Spotlighting the Characters of Beauty and the Beast

What makes an animated movie a classic? It’s not the quality of the animation itself, the soundtrack that accompanies it, or even the story. All could be great and still fall flat without great characters. Beauty and the Beast, Disney’s timeless classic, has a wonderful cast. Each personage deserves their own article, but we’ll try to do them justice with the space we have here.

Belle

Click-hungry content creators love to claim that Belle is a Stockholm Syndrome victim. They ignore that for all her sweetness, she can be quite feisty and disobedient. The second someone forbids her from a single part of the castle, she becomes bound and determined to enter it. It’s that same curiosity that helps her see the noble and kind person beneath the Beast’s exterior.

The Beast

Belle is already self-actualized from the beginning. The real protagonist of Beauty and the Beast is the Beast himself. At the film’s start, he has accepted himself as the monster that everyone sees and acts like it. Keeping Belle prisoner causes him no internal strife. When he comes to love her, though, he learns to let her go. It’s that selflessness that finally wins her over and frees him from his curse.

Gaston

With his beefcake body, unmatched hunting skills, pure blue eyes, and glorious voice, Gaston would be the hero in any other Disney movie. In a story all about looking past appearances, though, that same action-ready attitude belies his conceitedness and cruelty. Scariest of all is that he’s not alone. The mob he raises to “kill the beast” features the same townspeople who roast Belle at the movie’s start and toast him at the tavern.

Lumiere and Cogsworth

On the face of it, Lumiere and Cogsworth seem like your average straight/funny duo. The cavalier candelabra is passionate and romantic, while the tight-wound timepiece strives to keep order. Curiously, these foils have shades of each other. Cogsworth can get goofy when he cuts loose, while Lumiere knows how to keep the peace in his master’s presence. Maybe that’s why they click so well.

Mrs. Potts

Mrs. Potts and Chip both work toward a better future in their own ways. The former gives her temperamental master guidance, especially when he doesn’t want to hear it. The latter lacks her wisdom but makes up for it with youthful spunk and creativity. Chip saves the day by freeing Belle and Maurice from imprisonment. Mrs. Potts saves the day by helping the Beast grow as a person.

Maurice

Speaking of Belle’s father, Maurice is booksmart but certainly not streetsmart. Curiously, that makes him an inverse of Gaston. While the latter is beloved by his neighbors, Maurice is regarded as a kook. At least Belle loves him. As you watch the first act, observe Maurice’s passion for machines, curiosity at the world around him, and drive to make something new. You will see how the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Beauty and the Beast Merch at Your WDW Store

Few movies wish they had as many well-conceived characters as Beauty and the Beast. All of them and more remain favorites among many Disney fans. No matter which one you enjoy most, be they charming heroine, dastardly villain, or scene-stealing sidekick, Your WDW Store likely has gifts based on them. Find the beauty within our dazzling collection of pins, ornaments, figurines, and more.