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Trivia / Beauty and the Beast

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The Disney film

Listed Trivia:

  • Acting for Two:
    • David Ogden Stiers (Cogsworth) also did the offscreen opening narration.
    • In the Brazilian dub, Garcia Júnior voiced both Beast and Gaston. Although it sometimes happen in Brazilian dubs, actors very rarely voice two major characters, as well as the main hero and the main villain.
  • Ascended Fanon: Since this movie came out, many believed the Beast's "real" name to be Adam due to it appearing on a Disney trivia CD-ROM game called The D Show, but Word of God, including the animators, scriptwriters, and the Disney website, had stated he does not have an assigned name. Nonetheless, it was officially included in a Disney Princess quiz game and even on some marketing for the Disney Princes. Finally, around the time of the live-action remake, Paige O'Hara (in a 2015 Q&A) and Dan Stevens (after the live-action film's release) confirmed it, thereby finally adopting Adam as his name. Of note is that much of the merchandise released by Mattel used the name "Prince Adam" on the packaging as a way of reusing a trademark from Masters of the Universe to keep it active while the MOTU brand wasn't being produced, as trademarks can expire quickly if not kept in use. This was a case of the company that owned the trademark deliberately writing around trademarks.
  • Author's Saving Throw: In the ten-year anniversary "Human Again" segment, Lumiere is seen brushing Philippe in the castle stables. In the DVD commentary, the filmmakers stated they added this because a lot of people had asked where Philippe had stayed during his time at the castle.
  • Creator Couple: Paige O'Hara voiced Belle in the film. Her then-husband Michael Piontek would later go on to be an understudy for Gaston when the Screen-to-Stage Adaptation premiered in Los Angeles. They have since divorced.
  • Creator's Apathy: Despite sparing no expense in designing the Beast, the animators openly admit that they put little effort in designing his human form since they knew the audience had already endeared themselves to the Beast's monster form and wouldn't care what he looked like as a human.
  • Cut Song:
    • "Human Again", animated and inserted into the 2002 IMAX reissue after it had already appeared in the stage musical. "Something There" replaced it in the original cut to remove interludes of the Enchanted Objects tracking ambiguously long periods of time for Belle and the Beast to fall in love, which the writers decided would make viewers worry for Maurice's safety during his off-screen search for Belle. Jeffrey Katzenberg also ordered "Human Again" removed because he felt it was "redundant". The versions used in the play and the extended movie each run over four minutes shorter than did the nine-minute original demo. Eventually, the 3D conversion, the 25th Anniversary Edition DVD, and the 4K remaster all completely cut "Human Again" back out again, and the live-action remake essentially replaced it with "Days In the Sun".note 
    • The Beast was supposed to have a song of his own but 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, as does the live-action remake by giving him yet another solo.
    • "Maison des Lunes", a song written for the stage musical, was cut from all productions in 2021, and "No Matter What", also exclusive to the musical, is now an optional number, but is no longer in the default script.
  • Dawson Casting: Paige O'Hara was in her early thirties when she voiced the much-younger Belle.
  • Died During Production: By the time the final version of the film began production, lyricist and executive producer Howard Ashman was already suffering from AIDS. Ashman eventually died on March 14, 1991, eight months before the film's release.
  • Doing It for the Art: Howard Ashman literally worked until the day he died, mere weeks before the film was finished. And even beforehand, he was directing the voice recording sessions via telephone while in bed, wasting away from AIDS.
  • Dueling Movies: An American Tail: Fievel Goes West and Rock-A-Doodle were in theaters at the same time, with Fievel even opening on the same weekend as Beauty. Needless to say it wasn't much of a fight - all other movies were pretty much Curb-Stomped as audiences flocked to the one with a story that broke through the Animation Age Ghetto, with watershed animation and with Broadway-caliber songs, as well as the still-evolving idea that such an important female character could be anything other than a Damsel in Distress. While Fievel goes West did okay at the box office, most likely due to having Steven Spielberg's name attached, Rock-A-Doodle was completely crushed and began the downfall of Don Bluth's animation studio.
