Many people believe that the prince was cursed as a child and that the rose will bloom until his 21st birthday, however the quote from the prologue actually says "...until his 21st year." It never actually says birthday. Therefore the curse may have been put on the Prince as an adult and he was frozen in time for 21 years (which would explain why he has a portrait of his adult self - the one he tears at the beginning of the film). This would also explain how Chip came to be, considering he is just a child when the curse breaks. An alternative idea is that chip doesn't age while he is a cup.
@Sexy Homunculus, you have a very good point. I also believe the castle was frozen in time.
@Sexy Homunculus, I like that theory but lumière says "Ten years we've been rusting" in Be Our Guest. How could it only be ten years if the rose is already on its last petal?
I want to say that it'd be difficult to keep the place clean the whole time and so after so much time they let themselves go...BUT they cleaned up pretty nice for Belle so maybe not?
@Sexy Homunculus, "A paradox! A paradox! A most ingenious paradox! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
Actually, that could just be normal wear and tear, since their "souls" are resting inside the furniture and other antiquities and they still move around like people. If my materials class has taught me anything, it's that everything degrades. So that whole "10 years rusting" bit could easily mean that their inanimate object bodies have started to deteriorate after 11 years.
@Captain Nibbler , yeah I'd believe that. Awesome. Plot hole solved! (:
@normally weird, just because they've been rusting for ten years doesn't mean that's how long they've been frozen for.
In the new movie, live action, they fix this problem. In the song "be our guest" Lumiere states "Too long we've been rusting" instead of the classic line "10 years we've been rusting" so now the servants and Beast have only been cursed a few years. But the original did have a serious plot hole right there
This always bothered me what did the servants do to get cursed especially that dog.