- For the Marvel Comics character, see Beast (Marvel)
- “...For who could ever learn to love a beast?”
- ―Beauty and the Beast's narration
The Beast is the male protagonist of Disney's 1991 film, Beauty and the Beast. As the film is based on the traditional fairy tale of the same name, the Beast is based on the corresponding character from that fairy tale.
- Cursed by an enchantress because he has no love within his heart, a prince is transformed into a terrible beast. The fearful spell can only be broken when he truly learns to love - and can earn the love of another. But who can love a beast? All seems hopeless until fate brings Belle into his world. Angry and despairing due to his long enchantment, the Beast tries to capture Belle's love with fear, not kindness. Then slowly, through her courage and compassion, he begins to discover the secrets of his own heart and learns that even a beast can be loved.
From his first introduction, the Beast originally appeared to be irritable, temperamental and stubborn, and came off as very mean and serious. He had a very bitter and negative, extremely cynical outlook, and was quick to become frustrated and give up and pitch a fit when things did not work his way, showing a spoiled side to his personality. According to commentary, as a side effect to the curse, he was somewhat primal and had a habit of animalistic behavior, from serious social regressions like growling and roaring when angry to arbitrary, slightly humorous traits like forgetting his table manners. The commentary also implied during the wolf attack scene that he was suicidal, or at least did not value his life too strongly, due to the hopelessness of ever breaking the curse. This was further supported in the Marvel Comics where the Beast, after saving Belle and Chip after they were trapped in a very serious snowstorm, thanked Belle for saving his life, as her presence caused him to realize his own life was not "meaningless" after all.
Though he is stubborn and lacks manners, he is not without a kind side, and is described by animator Glen Keane as "a twenty-one-year-old guy who's insecure, wants to be loved, wants to love, but has this ugly exterior and has to overcome this". Once he begins to care for Belle after rescuing her from a pack of wolves, he becomes more agreeable and gentle. He even attempts to become civilized again for Belle's sake, relearning table manners and feeding birds. Learning to care for Belle also reveals a fiercely loyal side to him, as he was willing to give anything and everything to protect Belle and keep her happy, even if it meant sacrificing his own happiness by letting her leave him. He also appeared to feel bad for Belle when he sent her father away without letting her say good-bye.
According to the commentary from producer Don Hahn, his spell is not just physical but psychological as well. The longer the Beast is under the spell, the more feral he becomes (meaning if he stays a beast longer, he becomes more like an animal). If Belle had never arrived at the castle, he would've eventually stopped speaking, walking upright, wearing clothes altogether, and would've gone to live in the woods among the wild animals to fend for himself.
Chris Sanders is responsible for helping come up with the design of the Beast. He went from insect forms, avian forms and fish forms until he finally got the right design. The Beast is not of any one species of animal, but a chimera, a mixture of several animals. He has the head structure and horns of a buffalo, the arms and body of a bear, the eyebrows of a gorilla, the jaws, teeth, and mane of a lion, the tusks of a wild boar and the legs and tail of a wolf. He also bears resemblance to mythical monsters like the Minotaur or a werewolf. In the original versions, he was described more like a cross between a lion and a mythical animal. He also has blue eyes, the one physical feature that does not change whether he is a beast or a human.
Originally, the Beast is seen shirtless, with ragged, dark gray breeches, and a ragged reddish-colored cape with a golden colored circular-shaped clasp. Despite the actual color of his cape being a dark wine red color, The Beast's cape is more often referenced to be purple. The reason for this change in color is unknown, although the most likely reason is because the color purple is often associated with royalty.
After the Beast saves Belle from a pack of wolves, his dress style changes, reflecting a more refined personality. His dress style becomes more disciplined, and the most referenced form of dress is his ballroom outfit, which consisted of a golden vest over a white dress shirt with a white kerchief, black dress pants trimmed with gold, and a navy blue ballroom tail coat trimmed with gold, worn during the film's ballroom dance sequence. In the climax, he is shown wearing a mixture of the above, tattered pants, his red cape, as well as a white undershirt, which ended up ripped due to his fight with Gaston, especially when he was stabbed to death.
As opposed to his monstrous form, the Beast's human form is that of a tall and slender young man (though not as tall as the height of the Beast). He has auburn hair, and soft cream colored skin while also retaining his bright blue eyes. Other than the immediate aftermath of his regaining his human form (wearing the clothes he wore as the Beast at that time), he is only ever seen in a more "human" version of his ballroom attire, simply with a pair of added dress boots.
According to the Audio Commentary from The Beauty and The Beast Diamond Edition, it is stated that not a lot of effort was put into the design. The creators claimed that regardless of what he looked like, they felt the majority of those who watched the film would likely end up not liking his human appearance, simply because he no longer felt like the character whom the viewers bonded with through the film. And it is for that same reason most merchandising featuring the Beast tries to aim for the use of his Beast Form, not his human form. This is also why Beast's human form rarely ever appears as a Meet-and-Greet Character at the Disney Parks, as most patrons prefer to interact with the Beast.
Powers and abilities
Beast form: Owing to his savage, bestial nature, the Beast has animalistic fighting powers in his beast form:
- Enhanced Strength: The Beast possesses tremendous strength, as he is able to pick up and carry full grown men like Maurice and Gaston and not only lift but also throw large oak wood furniture when enraged, such as banquet tables and Forte's keyboard and allowing him to leap several feet in a single bound in terms of height and distance. He also was able to destroy furniture in a single chop, especially when he was enraged. Similarly, his strength was also such that slamming a door can cause destructive waves to occur several feet away, as evidenced by his reaction after Belle refused to dine with him: After Beast stormed back to the West Wing, he slammed the door to the hallway with enough force to actually cause portions of the ceiling to collapse around the area Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts were at. His forcefully opening a door can also cause gusts to appear that are powerful enough to extinguish the flames in a fireplace, as evidenced by his on-screen debut after the prologue when he burst into the area Maurice was at.
