"Tale as old as time True as it can be Barely even friends Then somebody bends Unexpectedly Just a little change Small, to say the least Both a little scared Neither one prepared Beauty and the Beast"
Entry #30 in the Disney Animated Canon, from 1991.This retelling of the old fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast" has Homages to Jean Cocteau's 1946 film, but in its tone and divergences from both versions it becomes its own, so to speak, beast. Belle is a bookish lass in a French village who lives with her genial dad Maurice, who tinkers with various inventions. She would be a total outcast if not for her loveliness (it's in the name, after all), and the brutish Gaston wants her as an almost literal trophy wife — even though she sees him for the jerk he is.When Maurice doesn't return from a trip to a fair, Belle searches for and finds him in the forest-hidden palace of a monster who imprisoned him when he sought shelter there. She offers herself in his place and the monster accepts. "The Beast" is actually a cursed human Prince (due to arrogant selfishness) who hopes her love will break the enchantment on him and his many servants, who were transformed into living furniture, crockery, and so forth. With time limited (an enchanted rose serves as an hourglass — and it is beginning to wilt), the Prince must tame his temper, she must learn to see the goodness beneath his exterior... and once that has been accomplished, together they must face the murderous wrath of Gaston.Immediately embraced by critics and audiences, with the last complete lyric work of Howard Ashman to Alan Menken's score, this was the first animated feature to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, a feat that would not be duplicated again until 2010 with the nomination of Up (which also had the luxury of an expanded nominee list of 10, as opposed to Beauty cracking a list of five). It was adapted into a stage musical in 1994, spawned two Direct-to-Videomidquels by decade's end, is featured in the Kingdom Hearts video games (with Beast and Belle kicking ass), and with Belle as one of the official Disney Princesses, the merchandise just keeps on coming.See Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas for the first direct-to-video follow-up.
This film contains examples of:
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3-D Movie: The conversion process began back in 2008, with the intention of a 2010 theatrical release. However, doubts about releasing digital 3-D versions on home video led Disney to delay the release. In 2011, they released the 3-D version on 3-D Blu-Ray. It finally came to theaters in January 2012, months after an enhanced version of The Lion King vastly exceeded performance expectations.
Abomination Accusation Attack: Gaston doesn't believe that the Beast even exists. When Belle proves him wrong, he changes his position to accusing him of eating children - never mind that the Beast has been around for a long time and the only person who had been missing was Belle herself!
All Girls Want Bad Boys: The three blond girls are desperately attracted to Gaston who is such a tall, dark strong and handsome brute. Inverted with Belle, who doesn't like Gaston and also hates the Beast when he's in his "bad" phase; it's only when he starts to be kinder and gentler that she falls in love with him.
A lot of people assume this about Lumiere, but the eccentricities can be written off by virtue of the French accent (Plus, he's always flirting with the female feather duster; they're even Holding Handsin the final sequence◊).
Cogsworth is involved in several questionable incidents, including a rather awkward moment with Maurice. Ever since David Ogden Stiers, who voiced Cogsworth, came out of the closet, the effect has only amplified.
Amusing Injuries: This is LeFou's life. Interestingly, the moment when Gaston only threatens to hit LeFou (when talking to Monsieur D'Arque, the asylum keeper) is much more alarming than the rest of Gaston's abuse.
The flatware form an Eiffel Tower during the "Be Our Guest" music number. The movie takes place in the latter half of the 18th century, but the Eiffel Tower wasn't built until towards the end of the 19th.
The use of Wagner's "Bridal Chorus" (composed in 1850) in Gaston's failed marriage attempt.
The featherdusters dancing a Can Can during Be Our Guest. that style of dance did not appear until 1830.
The Beast's design changes and evolves considerably throughout the film. When we first see him storm in on Maurice, he's a monster; he walks on all fours, his fur bristles near-constantly, and he barely wears clothes, but by the end of the movie his face is softer and more human, he's fully dressed and walks upright. His voice also changes from a low snarl to a much more gentle, softer tone. The only thing in his design that doesn't change are his eyes, which not only remain a specific shade of blue but also keep the same basic shape when in both forms. This is important.
By contrast, Gaston's gait becomes progressively less upright, his hair wilder, and his overall demeanor increasingly animalistic. In the final fight between him and the Beast, it's the latter who moves in a more human way. As if that weren't enough, when Gaston falls to his doom, his screams take on a very female tone.
Animate Inanimate Object: The Beast's many servants are humans transformed into objects, who generally don't move or speak when strangers drop by.
Animation Bump: The Beast has incredibly fluid and expressive facial animation, perhaps more so than any other other character.
Anti-Hero/Villain: The Beast initially starts as rude, violent and annoyingly abusive towards Belle. However when you finds out his main reasons why he keeps Belle prisoner in his castle (he hopes she can break the spell), you start to sympathize with him - you would have probably done the same thing if you were in the same situation.
Gaston: LeFou, I'm afraid I've been thinking... LeFou: A dangerous pastime- Gaston: -I know!
Artistic License: In the DVD Commentary, the guys telling it admit that all the dancing items in "Be Our Guest" throws the logic of the movie through a loop, but it was worth it for that number.
Ascended Extra: In the stage musical, the feather duster and the wardrobe are given bigger roles, more developed personalities. They are also named Babette and Madame de la Grande Bouche, respectively - which is odd, because in the direct-to-video sequel, the feather duster is named Fifi.
Ascended Fangirl: Belle reads romantic adventure stories about far-off places and magic spells while wishing for adventure in the great wide somewhere.
Badass: The Beast — who else can handle a pack of hungry wolves and get away with only a scratch?
Badass Baritone/Guttural Growler: The Beast again — the thing is pretty odd if we consider that Robby Benson's real voice is more like a tenor (the production crew mixed Benson's lines with the growls of various wild animals). This is mentioned by Benson himself in a making-of special; his natural speaking voice is closer to the Beast's baritone, but directors have constantly asked him to pitch it higher because they think a Tenor Boy would make a better Love Interest. It's actually kind of a shock when he speaks candidly.
