Maurice is a character from the 1991 film Beauty and the Beast and its 1997 sequel. Maurice is the father of Belle and father-in-law of the Beast (real name; Prince Adam) It is unknown when he was widowed (below). He works as an inventor. He was voiced by the late Rex Everhart and later on by Jeff Bennett and Corey Burton.
Beauty and the Beast
Maurice is an inventor living in a little French town with Belle, his daughter, and has a dream to make a good invention and become rich, so he and Belle can move away to a bigger town. The townsfolk, including Gaston the hunter, call Maurice a crazy old loon and make fun of him, but Belle manages to stick up for her father, calling him a genius. One day, when Belle comes home from the bookstore, she sees her father working on a new invention and asks him if he thinks that she's odd because there's no one in town she can talk to, and Gaston the handsome hunter isn't right for her, to which Maurice replies, "Don't you worry, 'cause this invention's gonna be the start of a new life for us." After Maurice tries out his new invention and it works really well, he heads off to the fair on his horse Phillippe to enter his invention and make lots of money.
While on the way to the fair, Maurice and Phillippe get lost in the woods, and when they try to go down a dark path, they encounter bats and wolves. When Maurice tries to get Phillippe under control, the horse throws him off and runs away. When Maurice recovers from his fall, he sees the wolves and runs down a cliff with the wolves chasing him. Luckily Maurice manages to find the gate to the Beast's castle and manages to get it open and shut before the wolves can reach him. Once inside, Maurice calls out for help, not noticing Lumière the candle and Cogsworth the clock. When he picks up Lumière and notices that he's alive, he accidentally drops him. He also grabs Cogsworth and winds him up and accidentally sneezes in Cogsworth's face. Lumière offers Maurice to the Beast's chair where he sits down and is offered tea by Mrs. Potts the teapot and her son Chip the teacup. Just as Maurice is about to drink his tea, the doors open and Beast storms in, angrily asking Maurice who is and what he's doing there in the castle. As Maurice frighteningly tries to explain what happened to him in the forest, Beast mistakenly assumes that Maurice came there to stare at him and locks Maurice in the dungeon.
When Belle comes to the castle, she finds her father in the dungeon, but before she can free him, Beast appears. Belle offers to take her father's place in the dungeon, to which the Beast agrees, and sets Maurice free and sends him back to the village on a palanquin that walks like a spider.
When Maurice gets back to town, he goes to the local tavern and tries to get Gaston and the villagers to help him rescue Belle from the Beast, but they throw Maurice out, believing that he's crazy. This also gives Gaston a plan to make Belle marry him to, which is that he pays Monsieur D'Arque, the owner of the asylum, to lock up Maurice unless Belle agrees to marry Gaston. When Maurice gets back home, he decides that if no one will help him, he'll go back to the castle and get Belle out himself. He leaves right before Gaston and LeFou show up to put their plan into place.
When Maurice is trying to find the castle in the woods, he gets cold and sick, and passes out in the woods. Luckily, Belle uses the Beast's magic mirror to find him and takes him back home. When Maurice wakes in bed at home, he is happy to see Belle again and asks her how she escaped the Beast. Belle tells her father that the Beast has changed his ways and let her go free, giving her his magic mirror to keep. Monsieur D'Arque shows up and tells Belle he has come to take Maurice to the asylum where they'll "take very good care of him." Belle insists that her father isn't crazy, but when Maurice tries to explain to them about the Beast again, LeFou and the villagers laugh at him and two of D'Arque's men take Maurice away. Gaston tells Belle that he'll help her free Maurice if she marries him, but Belle turns him down and proves that her father isn't crazy by showing the Beast through the Magic Mirror. Gaston convinces the Villagers that the Beast is dangerous and sets off to attack the Beast, locking Maurice and Belle in their cellar. Luckily, Chip (who snuck back to the village with Belle) uses Maurice's invention to free Maurice and Belle and they ride off back to the castle on Phillippe.