- Enhanced Speed and Agility: The Beast is able to move faster than ordinary humans. He has been seen running into the woods on two different occasions and arriving just in time to save Belle and is able to climb and evade punches and blows from weapons dealt from Gaston.
- Enhanced Durability: He is slightly more durable than normal humans, as seen when he has taken attacks from a pack of wolves, being shot by Gaston's arrow, and been blasted by Forte's magical energy, although feeling great pain and being knocked down from these attacks.
- Enhanced Healing: The Beast is able to heal faster from minor to moderate injuries than ordinary humans, such as bites and claw scratches from a pack of wolves within three or four days and being able to survive being in icy cold water and walking back to his castle in cold winter weather within a few hours.
- Enhanced Senses: All five of his senses are animal keen, and enabling him to track down Belle in the woods when she was in danger by scent and listening in on conversations from several feet away from other people. However, even his enhanced senses, or at least sight, smell, and hearing, can be drowned out by a particularly deadly blizzard, as evidenced by his being unable to find Belle in a particularly severe blizzard in one of the Marvel Comics until a bushel of hollies hit him in the head and allowed him to trace her location in time.
- Razor-Sharp Claws and Fangs: The Beast possesses razor-sharp claws and fangs that enable him to rip through thick rugs and curtains as well as smash objects such as oak furniture when enraged with ease, climb up and down the stone walls of his castle and bite down and hold objects. These, however, also proved to be a weakness, as his razor-sharp claws also resulted in the books being shredded whenever he attempted to read them, as evidenced in New Adventures of Beauty and the Beast when he attempted to read some poems, only for the pages to be shredded quickly.
- Intelligence and Communication: He has his normal intellect from his human form and is able to speak well but he can now roar and growl.
- Stealth: The Beast was shown to be adept at stealth, keeping himself hidden without anyone being able to detect him in time. This was especially apparent when he managed to ambush Belle just after she discovered Maurice in the dungeon and confronting her again when she was just about to touch the enchanted rose, as well as easily surprising the pack of wolves pursuing Belle. He also managed to sneak up on Gaston by posing as a gargoyle, though he managed to detect the attack and strike back.
- Indomitable Will: At least in the Kingdom Hearts franchise, the Beast was also shown to possess an exceptionally strong willpower, as he managed to not only completely survive the destruction of his homeworld to the Heartless intact, but even travel over to the ruins of Hollow Bastion without any apparent use of either transportation abilities or any Gummi Ships. Organization XIII took notice of this trait, and so they wished to make him into a Heartless so that they can acquire his Nobody.
- Skilled Hunter: In his human form, the Beast also was skilled with firearms and was presumably a hunter, at least according to New Adventures of Beauty and the Beast, although his actions during hunting were closer to poaching than true hunting due to specifically targeting a fawn (baby deer) until a crow (implied to be the Enchantress in disguise) interfered with the shot.
- Learned Reader/Scholar: When he was a human, at least according to New Adventures of Beauty and the Beast, he was shown to be extremely studious and a gifted reader, with his even once admitting that at one point books meant more to him than anything else in the world. However, when he became a Beast, due to the psychological nature of the curse, he largely forgot how to do so, and was left unable to physically handle books due to his claws shredding the books.
- Horseback Riding: As a child, the Beast also shown to be skilled at horseback riding, frequently using Thunder to ride around. However, he was unkind and cold to his steed, eventually resulting in Thunder escaping.
The unnamed prince was a handsome young man (albeit selfish, unkind and spoiled) who lived in a luxurious castle in France and had everything he wanted. One night, on Christmas Eve, his kindness was put to the test when a beggar woman came to the castle and pleaded for shelter from the freezing cold and rain, with a single rose as payment. Repulsed by her appearance, he sneered at the simple but beautiful gift. The woman warns the prince not to be fooled by appearances, for beauty is found within you. When the prince shuns the beggar woman for her hagged appearance again, her ugliness melts away and then transforms into a beautiful and powerful Enchantress. Seeing her beauty and realizing her power, the Prince tries to apologize. But it is too late, for she has seen in her disguise that there was no love in his heart. As punishment for his cold heart and cruelty, she turns him into a terrifying beast. She also casts a ghastly curse on the entire castle, transforming it into a dark, foreboding place, its lush green grounds into dark, misty, wolf-infested woods, and the good-natured servants into anthropomorphic household objects to reflect their different personalities. Ashamed of his new appearance, the Beast conceals himself inside his castle with a magic mirror as his only window to the outside world.
The rose the Enchantress had given him was enchanted and it would bloom until his twenty-first year. She had told him that if he could learn to love another and earn her love in return by the time the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken, but if he failed, he would be doomed to remain a beast forever. In his first animated appearance (set some time before his twenty-first year, as evidenced by the rose not having bloomed fully yet), he also scratches a portrait of his human self in anger and shame.
Years later, the Beast discovers Maurice inside the castle and accuses him of trespassing (not knowing that Maurice was actually allowed inside by the servants for shelter, despite the servants trying to vouch for him). Maurice's stare at the Beast only provokes the Beast's fury, and he proceeds to "give [Maurice] a place to stay" by locking Maurice in the tower as a prisoner. At least a day later, Maurice's daughter, Belle, confronts the Beast and pleads with him to let her father go, offering herself as a prisoner instead. The Beast, astonished by Belle's offer, ultimately accepts, under the further condition that she remains in the castle forever, as well as heeding her request to step into the light to reveal himself to her, horrifying Belle once she sees his monstrous form. He then brashly throws Maurice into an enchanted coach to take him back to the village he came from without letting Belle say goodbye to her father first.