Badass Damsel: Belle. When the wolves came after her, she beat a wolf off her horse with just one swing of a stick, and tried to fight back before the Beast rescued her.
Bad Boss: Gaston is a warped variation. Even though he is shown to be a complete jerk in the village, and makes no effort to hide it going by his villain song, the villagers actually genuinely love him and don't follow him out of fear.
Bandage Wince: Beast can fight packs of wolves without complaint, but one wet cloth brings out a roar.
Bar Brawl: There's one in the tavern during "Gaston," but it breaks back up amiably after doing its part to show off how awesome Gaston is.
Beautiful All Along: The prince. Although when he changed back, that wasn't good enough for Belle, and she had to see into his eyes that he was the same person she fell in love with.
Beauty Equals Goodness: Beauty comes across as more of a neutral force here. Belle is a good person, the Beast became what he is as karmic punishment for selfishness (only becoming handsome again when he's redeemed), and the corrupt asylum director Monsieur D'Arque is very sickly looking. The "beautiful enchantress", on the other hand, is morally dubious, and Gaston is handsome but wicked. In fact, Gaston essentially takes advantage of this trope when he convinces the villagers to kill the ugly, monstrous Beast.
Breakout Character: Chip's voice actor was so popular with the filmmakers that his tiny role was greatly expanded; he replaced another character, a music box, for the most part (the music box was only relegated to a cameo in the final version, specifically right before the battle).
In the middle of the movie, Beast lashes out at Belle when she comes in his bedroom. She runs away, and is attacked by wolves, until Beast (who feels remorseful for yelling at her) comes to save her life. She has the opportunity to leave for good, but instead brings the Beast back to the castle. They have a childish argument, and finally start warming up to each other. This Break Up Make Up Scenario is a turning point in their relationship.
Another particular case. Later in the movie, Beast lets Belle go help her father, and falls into deep depression because he believes she will never come back to a monster like him, since he openly gave her back her freedom. She does come back, however, which makes him happier than he ever hoped to be.
LeFou also qualifies, but as an Iron Butt Monkey. During the battle at the castle, Cogsworth pokes him in the butt with a large pair of scissors, and a couple scenes later he's right back to pillaging and plundering.
Buxom Is Better: Inverted as near every female minor character in the movie (Bimbettes, Babette/Fifi, random extra asking baker about wife) is clearly bustier than Belle, yet she is seen as more desirable by generally everyone.
Cannot Spit It Out: The entire climax of the film only happens because neither the Beast or Belle can confess their feelings for one another until it's almost too late.
Captain Obvious: Lumiere, upon being asked by Belle if the castle truly had a library.
Belle is the only person in her town who wears blue. This is symbolic of how different she is from everyone else around.
When we first see the Beast, he's wearing purple, which is the color of royalty and highlights his "darker" moods and tendencies. Later on he switches to royal blue, which highlights his eyes. As a result, while this is the same character, we can see just how much he's changed.
Gaston is a hunter who wears red, the color of blood.
Come to Gawk: The Beast thought Maurice had. Or maybe it was just because at that point in the film he was still acting like a jerk.
Covered in Mud: After Belle rejects Gaston's marriage proposal, Gaston falls over and lands in the pigs' mud hole.
Crapsaccharine World: It's a highly-idealized rural French town which, while poor, still has lots of wide open spaces, and the castle is gorgeous on the interior. But it's still eighteenth-century France, where Maurice and Belle are shunned and seen as uncanny for being themselves because women aren't supposed to read.
Creative Closing Credits: In the 3D re-release, the credits are accompanied with design sketches of various characters and scenes in the film.
Crowd Song: "Belle", "Gaston" and its reprise, "Be Our Guest" and "The Mob Song". "Belle" is so crowded toward the end (right after the three blondes squee over Gaston) that it manages to be in two keys almost at once.
At first, during the climax of the film, Beast is completely willing to let Gaston beat him to death... Then he sees that Belle has returned, giving him something to live for and shows Gaston just how stupid you would have to be to pick a fight with a seven-foot chimera.
The servants vs. the villagers. The servants win.
Curse Escape Clause: The Beast will return to human form if, and only if, he truly loves someone who loves him as a beast before his magic rose runs out of petals.
Curtain Camouflage: Lumiere at one point is doing inappropriate things to a feather duster while hiding behind a curtain. Ooh-la-la.
"Human Again", animated and inserted into the 2002 IMAX reissue after it had already appeared in the stage musical.
The Beast was supposed to have a song of his own but for whatever reason it never made it past the pre-production stage. The stage musical makes up for this by giving him two songs and a reprise all to himself.
This also makes Gaston a deconstruction of the type of hero that appears in Grimm's fairy tales: handsome and adventurous hunter/woodsman, loved son in both his world and his own mind out to court his fair maiden, who, as far as he thinks, should be owed him and fall into his arms. He encounters monsters and never bothers to think they're anything but evil, since the original stories weren't inclined to have that belief as well. Even his jerkassness is a characteristic of Grimm's heroes, who were often known to do sadistic things to defeat their enemies, and were occasionally Designated Heroes. However, the movie shows the inherent wickedness these qualities brought together in the wrong way could create, without catering to Values Dissonance.
The Beast is a deconstruction of the character from the original tale who was kind and gentlemanly despite his monstrous appearance. Here the loss of his humanity as well as the impossible nature of his task only serve to drive him deeper into depression and seclusion. He utterly gives up hope of ever breaking the spell and begins to give into his beastly urges, stops wearing clothes, hunting for his food, and becoming fiercely territorial. If Belle hadn't come along exactly when she did, he would have never broken the spell and become an animal completely.
Decoy Protagonist: Belle. Early on we are shown her situation and her dreams and are made to sympathize with her and her situation. Once the Beast rescues her and shows his true colors the story focuses on him trying to woo Belle to break the spell and Belle shifts over into the Deuteragonist. Interestingly, there were initially some disagreements among the crew over who the true protagonist was, with Howard Ashman in particular being thoroughly convinced that the Beast was the main character. It's outright confirmed in the commentary that the Beast is the true protagonist but doesn't become active until late in the story.
