Disney is recycling their biggest princess movies by remaking them in live action format. First there’s Cinderella, coming soon to a theater near you, and now they’ve announced a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. Although it seems like yesterday, the animated Beauty and the Beast came out 24 years ago! And there’s a whole slew of trivia behind that film that you probably never thought of.
1. Walt considered remaking the fairy tale as far back as the 1930s. But he liked to take his time mulling things over, and while he was pondering Beauty and the Beast, a live-action version of the movie was released by French playwright Jean Cocteau. Perhaps not wanting to release an animated version of a movie that had just been released, Disney tabled the idea.
2. In the late '80s, Disney hired British animator Roger Purdum to direct a non-musical version of Beauty and the Beast, with Linda Woolverton writing the script. But the company wasn't happy with the result of 10 weeks of storyboarding (which you can see here)—the story was too dark and depressing. "In the middle of our process, Little Mermaid premiered, and that changed everything," Woolverton told the Los Angeles Times. "[T]he concept of the musical, the Broadway musical brought to animation by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. So I was flown to Disney in Florida to meet with Howard. Howard and I just clicked. ... In a hotel room in Fishkill, N.Y., Howard and I pretty much conjured up this version of Beauty and the Beast. Howard and I never clashed. I was his student. He taught me everything I know about musicals."
There’s plenty more of “could have beens,” deleted scenes, deleted songs, and more in the trivia list at mental_floss.