The Beast eventually decided to give her an actual room other than the dungeon cell (both at Lumière's suggestion and due to feeling some guilt at Belle's sadness from his prior actions). He further warns Belle not to go into his chamber, the West Wing, although he gave her expressed permission to visit the other areas of the castle. He then "invites" her to dinner, although it was closer to a command than an actual request. He later waited for Belle to join him for dinner, although because of her residual anger towards the Beast for his earlier actions and grief towards her father being released before she said goodbye, Belle did not join him, citing as an excuse that she wasn't hungry, incensing him and later causing him to despair upon overhearing Belle's negative comments about him with the Wardrobe and her implication that she would never fall in love or have anything to do with him.
Although he had specifically forbidden her from visiting the West Wing, she does later on out of curiosity, much to the Beast's fury, especially when his enchanted rose was nearly destroyed by Belle in her curiosity. His rage caused him to destroy much of his chambers while screaming at Belle to get out, although, after he calmed down, he realized that he had inadvertently ruined his chances by scaring Belle into fleeing the castle and pursued her, arriving just in time to rescue her from a pack of wolves and getting injured in the process. After Belle helps him back to the castle, she starts tending his wounds, but the two then enter another brief argument about who is at fault, with Belle effectively winning the argument. As Belle, having conquered the Beast's ferocious temper, continues to tend to his injuries, she thanks him for saving her life, to which the Beast, realizing the deed he has just done while noticing her kindness, starts feeling good inside himself.
The Beast, who has never felt considerate before, wants to do something for Belle. At Lumiére's suggestion, he shows Belle the castle's enormous library, which strikes her interest so much that he gives her the entire library. She then in return helps him become more civilized. During one evening date, after the two have their dinner, Belle teaches the Beast how to dance, which makes him overjoyed. Eventually, he falls in love with her, and placing her happiness before his own, he releases her to tend to her sick father (and to make up for his earlier harsh treatment of him).
A lynch mob comes to kill the Beast, led by a rival suitor named Gaston (with Belle, albeit unintentionally, instigating the mob by exposing his existence to save Maurice from the paddy wagon). Gaston eventually finds the Beast, and initially,the Beast has no will to fight, still in a state of depression from Belle leaving. Just as Gaston is about to lay the finishing blow, Belle returns, calling for Gaston to stop. Upon hearing Belle's voice, he suddenly stands and fights back with a renewed vigour in knowledge that Belle truly does care about him.
As the fight continues, Gaston blathers about his superficial beliefs that he is Belle's true love, and the Beast is nothing more than a monster whom Belle will never love. Having had it with Gaston's mocking and arrogance, the Beast overpowers him and holds him by the throat over the edge of the castle. Gaston finally drops his pride and begs for mercy, to which the Beast initially ignores, but upon realizing that he is turning into everything that represents Gaston himself, instead allows him to walk away, warning him to leave the castle and never return. Just then, Belle arrives at the castle's balcony and calls out to the Beast, who turns and climbs his way up toward her. Reuniting with Belle, he happily embraces her, but is then stabbed in the back by Gaston, this sudden twinge of excruciating pain causing him to rear backwards. Belle manages to grab hold of the Beast and pull him onto the balcony while Gaston, knocked off balance by the Beast, falls off the castle to his death.
After helping the Beast onto the balcony surface, Belle turns his face towards her. The Beast smiles at seeing Belle, who tries to reassure him that everything's going to be fine, but he knows all too well that his time is coming, telling her how grateful he is to have a chance at seeing her one last time before succumbing to his wounds. Upon losing him, Belle begs him not to leave her and, breaking down into tears, admits her love for him, mere seconds before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose.As Belle continues sobbing over the loss of her love, shimmering beams of light falls onto the Beast. The Beast's body then begins to float in the air and becomes enshrouded in his own cape and surrounding fog as he begins to transform: his fore-paws, hind-paws, and furry head respectively turn back into hands, feet, and a head of the Prince, and he is returned to normal. He then gets up, looks at himself, and turns to Belle, who initially looks at him skeptically before recognizing him by his blue eyes. The Prince and Belle share their first kiss, that further breaks additional spell the Enchantress had placed on the castle and its inhabitants: the castle is restored to its original, shining state, and all the Prince's servants, including Lumiére, Cogsworth, Chip, and Mrs. Potts, are transformed back into humans. The film ends with Belle and the Prince dancing in the ballroom, surrounded by his servants and her father watching them happily.
In the Special Edition, his role is unchanged, except for a small scene that was added where we see the Beast's struggle to read, a trait he knew as a human but was taken away after his transformation. This is during the song only included for the Special Edition DVD, "Human Again".
In the midquel, which takes place not long after the Beast rescued Belle from the wolves, much to the Beast's frustration, Belle wants to celebrate Christmas and throw a real Christmas party. The Beast hates the idea of Christmas, for it was the very day when the Enchantress cast the spell on him and the entire castle ten years ago; he also was ungrateful for his gift that day, a storybook. While the Beast sits most of the preparations out, a treacherous servant plots to have Belle thrown out of the castle: Forte the Pipe Organ, since he is far more appreciated by the Beast while under the spell.
Unknown to the Beast, Belle writes him a special book which he doesn't see until later on. She also meets Forte later on in a chance meeting. Forte tells her that the Beast's favorite Christmas tradition when he was a child was the Christmas tree. Belle becomes frustrated, for no tree she has seen on the grounds has been tall enough to hang ornaments. He then lies to Belle, saying that a perfect tree can be found in the woods beyond the castle. Reluctant to go against the Beast's orders that she never leave the castle, Belle leaves nonetheless in order to find the perfect tree. When Belle does not arrive to see the Beast's Christmas present to her, he begins to suspect that she isn't there at all. When Mrs. Potts explains that the household cannot find her, the Beast becomes enraged. He goes to Forte to ask for advice, and Forte lies to him that Belle has abandoned him. The Beast finds Belle in the woods and saves her in time from drowning, since she fell through thin ice.
