On November 22, Disney's 1991 animated masterpiece, Beauty and The Beast, will mark the 25th anniversary of its release. Throughout the years, the Oscar-winning film has seen many more adaptations come and go, with a live action remake scheduled for next year, but none with the same encapsulating ability to enchant the minds and hearts of movie lovers. And even though it's not for a few more months, to celebrate that undying love on the film's big 25th, let's take a look back at the stepping stone of Disney's renaissance with these interesting little tidbits.
1. Beast Was Never Given A Name In The Movie
It's true. Even though he's commonly referred to now as "Prince Adam", it was never once clarified in the actual movie what his real name is. Most believe he was named Adam in one of the direct-to-video sequels.
2. The Beast Was Cursed When He Was 11
In the beginning of the film, the narrator states the rose will bloom when the Prince turns 21. In the song "Be Our Guest" Lumiere sings "Ten years we've been rusting..." This means the Prince was a mere child when he encountered the Enchantress. That's some bad parenting right there.
3. It Held An Academy Award Record For 19 Years
Beauty and The Beast was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars in 1991. It wasn't until Up was nominated in 2010 that another animated film was gifted with that honor.
4. Belle Is The Oldest Disney Princess
Mark Henn, the animation supervisor for the film, stated Belle was designed to be in her early twenties. She was given a more statuesque and seasoned look to give off this impression. Actresses Jennie Garth and Alyssa Milano were used for inspiration. (Interesting fact: Milano was also used for inspiration when creating Princess Ariel.)
5. Cogsworth's Greatest Line Was Total Improv
David Ogden Stiers, the original voice behind Cogsworth, said he was urged to improvise many of his lines. The best use of this is when the Beast asks Cogsworth what he can do for her: "The usual, flowers, chocolates, promises you don't intend to keep.."
6. Ariel And Belle Have A Lot In Common
Improv theater actress, Sherri Stoner, was used during production of both The Little Mermaid and Beauty and The Beast as a reference model for Disney's artist to use in drawing Ariel and Belle.
7. Angela Lansbury Thought Someone Else Should Sing The Title Song
Angela Lansbury initially told the studio that she believed another character should sing the Oscar-winning ballad. They urged her to try it at least one time and that single attempt ended up being the only version used in the movie.
8. Paige O'Hara Really Cried At The End
During the ending of the movie, as Belle weeps over the presumably dead body of the Beast, Paige O'Hara started crying for real! It worried the directors so much so that they asked her if she was okay to which she responded — immediately dropping out of character — with, "Acting!"
#9. Roy Disney Thought It Was Jodi Benson Voicing Belle
Jodi Benson is best known to Disney fans as the voice of Princess Ariel, but what most don't know is that she was initially considered for the role of Belle. Producers sent tapes of Benson singing to Paige O'Hara so she could learn the songs. During a screening of the film, Roy Disney leaned over to Jodi Benson and said, "Nice job!"
10. We Almost Had A Completely Different Beast
Regis Philbin, popular former host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and Live With Regis and Kelly, actually auditioned for the role of The Beast. Luckily, that didn't happen. Though one does have to wonder what it would have been like...
11. Rupert Everett Was Told He Couldn't Play Gaston
Everett was told he wasn't "smug" enough to play Gaston. Later on, when he was cast as Prince Charming in Shrek 2, he would recall the audition and use it to create his own version of the former fairy tale hero.
12. Final Legacy Of Howard Ashman
The songs used in the movie are the last complete works of Howard Ashman. The composer died eight months before the film was released. At the end of the movie, during the credits, you can see a homage to him. It reads: "To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful."
13. Disney Attempted 'Beauty and The Beast' Three Times
The animation giant tried to create the film once in the 1930s, another in the 1950s, and then finally to success in the 1990s. It was the success of The Little Mermaid in 1989 that gave Disney the courage to finally adapt the long-shelved project.
14. John Cleese Turned Down The Film
The role of Cogsworth was crafted with John Cleese in mind, but the Monthy Python actor simply turned the role down. Luckily for us, David Ogden Stiers stepped in and made the character just as humorous — maybe even moreso — as Cleese ever could.
15. A Few A-Listers Almost Had The Beast
Laurence Fishburn, Val Kilmer, Mandy Patinkin, and Tim Curry were all considered for the role of The Beast. Tim Curry would, however, return to the franchise later on when he voiced the main villain in Beauty and The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.
16. 'The Little Mermaid' Directors Turned It Down
Ron Clements and John Musker turned down the chance to work on the film because of the extreme exhaustion they suffered during production of The Little Mermaid.
17. The First Of Many To Come
Beauty and The Beast was the first animated film to win the Golden Globe for Best Picture - Musical or Comedy. It would also go on to win the first Annie Award for Best Animated Film.
18. It Scrapped A Scene That Was Used For Another Movie
Gaston's death scene was originally set to feature him being devoured by the wolves that surround Beast's castle. The scene was used later on for 1994's The Lion King during the demise of Scar.
19. Predicting The Future?
During the scene in which Lefou is waiting for Belle or Maurice to arrive home, he's seen covered in snow in the shape of a snowman. By sheer coincidence, Josh Gad (who portrayed Olaf the snowman in Disney's Frozen) would later be cast as Lefou for the live-action adaptation of the movie.
20. Katharine Hepburn Inspired Belle
Well, not really the actress herself, but one of her performances. In 1933's Little Women, Hepburn portrayed Jo March and it was this very role that Disney used to create Belle's characterization.
#21. Belle Is The Only Person Wearing Blue
During the opening musical number, as Belle walks through her village, she is the only character seen wearing her color of blue. This was intentional so that everyone would realize from the very beginning how different she was from everyone else.
22. We Almost Snagged Us A Mary Poppins
Rumors suggest that Julie Andrews was the original choice to play Mrs. Potts in the movie. I'm sure she would have been a great choice, but I'm glad they went with Angela Lansbury instead.
23. Chip Was Not Always A Little Cup
Before he was upgraded to be one of the key characters in the movie, Chip was actually supposed to be a little music box. Even though he's super adorable as the tea cup, it would've been just as sweet to see a little talking music box.
24. A Mother Of A Cameo
In the opening shot, Bambi's mother can be seen drinking from a stream in the lower right corner of the frame.
25. Selected For Permanent Preservation
In 2002, the Library of Congress deemed Beauty and the Beast a “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” film and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Disney is set to enchant our hearts once again on March 17, 2017 with the release of the live-action adaptation of their tale as old as time. The film stars Emma Watson, Emma Thompson, Josh Gad, Ian McKellan, Luke Evans, Dan Stevens, Ewan McGregor, and Kevin Kline. The teaser trailer was released in May and we did a side-by-side comparison of the original animated trailer and the new, live-action trailer that fans loved, but if you missed the teaser, you can see it below:
How did you feel when watching Beauty and the Beast for the first time? Share your moments with me in the comment section below!