Disney's animated adaptation of Beauty and the Beast hit the big screen in 1991. That year, it won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) and was the first animated film ever to do so. With a budget of $25 million, Beauty and the Beast grossed $425 million at the box office, and the film was a major success.
In 2017, Disney remade the classic tale with a fresh live-action version starring Emma Watson as Belle. The live-action film saw a variety of changes from the original. One of the major ways that the 2017 film deviated from the 1991 version, was the character of LeFou.
Brawny, arrogant, insufferable Gaston's bumbling, naive sidekick was voiced by Jesse Corti in the 1991 movie. In the live-action version, Disney cast Josh Gad for the role. Disney made several changes to LeFou when they remade Beauty and the Beast - many for the better. Let's take a look at the 10 things they changed about this character.
In the first film, LeFou was little more than Gaston's halfwit sidekick. Gaston was a bully to everyone - most of all LeFou. While in the animated film, LeFou simply endured this and gave Gaston his undying support, the live action film presented a very different take.
As Gaston's actions became more and more immoral, LeFou began to hesitate in his support for Gaston. This bears stark contrast to LeFou's role in the original film, in which he was portrayed as being too cowardly to stray from Gaston's strict orders and iniquitous efforts.
9 LESS EVIL, MORE LOVABLE
In the original movie, LeFou was shown to be less-than-intelligent, yet for the sake of serving Gaston, he managed to be conniving. For example, it was LeFou who rallied the mob against the Beast, after showing unrelenting cruelty to Belle's father, Maurice.
In the 2017 remake, LeFou becomes uncertain of Gaston's morality, and gradually becomes disillusioned with being the brute's sidekick. LeFou is shown to be against the mob from the beginning, and is the only one who shows Maurice some compassion. This, among many other acts of kindness that LeFou performs, makes him completely lovable.
8 NOT TAKING GASTON'S ABUSE
One of the most significant differences between LeFou and his animated counterpart, was the fact that ultimately, he winds up standing up to Gaston. This is opposite to the original film, in which LeFou remains blindly loyal to Gaston right up to the end.
Early on in the 2017 remake, LeFou becomes uneasy when Gaston begins showing his true colours. When LeFou fights Gaston on the decision to leave Maurice to die in the woods, Gaston threatens LeFou, causing the sidekick to stay quiet on the matter (which causes LeFou some heavy guilt). It's not until later on in the film that LeFou stands up for himself and switches sides, abandoning Gaston and his cruel ways, rather than embracing them.
7 BEFRIENDING THE ENEMIES
It seemed, in the beginnings of both Beauty and the Beast films, that Gaston was LeFou's only friend (the term "friend" used loosely). The two had a somewhat of a love/hate relationship.
While this remained a truth for LeFou's animated counterpart throughout the entire film, the live-action version treated our favourite little sidekick to a much different fate. One of the ways that LeFou broke free of Gaston's domineering leadership, was by ultimately befriending Maurice by the end of the 2017 film. While his animated counterpart played a major role in attempting to get Maurice thrown into a mental hospital, the live-action version of LeFou is shown to feel sympathy for Belle and her father.
6 TURNING AGAINST GASTON
A significant point that separates the 1991 film's version of LeFou from the 2017 film's version, is the fact that he resists Gaston's demands, in the end. The moment when Gaston used him as a human shield during the battle that occurred in the Beast's castle may have been the last straw, but LeFou was clearly losing faith in his friend long before then.
The 2017 film treats LeFou with a lot more respect than the original film did. The character was more than just comic relief in the remake - and he was even given an actual satisfying arc.
5 MORE DEVELOPMENT
Perhaps due to Josh Gad's exceptional portrayal of the character, Disney decided to put a significant amount of development into LeFou. The character played a much more major - and ultimately likeable - part in the 2017 movie.
Having more lines, a moral compass, and a much more intelligent, gentle personality than what the animated movie originally portrayed - Disney gave audiences a much more fleshed out, multidimensional version of LeFou. This decision received positive feedback from audiences and critics alike, and some would even argue that LeFou is a character worthy of his own movie.
4 BETTER PERFORMER
The Gaston song is one the most memorable moments in both Beauty and the Beast films. It was a widely praised moment in the original movie, but the live-action version did manage to top it.
In the original Beauty and the Beast, the scene in which LeFou attempts to cheer Gaston up with sing-a-long praise, is portrayed mostly for a comedic effect. The live-action version develops a much more complex take on many things in this story, and the Gaston song is definitely one of those instances. The performance of this song is much more epic and larger-than-life-feeling than its inspiration, and LeFou's sing-and-dance utterly shone. This was arguably one of the most iconic moments in the 2017 film.
3 BROUGHT TO LIFE BY JOSH GAD
There was clearly no better choice for LeFou than Josh Gad. The actor - who previously starred in films such as Frozen, The Wedding Ringer, and Pixels - proved to be completely perfect for the role.
Josh Gad brought to life a goofy, lovable side to LeFou, consequentially deviating from his animated counterpart. Disney made the right call in creating a different LeFou than the one everyone knew. LeFou became more than a villain. They couldn't have done this without Josh Gad, as the actor portrayed LeFou in a way no one else could have.
2 BEING A GENUINELY GOOD GUY
The evolution of LeFou is one that is far too often overlooked in the Disney-verse. He went from being nothing more than Gaston's sidekick and punching bag, to being a hero, and that is a journey worthy of appreciation.
When Gaston's mob infiltrated the Beast's castle, LeFou quickly switched sides and wound up fighting against Gaston and the villagers. This meant that LeFou's fellow fighters were primarily made up of enchanted household items. In a notable scene, LeFou saved Mrs. Potts' life, and this heroic action caused the enchanted objects to let LeFou onto their team.
1 CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING SEXUALITY
When the 2017 remake was first released in theatres, there was a notable uproar regarding rumours and whispers of LeFou possibly being gay. Despite Disney seemingly not being very accepting and open to the idea, this topic is honestly still up for debate. LeFou's sexuality is open to interpretation, as the 2017 film provides several subtle and not-so-subtle hints that make speculating on this topic pretty fun.
Debates on his sexuality aside, the 2017 remake of Beauty and the Beast expanded LeFou into a wonderful, complex character, and everyone is probably very glad that they did.