Still believing that Belle disobeyed him by leaving the grounds, the Beast ruthlessly throws her into the dungeon. But when Forte goads him into destroying the rose to end his suffering, the Beast finds Belle's book in the West Wing and reads it, coming to his senses and realizing that all Belle wants is for him to be happy. Releasing Belle from the dungeon, the Beast prepares to join in the Christmas festivities. But Forte doesn't give up and even goes as far as to attempt to destroy the entire castle with Beethoven's 5th. Fortunately, the Beast finds him in time and destroys his keyboard with Franz Schubert's Symphony No 8. Losing his balance (and his pipes), Forte falls from the wall he is leaned up against and is silenced forever. Despite his intentions, the Beast mourns Forte's death with Belle comforting him. When he and the other servants are returned to normal, the Prince and Belle give Chip, Mrs. Potts' son, a book to read, which he loves. As the Prince and Belle come out to the balcony, he gives her something too: a rose.
In the final entry of the franchise, made up of four segments from a presumably failed television series, Belle teaches the Beast a thing or two about life itself, consideration and manners. He appears only in the first and fourth segments, and in a cameo in the third.
In the first part, The Perfect Word, the Beast and Belle have a bitter falling out at dinner when the Beast demands that Cogsworth open the windows to cool him down, despite the fact that he is the only one hot and there is a cold wind, and angrily strikes his servant, Webster, a long-tongued dictionary. Despite Lumière and Cogsworth's please, the Beast refuses to apologize for his behavior, until Webster, Crane and LePlume forge a letter of apology from the Beast to Belle. All is settled, until the Beast realizes that it was a forgery. He furiously banishes Webster, Crane and LePlume from the castle, but Belle brings them back from the woods, and the Beast soon learns to forgive them, as their intentions were good.
In the fourth (and final) part, The Broken Wing, the Beast loses his temper with Belle again when she brings an injured bird into the castle, as he dislikes birds. As he tries to chase the bird out, however, he falls over on the stairs and hits his head hard, knocking him unconscious and later stripping him of his hatred for birds. However, his selfishness still remains, and he locks the bird in a cage in his room, demanding that it sings for him whenever he demands it. The bird, terrified, refuses, until Belle teaches the Beast that the bird will only sing when he's happy. The Beast lets the bird out, and learns to consider others before himself.
Earlier on, in the third segment, Mrs. Potts' Party, the Beast makes several cameos sleeping in his bed in the West Wing. Dialogue between Lumière and Cogsworth shows that he had spent the entire previous night mending leaks in the castle roof, and is still resting. An argument between Lumière and Cogsworth about Mrs. Potts' favorite flowers lead to them having to hide several bunches of flowers around the Beast's bed. At one point, the Beast begins to smell one of the flowers and almost wakes up, but it is removed just in time, and he falls asleep again.
The Beast made recurring cameo appearances in the animated series House of Mouse, again voiced by Robby Benson. One of the Beast's most notable appearances is where The Angry Villagers perform the song "Let's Slay the Beast". After the performance ended, the Beast (hiding under a table) asks Belle if it's over.
In "Not So Goofy", the Beast was seen struggling to scratch his back until Goofy arrived and scratched it for him.
In "The Stolen Cartoons", the Beast turning from his human to beast form was used as a visual reference when Daisy noticed the crowd getting ugly.
In the episode "Goofy for a Day" the Penguin Waiters fancily prepare the Beast for fine dining during the song "Soup or Salad, Fries or Biscuits, Extra Olives, Donuts".
In "Rent Day", the Beast was seen when he offers Mickey The Enchanted Rose to give to Aladdin for Jasmine if Mickey manages to find a book for Belle, and is seen again when he sees Goofy and says Goofy's not what he ordered.
In "Pluto Saves the Day", the Beast was seen with the kittens playing around him with Lumiere shown along.
The Beast was also a secondary guest character in the film Mickey's Magical Christmas as well as Mickey's House of Villains, where Donald Duck tries to scare him but he scares, only to be scared away when the Beast responds with an annoyed roar.
Other animated appearances
The Beast and Belle were featured in one of the Disney parody trailers for Lilo & Stitch. Here, the Beast and Belle are having their famous ballroom dance when Stitch was seen above on the chandelier, when it suddenly plummets to the ground. The Beast is left looking confused as an enraged Belle storms off to her room.
The Beast made a cameo appearance at the end of The Lion King 1½ in the form of a silhouette alongside Belle and other Disney characters.
The Beast makes a cameo appearance along with Belle in the Mickey Mouse episode "The Adorable Couple", where Donald Duck accidentally bumps into them while dancing, angering the Beast and prompting him to beat up the duck.
- Main article: Rumplestiltskin
The role of the Beast in Once Upon a Time, rather than being a prince who is cursed, is actually Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle). He had gained Belle (Emilie de Ravin) in a trade for saving her kingdom from an army of Ogres who were invading. Originally having intended her to be his servant while living in his castle, the two form a bond similar to that of the original fairy tale. Their bond would only grow stronger when Belle would speak with the man about the son whom he lost. Though unlike the original fairy tale and animated Disney classic, the two do not end up together due to an argument. Though despite going their separate ways he still holds strong feelings for her, keeping a special chipped tea cup as a reminder of her.
The Beast appears in the Disney Channel original film. Here, he and Belle are the rulers of Auradon, a modern-day kingdom inhabited by various Disney characters, and the parents of a young prince named Ben. He is played by Dan Payne.
The Beast will appear in the upcoming 2017 remake, played by Dan Stevens.
