The Wolves are minor antagonists in Disney's 1991 film Beauty and the Beast.
These meat-eating predators are shown to be inhabitants of The Black Forest surrounding the Beast's castle, presumably as a part of the Enchantress's spell.
After Maurice gets lost in the forest following his separation from his horse, Philippe, the wolves spot Maurice and immediately chase him all the way to the castle. Even when Maurice manages to get inside past the gate and close it, they still try to get him and one manages to bite his foot, but he gets away safely. Later on, when Belle runs away from the castle after the Beast frightens her, she is ambushed by the wolves and attacked. One of the wolves inadvertently fell into the thin ice of the lake and was stranded, slowing him down from the rest of the pack. The wolves almost kill her, but the Beast turns up, possibly tipped off by Lumiere and Cogsworth (who saw Belle leave and alarmed the Beast to save her from the wolves), and fights an entire pack of the wolves. Although they manage to bite him several times, the Beast throws one (possibly the alpha male) against a tree and knocks him out cold, and the rest run off in fright. This is the last they are seen in the film.
In a deleted scene, however, they were going to instead brutally attack the conceited hunter Gaston.
The wolves make a cameo in the midquel. When Belle, Chip and Philippe go into the Black Forest to look for a Christmas tree, the wolves are seen watching them, but this time they don't attack them. This may possibly be due to the memory of their past experience with Belle and the Beast, and they know not to mess with them in order to not get hurt again.
- To call them villains is rather unfair, due to the long tragic history of wolves being associated with evil, yet it became a stereotype in fairy tales. These wolves, savage as they acted, were just predators looking for their next meal, which is harder during winter.
- In real life, wolves are normally afraid of humans and tend to stay far away from them. Their behavior in The Enchanted Christmas was closer to their actual behavior.
- However, France, where Beauty and the Beast takes place, historically suffered from a large number of wolf attacks, with 5,400 people having been killed between 1580–1880.
- They appear to have inspired a group of wolves in Frozen, as the latter group plays a similar role in attacking the main characters along with a form of the setting's antagonistic wildlife.
- The wolves' planned involvement in Gaston's death was eventually reused with Scar's death in The Lion King. Ironically, the manner for Scar's death was chosen that way because the original ending for The Lion King was cut for the exact same reason why their planned involvement in Gaston's death was cut.
- ↑ Moriceau, J. M. Un problème d'environnement rural : la dangerosité du loup en France. Du Moyen Âge au XXe siècle. Revista Portuguesa de Historia, t. XLI, 2010, p. 11-32. ISSN : 0870.4147