a faded photograph on a pig bone altar in True Detective.

The Costume Gallery

These cosplayers will come to a realization the film industry has had for over a century: there's no making The Beast hot. While costume designers have always been able to just stuff Belle into a quinceanera dress and call it a day, they have racked their brains trying to make Beast actors as animalistically appealing as romantic lit lovers have been picturing him since the 1740s. True, we now do live in a peak Beast-fuckability period where movies like the 2018 Disney remake …

Disney

The Bacherlor: Grimm Edition.

And the 2014 Franco-German adaptation La Belle et la Bete … 

Pathe Distribution

Oh, he'll find your magic portal to Narnia all right. 

… have managed to turn their leading men into the kind of hot half-lion boyfriends who'd make you wait in the car while picking up a rent check from their parents. But make no mistake: CGI is doing all of the heavy lifting here. Take away the 50 million dollar special effects team, and you're left with the kind of Beast who looks like they glued horns and a Fabio wig onto a small town quarterback ...

Marchenperlen 

“Babe, I've asked you a million times not to leave fingerprints on my carriage's finish!”

A dull fate the visionary team-up of Ron Perlman and George R.R. Martin couldn't even avoid.

CBS

Not since putting a direwolf's head on a spike has Martin caused so much animal cruelty.

This Beast aesthetic has been around since the dawn of Hollywood -- with little success in raising audiences' blood pressure one way or the other. Whether in color or black-and-white, the result always resembles a depressing combination of the Cowardly Lion ...

DisCina

He'll tear your brain and heart out – and then be depressed about it.

A flat-nosed cat furious over his owners having put a fancy dress collar on him for the family Christmas picture …

Showtime

When your vet tells you to wear a cone but you have a red carpet event coming up. 

And a Bee Gee with lycanthrope.

United Artists

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk I'm a werewolf man, no time to talk.

By the early 2000s, filmmakers simply gave up on the impossible task of turning a literal manimal into an appealing screen presence. Instead, they turned their Beasts into a series of hot dudes ‘undone’ by some physical deformity. This cop-out gave us such memorable Beasts as Hot Dude With Cool Scars ...

CBS Films

Hot Dude With One Scar …

CBS

Still too much?

Hot Dude With Neanderthal Teeth …

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Conan the Beastbarian. 

And Hot Dude – Screw It, Let’s Just Make Him The Phantom Of The Opera.

Rai 1

At least he'll be better during the song numbers.

Does that mean there are simply no good Beast costumes? Hell no. Some cinematic artistes have been creating Darwinian nightmares with their Beasts that completely ignore any desire to make them desirable. The boldest of these monstrous princes have to be the literal French pig from the European TV movie.

Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions

The terrifying Pigeon Man from the Czechian fever dream Panna A Netvor.

Ústřední půjčovna filmů

Really makes you appreciate that Bruce Wayne didn’t have his superhero awakening on a city rooftop. 

And, most recently, the sentient ball of used heroin needles from 2008’s Spike.

Maverick Entertainment

Still less creepy than the one in the Sonic trailer. 

Though unappealing to the point that no personality in the world could ever make a human love these literal trash men, at least the filmmakers tried to stay true to original La Belle et La Bete, whose Victorian fairytale illustrators envisioned several two-legged animal hybrids straight out of the ayahuasca dreams of Dr. Moreau. The three most famous 19th-century depictions of the beast remain the iconic warthog-elephant man of the popular truncated version of the story.

Henry Justice Ford

Belle’s father swapped one intense truncating for another.

The even earlier depressed panther-walrus by famed illustrator Eleanor Vere Boyle ...

Eleanor Vere Boyle 

You don't want to see this guy trying to eat a bowl of porridge

And, if you’re going for true veracity, better start dressing like the first-ever depiction of The Beast from 1803, who looks like an … uhm … is that a sentient sheep with leopard spots?

Artist Unknown

Putting the Beast into straight-up bestiality.

While there is a beautiful kind of meta-poetry that the Beast has always been much more of a catch in the mind of women than how he looks in reality, there will never be a way that a mere mortal will ever win the heart of their beloved looking like this tragically ugly fiend. So if you really want to dress up like the kind of movie monster people want to fuck for next Halloween, you best just stick to Dracula or that fish hottie from The Shape of Water

For more weird tangents, do follow Cedric on Twitter.

Top Image: Costume Pub

 

 

 

 

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