The year 2016 is the 25th anniversary of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” Yep, that’s kind of shocking.
Not to mention, next year the live-action version of the movie is being released and we. can’t. wait.
So, we have lots of reasons to reminisce about the nerdiest, sweetest, bookwormiest princess of all time. Excited to revisit the classic film starring our first brunette-haired Disney heroine? Here are the most shocking facts you probably never knew about the movie:
1. Katherine Hepburn’s turn as Jo March in “Little Women” was the inspiration for Belle.
Her bookishness, independence and willingness to stand apart from the crowd (even if it meant being laughed at) mirror Jo March’s personality.
2. Angela Lansbury (who played Mrs. Potts) was reportedly fearful that her voice couldn’t do justice to the “Beauty and the Beast” ballad.
She asked the director to find another woman to sing the part, but instead he went ahead with her recording. Lucky for us, because we can’t imagine anyone else singing that iconic song.
3. Belle dresses in a signature blue color that is not worn by any other townsperson.
However, when she meets the Beast, he is wearing blue and he has blue eyes. They are each outcasts in their own way, but like the color of blue, they are bound together by a common thread. Awwww.
4. When Paige O’Hara was auditioning for the role of Belle, a bit of her hair fell across her forehead.
She quickly put it back into place. However, this so enchanted the animators that it became part of Belle’s coiffure.
5. In the introduction of the movie, a Latin script is shown on the stained-glass window.
It reads “vincit qui se vincit,” which translates to: “He conquers, who conquers himself.” Okay, who else just got chills?
6. Patrick Swayze auditioned unsuccessfully for the role of Gaston…
Nobody puts Beauty in the corner!
7. Alan Menken and Howard Ashman won an Academy Award for best original song for the “Beauty and the Beast” ballad.
Ashman died of AIDS complications before he could accept the award; his longtime partner accepted the Oscar on his behalf.
8. Ashman was no stranger to success in the world of Disney.
He also wrote several songs for other movies, including “Kiss the Girl” and “Under the Sea.” It was decided to dedicate “Beauty and the Beast” to him, and the tribute reads: “To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful. Howard Ashman 1950–1991.” Beautiful… that just makes the movie even more epic, doesn’t it?
9. Speaking of things that make us tear up, did you know that the animators slipped Bambi’s mama into the movie?
Here she is at the start of the film:
10. Unsure of whether Gaston dies or is just horrifically injured when he falls from the castle at the end of the movie? Nah, dead, dead, dead.
Don’t believe us? Check out the hidden clue:
11. Lefou, Gaston’s sidekick, is a little treat himself. His name means “fool” in French. And he certainly was!
12. The line “Screw your courage to the sticking place,” which Gaston sings in “The Mob Song,” is actually taken from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”
13. Paige O’Hara (Belle) was crying real tears during The Beast’s “death” scene.
Well, who can blame her? Beast had it going on.
14. Do you know the Beast’s name? No, it’s not the Beast! His real name is Dustin. Kidding! It’s Adam.
15. “Beauty and the Beast” was the first Disney movie to ever be written by a female screenwriter (Linda Woolverton).
Hmm, a woman character written by a woman writer… leading to one of the most three-dimensional, interesting, strong Disney characters of all time? Definitely not a coincidence.
And, of course, your obligatory Disney hipster princess version of Belle:
In all seriousness, happy anniversary “Beauty and the Beast”! This tale as old as time only gets better with age.
[h/t: 22 Words]