As Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Disney Animated Film of all time, I though it would be fun to put some of my pointless knowledge to use and share with you some fun facts and trivia about the film.
– The deer and birds shown in one of the opening scenes is an ode to one of Disney’s previous animated films, Bambi.
– This is one of the only Disney films to portray the hero (Beast) as “ugly” and the villain (Gaston) as “handsome”.
– The 3 Bimbettes are actually played by just 2 actresses.
– Animators of this film were encouraged to illustrate Gaston punching/hitting LeFou any time they could manage fit it in.
– It was Howard Ashman (executive producer and lyricist) who wanted Maurice (Belle’s father) to se a crazy inventor.
– The song ‘Be Our Guest’ was originally sung to Maurice when he first entered the castle, however this was changed due to the fact that Maurice was a secondary character and the song should focus on a main character, Belle.
– When Belle is singing the reprise for the song “Belle” she runs up a hill which is an ode to Julie Andrews perfomance in The Sound of Music.
– ‘Mrs Camomile’ was just one of the possible names suggestion for Mrs Potts. However Howard Ashaman decided simpler names would work better.
-The animator in charge of Belle studied various ballerina’s to animate Belle’s movement.
– Windows play a very important role in this film. Next time you watch it, see how many times a scene changed via exiting or entering a window. Not to mention the stain glass windows illustrating the story at the beginning of this film. Also noteworthy here is the fact that the Beast’s eyes are the window into his soul. They are the only part of his physical appearance that stays the same following his transformation at the end of the film. Coincidence or planned?
– In the original draft for this film, Chip did not have very many lines, I think he was only suppose to have one. However the producers were so impressed with Bradley Pierce, the actor cast to voice him, that they wrote several more lines and scenes for him.
– The length of Belle’s hair changes from scene to scene. This is likely due to lack of time to fix the problem.
– Whilst animated films like these normally take 4-5 years to complete, Beauty and the Beast was finished in only 2 years (that’s fast!)
– Producers loved Tony Jay’s voice so much, they decided to use his audition piece in the final film. They would then later cast him as one of our favourite Disney villain’s, Frollo, in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
– Producers encouraged the actors to adlib throughout the film, therefore some lines that are in the final film, were never in the script.
– When Howard Ashman listened to a demo version of Paige O’Hara singing ‘Something There’, he told producers to tell Paige it needed more Stresiand (referring of course to Barbra Steisand), which is why Belle sings “new and a big alARMing” (listen to the song you’ll know what I mean).
– The song ‘Human Again’ was not used in the final film, however with the re-release of the film on DVD, we now get to enjoy the movie with this scene included.
– During the scene where the characters are singing ‘Human Again’, Belle and the Beast can be seen reading a book. The book the are reading is none other than Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
– Also during the scene of ‘Human Again’, the characters can be seen cleaning up the castle. However because this scene was added in, animators had to go back to the scenes which followed and animate the castle being clean (as oppose to the castle still being a mess which was in the original film).
– Angela Lansbury (who voices Mrs. Potts) did not want to record the song ‘Beauty and the Beast’ after hearing Alan Menken’s demo. She ended up doing it in one take.
– As the Beast grows more human, Gaston becomes more beastly.
– In the Mob Song, Gaston sings the line “Screw your courage to the sticking place” which is a reference to Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
– At the end of this film when Gaston and the Beast are fighting on the roof, Gaston says “Belle is mine”, however, this is not what he was animated to say. The original line was “Time to die”.
– In the scene where Gaston falls to his death, if you look closely you will see skulls in his eyes.
– The dance scene at the end of the fim is a direct copy of the dance in Sleeping Beauty. Producers had no time to create a new dance.
– Finally, I will leave you with a fun fact which a lot of people will be surprised to read. Contrary to popular belief, the Beast does not have a name. A lot of people will tell you that the Beast’s name is Adam. However this is not true. It is not until the Beast’s death scene where Belle is calling out ”Beast” that producers realise they never gave the Beast a name. So if someone tells you the Beast’s name is Adam, you can now correct them!
Hope you enjoyed and maybe learned something you didn’t know about Beauty and the Beast.