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Beauty and the Beast Animated Movie Facts

31 Things Only Diehard Beauty and the Beast Fans Know

Image Source: Everett Collection

Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney's most timeless classics, but there's a lot about the animated film that you might not have realized. For instance, do you know exactly what kind of animal the Beast was based on? Or his real name? The reboot is absolutely gorgeous and has a few interesting updates, but for now, let's revisit all of the interesting tidbits that make the 1991 film so great.

  1. Jackie Chan dubbed the voice of the Beast for Chinese-speaking countries. He provided vocals for both the Beast's speaking and singing parts!
  2. Chip originally had only one line. The producers liked 9-year-old actor Bradley Pierce's voice so much that they asked to expand the role.
  3. He also wasn't supposed to be a teacup. Early drawings of the character saw him as a music box who could only communicate by his chiming musical notes.
  4. Belle's lineage is more important than you think. Belle is one of the few Disney princesses who is not descended from royalty. She's joined by Cinderella, Tiana, and Mulan.
  5. Belle and the Beast's iconic dance scene was recycled from a different Disney film. As a way to save money, the Beauty and the Beast animators cribbed the animation sequence from Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip's dance in 1959's Sleeping Beauty.
  1. Julie Andrews was reportedly meant to play Mrs. Potts. The role eventually went to Murder, She Wrote's Angela Lansbury, who knocked it out of the park.
  2. The Beast doesn't have a real name. If you've been walking around calling him "Prince Adam," you're not alone, but you're not technically right, either. In the movie, his real name is never actually clarified; he's only ever referred to as "the Beast." The first time it was ever used was in the spinoff computer game and then later in the Broadway musical.
  3. Belle is the only person in her village to wear blue. So she stood out for reasons other than her personality. Even more interesting? The Beast is wearing blue when she meets him.
  4. The song "Human Again" was supposed to be in the 1991 movie. Unfortunately the song, which was lyricist Howard Ashman's favorite, got cut. That's why it was added to the 2002 rerelease and also the Broadway musical.
  5. The Beast was more vicious before edits were made. Ever noticed how the Beast's room has what looks like animal carcasses in his room (which you can see in here, bottom left)? His character was going to have a scene where he brings home a dead deer to feast on for dinner, but it was scrapped over fears audiences would find him unsympathetic.
  6. Belle's character is inspired by Little Women's Jo March. Writer Linda Woolverton used Katharine Hepburn's role in the 1933 film adaptation as inspiration for the strong-minded, independent Belle.

Image Source: Everett Collection

  1. Gaston doesn't exist in the original fairy tale. Disney got the idea for Belle's suitor from Jean Cocteau's 1946 live-action film, which features a very similar character named Avenant (this is also where they got the idea for enchanted household items, which also don't appear in the fairy tale).
  2. Gaston's death is confirmed by hidden skull imagery. When Gaston falls to his death after attempting to kill the beast, tiny skulls are reflected in each of his eyes. This is a not-so-subtle way of saying, "Yeah, he's super dead."

  1. It helped inspire a new Oscars category. Although it didn't take home the award for best picture at the 1992 Academy Awards (it lost to Silence of the Lambs), Beauty and the Beast proved that animated movies should be taken seriously. A best animated feature category was added in 2001, but it wasn't until Up picked up a best picture nom in 2010 that another animated film was given such an honor.
  2. Walt Disney wanted to make a Beauty and the Beast movie much earlier. He tried to develop the script into an animated film for Disney in the 1930s and 1950s, but the writers thought the story was too complex to adapt for a young audience.
  3. The studio tried (and failed) again in 1988. The Mouse House hired British animation director Richard Purdum to work his magic on the adaptation, but his vision of a much darker and nonmusical version of the tale was scrapped by then-Disney Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg. Purdum resigned shortly afterward.
  4. Bambi's mom has a cameo. In the first scene, a deer drinks from a stream in the forest, and it's none other than the ill-fated mom of Bambi. A popular fan theory suggests that her eventual death (she's shot by a hunter) can be attributed to Gaston. Dark.

  1. Patrick Stewart turned down the role of Cogsworth. He was playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation at the time and had scheduling conflicts.
  2. The Beast is an amalgam of animals, not just one. Animator Glen Keane used several animals as inspiration for the Beast's appearance: a lion (for his mane), a gorilla (his furrowed brow), a buffalo (his head, duh), wild boar (his tusks), a wolf (his legs and bushy tail), and a bear (his bulky body).
  3. Mrs. Potts was named Mrs. Chamomile at first. Producer Don Hahn revealed the surprising tidbit during a special anniversary screening in September. "The reason they changed it to Mrs. Potts is that Mrs. Chamomile was too hard to say," he explained. "Mrs. Potts was a lot easier."
  4. Belle is the oldest Disney princess. Paige O'Hara, the voice of Belle, told Vanity Fairthe tidbit: "She's the only one who they ever created to be in her 20s. All the other princesses have been teenagers. So there's maturity about her."
  5. The castle's gruesome gargoyles are actually early concept art of the Beast. As Belle cautiously explores the West Wing, take a peek at the statues looming over her.
  6. Angela Lansbury needed only one take to nail "Beauty and the Beast." After being up all night because her plane had an emergency landing after a bomb threat, Lansbury rushed to the studio to record the titular song. "We made it just in time, and I think it was the excitement and the sense of doing it now that helped me sing the song," she explained.
  1. It was the first animated film to earn more than $100 million at the box office. The movie raked in millions, making it the third highest-grossing movie of that year (Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves were first and second).
  2. Mickey Mouse has a small, subtle cameo. Hidden Mickeys are a Disney staple, and if you look closely during the scene where the Beast gifts Belle with his library, the outline of Mickey's head can be seen on the top of the middle bookshelf.
  3. Regis Philbin auditioned for the Beast. He was beat out by actor Robby Benson, who was clearly born to play the role. "Something magical happened," he told Entertainment Weekly about recording the Beast's death scene. I closed my eyes and saw my daughter in a theater. Knowing how emotional she gets, I suddenly felt like I was the Beast. I started performing, and the next thing I knew, it was over."
  4. Both the English and Spanish versions of LeFou are played by Jesse Corti. The Venezuelan-born actor talked to POPSUGAR about the fact: "As far as I know, I think I'm the only actor in the Disney movie that does the part in both languages."
  5. Disney World gave the actors a special treat at the theme park. After filming was over, Corti said that a part of Disney World was outfitted to look exactly like Belle's village: "You had the baker, the place with the horses, the carriages, and all the townspeople . . . Lefou and everybody, and the characters came to life."
  6. A line of scrapped dialogue from the 1991 movie made it into the 2017 reboot. "I love Glen Keane's Beast, that's why I ad-libbed 'Do you think you can grow a beard?'" O'Hara told Insider. "It almost made it in the movie. But Glen's very proud of his prince and I understand why. He really is the most beautiful, I think, of all the Disney princes in history." Funnily enough, Emma Watson's Belle utters that very line to the Beast at the end of the live-action version.
  7. Much of the movie's music was written in a hotel room. Because lyricist Howard Ashman was extremely sick, composer Howard Menken and producer Don Hahn got a room in a Marriott near his house in Fishkill, NY. There they wrote "Be Our Guest," "Little Town," and more on a small rented keyboard. Sadly Ashman died from AIDS complications eight months before the movie was released.
  8. There's a very poignant Latin phrase on the stained glass windows. In the 25th anniversary Blu-ray edition of the film, it's revealed that the Latin phrase on one of the stained glass windows reads: "Vincit qui se vincit," or "He conquers who conquers himself." Nothing like a little foreshadowing, right?
Image Source: Disney
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