The narration in the beginning explains that he crossed it years ago when he gave up all hope of ever becoming human again.
After The Beast lets Belle go, he howls in anguish and frustration, not expecting that she'll ever come back, thus crossing it again. He's even perfectly willing to let Gaston kill him until Belle comes back, but then...
Gaston: Were you in love with her, Beast?! Did you honestly think she'd want you when she could have someone like me?!
Dirty Coward: Gaston resorts to dirty fighting in his battle against the Beast, mocking Beast while he was too depressed to defend himself, then pleading for his life when he finds himself at Beast's mercy. Beast finally lets him go... only for Gaston to stab him In the Back.
Maurice "reaching inside" Cogsworth early in the film.
When the castle is invaded by the mob, one of the townsfolk grabs Babette and starts ripping out her feathers as she shrieks and struggles. Lumiere saves her in an angry boyfriend fashion. Yeah.
Draco in Leather Pants: Gaston is one in-universe. He's a controlling and arrogant egomaniac, but he's so charismatic that the people love him, and as seen in his Villain Song his negative traits are spun as virtues ("in a wrestling match, nobody bites like Gaston!")
Drowning My Sorrows: Gaston tries to do this after being thrown out of Belle's house. He eventually refuses more alcohol, telling LeFou "Nothing helps."
Pausing during the part of Gaston's death scene where his face is closest to the camera will allow you to see the skulls the animators painted into his pupils for that scene, just in case you weren't sure he'd died.
In the first song, where Belle sings in the town, she sits by a fountain. As she reads the book (described earlier, as an adventure with a prince in disguise, it sounds just like Beauty and the Beast), she flips to a page, with a picture. Look closely, and you will see that she is in the bottom right, the beast in the middle left, and the prince's castle in the middle.
The first stained glass window seen in the prologue has the Latin phrase 'vincit qui se vincit', which means (in a subtle prefiguring of the arc of the whole story) 'He conquers who conquers himself'.
Caricatures of the directors, Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale, can be seen in the scene where Belle is given the book as a gift. As she is leaving the store three men are seen pretending to not look through the window and then they sing, "Look there she goes. The girl who's so peculiar. I wonder if she's feeling well." They are the two men on the outside of the large blonde man.
Among the trophy heads on Gaston's tavern is what appears to be a frog's head, visible in the shot as Gaston spits. A bald eagle can be seen while he jumps onto his chair during his song.
The original "cute" character of the movie was a music box, which was supposed to be a musical version of Dopey from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. But when the character Chip's role was expanded, the music box idea was scrapped. However the music box can be seen for a brief moment on a table next to Lumière just before the fight between the enchanted objects and the villagers in the Beast's castle.
Almost all of the gargoyles and statues seen in the West Wing are previous designs for the Beast.
In the span of thirty seconds from the beginning of his introduction, Gaston shows off being an egotistical macho hunter with eyes only for Belle and is determined to marry her, believing she'll fall for him without hesitation.
The Beast has his when Belle bargains with him for her father's life. He is abrasive and even cruel but unlike Gaston can be moved to compassion and feels guilt for his misdeeds and even tries to make up for them.
Even Evil Has Standards: Subverted: When the Asylum Warden learns from Gaston that he wants to incarcerate an innocent, non-dangerous, harmless crackpot in order to blackmail his daughter into marrying him, he initially seems to react with disgust towards Gaston's plan ("Oh... that is so despicable"), only to immediately declare after chuckling that he actually likes that plan ("Hehehehe...! I LOVE IT!")
Evil Counterpart: Gaston to the Beast. The Beast may not be very good looking, but he's revealed to be daring, heroic and protective. Gaston on the other hand, is handsome but extremely ruthless and brutish.
Family Unfriendly Violence: The Beast is on the receiving end of this several times (being one of the few Disney characters to actually bleed). He's noticeably cut up and bloody after the fight with the wolves, takes Gaston's arrow to the shoulder, and has a large bleeding wound on his side after Gaston stabs him.
Feet First Introduction: The Beast remains in silhouette until the dungeon scene, when Belle asks him to come into the light. This trope then occurs (with a brief cutaway to Belle's face up close and horrified).
The Fighting Narcissist: Gaston is an unusually manly example. Then again, he does have a long ponytail and does a rather effeminate pose when he sings about his skills in decorating.
In Maurice's first scene, he tells Belle that the woodchopping machine "will be the start of a new life for us" when he wins first prize at the fair for it, which will kickstart his career as an inventor. Since it's getting lost on the way to that fair that leads him to the Beast's doorstep, it is the start of a new life for them, if not the one they planned. And it is later used by Chip to break them free, which lets Belle get back to the castle and sets off the chain of events which breaks the curse and begins their new life in the restored castle.
"No one takes cheap shots like Gaston!" Gaston stabs the Beast in the back during the climax, seconds after the Beast spared his life.
Initially Gaston wants to kill the Beast because he "loves" Belle. Then seeing how much fiendish joy he tortures him (the Beast) with, it's implied he enjoys doing these things in general.
Fourth Date Marriage: An interesting subversion. Throughout the film, the seasons change, leaving the time Belle spends in the castle with the Beast indeterminable from weeks to months prior to their marriage. In addition, it is not shown that they actually got married during the film, although it is heavily implied that they did some time after.
Also parodied with Gaston, who arranges an entire wedding for him and Belle outside her house without them ever even dating...or him proposing, something he cheerfully jokes about to the wedding party.
Frothy Mugs of Water: Averted, as Disney was never for this trope. In both the movie and the Broadway play, the beverage in the tavern is referred to as "beer". "The wine's been poured" for Belle in "Be Our Guest". Come on, it's France. Spoofed in the DVD Commentary, when the guys insisted that the beer was root beer.
GASP!: Belle does a quick one and turns away when she first sees Beast.
Genre Blind: One would think as big of a reader as Belle would know not to explore forbidden areas of the castle where she's prisoner, enter the master bedroom, and try to touch the ominously glowing rose in a glass case. Alternatively a case of Wrong Genre Savvy, as she could have believed she was the imprisoned damsel who had to find the magic rose to free herself.
