Sunday, December 15, 2013

20 Things You Didn't Know About Beauty and the Beast

  1. Beauty and the Beast is the first animated Disney film to use a screenwriter, rather than using the traditional process of developing the story from storyboards. Linda Woolverton was selected to write the script. It was her first film, and her most prolific prior credits were writing episodes of Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers.
  2. Attempts to develop the famous fairy tale into a Disney movie date back to the 1930s after the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Additional efforts were made in the 1950s, but the story proved too challenging for Disney's writers.
  3. Jodi Benson, who voices Ariel in The Little Mermaid, was strongly considered to play Belle, but Broadway actress Paige O'Hara was cast instead, as the filmmakers wanted their heroine to sound more like a woman than a girl.
  4. Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, but it lost to Silence of the Lambs. Since then, only Up and Toy Story 3 have scored nominations in that category.
  5. The film was also the first animated movie to gross more than $100 million at the box office.
  6. Regis Philbin auditioned for the role of the Beast.
  7. "Be Our Guest" was originally going to be sung to Maurice, not Belle, until producers decided it was too good to be wasted on a secondary character.
  8. The monstrous sculptures that adorn the castle are actually inspired by early concept art for the Beast's character design.
  9. The film's title song was originally written as a rock song. It was rewritten into the romantic ballad for Angela Lansbury, who voiced Mrs. Potts, but she was hesitant to record it because she felt like she was not suitable. Ultimately, she recorded it in one take.
  10. Julie Andrews was the first choice to play Mrs. Potts, while Cogsworth was written specifically for John Cleese, who turned down the role.
  11. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, who have penned some of Disney's biggest songs, worried that their work on Beauty and the Beast would end their careers at Disney, as they opted to go against the successful pop formula of The Little Mermaid's soundtrack in favor of a more Broadway-style of songwriting.
  12. Paige O'Hara and Robby Benson, who voiced the Beast, recorded their dialog together to enhance their performances, even though this is more costly in both time and money.
  13. Originally, Chip had only one line in the entire film. Producers liked Bradley Pierce's voice so much that they expanded his role. (I don't know, I feel like one line would have been plenty.) A musical box character who could only communicate through music notes was cut as a result.
  14. Belle and the Beast's Prince Adam's finale dance in the film uses recycled animated from Aurora and Phillip's finale dance in Sleeping Beauty. This was done because the filmmakers were running out of time.
  15. Belle's character design was inspired by Julie Andrews' appearance in The Sound of Music and Judy Garland's appearance in The Wizard of Oz.
  16. Many dark scenes, including one in which Gaston visits an asylum and the Beast drags the carcass of a dead animal behind him, were cut from the film.
  17. Jackie Chan voices the Beast in the Chinese dubbed version of the film.
  18. Paige O'Hara concerned producers when she actually began sobbing while recording her dialog during the Beast's "death" scene.
  19. The Broadway musical version of the film is the eighth-longest running Broadway show of all time, racking up over 5,000 performances from its debut in 1994 to its closure in 2007.
  20. In 2011, Disney replaced Paige O'Hara as the voice of Belle with Julie Nathanson. O'Hara was greatly upset by the news, but admitted that it had become increasingly difficult to perform the part because of the way her voice has changed over the 20 years.

1 comment:

Taylor said...

These are my favorites!