  • Executive Meddling: In an example that worked out for the best, the original outline for the film was completely scrapped by Jeffrey Katzenberg in 1989 after he and the team at Disney didn't like where it was headed. Katzenberg turned it into a musical and hired Menken and Ashman to write the music. Katzenberg officially signed off on the project in early 1990 after the creative team successfully reworked the elements he felt were missing, including adding a villain and more side characters (he didn't think only having two main characters would work in adapting the original fairytale into a film). Because of Ashman's failing health, the film was completed in two years instead of the average of four at the time. While the film was released to great acclaim, the sprint to finish the film took a toll on everyone involved and Disney and Katzenberg vowed that it wouldn't happen again.
  • Fake Brit: Peoria-born David Ogden Stiers as Cogsworth.
  • Fake Nationality: Bronx-born Jerry Orbach as the French-accented Lumiere.
  • Follow the Leader: Between this and The Little Mermaid, almost all Western animated features, Disney or not, that followed until Toy Story came along four years later were fairy tale musicals (the big exception being The Lion King, which wasn't Fairy Tale-based).
  • In Memoriam: At the end of the credits, there is a dedication to Howard Ashman, who died eight months before the release of the film.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The Work in Progress version hasn't received a proper home media release since the 2010 Diamond Edition DVD included it as an alternate viewing option. The corresponding Blu-ray shrunk it down to a picture-in-picture comparison with the finished film, requiring viewers to pop in the combo pack's enclosed DVD if they wanted to watch it at full size. Across the various formats of the 2016-20 Signature Collection releases, only the iTunes digital copy includes the Work in Progress version, again shrunken down for a picture-in-picture comparison.
  • Kids' Meal Toy:
    • Burger King sold figures of Belle, the Beast, Chip, and Cogsworth.
    • McDonalds gave out toys of Belle, the Beast, Gaston, and the various castle characters in 2002 to promote the Special Edition DVD release. Some non-USA countries also featured Maurice and the wardrobe. There was also a European promotion for the film's original release in 1992, with toys of Belle, Beast, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts.
    • At Pizza Hut, there were toys of Belle, Beast, Chip, and Cogsworth.
  • Licensed Game: Several licensed games based on the movie were released:
    • An interactive fiction game titled Be Our Guest for MS-DOS, developed by Infogrames and released in 1995.
    • Two Sega Genesis platforming games released by Sunsoft: a game aimed at girls titled Belle's Quest, and a game aimed at boys titled Roar of the Beast.
    • A NES and SNES platforming game by Hudson Soft. The NES version was released exclusively in Europe, and the US release of the NES version (seen on the right in this image) was cancelled.
    • A board game similar to Mario Party for the Game Boy Color, titled A Board Game Adventure.
    • An activity center aimed at girls for the PC, titled Magical Ballroom.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition:
    • The first post-Walt movie added to each of the Animated Canon's most elite home video lines of the 2000s-10s; joining the Platinum Editions in 2002, the Diamond Editions in 2010, and the Walt Disney Signature Collection in 2016. In particular, the 3-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo pack (repackaged the following year with a 3D BD and a digital copy) marked the last time a DAC Blu-ray included a bonus disc, not counting store exclusives.
    • The 2018 2-Disc Legacy Collection soundtrack remastered all of the songs and score, arranged them in the same order as in the movie, and added some of the Menken and Ashman demo recordings to the end of Disc 2.
  • Multiple Languages, Same Voice Actor: Venezuelan-born Jesse Corti as Lefou in English and Latin Spanish.
  • One-Take Wonder:
    • The titular song was originally conceived as a more up-tempo rock song; it was eventually retooled into a romantic ballad to better fit the scene. Angela Lansbury was initially reluctant to provide the vocals, thinking herself a poor fit for the style of song. At Trousdale and Wise's requests, she recorded one take as a backup, in case no other options were found. Lansbury reportedly brought the entire studio to tears with her performance.
