Animated films take years to put together, especially when one has to hand drawing every frame. Of course, with all this time artists can get pretty bored and start drawing hidden messages and details into the scenes, in order to keep themselves entertained. Over time some fans have noticed these details, although they may not be obvious to viewers the first time they watch the film.
Beauty and the Beast is no exception to this, with the film littered with so many easter eggs and hidden details that you may never have noticed! This is far easier to do during this older form of animation as these kinds of additions have to be rendered along with the rest of the film in modern times; in a much more expensive process. So it's fun to take a look at these details and appreciate them! Here's 10 Beauty and the Beast hidden details that everyone completely missed!
The Beast's castle is Gothic in style and architecture, designed to be as menacing and terrifying as possible. When Belle first arrives it's ominous and certainly suggests that someone dangerous lives inside. As the castle slowly reveals itself across the film though, it becomes a symbol of power, money and beautiful architecture of the time period.
Any Gothic castle will be cluttered with gargoyles and this is the case with the home of the Beast. There's an interesting detail about these gargoyles that you may not have known however. All of the designs of the statues are based on the original concept art for the beast, meaning that versions of the character are all over the place in which he lives; this only adds to the foreshadowing once Belle arrives.
9 LATIN PHRASE
To match the Gothic statues, the castle also features many stained glass windows. One of these appears at the start of the film in order to showcase the story that was about to be told. It's a beautiful piece of art that's incredibly detailed, but there's a piece of writing that you may not have noticed. Across the middle is the Latin phrase "Vincit qui se vincit."
The inscription roughly translates to "he conquers who conquers himself." When analysing this phrase it's clear to see that it represents the moral of the story in some way, as the Beast must conquer his own demons before he can truly be the leader he needs to be for his kingdom. It's essentially a spoiler for the plot as it's this phrase that the character must follow to reach his redemption.
8 WILHELM SCREAM
Cinema has many tropes which are recycled across various films. One of the most iconic sound effects is the Wilhelm scream, first used in Distant Drums it became famously more popular through it's use in the Star Wars franchise. It's an incredibly distinctive yell of fright or pain that has been used in over 400 different projects! It's fitting that a large studio like Disney would feature it in many of their films.
Beauty and the Beast is one of the films that includes the blood curdling scream. It's used during the big fight sequence towards the end of the movie. As the objects within the castle reveal the fact they are actually alive to the townsfolk, chaos ensues. A battle breaks out, one which the candles, clocks and wardrobes soundly win. As the villagers flee you can hear one giving the Wilhelm scream!
7 BAMBI'S MOM
There's a long running Disney theory that all of the films are connected. This could certainly be true of the PIXAR films which has an extensive amount written about the crossover potential. However, in many of the animated Disney films it seems that any cameos are just fun nods to their other films, rather than some kind of confirmation that the movies are officially linked.
In the scene where Beast's castle is introduced properly, there's a shot of the surrounding woodland during the day. There's various animals roaming freely to give a false sense of ease. One of these animals is a deer, but on a closer look it appears to actually be the mother of Bambi! Maybe this is set before her tragic end or maybe it's just a coincidence, but either way the resemblance is uncanny.
6 DANGEROUS SIGNS
Belle's father might not win dad of the year considering he got his daughter captured by a beast and locked up in a castle, but he does try to support his small family. Taking a ride on his trusted horse, Philippe, he kicks off the story by getting lost in the woods becoming a catalyst for future events. This could have been avoided if he had just read the sign properly though!
On the confusing sign in the woods, various locations of significance had been written on to it, likely as a joke between animators who were working on the scene. Some of the places drawn onto it include famous locations in California. Anaheim the home of Disneyland is one of these as is Valencia which is both the location of the Institute of Arts which many of the animators studied at but is also a joking reference to Six Flags Magic Kingdom, the rival of the Disney parks. Burbank is also mentioned, which is the home of the Disney Studios.
5 GASTON SKULL EYES
So many Disney villains never make it to the end of their respective films. Gaston continues on the trend with the climax of the movie featuring his demise. Of course, it's partially his fault as he starts to hunt the Beast, with a shotgun in his hand and hatred in his heart after the supposed betrayal of Belle.
The final battle takes place atop the castle, creating a high stakes situation. Gaston eventually loses his footing after part of the castle crumbles away and he falls to his death. We never get to see a body at the end because this is a family film, but if you look closely at Gaston's eyes as he falls, a skull and crossbones has been drawn onto his pupils. This is obviously a sign of death.
Continuing along the trend of linking the films together, there's also a big nod to Aladdin during an early sequence in the film. Belle is set up to be a lover of books and she's recounts many of the novels that she's already read. We hear about fair Verona and Prince Charming but there's a suspicious sounding book that she mentions in great detail.
She talks about thieves and magic and a far off place in the Desert and you start to wonder why it all sounds so familiar. It's because the description she is giving is of another hit Disney film, Aladdin. The movie is giving a direct nod to another film that features a Disney princess and indeed Aladdin also gives a quick cameo to the Beast in the form of a small toy.
3 HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
This may be a bit of a cheat or bonus installment on this list, but since we're talking about the interconnections of the films it would be foolish not to mention this massive cameo in the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Of course, both films are set in France and could actually be set around a similar time period. Belle would fit in quite well in the middle of this film and the animators clearly agreed.
During one sequence which shows Paris from a distance, there's a lot of characters animated into the background in order to make the city feel populated. Amongst them is many stock characters which are easily added to a scene to cut down the animating time. However, one character could be quite a surprise if you weren't looking out for them! Belle can actually be seen in her classic blue costume, reading a book on the streets of Paris.
2 COGSWORTH AND HIS HIDDEN MICKEY
Mickey Mouse is the icon of Disney, with the small rodent kicking off the brand after Walt Disney's imagination created the cute creature. He's been featured in hundreds of his own films and series and animators love to point to the classic character in all of their work. Whether it's in the Disney parks or in the films themselves, there's usually a hidden Mickey somewhere.
Beauty and the Beast has quite a few Mickeys hidden into the background. Notable ones include on the top of the glass that stores the rose, as well as within various points of the architecture. But throughout the film he's actually prominently featured on one of the main characters. The back of Cogsworth contains a drawing that is remarkably similar to the three circles that make up the famous mouse.
Directors love to put themselves in their own films, although you'd think that would be pretty difficult in the world of animation. However, that hasn't stopped Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale who have actually been animated into a few of their films. Beauty and the Beast is amongst the list of appearances for the duo, alongside Hunchback of Notre Dame.
The pair can be seen during the opening number where all the characters are singing about how different Belle is. The two provided their own voices to the piece as they sing along stating that Belle is "so peculiar." If you look at the animated versions of the directors' side by side with a picture of their real life counterparts, there's a clear resemblance; although the stylized version of the film makes certain features stand out more.