A half-ruined merchant lives in the country with his son Ludovic and his three daughters. Two of the daughters, Félicie and Adélaïde, are real shrews: selfish, pretentious, and evil. They exploit the third daughter, Belle, as a servant. One day, on a business trip, on the way home, the merchant gets lost in a forest and enters a strange castle. He picks up a rose for Belle, and the castle's owner appears. He is a monster, half-human, half-beast, and possesses magic powers. He sentences the merchant to death, unless he gives up one of his daughters. Belle sacrifices herself for her father and goes to the castle, discovering that the Beast is not so wild and inhuman as he seems.