    • Tony Jay recorded all of Monsieur D'Arque's dialogue as part of his audition. Trousdale and Wise felt his audition tape was so perfect that they simply mailed him a paycheck, feeling there was no point bringing him back to re-record the dialogue.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • As of 2011, Paige O'Hara was replaced by Julie Nathanson as Belle due to O'Hara's voice changing significantly over the course of twenty years. However, O'Hara still paints Belle for Disney Fine Art and continues to do promotional appearances for Disney. She later reprises Belle in Ralph Breaks the Internet.note 
      • In the House of Mouse episode "Mickey and the Culture Clash", she was voiced by Jodi Benson, who funnily enough was the first choice for Belle.
    • After Jerry Orbach's death, Jeff Bennett took the role of Lumiere starting from Kingdom Hearts and so on.
    • Angela Lansbury could not reprise her role as Mrs. Potts in the second DTV sequel Belle's Magical World. Anne Rogers replaced her.
    • Chip has been replaced several times because his previous actors aged out of the role. He was voiced by Bradley Pierce in the original, then later Haley Joel Osment (Enchanted Christmas), and then Greg Grudt (Belle's Magical World).
  • Posthumous Credit: Despite passing away from AIDS complications eight months before the film's release, Howard Ashman is still given a credit as the film's lyricist and executive producer, having completed his lyrics months in advance.
  • Reality Subtext: As is noted in the booklet that came with the Legacy Edition of the movie's soundtrack, "The Mob Song" reflects how AIDS was viewed at the time the song was written and the conditions towards the end of Howard Ashman's life as a sufferer of the disease.
    We don't like what we don't understand
    In fact it scares us
    And this monster is mysterious at least
  • Recycled: The Series: Sing Me A Story, which starred 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 had nothing to do with Beauty and the Beast besides Belle (although Gaston would make a few appearances, albeit being much Lighter and Softer).
  • Saved from Development Hell: Walt Disney himself had tried to develop an adaptation of this story back in the 1930s and 1950s, but no one could figure out how to make the second act (the heroine's stay in the castle) work. It's been speculated that Beauty and the Beast (1946) put him off the idea. The concept was resurrected in 1987.
  • Shrug of God: Some employees at Disney offhandedly tease that Gaston was the one who killed Bambi's mother (doubly funny since the deer we see in the movie's opening scene actually is Bambi's mother, from reused animation).
  • Throw It In:
    • Cogsworth mentioning that "promises you don't intend to keep" are among the usual things given to ladies was an adlib by David Ogden Stiers when he thought the advice as scripted wasn't sufficiently bad.
    • The special edition added the song "Human Again", a song originally fully animated but cut for time reasons, where the servants clean up the whole castle. The animators ultimately chose to leave the West Wing ruined after Belle left the castle to save Maurice, rationalizing that the Beast wrecked it again during his Heroic BSoD. And to really drive the point home, they add in the sounds of glass breaking as Belle rides off.
    • Speaking of "Human Again" Paige O'Hara and Robby Benson ad-libbed their little "Two? Two." exchange.
    • The dummy lyrics written for Gaston's song were so impressive that they became the actual words used.
    • Paige O'Hara brushed aside a loose bit of hair while in the recording studio, and that became a running thing for Belle.
    • The Beast Face Palming at several points in the movie comes from Robby Benson doing it in recording sessions when he was getting tired and hoarse from screaming all the time.
    • An audio error on the Beast's line "You want to stay in the tower?" got kept in the final version as it sounded remarkably natural for him to be stuttering in surprise over the question. The line was actually "fixed" in one DVD release, which was so unpopular that it was put back in later.
