The Wardrobe is a supporting character in Disney's 1991 film, Beauty and the Beast. She is a former lady-in-waiting of the castle and was cursed by the enchantress along with the other servants of the castle.
The character of Wardrobe was introduced by visual development person Sue C. Nichols to the then entirely male cast of servants, and was originally a more integral character named Madame Armoire (which means "Mrs. Wardrobe" in French). Her role was later expanded upon and ultimately taken over by Mrs. Potts. Wardrobe is known as Madame de la Grande Bouche (which means "Missus of the Big Mouth" in French) in the stage adaptation of the film, where she has an expanded role and was even Cogsworth's love interest.
The Wardrobe is first seen in the background of Belle's room, when Belle throws herself down on her bed and begins weeping; however she has no words here. She first meets Belle after her imprisoning and comforts her along with Mrs. Potts. When dinnertime is near she begins to pick a dress but becomes aghast when Belle denies the invitation to dinner. This angers Beast having him storm to Belle's room in range. After he is gone, Wardrobe tries to convince Belle that the Beast is not all bad once she gets to know him but this fails as Belle states that she wants nothing to do with him. Later on Wardrobe is seen at the final battle against the villagers led by Gaston. She is the only principal Enchanted Object (unless you count the Stove) we do not see turned back into human form in the finale (though presumably she is somewhere among the crowd surrounding Belle and the Prince). However, we do see her depicted in human form in a "Where's Waldo" type activity book that was released at the time of the film, and more recently, in a Disney Princess Book "Royal Wedding". In Special Addition DVD release, her role is expanded with the song " Human Again" where she showcases her desires to become human just as the others and is actually given a solo (although they still didn't show her as a human at the end of the film). In addition, near the end of the song, Wardrobe proceeded to jump into the nearby pool, resulting in a huge splash and forcing the major characters overseeing the renovation work to flee.
Wardrobe makes an appearance in "Mrs. Potts' Party" When Belle comes to talk to her about Mrs. Potts in her bedroom. A far greater role lies in the story "The Broken Wing" where she hides an injured bird Belle recently found from the Beast.
In the first issue, Wardrobe's surprise party was being planned, but Beast's roaring almost ruined the planned surprise.
The second issue expanded on the Wardrobe's character, revealing some of her backstory: she was an opera singer before turning into a wardrobe, hailed as "the toast of Europe" and "the brightest star ever to grace the stage". She had once performed at the Royal Opera and the King of the France himself watched her. In addition, she was also secretly depressed because the nature of her transformation meant she can't do her opera aspects as she's a wardrobe, and thus felt she was useless. This depression nearly resulted in the surprise party being cancelled because she didn't come downstairs. Eventually, Belle, after trying out one of her dresses to make her feel useful, tricked her into coming downstairs by leaving a key part of the dress behind in time for the surprise party, which included a play.
In the 11th issue, Belle informed her about Beast's insensitive remark about her favorite book being ruined from the storm. She also heard from Belle about the contents of the book (off-screen).
In the 12th issue, she reveals that Belle's earlier complaint inspired her to create an opera about it. This almost resulted in disaster when she managed to start the opera just as the Beast was going to present the rebound book to Belle, causing him to lose confidence that his gift would mean anything until Belle came asking what he wanted.
The Wardrobe first appears blocking the entrance to the Undercroft, sleeping heavily and preventing Sora from entering. She then has to be pushed out of the way, the first to tell Sora and his friends Donald and Goofy about a spell that had been placed on the castle by an enchantress long ago. She informs Sora that the spell had transformed the castle servants into household objects and the prince of the castle into a hideous beast. She refuses to say anymore at this point. The Wardrobe then proceeds to beg Sora to help her fellow servants, who are being held in the dungeon, and promises to reveal more of the story of the spell upon his return. She does so, returning to Belle's room, where she would stay from then on, soon after.
In the stage musical adaptation of the classic animated movie, the Wardrobe is finally given a name: Madame de La Grande Bouche. Her role is expanded and uses the backstory first introduced in the Marvel Comics. When she tries to lend Belle the gown she wore that night, the young woman thanks her but doesn't accept the gift, as she doesn't plan to dine with the Beast, despite his orders. Mme. de La Grande Bouche calls her silly, which makes Belle's temper rise. The girl yells at her, but apologizes no sooner. Like in the movie, Mrs. Potts and the Wardrobe comfort Belle over the loss of her freedom and her father.
When the Beast storms into Belle's room, Madame Bouche (along with Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth and Lumiere) try to calm him down and encourages him to ask her politely. When the prisoner refuses, however, he throws a tantrum and forbids her of eating anything. The Beast watches through his handheld Magic Mirror as the Wardrobe tries to convince Belle that, despite his temper and gruff attitude, he isn't that bad and to give him a chance. However, the girl refuses. Not much later, Belle admits to Madame de La Grande Bouche that she is hungry. The opera singer kindly volunteers to ring for Mrs. Potts and sing an aria while they wait. However, Belle says she wants to herself, leaving the Wardrobe worrying about what will happen if the Beast finds out she has disobeyed his orders. She joins the other Enchanted Objects in singing Be Our Guest to cheer Belle up.
In Act II, Madame Bouche sings a solo in Human Again, revealing she wants to resume to taking care of her appearance and to regain her former weight. It is assumed she dresses Belle up for her dinner with the Beast. When the mob of villagers breaks into the castle, she helps scaring them away, particulary defeating Lefou with a high note. When the spell is broken, she is restored to her human form and appears wearing her Royal Opera gown. Cogsworth courts her, revealing himself an admire of the opera diva as he listens to her boasting about her performance in the Royal Opera. In her final appearance (apart from the Curtain Call), Madame de La Grande Bouche sings a reprise of "Beauty and the Beast" as she watches Belle dance with the Prince.
Wardrobe plays a pivotal role in the Enchanted Tales with Belle attraction at Magic Kingdom. She welcomes the guests to the castle and then casts them as characters for the retelling of the movie that they are to perform with Belle and Lumiere in the library.
In an Imagineering video, they presented the interactive Wardrobe audio-animatronic, designed to be extremely realistic with real-looking LCD eyes and functioning lip movements.
- Many fans believe that during the final battle in the castle, the villager the Wardrobe landed on (specifically the one that is the caricature of Gary Trousdale) was killed by her as the man does not appear to move after she crushed him, making her seem like a murderer.
- However, if one looks closely when the villagers are running out of the castle, the man she supposedly crushed is seen laying on the steps, which proves that the Wardrobe did not in fact kill the man and he most likely was just knocked out by her when she landed on him.
- In the stage adaptation, Wardrobe stuns a villager with a high note while dressed as Brunhilde instead of crushing him.
- In the Disneystrology entry for her, she represented November 19. However, the Marvel Comics had her birthday as being a significant part of the story of the first two issues, as well as implying that the course of the comic took place just a few days before Christmas, which would indicate her birthday was mid-December.