- “I am Maestro Forte, court composer, and your most humble servant.”
- “I'm BOLTED TO THE WALL!!.”
- ―Forte, on being bolted to a wall
Maestro Forte is the main antagonist of Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. He is the castle's former music conductor. When the Enchantress put the spell on the Beast, Forte was turned into a pipe organ. In this form, he found himself more useful to his master as a composer. He was willing to do everything in his power to stay in that form. Forte became jealous of Belle. He was voiced by Tim Curry.
Forte's name is derived from the Italian word for "loud", being also a term used in musical scales indicating loud, heavy playing. It is also the Portuguese word for "strong".
On the night of the curse (which happened to be Christmas Eve), after the prince ended up getting, to his displeasure, a storybook from Lumiere as a Christmas present, ended up requesting that Forte try to play a song for something that's better than the gift. However, Forte, in an attempt to play "Deck the Halls" on the organ, did a terrible rendition on it, causing the prince to snap, ultimately resulting in the prince refusing to let the Enchantress into the castle and the resulting curse.
Though the other palace servants wish to be human again, Forte prefers his organ-form, which Beast considers him much more valuable as a confidant and finds his depressing arrangements of notable classical music (including that of Beethoven) somehow makes him feel better. Forte can use music to move nearby objects, but cannot move himself, as his form is far too large and is also bolted to the wall. He spends much of his time composing a grand version of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 that he claims will "bring the house down".
In order to maintain his organ form, Forte needed to prevent Beast from loving Belle and felt that the celebration of Christmas would only bring them closer together.
To help him, he convinced Fife, his apprentice, to lure both into ruining the date, under the promise of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 15 of his own composure. However, the Beast still wouldn't listen to him, so Forte decided to send Belle out into the dangerous Black Forest, with Fife following them to make sure they don't come back. When the Beast goes out after her anyway in a rage, Forte believes that her return will result in the Beast falling in love with her and, seeing no other option, encourages him to destroy the magical rose.
Once again, he failed when Beast remembered Belle's gift (a storybook) and felt remorse. In a last crazed attempt to prevent them from breaking the spell, Forte decided to destroy the whole castle using the strongest musical scales of Beethoven's 5th, because, as he put it, "they can't fall in love if they're dead!" Fife tries to stop him, as the plan's too extreme and Forte reveals that his claim of a solo in his symphony was a lie.
Fife helps the Beast instead, advising him that he must destroy the keyboard to stop the music. Forte is finally defeated when Beast rips his keyboard away from him, ceasing his contact with his pipes. In a blind rage, Forte tears himself free of the wall and begins to collapse. This effectively 'kills' Forte and he crashes to the ground, destroyed. Though he knows Forte had villainous designs, Beast mourns the death of his best friend, with Belle comforting him.
Behind the scenes
Forte was originally intended to be a character named Avenant. Although Avenant was the villain of the 1946 French film and the inspiration for Gaston, this incarnation of Avenant would have been portrayed as Gaston's younger brother and the villain of a possible sequel to the 1991 film. His goal would be to ruin the lives of Belle and Prince Adam and then possibly kill them both, and although his plan would work partially, the truth would have been uncovered and it would lead to Avenant's demise at Adam's hands.
Although this portrayal was scrapped in favour of a midquel, several of Avenant's characteristics were incorporated into Forte, who desired to remain in organ form forever, despite doing so would ruin Belle and the Beast's lives, and his plan to drive them apart almost worked but was ultimately foiled by Beast. In addition, the concept of a relative of the main villain from the original film wanting revenge would later be reused with Nasira in Nasira's Revenge and Morgana in The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea.
Although Forte himself does not appear in the Kingdom Hearts games, a large amount of his plans and motivations were reused for the Organization XIII member Xaldin, who intended to manipulate Beast into casting aside Belle and embracing his inner darkness so that he'd produce a powerful heartless and a powerful nobody, the latter of which they intended to recruit into the organization.
- Forte's motives is very similar to the Organization XIII member Xaldin, both try to prevent Beast from falling in love with Belle, (Forte outright warning him against it and Xaldin by telling him that Belle would never reciprocate is feelings) albeit for different reasons, Forte to ensure that the curse remains unbroken and Xaldin to make it easier to lure Beast into giving in to his darkness.
- Forte is the only character in the film who is entirely computer animated, while his human form was hand drawn.
- His exclamation "I'M BOLTED TO THE WALL!" has become a popular video on YouTube.
- Before he sings his song Don't Fall in Love, Forte was a very unenthusiastic singer.
- Forte's eyes are usually black but during the climax of Don't Fall in Love his eyes flash bright green.
- The concept of Forte using music to comfort and later control his "master" is based all too literally on the metaphorical saying "music soothes the savage beast".
- During his final performance to oppose the heroes, Forte claimed that he never took a lesson in music, meaning that his composing skills are based on raw talent alone and, combined with reluctance to do so, explains why the time he tried to compose a cheerful christmas carol (Deck the Halls) turns out so terribly, especially as the notes appear on music sheets as blots.
- Beethoven's 5th Symphony, the song Forte used in an attempt to literally "bring the house down" in the climax, was written in 1804-1808, which contradicts Glen Keane's statement that the first film took place in the late 18th century (1770-1799, 1770-1789 assuming the franchise is accurate with the French Revolution).
- If you look closely, when Forte first introduces himself to Belle and Chip, his lip syncing was way off.