13 Things You Didn't Know About Beauty and the Beast
As if there wasn’t already enough information out there on Beauty and the Beast in advance of Emma Watson’s live-action reboot, we’re about to blow your mind with everything you never knew about Disney’s original animated film. Here, 13 pieces of Beauty and the Beast trivia that only superfans would know.
1. Belle is one of the few Disney princesses in her 20s.
“I love the fact that Belle’s independent. She wasn’t looking for a man and she’s highly intelligent. I also love that she’s the oldest Disney princess. She’s the only one who they ever created to be in her 20s. All the other princesses have been teenagers. So there’s maturity about her,” actress Paige O’Hara, who played Belle, has said.
VIDEO: Beauty and the Beast Official U.S. Trailer
2. Her character was inspired by Katharine Hepburn in Little Women.
“There’s a lot of Katharine Hepburn in Belle,” screenwriter Linda Woolverton told The Los Angeles Times. “Though the character of Jo is more tomboyish, both were strong, active women who loved to read—and wanted more than life was offering them.”
3. Mrs. Potts was originally named Mrs. Chamomile.
“For Mrs. Potts, we originally tried to find the most soothing possible association and we came up with Mrs. Chamomile,” producer Don Hahn has said. “Chamomile is a very, soothing herbal tea, but nobody could pronounce it. So Howard said, ‘Let’s call her Mrs. Potts.’ Calling her Mrs. Potts was simple, and it was easy to rhyme with, and kids could say it. It was the same for Lumiere. He was Chandal for a while, like chandelier, but became Lumiere because Lumiere is easier to say.”
4. Belle is the only resident of her village who wears blue.
It’s meant to indicate how she doesn’t fit in in that “little town” or “provincial life.”
5. It’s the second Disney film (and first “prestige film”) to use Computer Animation Production System, or CAPS.
CAPS is a digital scanning, ink, paint, and compositing system of software and hardware developed for Disney by Pixar. The system allowed for characters and scenery to be depicted in a wider range of colors, to be placed on separate layers to give the illusion of depth, and to have layers seen in varying degrees of focus.
6. The final dance scene reused animation from Sleeping Beauty.
If you watch the two side-by-side, the resemblance is undeniable.
7. The prince’s name is never mentioned in the movie.
While the beast—and thus the prince—are main characters, they aren’t named at all in the animated film. It wasn’t until the Broadway musical that Disney announced the character as Prince Adam.
8. Chip was almost a one-line character.
“The rest of the character was supposed to be done by a chiming music box that just played music as it related to the scene,” Bradley Pierce, who voiced Chip, has said. “I like to think that it was partially my performance [for why they added lines], but the other part of it was that they really didn’t have a child’s window into the story.”
9. “Be Our Guest” was originally sung to Maurice, not Belle.
Watch this clip for evidence that Belle’s father was originally the one in the hot seat.
10. It was the first animated film nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.
This movie was revolutionary in more ways than one.
11. The beast is a compilation of many different animals.
Glen Keane, the animator, wanted to make him “to be based on something that was real,” since the movie takes place in the real world. The beast has the brow of a gorilla, the head shape of a buffalo, the mane of a lion, the tusks of a boar, the body of a bear, the legs of a wolf, and—most importantly—the eyes of a man trapped inside.
12. Belle is the second Disney princess that isn’t royal by birth.
Belle doesn’t become a princess until the conclusion of the film with her marriage to Prince Adam. The first heroine who wasn't born royal is Cinderella.
13. She's also the first brunette Disney princess.
Her predecessors Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, and Ariel had black, blonde, or red hair, making Belle the first princess of her kind.