  • Troubled Production: Notwithstanding Walt's attempts to get the film off the ground, the final version had a rough road. The animators were given no vacation time during the film's production in order for everything to be absolutely flawless, partially owing to Jeff Katzenberg's admitted impatience with the medium and Ashman's failing health (Ashman alerted Katzenberg that he was dying, which led to Katzenberg forcing production to move to Ashman's side of the country to accommodate him). Several of the artists' marriages were broken up as a result; some artists even claimed to buying new clothing on their break time because they couldn't go home to do laundry, and plenty more up and quit. The grueling work clearly shows, but Katzenberg decided not to do this again when he saw how miserable his staff was as a result.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Jodi Benson was the first choice for Belle after the success of The Little Mermaid (1989), but was turned down in favor of Paige O'Hara due to the latter's voice sounding more mature for the character. Benson would, ironically enough, voice Belle later on in House of Mouse.
    • Tim Curry, Val Kilmer, Laurence Fishburne and Mandy Patinkin were considered for the Beast. Curry would go on to voice the character in an English dub of an Animated Adaptation of the Russian counterpart The Scarlet Flower, but he would appear in the Disney franchise as the villainous Forte in Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.
    • Patrick Swayze, Donny Osmond and Rupert Everett read for Gaston. Everett was turned down due to his voice not sounding arrogant enough, which was something he later remembered when he auditioned for Prince Charming in Shrek 2. Osmond would go on to play the role on stage.
    • Patrick Stewart, John Cleese, Don Rickles and Ian McKellen auditioned for Cogsworth. Stewart was forced to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts with Star Trek: The Next Generation and McKellen would eventually go on to voice the character in the live-action remake.
    • Richard Williams was approached to direct the film after the success of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. However, he turned it down to work on the long-into-production The Thief and the Cobbler.
    • In the final fight, Gaston falling off the castle was intended to be deliberate, with Gaston actually letting go after stabbing the Beast (there were originally supposed to be two stab wounds that he inflicted), and while falling he was also going to laugh like the Joker in The Dark Knight under similar circumstances. For some reason, this was vetoed. Also, Gaston's line before nearly being hung over the edge was "It's over, Beast! Time to die!", but they changed it to "Belle is mine!" in order to fit Belle back into the scene and also to omit violence (Gaston's lip sync to the line was not changed however). There was apparently also supposed to be a scene where Gaston and D'Arque go into the actual asylum area.
      • There was an earlier draft where Gaston had Beast at his mercy and was prepared to shoot him, only for Belle to throw a rock at him and cause him to fall off a cliff. He survives with a broken leg, only to be mauled by several wolves. This was eventually reused in the ending for The Lion King when Scar is killed by the hyenas, ironically because its original ending was cut for the same reasons that ending was cut.
    • As mentioned, the Beast was actually supposed to have an entire song to himself, which was supposed to happen after he chases Belle out of the West Wing, but for whatever reason this was scrapped and he only had a brief singing line in "Something There". However, he does get a song in the stage musical called "If I Can't Love Her" (which happens, wouldn't you know it, right after he chases Belle out of the West Wing!), as well as a different song called "Evermore" in the live-action remake.
    • "Be Our Guest" was originally going to be sung to Maurice, with several parts of the song being well into the animation stage like this, until the creators asked themselves "Wait a minute, Belle is the protagonist. Shouldn't they be singing to her?" And thus it was changed. Much of the original sequence and lines can be seen on the home video feature releases, which shows it wasn't too different from what eventually came to be (the key differences besides having Maurice in Belle's place being that Cogsworth wasn't nearly as involved in trying to shut the musical number down).
