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8 things you never knew about \'Beauty and the Beast\'
Ahead of the 25th anniversary, we learned some juicy tidbits from the original cast.
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8 things you never knew about 'Beauty and the Beast'
Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY 3:52 p.m. EDT May 10, 2016
It\'s been nearly 25 years since Disney\'s
debuted in theaters. And yet, there\'s still more to learn about the first animated film nominated for Best Picture.
'Beauty and the Beast' celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. In this shot, Belle (voiced by Paige O'Hara) and the Beast (voiced by Robby Benson) embrace.
taught us Monday night at an Academy-sponsored anniversary screening in Beverly Hills.
Online, the post-change Beast has been called "Prince Adam." However, director Gary Trousdale said that\'s not what he called the character. "We didn\'t name him, because he was a beast for 98% of the movie," he told USA TODAY. "It didn\'t even occur to us until we were animating the prince, and we were like \'we don\'t know what his name is\'." In fact, Trousdale was surprised to read of the "Adam" name on IMDb. "I think he was named Prince Adam in one of the direct-to-video sequels," he said.
2. The actor behind Gaston contends the character is still alive.
Richard White, who voices Gaston, thinks there\'s a good chance the muscly bad guy didn\'t die at the end of the movie. "Did you see a body? I never saw a body, and I\'m waiting to find out" if he\'s is still alive, he said. Oh, and White doesn\'t see Gaston as a villain. "He\'s just misunderstood," he said, and then went into his character\'s signature cackle.
Mark Henn, the supervising animator for Belle, said that Belle is in her early 20s, which is a few years older than princesses like Ariel, who\'s 16. (Remember: Beast has to fall in love before he turns 21.) Belle\'s look was "a little more statuesque" than the other leading ladies\', and her appearance drew inspiration from actresses including Jennie Garth and Alyssa Milano, he said.
David Ogden Stiers, who voices the clock, Cogsworth, said that he was urged to improvise many of his lines. One of his best? The line Cogsworth says to Beast, who asks what he should say to win Belle over: "Flowers, chocolates, promises you don\'t intend to keep."
5. Filmmakers used Angela Lansbury\'s first take of the
Oscar winner Angela Lansbury, who voices Mrs. Potts, sings the title song in the movie (it\'s the one that goes "Tale as old as time..."). According to producer Don Hahn, the movie uses Lansbury\'s first stab at the song, which Lansbury performed with a live orchestra, after dealing with hours of plane delays. Another fun fact: Lansbury said her voice for Mrs. Potts was inspired by a cook with a Cockney accent she knew.
Paige O\'Hara, who voices Belle, could not be more pleased with the casting of Emma Watson as the live-action leading lady. In fact, unlike the rest the original voice cast, she has corresponded with the actress playing her character. "I sent messages to her, and I got some back," O\'Hara said. "I just said to have a great time."
Glen Keane, the supervising animator for Beast, spent plenty of time at London Zoo for research. Some of the animals that caught his attention: wolves, buffalos and gorillas. In fact, it was Keane\'s observation of one huge gorilla that informed the scene of Beast stepping into the light. "I saw a gorilla slowly coming out of the dark. Then he grabbed gorilla poo," Keane said.
8. Animators obsessed over Gaston\'s chest hair.
Supervising animator on Gaston, Andreas Deja, said there was a contest among animators to design Gaston\'s chest hair that\'s exposed while the character sings the line "And every last inch of me\'s covered in hair." Deja said that working on Gaston -- his chest hair and all -- was a challenge, because Deja was told that the character "has to be handsome," but also evil.
The cast and crew from 'Beauty and the Beast' (along with Academy CEO Dawn Hudson, top left) who attended the movie's 25th anniversary screening: producer Don Hahn, director Gary Trousdale, actors Bradley Pierce, Richard White, Robby Benson, animator Mark Henn, actor David Ogden Stiers, animator Andreas Deja, (L-R Front Row) Jesse Corti, actors Angela Lansbury, Paige O'Hara, directors Roger Allers, Brenda Chapman and actress Jo Anne Worley.
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