This two-part comic series released by Disney Comics took place a few years prior to the first film. He appears in two of the three story arcs of the first issue. In the first arc, "Bewitched", he is roaring in an apparent tantrum, scaring the other staff members. Eventually, they arrive at his quarters, and Beast merely asks them where his Music Box was, with Mrs. Potts telling him that it was likely in the library, with it being revealed that his tantrum from earlier was due to being unable to nap from not finding the music box. The story proper also covered Beast's backstory, which Mrs. Potts relayed to Chip. Specifically: He was shown as a child to be very bratty, and got irritated when an apparent old crone stopped traffic, resulting in his hitting her and Lumiere and Cogsworth scolding him before attempting to apologize by the then-long disappeared woman (who had secretly turned into a crow and flew off). The prince later noted that she was most likely a witch (it would later turn out he was right in more ways than one). It later showed his time as an adult, where he was on a hunting trip and was about to target a fawn, despite Lumiere's suggestions against it, although a crow (strongly implied to be the enchantress in disguise) managed to interfere with the shot. They then covered some positives to the prince, namely he was kind to Chip as a toddler, and he was a gifted learner and scholar. In the third arc, Bewildered, the Beast had learned to be educated in an attempt to become nicer at the behest of his servants, which included trying to read poetry (despite Beast insisting that the curse robbed him of his ability to read any books, let alone poetry). Fifi (identified as Marie in this comic) and Lumiere also attempted to give dating advice to the Beast, although it didn't work due to his accidentally shredding the pages, resulting in Beast accidentally destroying his cherished toy, the music box, during one of his rages. This plot element would later be reused for an episode of House of Mouse, specifically when they tried the same with Goofy with similar success (or lack thereof).
In the second issue he appeared in both story arcs. In "Elsewhere," he appeared very briefly in the end when panning away from Maurice and Belle returning to their village. In "Elsewhen," starting where Elsewhere left off, the Beast, having clearly given up hope of ever becoming human again (with it being implied that the rose had just started to wilt), decided to try living in the wild, although this resulted in his falling off a cliff and being knocked out, with Chip and Sultan discovering the Beast's unconscious body during a thunderstorm due to his absence. He was ultimately saved by the servants after Chip had Sultan warn them of the Beast's current status, eventually lashing out against his servants, although he managed to save Chip from being destroyed when he revealed he was the one who saved the Beast's life, also sleeping with Chip on his hand. In both stories, there was foreshadowing to the events of the film.
Beauty and the Beast Marvel Comics
This 13-issue series of comics, similar to the midquels, took place some time between Belle's imprisonment at his castle (presumably right after Beast gave Belle the library) and the curse being lifted in the original film.
In the first issue, he had a dream where Belle restored him to his original form, but ended up enraged upon seeing he is still a monster upon waking up, resulting in him causing an uproar that was scaring the other servants (who already were having a hard time preparing for the wardrobe's surprise birthday party). After being confronted by Belle regarding the Beast's recent behavior, he admitted his rage was due to the nightmare he experienced upon waking up. He then agreed to hold the surprise party, albeit reluctantly.
In the second issue, he ended up becoming impatient due to the wardrobe taking too long. He eventually chowed down on a meal (albeit in an animalistic fashion), and eventually nearly cancelled the party due to the wardrobe not arriving. However, they eventually managed to get the party under way after Belle agreed to try out one of her dresses to make her feel better (as she was upset that she, a former opera star, was forced by the spell into becoming a wardrobe and thus be less than useful). Beast ended up participating in the resulting festivities, but left due to feeling that Belle will never love him, largely because of his appearance.
In the third issue, the Beast, as a suggestion by some of the servants, decided to accompany Belle on a walk on the Castle grounds. Because of the Beast's skulking around, however, this resulted in disaster due to them arguing. After making up, they then continued with their walk. The fourth issue continued with this, where Lumiere ended up overestimating it with this action and sent letters to the Beast and Belle for the Grand Harvest Festival. However, the Beast, because he no longer knew how to read thanks to the curse, burned the letter, which resulted in another near-disaster. Belle eventually confronted him on this (having overheard Lumiere and Cogsworth's argument about the former's botching of the event due to Chip opening the window for Belle to hear while she was reading). The Beast eventually decided to admit on the advice of his staff to Belle that he couldn't read the letter, with her promising to teach him.
In the fifth issue, the Beast, true to his word, attempted to learn how to read, but he ended up getting frustrated at his lack of progress, causing Belle to think she may have misjudged him. The Beast realized he may have messed up, and believed her to have been the object of many men's desires at her village and thus further fueling his self-loathing and doubts. Lumiere then offered to have the Beast compose a poem. However, the Beast got the wrong idea and had him finish it under his name after giving a few inputs to the letter. Belle eventually saw through this and attempted to have him learn to read and write by himself in the next issue.
In the seventh issue, the Beast witnessed Belle and Chip playing in the snow, wishing he could be out there with them. In the eighth issue, after demanding to know the commotion behind the servant's panic, learned that Belle and Chip got lost in the blizzard. He then consulted his magic mirror to locate Belle near the snowman that Belle and Chip had created earlier and immediately rushed out to find them. Unfortunately, the blizzard was becoming extremely thick that he couldn't find them. He eventually managed to find them when Belle's bouquet of Holly bushels were blown towards him. After locating them both, he managed to get them back into the castle, and tended to her side. He then thanked her for saving his life, as because of her, he began realizing his own life wasn't "meaningless" after all. In the ninth issue, the Beast felt a lot of guilt for Belle and Chip nearly being killed in the snowstorm. He also had breakfast served to Belle in bed, although her recovery and meeting the Beast downstairs made this unnecessary. Eventually, after Lumiere and Cogsworth arranged for Belle to have a portrait done for her, the Beast managed to find it after they unveiled it. Although impressed, he initially guessed that she was sad before correcting himself and saying she was pensive (although Chip's later comment about the painting implies that "sad" was in fact the true emotion Belle was expressing in the painting.).