    • The entire movie in fact was initially intended to be much different, being much closer to the original tale, dating back as early as 1989: Basically, Maurice was intended to be a merchant like in the original tale, and also like in the original tale, Belle's family lost their entire estate thanks to several of Maurice's ships being lost at sea, forcing them to move to a cottage, and eventually are nearly about to lose that as well thanks to Maurice being unable to pay his taxes (thanks in large part to the aforementioned loss of his fortune). Maurice was also going to sell his late wife's music box to get enough money to pay taxes, explaining why he left and eventually got imprisoned by the Beast. In addition, Belle would have a kind younger sister named Clarice, a pet cat named Charley, their horse was originally named Orson, and she was to have a snooty aunt named Marguerite who effectively stood in for Belle's wicked sisters from the original tale. In addition, Gaston was a marquis, and Belle politely turned him down. Oh, and eventually Gaston would enter a duel with Beast and eventually be punched over a wall after attempting to use his rapier to stab him in the back after being defeated, and the servants spoke in pantomime and apparently were enchanted to begin with rather than cursed servants. This draft can be found on the Diamond Edition Blu-ray and DVD, and was cut at Jeffrey Katzenberg's request because it was "too dark and too dramatic" and "it didn't work at all." This resulted in then-director Richard Purdum quitting the film, and led to Katzenberg putting Howard Ashman & Alan Menken on and Trousdale & Wise taking the director's helm (this forced Ashman to take himself out of Aladdin, but he remained committed to Beauty and the Beast even after telling Katzenberg he had AIDS and would die in months).
    • Many scenes were storyboarded but never animated. Those include Maurice actually visiting the fair (with a song called "The Invention Convention") before getting lost on the way home, a scene where Gaston visits the Asylum and a scene where the Beast is seen dragging a carcass of an animal he killed. Both were considered too gruesome for the film (and it was feared that the latter would cause the audience to lose sympathy for the Beast) and the ideas were dropped.
    • 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.
    • Howard Ashman started lyric work on at least two songs for The Beast. He wanted to show things from his perspective as he felt previous versions had placed enough focus on the Beauty character, and since he has the greatest Character Development, the Beast was the main character anyway. For one reason or another they were scrapped but some of the ideas were worked into the character, like the anger that went with his despair and the Broadway took inspiration from his work to craft "If I Can't Love Her".
    • Jeffrey Katzenberg loved the title song so much that he asked Howard Ashman to write a third verse to it. After a week of trying, Ashman told him "The only other things that I could rhyme with "beast" were "yeast" and "Diane Wiest."
    • In Waking Sleeping Beauty, director Kirk Wise mentioned that Ashman wanted the Beast to start out as a "little naughty boy" at the time he was cursed. To Kirk, this brought up images of Eddie Munster, and he told Ashman he and Trousdale thought it was "a cheap shot". Ashman did not take kindly to this at all, allegedly, if the film's doodle of Ashman breathing fire on Wise like a dragon is any indication. This explains why Ashman's lyrics ("Ten years we've been rusting") imply that the Beast was cursed at age 11, even though he looks like an adult in the stained-glass windows and painting.
    • The title song was originally going to be a rock song.
    • Gaston was originally designed as a foppish European aristocrat who wore expensive clothing, then as a Dastardly Whiplash. Jeff Katzenberg complained that the design wasn't handsome enough (see below).
    • There were originally plans for a sequel that involved introducing a brother for Gaston named Avenant as a new antagonist. Reportedly, these plans were scrapped because it was hard to justify a sequel to Beauty and the Beast with no Beast.
    • When the film was first planned to have a live-action remake, it was originally slated to have been closer to the stage musical and would have featured its new songs. These plans changed by 2015, when Menken announced that the film would only feature songs from the original film, along with some completely new ones, but none of the stage version's new songs. However, "Home" from the stage musical is used as an instrumental when Belle first sees her room.
  • Word of God: According to Belle's voice actress, Belle's favorite play is Romeo and Juliet (Paige O'Hara's own personal favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird). This was canonized (and mocked by the Beast) in the live-action remake.
  • Writer Revolt: Andreas Deja, who didn't get the irony of Gaston's character at first, created his final design out of passive-aggressive protest from Jeff Katzenberg's complaints that his designs weren't handsome enough. Deja threw in every cliched masculine feature, then showed it to Katzenberg and sarcastically quipped "Is this what you want??" It turned out to be exactly what he wanted, which helped Deja finally understand the character.
  • Write Who You Know: According to this article, screenwriter Linda Woolverton based Gaston on several of her own unsuccessful relationships.