Disney's live action Beauty and the Beast remake may have done a brilliant job of staying close to the 1991 animated original, but it did add a few small details. There were new songs, some changes in certain characters and even a backstory for Belle's mother.
But amidst the exciting flurry of twirling ball gowns and spectacular musical numbers, you may have missed one very important detail that answers a question that #Disney fans have had on their minds for more than 25 years: what happened to Mr. Potts?
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Where Is Mr. Potts?
In both the 1991 and 2017 versions of #BeautyAndTheBeast, Mrs. Potts is shown to be a single mother, raising her teacup son Chip (and in the case of the original, his many siblings) all by herself.
Disney fans have been speculating about the identity and whereabouts of Chip's father ever since, and it's a valid question. Who is Mr. Potts? Was he still in the picture when the castle staff were cursed? For all we know, Mr. Potts could have walked out on his wife and child long ago, which would make poor little Chip's situation even more tragic. Is he one of the household objects? Is he even alive?
Thankfully, the new Beauty and the Beast answered that very question— though you might have missed it if you weren't paying close attention.
He Was Right In Front Of Us From The Very Start
You may not have realized it at the time, but Mr. Potts was one of the very first characters we were introduced to. As Belle sings her way through the village, she stops to talk to a confused-looking man named Monsieur Jean. She then asks him if he's "lost something again":
"Well, I believe I have. The problem is, I can't remember what. Oh well, I'm sure it'll come to me."
If you're a Harry Potter fan, you might recognize that line from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone as something Neville says to Hermione. As well as being a clever nod to Emma Watson's days as a witch, this Easter Egg also reminds the viewer that the Enchantress's curse also has the effect of making the villagers completely forget about the castle's existence. But in Monsieur Jean's case, there's a far more personal meaning there.
If you look at Monsieur Jean's shop, you can see a display or crockery that looks a lot like the design of Chip and Mrs. Potts. This is no coincidence— it's a clue. At the end of the film, once the curse has been lifted and the angry townspeople suddenly remember the truth about the Prince and his castle, we see Mrs. Potts embrace Monsieur Jean— or as she calls him, Mr. Potts. That thing he'd lost at the very beginning of the movie, but couldn't remember? His wife and child.
Who would have thought that Jean the Potter was Mr. Potts all along? As sad as it is that he was not only separated from his family but had all memory of them erased, it's incredibly heartwarming that the trio were finally reunited. No doubt Mrs. Potts has had a hard time raising Chip all on her own!
Did you notice the clue to Mr. Potts' identity at the start of Beauty and the Beast?