The tenth issue takes place the day afterwards, with the Beast briefly roaring. Beast almost shuts Cogsworth and Lumiere out, although because Lumiere persisted, he explained his problem: Despite his second analysis, he realized Belle was indeed sad in the painting, and was caught in a conflict of how to make her happy. He then at Lumiere's suggestion decided to go outside to converse with Belle, which he did after a delay where Belle accidentally hit the Beast in the snout with a snowball. However, upon hearing Belle express a desire to find hollies, he left to try to locate holly bushels in the forest, and managed to decorate the castle with them. The Beast then, after dinner, showed Belle the bushels inside the castle.
In the eleventh issue, set some time afterwards, the Beast and Belle were reading in the library again. When Belle felt chilly, the Beast removed his cloak in an attempt to keep her warm, although Belle moved out of the way when she discovered the cause was from the window being ajar. When Belle was devastated that her favorite book was ruined, Beast attempted to cheer her up by stating that there were thousands of other books, also unintentionally and obliviously hurting her feelings when telling her it was a "silly book." The Beast eventually realized his error when Belle didn't come down for dinner, and his servants told him about her being hurt from his earlier comment. He also decided (from Chip's suggestion) to have the book fixed.
In the twelfth issue, taking place where the eleventh issue left off, as a result of guilt from his earlier insensitivity towards the ruining of Belle's favorite book due to a storm, Beast attempted to have the book rebound immediately, as well as trying to rehearse, to his own discomfort, how to deliver the book. Taking Mrs. Potts' advice regarding being himself once the book was rebounded, he then attempted to surprise Belle with the book, but he ended up dissuaded after the Wardrobe gave an opera performance before he could even give the book to her, feeling the majestic performance outclassed his attempt at fixing the book. However, when Belle came to see him and he explained what happened, he then gave her the book.
In the final issue, the Beast reflected on how things might have turned out differently had he let the old woman in. He eventually snapped when the footstool dog escaped and attempted to enter the West Wing due to disturbing him, causing even Mrs. Potts to have doubts about whether the Beast can ever break the curse. He eventually came down to dinner and had a meal with Belle. However, the planned dessert ended up ruined by the footstool dog who kept jumping out and back in. Despite this, he was touched that Belle made the dessert and wasn't upset about it being ruined. They then shared a moment near the fire. In addition, a flashback was shown giving hints to the Beast's childhood prior to the curse. His parents spoiled him immensely, and they even threw an extravagant party, yet he ended up bored by it. In addition, he formerly had an Arabian horse named "Thunder", whom he frequently rode yet never gave him any love and compassion. When about to ride him one instance, the horse fled, with the prince ordering everyone to retrieve it. Deep down, he missed the horse and presumably felt remorse for his treatment of it. Thunder eventually was adopted by an enchantress who gave it love.
Aside from the main serial, Issue 5 of Disney Comic Hits had the Beast eventually supplying Belle with a carriage as a present during the winter as a suggestion from Chip, after he had initially had an angry outburst to Belle.
Disney Adventures Magazine comics
Some of the issues of Disney Adventures Magazine included comic stories for the film, either reprints of the Marvel series or entirely new stories to tie in to new releases of the film.
Although he doesn't appear in the story "Time Flies!", he is mentioned by Cogsworth, as he panicked at the possibility of the Beast entering a rage due to the preparations for dinner apparently being late (unaware that it was actually only a few hours away and it was at the wrong time due to Lumiere stealing his winder as a prank).
The Beast has a direct appearance in the story "Sittin' Pretty!". In it, Beast is going through one of his rages again, particularly how he can get Belle to love him due to his hideous appearance. Lumiere then gets the idea of giving the Beast a spa makeover, with Cogsworth, Chip, and Fifi chiming in. Eventually, Belle comes in and notices that Beast looks ridiculous, as well as adorable, catching Beast off-guard.
In one story, the Beast ended up becoming bitter even more than usual, although he later worked with Belle and the others to save Chip after he got lost in the forest during a blizzard. The story also implied that, prior to Belle, there was a blond woman he was betrothed to, but she had disappeared, eventually resulting in his bitterness.
In the short story following the events of the film, Belle and the Prince prepare for their upcoming nuptials. Belle is fitted for her wedding dress while the Prince returns to Belle's village to get her the perfect gift for the wedding. After searching around, the Prince finds a flower shop and requests for roses, as they were Belle's favorite.
Eventually, the wedding day arrives for the young couple. During the ceremony, the Prince proceeded to give Belle a book as his gift so they could "write their adventures together." Belle then reveals her surprise: she invited all the villagers to the wedding. Because the Prince spent most of his life unloved, Belle wanted to show the Prince how loved he is by the kingdom. The Prince loves the gift, and the two embrace as the festivities commence.
The Beast appears in the novel as the main character, written by Serena Valentino. Detailing the Beast's past when he was a prince, it is explained that he used to be good friends with Gaston and was beloved by the court and villagers. However, when he discovered that a woman named Circe (whom he was betrothed to) was in reality a farmer, he was quick to reject her despite being at first smitten by her looks. When she returns disguised as a beggar woman, the Prince showed no mercy towards her wish to forgive him, and so she and her three sisters cursed him with the spell that would turn him into a monster. Soon, the Prince's fear gets the better of him and he decides to marry a princess named Tulip in hopes of loving her. Unfortunately, as the castle begins to endure more phenomenons, he becomes infuriated and throws Tulip out when he believes she has deceived him into thinking she loved him. Eventually, his transformation finishes and with it the dissipation of memories of his past life as he slowly descends into an animalistic mindset. When he does meet Belle, however, he comes to love her. The sisters attempt to prevent the Beast from breaking the spell by manipulating the arrival of Gaston and the mob, and nearly the Beast's death. However, Circe brings the Beast to life and restores him to human form, allowing the Prince to live happily with Belle.
