the Beast

...She glanced this way,I thought I saw
And when we touched, she didn't shudder at my paw
No, it can't be, I'll just ignore
But, then, she's never looked at me that way before...

Something There

The Beast is the hero of Beauty and the Beast (1991).

One of the more complicated and deep characters in the Disney pantheon of heroes, the Beast also has villain-like qualities. Truthfully, in some ways, he's his own nemesis, as he has to overcome his own weaknesses and flaws and prove that he has a heart in order to break the enchantment placed over him and his castle. As a young man, the prince was offered the chance to help an old beggar woman who came to his castle in the middle of a dark and stormy night, offering a rose in return. He was repulsed by her appearance and sent her away, only to discover she was an enchantress in disguise, and she placed a spell over the castle and its inhabitants that unless, before his 21st year, the Prince could learn to love and earn someone else's love in return, the spell would last forever. The rose was enchanted, and would bloom for the duration of the enchantment. The Prince had until the last petal fell to break the spell. As the servants had all been transformed into household objects, they were just as anxious as the Beast for the spell to be broken. The Beast had begun to lose all hope when Belle's father Maurice stumbled upon the castle, and before long, Belle followed in search of him. Belle offered to stay in the castle in return for her father's freedom, and the Beast consents, hoping against hope that this is the girl who could break the spell. Slowly, under the careful watch of Mrs. Potts, Lumiere and Cogsworth, the Beast began to fall for Belle, with her stunning beauty and feisty independence, and even more gradually, Belle began to see there was something more to the hideous Beast than just a monster. Just as they're growing closer, the Beast allows Belle to leave the castle to find her father, giving up what he thought was his last chance as freedom from the spell. In the end, during a seige on the castle by the treacherous and jealous Gaston, along with fifty Frenchmen, The Beast is wounded fatally on the castle roof, and is helped back into the tower by Belle, returned to help in the battle at the castle. After Gaston fell to his doom, Belle and the Beast share a last poignant moment together when she confesses that she loves him, just as the last petal of the rose falls. Miraculously, as the spell was lifted, the Beast and the castle's inhabitants were transformed back into humans. Belle and the Prince were married straightaway.

In the sequel, all of the servants are preparing for a Christmas celebration as Mrs. Potts tells the story of Belle's first Christmas in the castle to Chip. The Beast, tormented by the mistakes of his past, and fed lies by the sly and grim organ Forte, forbids Belle from bringing Christmas (and its painful memories) back to the castle. Belle and the servants join together to melt the Beast's icy heart and allow the Christmas celebration.

The Beast is voiced by Robby Benson, and the role of the Beast on Broadway was originated by Terrence Mann.

The Beast has been seen in Beauty and the Beast, and its sequel, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, as well as in features like Belle's Magical World, and is featured in Beauty and the Beast: The Broadway Musical.

The beast's curse involves an enchanted rose that will bloom until his 21st year, and unless he learns to love and earn one's love in return, he's doomed to remain a beast forever... Good thing there's a certain brunette that walks into his life (Belle, voiced by Paige O'Hara)...
The Beast's nemesis in every way is the dangerously vain and ambitious Gaston. Gaston's motivation is Belle's admiration and hand in marriage, even though Belle has never given him any reason to believe she was interested in him in the least. Furious and insane with jealousy, Gaston leads an assault on the castle, demanding the Beast be left to him, taunting the Beast that Belle would never love someone like him while Gaston is around. The Beast nearly drops Gaston to his doom, acting as the animal he had always been, but soon realizes he has become more than that, and demands Gaston leave and never come back. When Gaston stabs The Beast in the back on the castle roof, he loses his balance and falls to his doom.
My thoughts on Beauty and the Beast...
The Beast is an excellent character, and Glen Keane provided some of the finest animation in Disney history. His development of his character from one of anger, bitterness and hatred to one of kindness, sensetivity and tenderness, his is a story of a true change of heart. His design, with inspiration drawn from a buffalo, a lion, a wolf and many other animals, is an interesting take on the Beast, and gives him an animalistic quality, while his expressions and eyes give him an element of humanism. When he's transformed, Belle recognizes him for who he is by looking into his eyes. The public seems to give the Prince's transformed look a lot of flack, but after all the years, I've come to the conclusion that the Prince is adequately handsome and definitely a humanish form of the Beast. The problem, as cited in the DVD's special features, is that they've spent an entire film developing the Beast, endearing the audience to the creature, so that when he's transformed, no design of the Prince would be enough to satisfy the audience. They ended up going with a sort of classic, European design, which I think works just fine. It's a masterpiece of a film, and one that apparently almost wasn't created. A classic love story with a twist, magnificent operetta-styled music, and stunning characters and animation.

The Broadway musical of Beauty and the Beast seemed almost inevitable, considering the style of the music in the film. They added a few songs, and deepened several relationships, including the father-daughter bond between Maurice and Belle, and the budding romance between Belle and the Beast. Having seen this production twice, I can vouch that it's brilliant, moving, and larger than life. It's worth the price of admission for the incredible finale of Be Our Guest alone.

Some pictures of the Beast:

Quotes from the Beast:

Beast: Who are you? What are you doing here?
Maurice: I-I-I was lost in the woods, and, and...
Beast: You are not welcome here!
Maurice: I-I'm sorry.
Beast: What are you staring at?
Maurice: N-nothing.
Beast: So, you've come to stare at the Beast, have you?
Maurice: Please, I meant no harm. I just needed a place to stay.
Beast: I'll give you a place to stay...

Beast: You will join me for dinner! (screaming:) That's not a request!

Beast: [to Belle] You'll come out or I'll... I'll... I'll break down the door!

(Beast, attempting to ask Belle to dinner "nicely")
Beast: Will you come down to dinner?
Belle: No!
(Beast points furiously at the door. Cogsworth urges him forward)Cogsworth: Suave. Genteel.
Beast: (formally) It would give me... great pleasure... if you would join me for dinner.
Cogsworth: Ahem-ahem-ahem. And we say please.
Beast: (flatly) ... please.
Belle: No thank you!
Beast: You can't stay in there forever!
Belle: Yes I can!
Beast: FINE! Then go ahead and STARVE! (To Lumiere, Mrs. Potts and Cogsworth) If she doesn't eat with me, she doesn't eat at all.

Beast: Oh, it's no use. She's so beautiful, and I'm... Well, look at me!

(as Belle washes the Beast's wounds)
Beast: [roaring] Grrrrrrr! That hurts!
Belle: If you'd hold still, it wouldn't hurt as much!
Beast: If you hadn't have run away, this wouldn't have happened.
Belle: If you hadn't frightened me, I wouldn't have run away!
Beast: Well you shouldn't have been in the west wing!
Belle: Well, you should learn to control your temper. Now, hold still. This may sting a little.
Belle: (pressing cloth to wound) By the way, thank you for saving my life.
Beast: You're welcome.

Beast: You- You came back.
Belle: Of course I came back. I couldn't let them... Oh, this is all my fault. If only I'd gotten here sooner.
Beast: Maybe it's better... it's better this way.
Belle: Don't talk like that. You'll be all right. We're together now. Everything's going to be fine, you'll see.
Beast: At least... I got to see you... one last time.

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