- “Always the voice of reason, Cogsworth, the prince's butler keeps a watchful eye on the castle's servants, making sure that everything is running to Beast's liking.”
- ―Diamond Edition Website
Cogsworth naturally has a serious demeanor which is evident in his strict attitude in serving the Beast and ordering the other servants around constantly. However, Cogsworth does mean well and is as good-natured as Lumière is. He is Lumière's best friend and also a rival of sorts. Cogsworth's preference to abide by the Beast's rules often puts a severe strain on his friendship with Lumière, who opts for a more rebellious and care-free personality, but overall, he values his friendship with Lumière and sees him as a brother, demonstrated in the original film (when he saves Lumière from being melted by LeFou, Gaston's henchman) and the midquels.
On Christmas night, an old beggar woman came to the castle and asked for shelter. Because of her repulsive appearance, the master of the castle, Prince Adam, turned her away. She then revealed herself to be a beautiful Enchantress, and transformed Prince Adam into a hideous beast, because of his cruel ways. For further punishment, the castle servants were cursed as well, with Cogsworth specifically turning into a clock. If the Beast can't find anyone to love, and love him in return by the time the last petal of an enchanted rose falls, he and the servants will be cursed forever.
A few years later, a man named Maurice lost his horse, and needed a place to stay during the brutal winter night. Cogsworth apposed the idea of inviting him in because of the master's rules, but Lumière went ahead and served Maurice anyway, with the other servants following along. Soon enough, the Beast arrives and imprisons Maurice. Cogsworth and Lumière bicker over the event, until they spot a girl, a young maiden named Belle, who is looking for her father, Maurice. She trades places with him as a prisoner, and Cogsworth joins the other servants in their attempt to help Belle and Beast fall in love to break the spell.
As time passed, Belle and the Beast have developed a close relationship. Cogsworth and the others decided to set up a ballroom dance to seal their relationship, but Beast frees her when Maurice becomes stranded in the woods looking for Belle. Cogsworth is the first to hear of Belle's release, and quickly informs the others. With no hope of becoming human, Cogsworth is fed up with the very idea of Belle being able to break the spell. Suddenly, an angry mob invades the castle to kill the Beast.
Cogsworth, and the other servants, battle heroically. Meanwhile, the Beast battled Gaston, the leader of the mob, and an admirer of Belle. He fatally stabs the Beast right before falling off the castle roof top, to his death. Cogsworth, Lumière, and Mrs. Potts, heads to the Beast's side. He dies, but Belle confesses her love before the last petal falls. Beast transforms into Adam once more, and Cogsworth regains his human form as well. During the final scene he offers to bury the hatchet with Lumiere, only to start arguing with him about who foretold the fact that Belle would break to spell first (it was Lumiere), but eventually, they break off to watch Belle dance with the Prince.
Cogsworth and the others try their best to change the subject to no avail. Lumière and the others decide to go with it, but Cogsworth does not. While Lumière, Belle, and the rest of the castle wishes to do a Christmas celebration without the Beast, Cogsworth out of fear wishes not to join the rest of the group in order to keep the Beast on his good side. He eventually chooses to join them in celebrating Christmas, but warns them to keep quiet so that Beast won't find out.
In the end, Beast finally realizes Christmas is a time to spend with the ones he cares about, and Cogsworth is very happy for him.
Cogsworth feels he is losing control over his staff, and demands their respect with harsh treatment. In the meantime, Belle convinces Beast to free the recently-captured bird, and he releases it once its wing is cured, but the bird, still too weak, begins to fall, and Beast rushes to rescue it. In the process, Cogsworth falls from the West Wing balcony and into the garden, but is unhurt, and learns that you cannot demand respect, but you can earn it by giving it.
Cogsworth makes a cameo appearance in the Timon and Pumbaa episode "Serengeti Western". He complains that he shouldn't have left the castle.
