Saturday, November 12, 2011

"Beauty and the Beast" Fun Facts & Trivia

     In case you missed any of the "Beauty and the Beast" facts/trivia posts last night during "Friday Family Flix" I am reposting them for you below. I hope you enjoyed our first movie together and I look forward to next week's.

1.    In the 1930s and again in the 1950s, Walt Disney attempted to adapt Beauty and the Beast into a feature but could not come up with a suitable treatment, so the project was shelved. It wasn't until The Little Mermaid became hugely successful that they decided to try it a third time.

2.    The first stained glass window seen in the prologue has the Latin phrase 'vincit qui se vincit', which means, in a subtle prefiguring of the arc of the whole story, 'He conquers, who conquers himself'.

3.    While his true name is never mentioned in the media franchise, it has been confirmed by the Disney Interactive CD-ROM game ("The D Show") that the Beast's real name is Prince Adam.

4.    Art director Brian McEntee color keyed Belle so that she is the only person in her town who wears blue. This is symbolic of how different she is from everyone else around. Later, she encounters the Beast, another misfit, also wearing blue.

5.    Disney was originally going to have Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid also provide the voice for Belle. However, it was decided that Belle needed a more "European" sounding voice. Howard Ashman remembered working with Paige O'Hara and suggested she try out for the part.

6.    Caricatures of the directors, Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale, can be seen in the scene where Belle is given the book as a gift. As she is leaving the store three men are seen pretending to not look through the window and then they sing, "Look there she goes. The girl who's so peculiar. I wonder if she's feeling well." They are the two men on the outside of the large blonde man.

7.    In the first song, where Belle sings in the town, she sits by a fountain. As she reads the book (described earlier, as an adventure with a prince in disguise. It sounds just like Beauty and the Beast), she flips to a page, with a picture. Look closely, and you will see see that she is in the bottom right, the beast in the middle left, and the prince's castle in the middle.

8.    When Paige O'Hara was auditioning, a bit of her hair flew in her face and she tucked it back. The animators liked this so they put it in the movie.

9.    Belle’s dress is loosely based on Dorothy’s from Wizard of Oz.

10. This scene is a homage to the opening scene in The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews.

11. Julie Andrews was considered for the role of Mrs. Potts

12. Chip originally had only one line, but the producers liked Bradley Pierce's voice so much that extra dialogue and business was written and storyboarded for the character.

13. The role of Cogsworth was written specifically with John Cleese in mind but he turned it down.

14.  In the French release of the film, Cogsworth's name is Big Ben, after the famous clock in London.

15. It was lyricist Howard Ashman who came up with the idea of turning the enchanted objects into living creatures with unique personalities.

16. Many of paintings on the walls of the castle are undetailed versions of famous paintings by such artists as Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Goya.

17. The majority of the sculptures seen in the castle are different earlier versions of the Beast.

18. The physical character of the Beast is supposedly made up of the head structure and horns of a buffalo, the arms and body of a bear, the eyebrows of a gorilla, the jaws, teeth, and mane of a lion, the tusks of a wild boar and the legs and tail of a wolf.

19. The song 'Be Our Guest' was originally supposed to be sung to Maurice (Belle’s father) instead of Belle, but since Maurice was not the focus of the story, it made no sense to waste such a wonderful song on a secondary character

20. The name of Gaston's sidekick, Lefou, pronounces just like the French words meaning "the idiot, "the fool" or "the insane".

21. The movie uses 1,295 painted backgrounds and 120,000 drawings.

22. Angela Lansbury, the voice of Mrs. Potts, thought that another character would be better suited to sing the ballad "Beauty and the Beast". The director asked her to make at least one recording to have for a back up if nothing else worked, and that one recording ended up in the film.

23. Almost the entire cast are stars of Broadway musicals (most notably Angela Lansbury and Jerry Orbach), and Disney intended it that way, hoping that a theatrical backer could finance a future stage version of the film.

24. Robby Benson's (The Beast) voice was altered by the growls of real panthers and lions so that it is virtually unrecognizable.

25. Among the trophy heads on Gaston's tavern is what appears to be a frog's head, visible in the shot as Gaston spits. A bald eagle can be seen while he jumps onto his chair during his song.

26. The last phrase of Cogsworth's line "Flowers, chocolates, promises you don't intend to keep... " was ad-libbed by actor David Ogden Stiers.

27. Until Disney-Pixar's Up was nominated in 2010, this was the only animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture (losing out to “Silence of the Lambs”).

28. This film is Disney's 30th animated feature.

29. Beauty and the Beast was the first animated feature to win a Golden Globe for Best Picture - Musical or Comedy.

30. The Beast’s gets the same makeover as The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz.

31.  In the Mob Song, when Gaston says "Screw your courage to the sticking place", this is a reference to Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'.

32. When Beast and Gaston are having their life-or-death struggle on the castle, Gaston yells, "Belle is mine!" Originally he was supposed to say, "Time to die!" but the writer changed it to fit Belle back in the scene.

33. When Gaston is falling at the very end, there is close-up of his eyes. For a few frames a tiny skull flashes in each of his eyes.

34. Paige O'Hara sobbed real tears while recording Belle's mourning of the Beast. Her performance was so intense that the director asked her if she was OK, upon which O'Hara immediately dropped out of character and said "Acting!"

35. The smoke seen during the transformation of the Beast to the Prince is actually real smoke, not animated. It was originally used in The Black Cauldron and was re-used for Beauty and the Beast.

36. The dance between Belle and her Prince in the finale is actually reused animation of the dance between Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip in Sleeping Beauty.

37. The stained glass window that is seen at the very end of the movie was built in Disneyland after the film's release.

38. This was the first Disney animated feature to have a pop version of the film's main song (sung by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson) play over the end credits.

39. The film is dedicated to Howard Ashman, the lyricist, who died before the movie's completion. At the end of the final credits, you can read the dedication: "To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful."

1 comment:

  1. Actually, the beast only wears blue once in the ballroom scene and again at the finale scene when he is back to human.