Beauty and the Beast is a 1991 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.
Some interesting facts about Beauty and the Beast:
- 1. In the 1930s and again in the 1950s, Walt Disney attempted to adapt Beauty and the Beast into a feature but could not come up with a suitable treatment, so the project was shelved. It wasn’t until The Little Mermaid became hugely successful that they decided to try it a third time.
- 2. 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’.
- 3. While his true name is never mentioned in the media franchise, it has been confirmed by the Disney Interactive CD-ROM game (“The D Show”) that the Beast’s real name is Prince Adam.
- 4. Art director Brian McEntee color keyed Belle so that she is the only person in her town who wears blue. This is symbolic of how different she is from everyone else around. Later, she encounters the Beast, another misfit, also wearing blue.
- 5. Disney was originally going to have Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid also provide the voice for Belle. However, it was decided that Belle needed a more “European” sounding voice. Howard Ashman remembered working with Paige O’Hara and suggested she try out for the part.
- 6. 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.
- 7. 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 see that she is in the bottom right, the beast in the middle left, and the prince’s castle in the middle.
- 8. When Paige O’Hara was auditioning, a bit of her hair flew in her face and she tucked it back. The animators liked this so they put it in the movie.
- 9. Belle’s dress is loosely based on Dorothy’s from Wizard of Oz.
- 10. This scene is a homage to the opening scene in The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews.
- 11. Julie Andrews was considered for the role of Mrs. Potts
- 12. Chip originally had only one line, but the producers liked Bradley Pierce’s voice so much that extra dialogue and business was written and storyboarded for the character.
- 13. The role of Cogsworth was written specifically with John Cleese in mind but he turned it down.
- 14. In the French release of the film, Cogsworth’s name is Big Ben, after the famous clock in London.
- 15. It was lyricist Howard Ashman who came up with the idea of turning the enchanted objects into living creatures with unique personalities.
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