|“||So... you've come to stare at the Beast, have you?||„|
|~ The Beast when he confronts Maurice.|
|“||I've never felt this way about anyone. I want to do something for her...but what?||„|
|~ The Beast to his servants about his feelings for Belle.|
The Beast is the male protagonist of Disney's 30th full-length animated feature film, Beauty and the Beast and its midquels; The Enchanted Christmas and Belle's Magical World.
He was never actually named in the film.
Robby Benson did his speaking and singing voice both in beast and human form.
Beauty and the Beast
A handsome young prince lives in a luxurious castle in France. He has everything he ever wanted, and as a result, he is spoiled, selfish and unkind. One night, his kindness is put to the test when a beggar woman comes to the castle and asks for shelter from the freezing cold, with a single rose as payment. When he shuns the beggar for her repulsive appearance, she warns him not to be deceived by appearances as beauty is found within. When he dismisses her again, she then reveals her true form as a beautiful enchantress. Seeing her beauty and realizing her power, the Prince tries to apologize but she transforms him into a terrifying beast-like creature for his behavior. She also casts a curse on the entire castle, transforming it into a dark, foreboding place, its lush green grounds into dangerous immortal wolf-infested woods, and the good-natured servants into anthropomorphic household objects to reflect their different personalities. Ashamed of his new appearance, the Beast conceals himself inside his castle with a magic mirror as his only window to the outside world, and an enchanted rose that would act as the curse's timer which would bloom until he turns 21. If the Beast could learn to love a woman and earn her love in return before the final petal fell off the rose, the curse would be broken, but if not he would remain a beast forever. The Beast turns to despair as the years pass by, with little hope of achieving this.
As the enchanted rose reaches late bloom and slowly wilts, the first outsider is an old man named Maurice who accidentally stumbles upon the castle, being allowed inside by the servants for shelter (minus his Majordomo as he knows they'll all get in trouble). However, the Beast detains Maurice in the tower as a prisoner for trespassing and stealing a rose. Maurice's horse Philippe returns back to the village, and then takes Maurice's daughter Belle back to the castle. In the tower Belle confronts Beast and pleads with him to let her father go, offering herself as a prisoner instead, to which the Beast agrees in return for her promise never to leave. Being prodded by his servants into believing that she is the key to breaking the spell, the Beast shows flashes of compassion for the first time despite his overall gruff manner, such as when he lets her stay in a furnished room rather than the tower dungeon. When she enters the castle's forbidden west wing and nearly touches the rose, he frightens her into fleeing the castle via the woods, which he regrets upon realizing that he lost his temper, then he saves her from being killed by wild wolves. The Beast and Belle come to appreciate each other when she brings him back to the castle and tends to his wounds. He strikes up a friendship with her, by giving her the castle library and learns kindness and manners from her. Eventually, Beast falls in love with Belle, and placing her happiness before his own, he releases her to tend to her sick father after she sees him in a magic mirror that Beast showed her.
Back in Belle's Village, due to Maurice's claims of Belle being held prisoner by beast, an egotistical hunter and rival suitor named Gaston bribes the owner of the insane asylum into having Maurice committed unless Belle agrees to marry Gaston. His plan comes into motion when Belle and Maurice return. Gaston says to Belle he clear it up if she marries him. A horrified Belle refuses and proves the Beast does exist, courtesy of the Mirror which he gave to her to remember him by and she says that he is her friend. A jealous Gaston tells Belle "If I didn't know better I'd think you had feelings for this monster.", but Belle retorts with "He's no monster, Gaston. You Are.". Gaston snaps, and decides to gather a band of villagers to kill the Beast, playing off their fears that the Beast might wreak havoc on their village and locks Belle and Her father in their cellar. When the mob arrives, the Beast is too disheartened from Belle's departure to try to stop them. While Gaston looks for Beast, The Castle Servants and objects successfully fight the mob off. Gaston eventually finds the Beast and issues a challenge, but Beast is too miserable to retaliate as without Belle he has lost the will to live. Gaston prepares to kill Beast, But Belle returns to the castle with her father (having been freed by the son of the castle's head of the kitchen who stowed away with Belle in her satchel). Seeing that Belle came back for him, the Beast fights back and overcomes Gaston. Soon the beast holds Gaston over a ledge intending to drop him until the hunter pathetically begs him not to. The Beast nearly drops Gaston, but then he realizes he's sinking to Gaston's level, so the Beast decides to show mercy and spare Gaston on the condition that he immediately leave the castle. Belle then shows up on the balcony and the Beast climbs up to meet her; however Gaston refuses to accept defeat and stabs the Beast from behind. Gaston loses his balance and falls from the castle roof to his death, but Belle manages to grab the Beast and pull him up. The Beast, knowing he is mortally wounded, expresses his appreciation to Belle for returning and being able to see her one last time, before dying of his injuries. Belle is heartbroken, but is able to tell the Beast that she loves him before the final petal falls. Then, Belle's love for the Beast breaks the curse and transforms him back into the prince. The castle is restored to it's former glory and the servants regain their humanity.
Unlike Belle, the Beast doesn't appear in Once Upon a Time, instead Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold serves as "the Beast" and as Belle's love interest and eventual husband in the series.
- The Beast is the first male character in a Disney fairy tale to have a role that is equally as significant as the female protagonist.
- The Beast's design in the film is a combination of animals, the head and structure of a buffalo, the eyebrows of a gorilla, the horns of a bull, the jaws, teeth, and mane of a lion, the arms and torso of a bear, and the legs, feet, and tail of a wolf.
- The Beast made a cameo as one of the Sultan's toys from the Disney film, Aladdin.
- To make his voice sound Beast-like, Robby Benson's recordings were mixed with the growls of lions, tigers, and panthers.
- The Beast is played by Dan Stevens in the 2017 live-action remake.