Video game appearances
The Beast has appeared in a number of video games. Most of which are based off his film. Some of the titles that features the Beast are Beauty and the Beast, Roar of the Beast, Beauty and the Beast: A Board Game Adventure, and Disney Princess Enchanting Storybooks.
In this game, the Beast must travel through different levels (based on locations from the film) to rescue Belle from the villainous Gaston, and prevent the villagers from attacking his castle.
The game was basically the plot of the original film adapted into a video board game, although it was mostly based on the ending of the film. In addition, Beast also makes a brief appearance in the commercial for the game, where he pops up from behind the Game Boy Color and yells at Lumière and Mrs. Potts to shut up after the latter two entered an argument due to Lumiere causing things to set on fire due to his wild movements while presenting the game. Robby Benson reprised the role in this brief appearance.
The Beast is a recurring character in the Kingdom Hearts series. He plays a major role in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II as an ally to Sora and his friends.
His story prior to Kingdom Hearts is basically the same as in the movie. During the time he and Belle were getting to know each other, Belle was captured by the Heartless, and the Beast's world, along with all of his servants, was swallowed by the darkness. In a rare occurrence of most Disney characters in the game, Beast appeared outside of his homeworld due to its demise, but was able to escape to Hollow Bastion because of his love for Belle. However, he is confronted by Riku when he learns that Belle is within the castle, and is harmed by the boy when he demands her returned to him. The Beast then finds an ally in Sora and aids him and his friends with fighting the Heartless and Maleficent. When the Princesses of Heart, including Belle, finally awaken, the Beast happily reunites with her. After Sora's victory over the darkness, Beast and Belle are able to return to their restored home.
The Beast appears in a minor role in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as an illusion of the real Beast, crafted from Sora's memories of him. Like before, he tries to rescue Belle but is cruelly rejected by her (although she was only pretending in order to fool Maleficent). Despite this, the Beast states his own feelings for her, which moves Belle to sacrifice her own heart to save his when Maleficent tries to steal it. Maleficent's defeat restores Belle's heart, and the two reconcile.
In 358/2 Days, the Beast makes an appearance back in his homeworld, but is met with constant attacks from the Heartless, forcing him to keep fighting them which places stress between him and Belle. He finally stops when he realizes that his servants and Belle are safe. However, the Beast is contacted by Xaldin of Organization XIII soon after, who begins to turn the Beast against Belle in a plot to turn him into a Heartless with his Nobody as a weapon for the Organization. Continuing into Kingdom Hearts II, Xaldin had nearly completed his plan, while the Beast had grown aggressive towards both his staff and Belle. The return of Sora, Donald, and Goofy manages to bring the Beast back to his senses and decides to help his friends confront Xaldin after learning that the Organization member was using him. After Xaldin escapes, the Beast tries to fix things with Belle. Things take a turn for the worse when Xaldin steals the enchanted rose, sending the Beast into despair. The Beast tells Sora and the others to leave the castle believing he will never be able to break the curse, but Sora convinces him to fight back, giving Beast the courage to reclaim the rose from Xaldin. However, Belle is kidnapped by Xaldin with the rose, with Xaldin forcing the Beast to choose between her and the rose. Although the Beast chooses Belle, Belle takes action and escapes from Xaldin, taking the rose with her. The group is able to defeat Xaldin, where afterwards, Beast asks Belle to stay with him, which she accepts, much to the Beast's joy. At the end of the game, the Beast appears to have turned back into a human, indicating that the curse was broken.
The Beast appears as a meet-and-greet character near The Matterhorn in Fantasyland. One of the tasks that the Beast gives to the player is to find lost pages for one of Belle's books. Right after, the Beast asks the player to find red crystals so he can create a crystal rose and place it on the cover of Belle's book as a gift. Once the book is prepared, the Beast becomes nervous pondering on the possibility of her not liking her gift so he asks the player to take it to her instead.
In the stage adaptation of the film, the Beast 's role in the story, in addition to his character development, is expanded considerably. The role was originated by Terrence Mann, while the final performances of the Beast were portrayed by Steve Blanchard. The stage version, at the start, portrays the Beast as more physically abusive and mentally unsettled.
Unlike the film, where the singing performance of Beast was only utilized during "Something There", several new songs were written for the Beast, including "How Long Must This Go On?", where the Beast reflects his mistake in turning away the Enchantress, and his longing for forgiveness. In "If I Can't Love Her", the Beast contemplates on his decaying humanity and the hardships of the curse that befell the castle. This was driven out of physically harming Belle prior, though he admitted harm was not his intention, revealing the curse has begun overtaking his physical actions. He is also given a reprise of this song, shortly after releasing Belle from the castle.
Like the film, Beast and Belle are shown to bond through books, though the stage version elaborates on this further. After being read a book aloud, Beast discovers the power of literature, and how it can take him to a world of fantasy, and be used as an escape from the pressures and despair of his cursed life—something Belle openly relates to.
The Beast appears in the Disney Parks as a meetable character in both his beast and human forms. Not only that, his likeness is commonly featured throughout the theme parks as well, specifically in the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland, which notably features his castle.
For meet and greets, the Beast is usually only found at the Be Our Guest Restaurant at dinnertime and during special events, but occasionally appears at the France Pavilion in Epcot, the Disneyland Hotel and Fantasyland in Disneyland Paris.
The Beast also was featured in a TV commercial where he again morphs, only this time into a gruff father who is annoyed at having to take his family to Disney World, showing the father's personality is akin to the Beast. However, like Beast's transformation into the Prince, the dad enjoys the trip to Disney World and is glad to be with his family.
