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Belle's suitors were three characters who were deleted from the 1988 screenplay of Beauty and the Beast, and would have had an antagonistic role, along with Belle's sisters. They were cut, alongside the overall screenplay, due to then-Disney Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg feeling it wasn't what the Walt Disney Company had in mind.
The suitors all have varying appearances:
- The first suitor was extremely tall and lanky, with shoulder-long dark hair, and often wore a flat feather cap, and also primarily dressed in green.
- The second suitor was, at least during his presentation, somewhat copulent, wearing a red coat, green trousers, yellow boots, and a black flat feather cap, as well as holding glasses. During his attack on the Beast's castle, however, he was seen wearing yellow under-armor, some striped pants, as well as breast armor and a curved helmet with a red feather.
Role in the film
The suitors constantly hit on Belle and competed to be her husband, much to Belle's sisters' chagrin, as they were apparently disinterested in them. One of the suitors presented Belle with a gift: a magnificent white horse. They later are involved in the plot to kill the Beast hatched by Belle's sisters to get his wealth and then attract the suitors. They then manage to discover the wealth, however, they are caught and are forced to flee from the Beast, although not before one of the suitors proceeds to mortally wound him. Belle's suitors, alongside her. Belle's sisters are later turned into animals by the Enchantress as punishment for their misdeeds shortly after the Beast's curse was lifted, with each animal representing their particular vices (i.e. a pig for greed, a peacock for vanity, etc.)
- When the film was rewritten by Richard Purdum in 1989, the suitors were condensed into a single character, Gaston, who like in the 1988 draft would have acted as co-antagonist with one of Belle's relatives, specifically her Aunt Marguerite. The only difference is that Belle's sisters didn't want any of the suitors to marry Belle out of jealousy, while with Gaston, Marguerite attempted to force Belle to marry him via an arranged marriage. This was ultimately retained in the final film with Gaston being an unwanted suitor of Belle, although in this case, he was made the main antagonist, as well as made into the local hero and hunter instead of a nobleman.
- The suitors' occupations are indicated by their concept art:
- A piece of concept art that shows the 1st suitor on stage in a theater indicates that he is an actor.
- Another piece of concept art that depicts the 2nd suitor standing among a group of soldiers indicates that he is an army general.
- The 3rd suitor is obviously a nobleman because he is constantly depicted with a powdered wig on.