Cogsworth made numerous cameo appearances in the 2001-03 animated series House of Mouse. In the "Stolen Cartoons", after hearing a joke, Lumière gave Cogsworth a rough pat on the back while laughing, having Cogsworth's head dumped in his soup. In "Thanks to Minnie", he, Lumière, and Potts watched Minnie run off in tears, leaving them wondering what happened. In the end, due to gossip, Lumière and Cogsworth were convinced they were upset with each other, resulting in a scuffle. In "Ask Von Drake", Cogsworth was seated by Lumière during the headcount of all the Disney character guests.
Cogsworth also makes a few cameos in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse.
Video Game Appearances
Cogsworth makes an appearance in the games, but due to his homeworld's fall into darkness by the time of Kingdom Hearts, he does not appear in the first game until the world is restored by the time of Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. His role in 358/2 Days is minor, but by Kingdom Hearts II, Cogsworth is more involved in the storyline. By this time, Cogsworth along with the rest of the servants are imprisoned in the castle dungeon by Beast (who was under influence of Xaldin at the time) out of fear that he could hurt them. Upon his freedom by Sora, Cogsworth tells him about the Beast's curse, and eventually assists them in bringing the Beast back to his senses when the latter becomes berserk by Xaldin's influence. After Xaldin is defeated, peace is restored in the castle. It is assumed that by the end of the game, Cogsworth regains his human form, as the Beast is seen to have turned back into a human during the credits.
In Belle's world, Cogsworth makes a non-speaking appearance alongside Lumière throughout the player's adventure.
Though following the same general story as the film, one of the additions made to the musical would be a more elaborately detailed version of the spell with the object transformation being mostly gradual, as to make sense out of having human-sized versions of the enchanted objects. Over the course of the show, Cogsworth is starting to shift further into becoming more of a clock, developing a turnkey and driving further desires for the spell to be broken. A relationship with the Wardrobe would also be added, as in the earlier Disney on Ice adaptation, with Cogsworth having been an admirer of her opera performances.
Cogsworth is shown at the Disney parks in parades and shows along with many other characters in the film. Cogsworth has his own topiary in Epcot during the Flower and Garden Festival in Spring.
He is seen in Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage at Disney's Hollywood Studios in the Walt Disney World Resort. Like the film, Cogsworth was very upset having someone in the castle but nearly had a change in heart when realizing the girl, Belle has the ability to break the spell.
Parade of Dreams
Cogsowrth appears as apart of the decor on the Beauty and the Beast themed float apart of the parade in Disneyland.
- The costume that Cogsworth dons during the battle to defend the castle is an obvious reference to Napoleon Bonaparte, a famous French general.
- He is visually referenced in the Shrek 2 film, when Shrek, Donkey and Puss try to escape the Fairy Godmother's factory, they accidentally leak a potion, two of the Godmother's henchmen are turned into Lumière and Cogsworth.
- An inanimate clock resembling Cogsworth can be seen on a table alongside a candelabra resembling Lumière in the ABC series Once Upon a Time episode "Skin Deep".
- Cogsworth's line, "Flowers, chocolates, promises you don't intend to keep," was improvised by his voice actor, David Ogden Stiers.
- Cogsworth is similar to Zazu from the Lion King as both are majordomos, are both proper and uptight, speak in a British accent and both in a running gag suffer several unfortunate incidents.
- Cogsworth is also similar to Bagheera from The Jungle Book in various senses.
- Both have strict but also soft personalities.
- Both have a brotherly best friend who has a warmer opposite personality (Baloo, Lumiere).
- Both have arguments with their brotherly friend, mostly on how to treat the main character.
- Both have gotten into various incidents whenever their brotherly friend sings a musical number.
- Cogsworth is also similar to Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. They are both majordomos, get scared when their masters lose their tempers, try to get others to follow exactly the masters' rules, have a strict yet vaguely soft personality, and are usually seen with a characters who are more understanding. (Flounder, Lumiere).
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