Gentle Giant: The Beast, himself (mostly in the film's second half) and in an excellent use of Primal Stance (see below) the kinder he becomes the bigger he seems to get. He's so big he could probably snap most average-sized men in half over his knee.
Get It Over With: This is the Beast's reaction to Gaston attempting to kill him, when he thinks Belle has left him forever.
Get Out: The Beast to Belle after she ventures into the West Wing. And he gives a much colder delivery to Gaston after utterly destroying him and revealing him as the coward he truly is in the finale.
Remember Maurice's curiosity concerning Cogsworth's... pendulum? (And Cogsworth's indignant reaction to his prodding?)
Gaston mentioning that every last inch of him is covered in hair, accompanied by a wink to the camera.
The feather duster/maid is picked up, held upside down, and has her feathers ripped out during the end fight scene. As an adult, you realize that the feathers are her 'skirt'... Also, the shrieks she makes as she's being yanked at and how she's rescued by her very angry boyfriend.
Gaston's attempt to propose to Belle. Good grief, especially the end, when he's menacingly advancing towards her, pushing furniture out of the way, and leaning in to kiss her. Admittedly he's still convinced she's just playing hard to get, but it's very worrying. His attempts to force himself on her while thinking she's playing hard to get arguably make it worse, and the look in his eyes when he's told that Belle is in a dungeon.
And then there's Lumiere and the featherduster. The two are clearly necking behind the curtains when Belle first leaves her room and she tells him very coquettishly that she's "Been burned by [him] before", and in the subtitles at the very end it says that Lumiere gives a "lusty laugh" when she walks past him with a very... suggestive look in her eyes for a Disney character.
The Wardrobe also tells Belle, with an embarrassed laugh, that she's "got her drawers open". It's a pun, as she's referring to the actual drawers, but considering that "drawers" is slang for underpants, and her reaction, it's not difficult to imagine the human analogue.
For some reason after the song "Something There", Mrs. Potts wants to delay answering Chip's question.
There's also a brief moment in song "Little Town (Belle)" while Belle is riding on the back of a carriage cart, and one of the merchants selling bread to one of his female customers is very clearly eyeing her very noticeably exposed cleavage. He's promptly struck on the head by his wife with a rolling pin.
The Beast is first and one of the very few Disney characters to be completely naked on-screen, right as he gets out of the bath.
Also in the same song, you have the three females (the ones is red, green, and yellow) at the water pump. The one in green moves the pump with her elbows, the yellow with her hands, but the one in red pushes it with her boobs.
The Golden Rule: Played as an underlying Aesop. What really sets him free is that he lets Belle go. No longer his prisoner, she is free to love him, thus releasing him from his own magical prison.
Gonk: Most of the villagers are rather cartoony looking, but special mention goes to LeFou.
Good Is Not Nice: The Enchantress, who cursed a child and his servants (granted, the child was a brat and the servants could be considered guilty to some degree, but still it's blatantly disproportionate).
Belle and the newly transformed Prince do this, and it is as Belle is gazing into the Prince's eyes that she recognises that he is indeed her Beast, which is then succeeded by the "kiss the whole castle was waiting for", according to the script.
Beast letting Belle go is this, since it also means he and his people will never break the curse.
Belle trading herself for her father is this - when she gave herself up she had no way of knowing that the hideous monster she had seen would let her out of the tower, or even let her live. For all she knew he might be intending to rape her on a nightly basis.
Crowd: We don't like what we don't understand, in fact it scares us, and this monster is mysterious at least.
Hidden Depths: Yes, the Beast is a jerk; however he is also brave, cunning, and determined. The castle staff even state that he really isn't that bad once you get to know him, he's just angry and very, very depressed.
Hit Flash: A double impact during the battle in the castle was censored when televised.
The fact that seemingly inanimate objects could move of their own accord (and speak in voiceover) in the Beast's castle in Jean Cocteau's film version was detailing that became the direct inspiration for the Enchanted Objects. Both versions have a villain added in the form of a man who wants to marry Belle, though this may not have been a deliberate callback to the Cocteau film.
Tony Jay's casting as the head of the insane asylum is a nod to his role as the major villain in the TV series Beauty and the Beast.
The library in the Beast's castle bears a strong resemblance to the oval reading room of the Richelieu Building at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris.
In "The Mob Song", when Gaston says "Screw your courage to the sticking place", this is a reference to Shakespeare's Macbeth. He also says "If you're not with us, you're against us" which is from The Bible.
Horrible Judge of Character: The Village qualifies, no doubt. Even though Gaston makes no secret of his being a Jerkass, even loudly stating things that imply that his plan to marry Belle involved locking up Maurice in the asylum under deliberately false pretenses so as to blackmail her into marrying him, they still love him.
Hybrid Monster/Mix-and-Match Critter: The beast has the mane of a lion, the beard and head of a buffalo, the brows of a gorilla, the eyes of a human, the tusks of a wild boar, the body of a bear, and the hind legs and tail of a wolf.
I Have You Now, My Pretty: Pretty much anytime Gaston is around Belle he makes aggressive advances on her and tries to blackmail her into marrying him. The entire "coerced marriage" theme is pretty much a literary fig leaf for lust and rape.
The film's battle scene includes a man ripping the feathers from the sultry feather duster in another rape metaphor. Her candelabra boyfriend doesn't take this well, and gives the jerk what's coming to him.
I'm Not Hungry: Belle refuses to eat dinner with the Beast (at first), with these exact words.
Impairment Shot: Maurice as he wakes up after Belle's gotten him back home.
Implausible Deniability: After all that Belle had seen, Cogsworth still tried to deny that the castle was enchanted.
Impossibly Low Neckline: Belle's yellow ball gown appears like this is some shots. (specifically when they're on the ballroom terrace after the title song)
Informed Attractiveness: Belle. While certainly pretty, she's described as an unparalleled beauty in the movie, which also depicts almost every other woman as busty and very attractive, particularly the Three Bimbettes. Of course, Belle's beauty may be due to her seeming unattainable, unlike most of the other women who absolutely swoon over Gaston. In addition, Belle designed to be as taller and more slender, thus giving her a different kind of beauty than the other women.
