- “I am Maestro Forte, court composer, and your most humble servant.”
Maestro Forte is the main antagonist of Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. He was 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, Forte found himself more useful to his master as a composer. Forte was willing to do everything in his power to stay in that form. Forte became jealous of Belle.
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."
Forte was originally intended to be a character named Avenant. Although Avenant was the villain of the 1946 French film, 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 the Prince 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 the Prince's hands.
Although this portrayal was scrapped in favor 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.
Role in the film
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, he requested that Forte try to play a song for something that he hoped would be better than the gift. However, Forte, in an attempt to play "Deck the Halls" on the organ, did a terrible rendition on it, which caused the Prince to snap, and ultimately resulted in him refusing to let the Enchantress into the castle, which resulted in the curse.
Though the other palace servants wished to be human again, Forte preferred his organ form, in which the Beast considered him much more valuable as an adviser and confidant and found his depressing arrangements of notable classical music (including that of Beethoven) somehow made him feel better. Forte could use music to move nearby objects, but could not move himself, as his form was far too large and was also bolted to the wall. Forte spent much of his time composing a grand version of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 that he claimed would "bring the house down".
In order to maintain his organ form, Forte needed to prevent the Beast and Belle's blossoming romance and felt that the celebration of Christmas would only bring them closer together.
To help him, he convinced Fife, his reluctant servant 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 that they didn't come back. When the Beast went out after Belle anyway in a rage, Forte believed that her return would result in him falling in love with her and, seeing no other option, encouraged him to destroy the magical rose.
Once again, Forte failed when the 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 and used the strongest musical scales of Beethoven's 5th, because, as he put it, "they can't fall in love if they're dead!" Fife tried to stop him, as the plan was too extreme and Forte revealed that his claim of a solo in his symphony was a lie.
Fife helped the Beast instead, and advised him that he must destroy the keyboard to stop the music. Forte was finally defeated when the Beast ripped his keyboard away from him, which ceased his contact with his pipes. In a blind rage, Forte tore himself free of the wall and began to collapse. This effectively 'kills' Forte and he crashed to the ground, destroyed. Though he knew that Forte had villainous designs, the Beast mourned the death of his best friend with Belle comforting him.
- Forte was the only character in the film who was entirely computer animated, while his human form was hand drawn.
- Curiously enough, an organ of that size is not only bolted to the wall by a chain or two. Not only has Forte several pillar-thick tubes that were most likely running below the floor, but the whole network of tubes connecting to the boiler's air pump. And considering Forte's size, this pump was most likely a large boiler in an adjacent room below or behind the wall. He should be as much part of the room than a separated object.
- Before he sings his song "Don't Fall in Love," Forte was a very unenthusiastic singer.
- Forte's eyes were usually black, but during the climax of "Don't Fall in Love" his eyes flashed 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, which meant that his composing skills were based on raw talent alone and, combined with reluctance to do so, explained why the time that he tried to compose a cheerful Christmas Carol (Deck the Halls) turned out so terribly, especially as the notes appeared on music sheets as blots.
- Beethoven's 5th Symphony, the song that 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. It was also referenced by Cogsworth ("Now for my fifth movement") in Belle's Magical World, followed by the opening notes of the song.
- In the 2011 Blu-Ray and DVD releases of the film, when Forte first introduced himself to Belle and Chip, his lip syncing was way off.
- Forte in his human form had sharp canine teeth, which gave him a vampire-like appearance.
- Forte's plan, had it succeeded, would most likely have backfired on him for the worse, as the commentary for the first film by Don Khan revealed that the Beast retaining the curse would have caused him to devolve psychologically into a literal beast, with the implication that his servants, Forte included, would die and turn into real objects as a result.
- Alongside Zira, Forte was the only sequel Disney Villain who died.
- Forte's line "I'M BOLTED TO THE WALL!!!" had become extremely popular on YouTube where different characters demanded Forte to do something and he refuses by shouting his line.
- As a result of his death, Forte never returns to human form.
- In every close-up shot of Forte's keyboard, the keys do not match the notes, let alone the rhythm of the music. In one shot, every key is pressed at the same time, but the music shows little sign of dissonance.
- The character Cadenza from the 2017 live action version could be considered an heroic version of Forte.