In the end, after the spell is lifted and the Beast and his servants are returned to their human forms, Maurice watches happily as Belle and Prince Adam dance.
The Enchanted Christmas
Maurice makes a cameo in the midquel but doesn't speak. He is seen listening to Mrs. Potts as she begins her story about last year's Christmas between Belle and the Beast.
House of Mouse
Sing Me a Story Belle
Maurice made a brief guest appearance in the television series.
Once Upon a Time
Maurice appears in the ABC television series here taking on the role as a monarch. He is played by Eric Keenleyside. His Storybrooke counterpart is Moe French, who runs a florist shop. Moe breaks into Mr. Gold's place and robs him, on the commands of Regina. Emma recovers the stolen goods, but Mr. Gold says there's still something missing and takes matters into his own hands. He kidnaps Moe and takes him to the cabin of Mary Margaret and David's guilt, where he tortures and beats him. It is hinted that he is the father of the Storybrooke Belle that is locked
up at the hospital's psych ward. Upon remembering his true identity after the dark curse was broken, Moe is confirmed to be Belle's father and searched for her. He was having no success when Mr. Gold comes to his flower shop saying he is looking for Belle, who had just gone missing, and just wants to know she is okay. Moe rebukes Mr. Gold, and hires William Smee to find his daughter. Smee succeeds in doing this, and daughter and father are tearfully reunited. But when Moe demands that Belle leave Mr. Gold permanently, Belle refuses, saying that she is her own person and her father cannot tell her what to do. Moe sadly orders Smee to take her to the town line and across it so she will forget who she is and who Mr. Gold is.
Later, David Nolan, Ruby, and Mr. Gold return to the flower shop. Moe confesses he had Smee take Belle across the town boundary. With Moe in tow, everyone runs to the mines, where Mr. Gold barely saves Belle from losing her memory. In addition to being angry with Mr. Gold, she tells Moe she never wants to see him again for what he attempted to do to her.
Maurice makes no live appearances in the parks but his cottage is featured in the Beauty and the Beast themed part of Fantasyland in Walt Disney World. Also, Maurice has a spell card known as "Maurice's Wood Chopper" in the attraction Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. Along with LeFou he is notably absent from the stage adaption of Beauty and the Beast in the parks. Maurice is the spotlight character of "Maurice's Amazing Popping Machine", a little eating area in Fantasyland. Recent vinyl figures of him are currently being sold in Walt Disney World as well, despite him not being meetable in the parks.
- The Be Our Guest song was originally written for when Maurice arrives at the castle after being chased by the wolves. When Maurice walks in there's a dinner set up for him and Lumière begins singing the song along with the other objects. It was later declared that the song be moved to focus on Belle because it seemed like a waste to use such a grand number on a secondary character. A clip of Angela Lansbury (the voice of Mrs. Potts) recording for the original version of the song can be seen in the Beauty and the Beast trailer featured on the 1991 VHS release of The Jungle Book.
- In the original tale, Maurice was a wealthy merchant and not an inventor. One similarity to the movie to some degree was that the merchant lost everything when his ships were lost at sea and a lightning storm had burned down his manor, but he handles the adversity squarely as he struggles to rebuild the family fortune somehow. A difference in the tale and the movie is that Maurice's wife was still alive, and that he had five children to which Beauty was the youngest and closest to her father. Also in the original tale Maurice did take refuge in the castle, only to be perplexed why food and accommodations were ready for him yet the castle was supposedly abandoned (in the tale the Beast took care of the castle by himself). Only when Maurice plucked a rose from the garden did the Beast reveal himself and was angry with Maurice for pilferage when the Beast had been a good host, and demanded to meet this "Beauty" the rose was for.
- According to the commentary of the film at the end of the film, Maurice may pair up with Mrs. Potts as a couple.
- It is likely that Maurice's natural hair color is dark brown as Belle's mother has light brown hair.
- In one of the original storyboards of the film, Maurice at one point was accosted by a prostitute.