1. Walt Disney attempted to develop Beauty and the Beast into an animated film both in the 1930s and 1950s, but ultimately gave up because the writers found the story too difficult to adapt.
2. The song “Human Again” was cut just before production started. The song was later added to the Broadway show and was recorded and animated for the 2002 re-release of the film.
3. Disney borrowed ideas from Jean Cocteau’s 1946 live-action film.
The classic French film included the idea of rival suitor for Belle named Avenant, who tries to kill the Beast upon learning that she loves him, losing his life in the process.
Also, the film included the household objects in the Beast’s castle coming to life.
4. In 1988, Disney hired British animation director Richard Purdum to adapt the film. His version of the film was a darker, non-musical adaption; it also took place in 18th-century France. The video below is the Purdum storyboard reel:
Then-Disney Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg scrapped this version of the film after seeing the initial story reels in 1989. Purdum resigned shortly after, when the decision was made by producers to adapt the story into a musical.
5. After Purdom left the film, screenwriter Linda Woolverton was hired to rewrite the script. Her only writing experience with Disney had been writing a few episodes of Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers.
Woolverton went on to cowrite The Lion King and Mulan, and write Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.
9. Julie Andrews was the reportedly the first choice to voice Mrs. Potts.
14. The character of Cogsworth was written specifically with John Cleese in mind, but he turned down the role.
15. Angela Lansbury, the voice of Mrs. Potts, did not think she was suited to sing the ballad “Beauty and the Beast.” She recorded one take at the director’s request, to have for a back up if nothing else worked, and that one recording ended up in the film.
17. Beauty and the Beast was the second Disney film produced (and “first prestige film”) to use CAPS (Computer Animation Production System), a software developed for Disney by Pixar.
The software allowed Disney to create the iconic ballroom scene.
The first Disney movie to use CAPS was The Rescuers Down Under.
18. The finale dance between Belle and the Prince is actually reused animation from the finale dance between Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip in Sleeping Beauty.
This sequence was reportedly reused because animators were running out of time during the production of the movie.
21. The prince’s name is Adam, but it is never mentioned in the movie.
The name was later confirmed by the CD-ROM tie-in game and the Broadway musical.
22. One scene that was storyboarded, but never animated, was a scene where the Beast is seen dragging the carcass of an animal he killed. The scene was considered too dark and gruesome for the film and was dropped.
26. Jackie Chan performed the voice acting and singing for the Beast in the Chinese (Mandarin) dub of the film.
29. Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. It lost to Silence of the Lambs.
Additionally, Beauty and the Beast is the only traditionally hand-drawn film ever nominated for Best Picture.
The only other animated films nominated for Best Picture are Up and Toy Story 3.
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