In Harm's Way: Belle craves adventure, because her hometown is safe and happy and boring.
Ink Suit Actor: Richard White is very similar to Gaston, and Human!Beast resembles Robby Benson.
Insult Backfire: "Gaston, you are positively primeval." "Thank you, Belle."
It's All My Fault: When Belle and Maurice are trapped in the cellar while Gaston and the mob are on their way to the Beast's castle. Again said by Belle after Beast is stabbed.
This is also the Beast's (silent) reaction when he learns Belle's father is sick and lost. His face says it all.◊
It's Personal: The final showdown between the Beast and Gaston. As the latter said:
Gaston: Take whatever booty you can find, but remember: the Beast is mine!
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: The reason the Beast allows Belle to leave when they learn her father is sick and lost in the woods, even though the time in which his curse can be broken is fast dwindling, and she hasn't yet admitted she loves him. The Objects, also threatened by the curse, find out ("He did WHAT?") and must confront the irony that in learning to love someone for the first time, he's sealed his and their fate by letting her go.
Gaston, on the other hand, is a textbook example of a Jerkass, through and through.
Jerkass Has a Point: Yes, Beast shouldn't have scared Belle in the West Wing, but he had every right to be alarmed about her touching the rose - that thing is kept under glass for a reason. She might have destroyed his chance to break the spell, or possibly even killed him, without meaning to! Also she deliberately disobeyed the one rule he imposed on her (that was as much for her own protection as it was to guard what little dignity he had).
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Cogsworth. He's pompous, grumpy and a bit rude, but he's really just as good-natured as Lumiere and he can also be very helpful. The song "Human Again" gives the impression that a lot of his attitude comes from being incredibly stressed out; he does note, when introducing himself to Belle, that he's the head of the household. This little clock is the one who keeps the place running while their master is storming around in his beast form.
The Enchantress. She cursed at least 5 children for the actions of their mother's employer, not to mention those of any other servant who had children. The Beast was quite young himself when cursed; see Writers Cannot Do Math below. The enchantress also cursed at least one dog and, in the extended version, a cat. As the castle had a carriage, the enchantress either cursed the horses as well or something... happened... to them. Either way, this is blatant cruelty to animals who could not be held accountable for their master's behavior. She is never called out on it.
Monsieur D'Arque, the asylum owner, is clearly a sadist who loves Gaston's Evil Plan but drops out of the story after the plan backfires and is never shown to be brought to justice for his part in it.
The villagers as a whole. They gleefully take part in a violent mob against the Beast and the residents of his castle, and aside from some comical beatings from the enchanted objects, seem to escape any sort of comeuppance.
Karmic Death: Gaston stabs the Beast in the back, but he immediately loses his grip and falls off the balcony and into the same deep frightening moat that the Beast spared him from moments before.
Leitmotif: The "Prologue" theme, the Beast's theme (which has a Dark Reprise during his death scene), "Belle", Maurice's theme, "Gaston", and "Prince Charming" (the love theme). Some of these became the bases for new numbers in the Screen-to-Stage Adaptation.
Let's Get Dangerous: When the cute, whimsical, talking household items get fed up of cowering from the marauding peasants and duke it out instead, leading to several silly, yet awesome, moments. The Beast also does this upon Belle's return to the castle and utterly dominates the latter half of the fight with Gaston.
Letting Her Hair Down: During the wolf chase, Belle's ponytail came loose, revealing her beautiful long brown hair, but we get an even more prominent look at it when she treats Beast's wounds, and there is the first moment of tenderness between them. She also has this look towards the climax. And during the famous ballroom scene, Belle's hair is mostly down with only a small portion tied back.
Loss of Identity: Word Of God says that the Beast's humanity was slowly fading away and he was becoming more animal like as the years went by. The reason the floor of the West Wing is rarely seen is because its littered with the carcasses of his prey, as he'd long since given in to the urge to hunt. Word Of God also says that if Belle had never arrived he would have eventually grown so distant from humanity that he would stop wearing clothes, walk only on all fours and forgotten how to speak. In fact, in a shot when Belle sneaks up to the West Wing, in the bottom left corner of the screen you can see the ribs and part of a leg of a creature Beast has hunted; it's cast in shadow so it's a bit difficult to see any detail, but the shape itself is very clear if you look closely. The novelization of the movie outright confirms this, in the brief snippets we get to see from the Beast's perspective. He mentions that he's much more hot tempered than he ever was as a human and has trouble remembering simple things like his name, his parents, or even exactly how long he's been cursed, and he's completely forgotten how to read. His greatest fear is losing his mind and becoming an animal for good.
Love at First Punch: Belle is the first person after the enchantress who confronted Beast on his treatment of others.
It's implied that the Beast fell in love the moment he saw Belle but was so angry and frustrated at his situation that he still lashed out at her.
Averted in the stage musical. Beast even sings a song about what will happen if he's unable to fall in love with Belle.
Love Epiphany: The song "Something There" is all about this, but most prominent is when Belle goes behind a tree and is visibly shocked as she realizes her feelings. The Beast has a different one later on (after the ballroom scene) when he realizes what lovetrulymeans.
Love Hurts: Goodness, the Beast's heartbreak after the uplifting ballroom scene is palpable. As she leaves, he starts sobbing and finally breaks into a primal scream of despair as Belle gallops away.
Love Redeems: Thanks to Belle, Beast becomes a kinder person.
Love Triangle: Belle, Beast and Gaston, although the latter is just him forcing this trope.
Made of Iron: LeFou. Seriously, he can get punched 10 feet and just get up and keep singing.
Magic Mirror: Beast has one that serves as his only connection to the outside world; it functions like a typical Crystal Ball would.
Manipulative Bastard: Gaston is well aware of his popularity in the village, and in the end, he uses it to turn most of the male population of his town into an angry mob.
