...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...
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 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.
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?
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?
(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.
Belle's Animated Heroines page