Differences from the source material
While the Beast keeps much of his original character continuity from the French fairy tale version by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, there are quite a few differences to be accounted for:
- The Beast's curse had no time limit in the original version, and only required that he learn love and gain a woman's love in return to break the spell. In addition, in the original tale, Beast alone was cursed, not anyone else, and also took care of his property by himself.
- The Beast's confrontation with Belle's father was a lot more tame in the original version, simply telling her dad to trade his daughter for his life. In addition, in the original version, he only became angered when Maurice tried to steal a rose, and in fact was implied to have allowed him to stay at the castle generously.
- The rose had no direct link to the curse in the original version.
- Originally, the Beast permitted Belle to leave under a time limit to visit her family instead of actually freeing her to save her dad.
- Beast's death was not caused from a rival suitor knifing him in the back, but from a broken heart from Belle being late in returning due to her wicked sisters manipulating her into staying past the deadline.
- As noted above, the Beast's personality was, while somewhat gruff, also more kind and simple to begin with.
Several of these actually were included in the Original Screenplay, but ended up cut due to Jeffrey Katzenberg demanding a rewrite.
- It is stated in products licensed by Disney (such as the 1998 video game The D Show which was developed by Cyberflix) that Adam is the Prince's name. However, it is actually not his name, as it has been stated in the directors' commentary included in the Beauty and the Beast DVDs and Blu-ray as well as the Disney.com FAQ and D23.com that the character has never had an actual name; he is only referred to as "The Beast" or "the Prince". It was mentioned the writers and producers were so busy that they forgot to give him a name. In an interview with Glen Keane, Keane admitted that the Beast never had an alternative name prior to the film's events.
- Regardless, the name Adam has still ended up being used in some licensed Disney Prince/Disney Princess merchandise items.
- However, it's possible that some animators and crew members did refer to The Prince as 'Adam' during production, as Paige O'Hara, the voice actress to Belle, recently confirmed it during a fan Q&A while adding "Disney will always deny it." However, it's unknown if the name given to the character during production on the original film or during production on one of the film's sequel projects.
- Although the Beast and Belle are technically co-protagonists of the film, various members of the production staff, including Howard Ashman, considered Beast the protagonist.
- The Beast is the first male character in a Disney fairy tale to have a role that is equally as significant as the female protagonist's.
- Though the Beast's official age is not mentioned in the movie, it is strongly indicated by the narrator's statement that the rose "would bloom until his 21st year." As the rose has already begun to wilt by the time Belle arrives at the castle, it is very likely that the Beast is 20 years (i.e. on their 21st year) of age by this point. This has also been confirmed by Glen Keane.
- During the song "Be Our Guest" Lumiere states "for ten years, we've been rusting", implying the spell that had changed them all had been active for that amount of time. This, along with the statement the rose would wither by the Beast's 21'st birthday, would imply he was cursed at age 11.
- Perhaps to avoid this implication, the Broadway musical instead states that the rose "would bloom for many years".
- The Beast is the first male protagonist to not "save" his female counterpart near the film's climax. He does, however, save Belle from a vicious wolf attack roughly at the film's turning point.
- Casting of the Beast was a true challenge, considering the fact the directors were searching for someone who could alternate between a deep, gruff and rather uninviting voice to a soft, prince-like tone. When Robby Benson surprisingly auditioned for the role, the casting directors were both shocked and pleased, and immediately cast him. Critics claim Benson did the role so well that they couldn't even tell it was him.
- The Beast in the original fairy tale had a generally welcoming personality, unlike in the film version. The directors felt changing this aspect would help add dimension to the Beast, but also promote the film's primary moral: "True beauty comes from within."
- Several animals were used during the process of designing and animating the Beast, such as wildebeests, bears, lions and wolves.
- During the fight with Gaston, the Beast says only two words to him: "Get out."
- One of the concept artworks for the Beast bore a large resemblance to the character of the same name from the X-Men series from Marvel Comics. Coincidentally, both characters are now owned by Disney, which acquired Marvel in 2009.
- Ironically, one of the "Beautiful and Beastly Mail" correspondences in the second issue of the Beauty and the Beast Marvel Comics actually requested for a crossover between the two beasts, with Barbara Slate stating that, while one isn't in the works, if they do have one, expect "fur to fly."
- The Beast is one of Disney's most unpredictable characters, because at first glance he's a fierce monster but behind the intimidating face is a loving heart, which he displays toward Belle at the end of the film.
- Glen Keane went to the Los Angeles Zoo to study animals for the Beast's looks and personality. When he studied a six-hundred-pound antisocial gorilla, Caesar, and tried to draw him, Caesar charged at him and slammed against the bars. Keane knew this was how Belle would feel when she first caught sight of the Beast.
- In the movie Enchanted, Robert Philip wears a suit similar to the Beast's during the ball scene.
- When the Beast is getting his hair cut for Belle, the hair style he is given is the same as the Cowardly Lion's from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.
- One of the considered voice actors for the Beast during development was Lawrence Fishbourne.
- Other than the opening prologue to the story, the Beast was never actually identified as a prince during the events of the first film.
- Originally, when he was planning dinner, the Beast was to bring in a carcass of a slain deer and explicitly chow down on it in front of Belle in a more animalistic manner. However, the scene ended up deleted because the writers realized such a scene would actually have the audience view the Beast with disgust instead of sympathy. Nonetheless, the Beast hunting for his food in a more animalistic manner is still implied in the film with the presence of a rotting ribcage being seen briefly in the West Wing.
- In the Special Edition of the film, because of the addition of "Human Again", the scene where Beast roars in despair at having to let Belle go was slightly altered to include glass shattering to imply that Beast, while still filled with despair at having to do this, ended up smashing up the then-recently restored West Wing in order to have the song connect better with the main film where it was still tarnished during the climax.
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