Meaningful Echo: " Please let (insert person here) go! I'll do anything!" First with Belle when she takes her father's place, second when the Beast is holding Gaston over the edge of the roof, which was probably why he was spared. Interestingly, both times had people at the Beast's mercy, and both times resulted in an unusual act of kindness from him (taking up Belle's offer and letting Gaston go).
Belle is French for "beautiful", since the original tale is French and its title in French is "La Belle et la Bête" ("The Beautiful and the Beast"). This even gets a Lampshade Hanging by one of the female villagers, who sings, "Now it's no wonder that her name means 'beauty' / Her looks have got no parallel..."
In the original de Beaumont fairytale (or at least the earliest version we have), she has a different name, but we never learn it. Everyone just calls her La Belle. Her name being Belle is an improvement. (The Beast doesn't have a name there either.)
"LeFou" is a phonetic pun on "the fool" (the actual translation from French to English is closer to The Madman, the Insane, The Mad, or Insanity). Likewise, Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, and Chip all have names relating to the objects they became (with Chip being a reference to his state of being).
Beast's real name, 'Adam' means 'man', which he turns back into.
Monsieur D'Arque, the asylum proprietor, certainly is dark and sinister.
Mighty Roar: Beast lets out a few good ones, the most notable being when he fights the wolves, when Belle leaves and when he starts fighting back against Gaston. And when he yells (which he does a lot) animal roars are mixed into the dialog for extra oomph.
Monster Modesty: Tied into The Beast's character development. He starts off only in a pair of pants and a cape and as he becomes more humanized he starts wearing more clothes until we finally see him in full formal wear. Justified in that he's still desperately trying to maintain his humanity and is also ashamed of his appearance (hence the cape, which hides his body). Word Of God says that eventually his humanity would have degenerated to the point where he'd wear no clothes at all.
The Beast drags Maurice off. Gaston's ridiculous (first) marriage proposal follows.
In a meta example, Paige O'Hara sobbed real tears while recording Belle's mourning of the Beast. Her performance was so intense that the director asked her if she was OK, upon which O'Hara immediately dropped out of character and said "Acting!"
The Beast's utterly heartbreaking releasing of Belle after the impossibly romantic and uplifting ballroom scene.
The alternating scenes of the funny and happy fight of the servants with the villagers, along with Gaston's hunting pursuit.
The wardrobe crushing a villager, and then shoving another into herself, causing him to emerge dressed in drag and freaking out. The crushed villager is still lying there and not moving...
After the Beast scares Belle out of the west wing and the castle, he silently FacePalms.
Another example is more of a "My God, What Did I Almost Do?": The look on The Beast's face screams this as he holds Gaston over the edge of the castle. The Beast has a similar reaction in the musical, when he grabs Belle's arm after catching her in the West Wing and accidentally rips her sleeve. This is what prompts her to leave the castle, while he desperately tries to apologize.
Neck Lift: The Beast to Gaston, during the final fight.
No Badass to His Valet: Belle and the Beast's relationship develops into this at first. Out of a whole castle full of servants who alternately cringe in terror of his rages, and try to bring him up like he's still a child, Belle is the only one who talks to him like an equal.
No Celebrities Were Harmed: For the voice of Lumiere, Jerry Orbach did an absolute dead ringer impersonation of Maurice Chevalier.
No Indoor Voice: The Beast persistently shouts, especially his howling "GET OOOUUUUUUUTTTT!" which sounds even more "bestial" since they mixed animal growls, snarls and roars in with his dialogue to make him sound more wild and show just how inhuman he's become.
No Name Given: The Beast. His servants refer to him only as "The Master". Belle doesn't even know his name. At the climax, she simply calls him 'Beast'. When "Belle" at meet & greets in Disney Parks is asked about the Beast's real name, she responds by saying that he had been a Beast for so long, he cannot remember. Word Of God, however, says it's Adam.
Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Most of the cast; as MAD Magazine pointed out in their parody, this is especially noticeable because of Lumiere's extremely pronounced accent. Cogsworth and Mrs. Potts have English accents, because all butlers must be English. They shouldn't even be speaking English anyway, so...
Obfuscating Stupidity: Gaston. He at first seems to be an arrogant, uneducated and unintellectual buffoon. The first hint that there's more to him than that comes as he skulks away from Belle's house after his unsuccessful proposal (complete with moody music to give us a clue). Then later on in the movie he turns out to be a manipulative, deceitful and cunning psychopath. However, he's still got some obvious stupidity, as no one with half a brain cell would challenge a seven-foot-tall chimera monster to fisticuffs over a woman who doesn't even remotely like him.
Played straight. Belle is dressed in blue and white at the beginning, and wears green, gold and pink dresses, and red edged with plenty of white also features. While the Beast is still being a jerk, he wears a purple cloak and appears much scarier and rougher than before. As he improves he starts to clean up and wears royal blue with hints of gold and white. Gaston is an Egomaniac Hunterdressed in redwith long black hair and as he reaches his peak his hair becomes wild and messy.
Played even more straight with corrupt asylum director Monsieur D'Arque, whose skin is a sickly green color.
The Bimbettes have 3 different hair styles and 3 different color dresses, but in various scenes the colors of their dresses keep changing. In addition, their hairstyles are all the same at the end of the "Gaston" reprise.
A few of Belle's scenes were done by a different animation team, giving her face a somewhat different, more rounded look. It's probably most noticeable when she enters the bookshop in the opening song.
Oh Crap: Three in the span of just a couple minutes during the climactic battle between Gaston and the Beast. First, when the Beast is on the edge of the roof refusing to fight. Gaston grabs part of the castle and brandishes it like a club about to go for the kill. Then Belle announces her arrival. Beast is suddenly filled with the will to live, grabs the club and towers over Gaston. Then, when Gaston yells "It's over, Beast, Belle is mine!", the Beast grabs him by the throat and holds him over the edge of the roof from the top of the castle. And the third is right after stabbing the Beast when Gaston realizes he's about to fall off the roof (having been previously spared that fate).
