Which Stars Voiced Characters in Disney’s Animated ‘Beauty and the Beast’
Beauty and the Beast was Disney’s 30th animated feature and hit theaters in 1991. This film was based on a French fairy tale and featured music from composer Alan Menken, who worked on several of Disney’s animated films. Beauty and the Beast is a story about growing beyond first impressions and finding love in unlikely places. It’s also a tale about showing kindness to the people around you and accepting people for who they are.
There were quite a few people that helped make that Disney magic happen.
A ‘tale as old as time,’ the story of ‘Beauty and The Beast’
The film starts by narrating a tale about a selfish and mean prince who turned away a woman seeking help. This woman was actually a witch, who cursed the prince for his attitude and turned him into a monstrous beast. Unless he learned to love and was loved in return before the last petal on an enchanted rose had fallen, he would remain a beast, and his household would remain under the curse.
In a nearby town, bookworm Belle scorns the attention of Gaston as her father leaves on a trip.
Belle trades herself for her father’s freedom when the Beast captures him. While she learns about the Beast and his curse, including servants turned into household items, Gaston whips up the townspeople into a frenzy to attack the Beast.
Of course, like all good fairy tales, there’s a happy ending. Belle and her Beast-turned-prince-again live happily ever after.
Belle and The Beast from ‘Beauty and the Beast’
According to IMDb, Paige O’Hara played the voice of Belle in the Disney film. O’Hara had the sound that producers were looking for. Belle was modeled after Judy Garland. O’Hara can also be seen in Enchanted and heard in Ralph Breaks the Internet. She played the role of Fantine in Les Miserable on Broadway, and in 2011 was named a Disney Legend.
As an established Broadway star, Robby Benson had the chops to play Disney’s human-turned-monster. He is perhaps best known on Broadway for starring in The Pirates of Penzance. He was nominated for a Golden Globe in the films Jeremy and Death Be Not Proud. Benson also wrote and directed Modern Love and co-wrote the song “We Are Not Alone” from The Breakfast Club. He is also a prolific producer and director who has worked on over 100 episodes of television shows and is credited on shows like Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Dharma & Greg, and Friends.
Lumiere and Cogsworth
Jerry Orbach lent his voice to Disney for Lumiere; the butler turned into a candlestick. Orbach is best known for his role as Detective Lennie Briscoe in Law & Order, where he appeared in 274 episodes. He also reprised the role in Law & Order spin-offs and crossover episodes.
David Ogden Stiers was the voice of Disney’s stuffy clock Cogsworth. He is an impressive filmographer and is perhaps best known for his role as Major Charles Winchester in the critically acclaimed M*A*S*H* series. He also played Congressman Sam Greene in the 1985 North and South miniseries. He played Mr. Bauer in Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place. He is also featured in Stitch: the Movie and Stitch: the Series.
Mrs. Potts and Chip
Angela Lansbury was most recently seen in Disney’s 2018’s Mary Poppins Returns and The Grinch. She is best known for her role as novelist Jessica Fletcher in the long-running Murder, She Wrote series.
Bradley Pierce played Chip, the little cup that was Mrs. Potts’ child. He also provided the voice for Flounder in The Little Mermaid and was in the 1995 Jumanji movie. He has done voice work for video games, including Kingdom Hearts II and The Lego Movie Videogame.
Maurice, Lefou, and Gaston
Rex Everhart voiced Maurice, Belle’s father. He began acting in 1951 and played in many TV movies in the 1970s.
Jessie Corti played Gaston’s loyal sidekick. He also lent his voice to many video games, including BioShock Infinite, Red Dead Redemption II, and Death Stranding, and played Mr. Manchas in Zootopia.
Richard White is best known for his role as Gaston, and he has reprised it for Disney wherever Gaston is featured. He has also voiced a role in the video game King’s Quest.
Many of these actors had met each other before working on Beauty and the Beast or worked together after filming. Rex Everhart guest-starred on Law & Order, where Jerry Orbach was a regular. David Ogden Stiers guest-starred on Murder, She Wrote. He was also a series regular for a network show, Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place that Robby Benson worked on.