Facts About 'Beauty and the Beast' You Probably Didn't Know

It's a tale as old as time: if you grew up in the '90's or had children/grandchildren during that time (basically, if you were alive during the 90's), you know all about the hay days of Disney movies. One of these is Beauty and the Beast, the first animated film in history to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. The most recent hype around the classic tale has been the release of the Beauty and the Beast movie starring Emma Watson, following the recent trend that what is old is new again. In honour of the classic tale's rebirth, we're taking a look at the original Disney movie for some facts you might not have known...

1.     Walt Disney wanted to develop the tale back in the '30s and 50's, but the writers found the story too difficult to adapt. Plus, while Disney contemplated the idea, a live-action version of the movie was released by French playwright Jean Cocteau in 1946. Probably not wanting to clash with the new film, Disney put off the idea.

2.     Jackie Chan was the voice of the Beast in the Chinese adaptation of the film, even the singing!

3.     Katharine Hepburn's portrayal of Jo March in Little Women inspired the characterization of Belle. An early version of the movie contained no music, and also gave Belle a little sister named Clarice and a cat named Charley.

4.     Belle is the only person in her town to wear blue, which is meant to symbolise how different she is from everyone else. 

5.     The Beast is a combination various animals: the mane of a lion, the beard and head of a buffalo, the brow of a gorilla, the eyes of a human, the tusks of a wild boar, the body of a bear, and the legs and tail of a wolf. Animator Glen Keane also said that “Beast actually has a rainbow bum, but nobody knows that but Belle."

6.     Belle was the second Disney princess, after Cinderella, to not be royal by birth. Tiana is the third.

7.     Julie Andrews was allegedly the first choice to play Mrs. Potts.

8.     Before the character Chip was expanded, the "cute" character was supposed to be a music box that only communicated through musical notes, like Dopey from Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.

9.    The song "Be Our Guest" was at first supposed to be sung to Maurice (Belle's father), but everyone felt it was too good to waste on a secondary character and decided to include Belle in it.

10.    The Beast's real name is Prince Adam, although never mentioned in the film.

11    John Alvin was the artist who created the movie's iconic poster. He also designed the posters for  E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,GremlinsThe Lion KingThe Color Purple, and Blazing Saddles, and others.

12.     The song "Beauty and the Beast" took home the Oscar for 'Best Original Song' in 1992, but it was just one of three from the movie: the opening number "Belle" and "Be Our Guest" were also nominated. 
13.     Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Silence of the Lambs took home the Oscar that year.
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