Once Upon a Time: Opens with a once upon a time explanation of how the Prince was selfish and then was turned into the Beast by the beggar woman who asked him for shelter in exchange for a single rose, then turned into the enchantress when he kept refusing her
Opera Gloves: Belle's gold dress has a matching pair of these.
Our Nudity Is Different: Beast's bath scene; it's clear he's at his most naked here but since he's furry it also doubles as conveinient censoring. Also not the only time Disney men have gotten naked topped by Mulan.
Pain Powered Leap: Cogsworth slides down the stair banister and jabs Lefou in the butt with a sword, causing this to happen.
Pet the Dog: The Beast learning to feed the birds in the "Something There" sequence.
Pimped Out Cape: Belle gets one in the "Something There" scene. It's fur-trimmed.
Pimped-Out Dress: Belle's gold dress is the most clearly pimped out, but the green dress and pink dress were also likely made of very fine fabrics.
Plucky Girl: Belle, who refuses repeatedly to submit to the Beast and only treats him better when he starts reforming.
Pretty in Mink: Belle's wine-colored winter cape with white fur trim. In The Enchanted Christmas, she is also seen in a scarlet jacket with white fur trim, and later a matching cape and skirt for when she goes out into the woods. They seem to like putting her in furs.
Primal Stance: The Beast is stuck in this pose for the first half of the movie, in fact it's kind of hard to tell just how tall he actually is because he spends so much time bent over. The first shot of Belle and the Beast standing face-to-face shows that while he's taller than her she can still look him directly in the eye. The ballroom scene is one of the few times he's actually standing up straight and it becomes obvious that he completely dwarfs her.
Belle's large carthorse Phillipe had to be written out of the stage musical, due to the challenges of having a horse onstage.
While Paige O'Hara was auditioning, a bit of her hair flew in her face, and she tucked it behind her ear. The animators liked that, so they included it in the beginning of the film.
Recycled: The Series: For a short time, there was a live-action tv show starring Belle, a talking cat puppet and a bunch of modern day kids as she would read books to them, which were really Classic Disney Shorts with her dubbing over all the songs. It also had nothing to do with Beauty and the Beast besides Belle.
Refuge in Audacity: Gaston loudly proclaims some stuff after coming up with a plan in the reprise that would heavily imply blackmailing Belle by having Maurice arrested under false pretenses of being a dangerous madman, and the villagers agree with the plan.
A turning point in Beast and Belle's relationship is when he rescues her from a pack of wolves, and she chooses to take him back to the castle and tend to him when she still has the option of fleeing (she fled the castle because she was so afraid of his violent behavior), but it was further helped by the understanding they came to as Belle treated Beast's wounds.
Gaston pretends he's doing this when he goes to kill the Beast to save everyone. He also tries to force Belle into one, arguably (she must marry him to save her father).
Roof Hopping: Gaston does this to catch up to Belle when he can't get through the crowd. He later shows off this same skill (as does Beast, though he's justified by having claws) during the Climbing Climax.
Rule of Funny: The enchanted objects inexplicably moo like cows as they ignore Cogsworth's command to "Come with me!" during the Lead In to the "Human Again" song.
The song "Human Again" in the extended version features enchanted brooms. Mickey didn't do as well with them...
Also in "The Mob Song":
A chest seems to eat an invader, similar to the chest in Discworld.
During the mob's approach to the castle, a dark example of this comes in the villagers' reflections in the water as they cross a fallen tree, referencing as it does the Seven Dwarves during "Heigh-Ho".
While in the bookshop, she mentions that the story has "Far off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise." All of these could apply to her adventure.
Silk Hiding Steel: Belle reforms Beast first by standing up to him and then with more gentle affection. She's technically a captive with no authority the whole time.
Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Belle shuns the good-looking but thoroughly vain and egomaniac Gaston and prefers the Beast, who initially scares her by his monstrous looks and serious temper problems, but is brave, determined and capable of good.
Slapstick: The servants fight against the villagers was largely this, though there are one or two scenes in it that dip into frightening territory-like the scene when the Wardrobe dove off a balcony and landed on a guy was hilarious, but after a cut to Gaston looking for the Beast, we cut back to see her fighting other townsmen-and the guy she landed on is lying limp and lifeless in a crater where she landed on him, his weapon still in his hand, arms and legs sticking out of the hole and spread askew in what looks like death. Really easy to miss, as your eyes are drawn to different areas of the screen, but it's there!
The villagers seem like the typical friendly chorus of many a musical, but they're shallow and all too willing to pick on anyone who's "odd". As "The Mob Song" puts it: "We don't like what we don't understand/In fact it scares us..." It is also implied that they also may have some monstrous tendencies as well, seeing how the villain song "Gaston" has them singing praises about Gaston, and many of them were implied to be stuff that is horrible, and when Gaston admits that he's up to no good in the final verses, they are in full support of Gaston's plan without any hint of fear or resentment. After the cheerful first couple of verses, and his cheerful rendition of the last verse, they probably thought he was joking.
The musical implies that the servants are this to an extent. While they act quite upbeat and cheerful, several bits of dialogue hint that they are secretly scared that they're slowly turning into inanimate objects, perhaps forever.
Stock Footage: The dance between Belle and her Prince in the finale is actually reused animation of the dance between Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip in Sleeping Beauty. The original Sleeping Beauty pair had been drawn over to become the new Beauty and the Beast pair, and this was done because they were running out of time during the production of the movie.
The smoke seen during the transformation of the Beast to the Prince is actually real smoke, not animated. It was originally used in The Black Cauldron.
Stock Scream: The infamous Wilhelm Scream can be heard during the mob's battle with the enchanted castle's residents, right after Chip saves Belle and Maurice.
Belle and the Beast both learn the lesson that appearances don't matter, and you have to judge people by their character and actions. Then their happy ending consists of the Beast going back to his beautiful princely pre-curse self.
A self that isn't chased by mobs and won't make Moral Guardians upset over certain issues when he and Belle get married.
And a self that is never actually described as "beautiful", nor do a good many people consider it to be.
