I haven't been the prime target audience for a Disney musical for a couple of decades, but I still — to this day — get into lengthy discussions (okay, arguments) over who's the hottest animated romantic lead. And you know there's some serious sex appeal in the Disney canon. Tangled's Flynn has the swoop-y hair and the devil-may-care smirk. Aladdin's tiny vest leaves little to the imagination, and he has a habit of running his hand through his hair in that disarming, Jordan Catalano way. The world seems to have decided that it's not weird to think an animated Disney prince is hot. But what about a Disney animated prince who isn't technically human? What about Belle's enchanted prince, before the spell is broken? The 2017 live-action version of Beauty & The Beast brings this discussion back to the pop culture forefront. So Bustle asked 19 people to answer this very important question: is the Beast from Beauty & The Beast hot or not?
It's not a strange thing to wonder about the attractiveness of a bipedal CGI creature when you consider that this movie is a romance. The crux of the movie is that Belle falls in love with Beast while he's in his inhuman form, and not after, when he's all Dan Stevens. Though, in this version of the story, Belle is told early on that her host is a regular guy who's just sporting some extra body hair (and horns) because an enchantress didn't like how he treated her. That helps, I guess?
There were definitely moments in Beauty & The Beast where I felt drawn to the big, grumpy guy. But I haven't fully decided how I feel about it yet. Maybe these responses will help to make sense of his confusing appeal.
First Up: Team Beast-Can-Get-It
1. "So, I won’t lie, I def. found myself thinking, 'Wow, Beast is kind of cute.' I think part of it is because you know it’s Dan Stevens under all the hair and, let’s be honest, no one is gonna turn him down. Also, I really like a guy with facial hair so if you just look at Beast as a guy with unruly facial hair, it works. Plus he’s so sarcastic, and that’s attractive AF." — Leah, 27
2. "I think The Beast fully goes along with the theory that as you get to know someone's personality, it affects the way they look. And he softens throughout the movie as he starts to open himself up to her and let down his guard. It's always been about the eyes with the Beast. They are what make both Belle and us fall in love with him because we see it there. We see the kindness he's denied in himself for so long but that's always been there. And this Beast is so sly with his humor. (Way to go, Dan). Would I be like, 'The Beast is so hot' the first time we meet him? No. Would I say he's hot by the time he lets Belle go? Absolutely. Beauty & The Beast does not work unless you fall for him." — Kim, 38
3. "I absolutely feel that the Beast is a handsome 'monster.' I feel it is how Belle ignores his abuse. The fact that he is pretty in his Beast-like visage is what allows her to step forward to take her father's place. She sees what she wants; beauty is always good underneath. That is what we teach everyone — to fear the ugly and to expect that there is no redeeming value if there is no beauty. The Stockholm Syndrome is easily ignored when we see how handsome he is. — Melanie, 45
4. "Listen to his voice on 'Evermore' and tell me it doesn't instantly make any person hotter." — Dan, 37
Next: Team I-Don't-Understand-These-Feelings
5. "The only time I found Beast attractive in the whole movie was when he growled at Belle as a human at the end, so I guess I've only got one toe dipped into the bestiality pool." — Emma, 25
6. "I don't know how I feel, exactly, but he's kinda hot? I am confused by my own feelings." — Rachel, 23
7. "Post-transformation Beast in the cartoon can get it. Haven't seen the live action though." — Suzanne, 25
8. "Always felt like, in the cartoon, Beast post-transformation was fug. Very disappointing. Dan Stevens is better-looking than cartoon post-transformation Beast. But the cutest overall is cartoon Beast, I think." — Kate, 32
9. "I think it's pretty telling that Belle wanted Adam to grow a beard at the end of Beauty & The Beast, because he doesn't look quite as good as he did covered in fur. However, all his hotness is replaced by endless confusion when you remember that he. has. a. tail. I'm not saying that tails aren't hot (they're not), but I can't even contemplate hotness when I am so distracted by the literal tail the Beast has. End rant. — Martha, 25
10. "I have not seen the film yet. I have seen the trailers. I believe my answer will ultimately be yes, but I also thought James McAvoy in Narnia was hot." — Nicole, 40
11. "Tentative yes? Hard to say after just one viewing. Guess I have to go back. I can't tell if the animated Beast was hotter or if he's just been hot in my mind for longer." - Shannon, 31
12. "I haven't seen it yet, but I will say when I was a kid I always fancied Simba..." — Rebecca, 29
13. "The Beast in this version was more emotionally accessible; I'd say "sweet" more than "hot", but then ... sweet IS hot? So the Beast himself doesn't do it for my physically, but his grumpy-but-sweet personality does!" — Laura, 43
And Finally: Team What? No.
14. "No, he’s not hot. He’s an animal with a tail." — Allison, 25
15. "Okay, so, no, I definitely don't think he is hot, and it grosses me out that he and Belle fall in love even though he is a literal beast. However, I'm a hypocrite because I had a legit crush on Simba from The Lion King, who is arguably less human-like." — Erin, 25
16. "Not hot. And I know you want a sentence on this but I feel like there should be no explanation necessary when it comes to why a partially CGI beast-man isn’t hot." — Lia, 28
17. "I don’t want to admit it, but yes, I was in love with the animated Beast as a child. Was it because I loved dogs and he reminded me of one? Perhaps. But either way, I loved him as the Beast, and was never particularly impressed by his human form. (I preferred Prince Eric.) As far as the live-action version, well, him and his giant horns just don’t hold a candle to my beloved cartoon Beast." — Sam, 25
18. "No, and to be clear, I am definitely capable of finding personified animals hot. This particular beast just don't do it for me. there's something not...quite right about how he looks. Maybe his facial features are somehow too delicate? Not that delicate features can't be hot. but there's something disjointed about that in the context of Beast I think. — Gillian, 32
19. "Hard no. Beards are okay. Super hairy everywhere? Nopeeeeee." — Emily, 23
The Verdict: Is The Beast Hot?
The resounding answer is...maybe. The Beast is kinda/sorta hot, according to the largest portion of our panel. When the prince in question has claws and fangs, a "maybe" level of hot might just be good enough.