Take Me Instead: Belle says this to Beast when she wants to be in her father's place, and the Beast accepts her offer.
Take That: "Here we come, we're 50 strong and 50 Frenchmen can't be wrong!"
Technobabble: Cogsworth's architecture lecture: "As you can see, the pseudo-façade was stripped away to reveal the minimalist Rococo design. Note the unusual inverted vaulted ceilings. This is yet another example of the late neoclassic Baroque period." Rococo or Late Baroque and Neoclassical are two very distinct architectural movements. And "minimalist Rococo" is an oxymoron.
Beast:(to Belle) You will join me for dinner! That's not a request!
Title Drop: Okay, so for animated movies it's not as important, but for the magnificent Oscar Bait song, they use the title drop, and if you haven't figured out what the song is about yet, then think about it.
Too Dumb to Live: Watch closely the scene where Belle's father and his horse (Phillippe) arrive at a crossroads on their way to the fair. Phillipe clearly tries to pull Maurice towards the brighter, more cheerful path on the left, while Maurice adamantly chooses the foggy, eerily lit path.
Tragic Monster: The Beast is this in spades due to his past and his suffering that the curse caused.
Trivially Obvious: In the play, Lumiere prompts the Beast to "say something" about Belle's new dress. The Beast addresses Belle quite gracefully and informs her that the dress is blue. Cue the Beast being dragged aside for the clarification of something complimentary.
True Blue Femininity: Belle's main dress is white and blue, which the filmmakers said is symbolic to her personality and situation.
True Love's Kiss: Variation—it isn't what breaks the curse on Beast himself (that's just Belle's declaration of love), but it does dissolve the rest of the spell to restore the castle and all the servants.
Unflinching Walk: Belle in a somewhat comedic example, where she's able to thread her way through town on what appears to be a market day, effortlessly blocking falling water with a hanging sign as she passes under it, all the while reading a book.
The Un Smile: When Lumiere tries to get the Beast to smile for his date with Belle, he grins so that all his fangs stick out. Thankfully he learns to smile much more naturally later.
Unstoppable Rage: The Beast fends off a pack of wolves in order to protect Belle.
Ur Example: Although it's not the first animated movie to do this, Beauty and the Beast is the first Disney movie where famous musicians cover the movie's love/whatever ballad during the credits.
Villainous Valour: The climax proved that Gaston had a good reason to boast about his strength. He fought toe-to-toe and did it pretty well against Beast, even when Beast got over his despair and stopped just letting himself get beaten. He also ripped off a marble/stone ornament from the castle with little to no effort, and was at least able to carry approximately 400+ lbs (The Triplets sitting on a bench) with one hand and with very little effort, which probably places his strength at superhuman levels.
The Villain Sucks Song: Inverted. "Gaston" is all about glorifying the villain in question (though at that point in the story, he's only a bastard and not a true villain).
Villain with Good Publicity: Gaston, who is loved by all the other villagers except Belle and is apparently the most powerful, influential person there. This means none of them objects to an ailing old man who's been desperately searching for his daughter being carted off to an insane asylum based on an odd story that might have just come from stress. Then they are easily convinced by Gaston to kill the Beast once his existence has been confirmed even though Belle is the only one who actually knows him and begs them to reconsider. But hey, they always thought she was weird anyway for her bookishness ("I wonder if she's feeling well.") What's even worse is that they follow him out of actual loyalty, and not out of fear, and it is implied from the Villain Song that they love him specifically because of his despicable acts.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Lumiere and Cogsworth. Type 2, good friends who are very different and often butt heads. Their relationship is said to mirror that of the two animators who drew their characters. In fact, a special feature on the Diamond Edition of the film shows the two animators performing the final scene with Lumiere and Cogsworth human again in live-action form.
"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere! I want it more than I can tell!"
Welcoming Song: "Be Our Guest", as the denizens of the castle introduce themselves to Belle.
What Does She See in Him?: Inverted as Gaston desires Belle who everyone in town finds odd. Also, he can't understand what she sees in the Beast.
What Happened to the Mouse?: We never do see what happens to the Magic Mirror—it disappears from Gaston's belt once they break down the doors and is never shown again. It could have been lost/broken during the battle, discarded because he didn't need it anymore, or despite not being drawn there it was on his belt all along and fell with him into the moat. In the end, it would likely have disappeared when the spell was broken anyway.
What the Hell, Hero?: Both Belle and the Beast give a back-and-forth version of this after the Wolf fight. Both Sides Have a Point in that the Beast should control his temper, but Belle intentionally broke the one rule he set over her.
Windows to the Soul: A variation. We get several shots of Beast's eyes. And when he tears up the picture of his human face, his eyes are largely undamaged. After he turns back into a human, Belle doesn't actually care about that. She isn't convinced it's him until she looks into his eyes. As mentioned above, the Beast's eyes were almost as carefully designed as the rest of his body, in order to give the impression that he was a man trapped in the body of a monster.
World-Healing Wave: After the Beast is restored to life and humanity and he and Belle have their Big Damn Kiss, the resultant magical fireworks shower a sparkling rain over the castle and restore it to its original state; the Enchanted Objects are similarly restored to the humans and animals they once were.
Writers Cannot Do Math: The film has a dodgy timeline. Deleting "Human Again"(and deleting time related lyrics when it was later re-inserted) was an attempt to avoid this trope, but didn't answer all the questions.
Xanatos Speed Chess: Gaston gets shades in the second half of the film. Belle refuses to marry him? Use Maurice's rantings to declare him insane and blackmail her. She proves Maurice was telling the truth? Rally the town to kill the Beast now that you know Belle loves him.
Year Inside, Hour Outside: Not explicit, but time seems to run more slowly inside the Beast's castle. Belle has time to reform the Beast and fall in love with him while only two or three days pass "outside."
If the midquel is anything to note, apparently two of those days were Christmas Eve and Christmas itself.
Ye Goode Olde Days: Belle's walking along the street with her nose in a book. A woman throws water out of the window, but she blocks herself with a streetsign. If the story takes place in the time it was written, then that wouldn't be water. It'd be something else...