It's a tale as old as time—or at least the last 25 years,which is when Disney'swilliamhill388Beauty and the Beastfirst premiered in theaters.Although the official anniversary is this November,Disneywill rerelease the filmthis September.In addition to a plethora of bonus extras (one of which we have exclusively below),the cast—including Angela Lansbury (Mrs.Potts),Paige O'Hara (Belle),Robby Benson (Beast),Bradley Pierce (Chip),and producerDon Hahn—shared exclusive behind-the-scenes details with us about the making of the iconic film.Trust us when we say you haven't heard these before.
The Inspiration Behind Mrs.Potts:"I recognized her in my childhood," says Angela Lansbury of her personal inspiration for Mrs.Potts."She might have been a nanny [of ours] or someone that worked for us.I had known a little woman who had been a cook when I was younger—Beatrice was her name—and she had this wonderful way of talking—real Cockney—and I absorbed all those sounds as a kid.I thought,it's Beaty—that's what I'm going to go for.And Mrs.Potts became one of the most important characters I ever portrayed in motion pictures.She was part of me."
A Major Moment from the 1992 Oscars: The film was released in November 1991,so when Angela Lansbury and Paige O'Hara (Belle) attended the Oscars the following March,the film was at the height of its popularity."I remember being so nervous," says O'Hara."I had on this dress that the designer and everybody loved,but I thought I looked like Little Bo Peep.I didn't think I looked like Belle!Before we walked out,Angela's standing next to me.She's shaking,I'm shaking,and I said,‘Angie,are you nervous?' She said,‘Paige,when you get to be my age,you learn when you're supposed to be nervous and this is it.' [Laughs] And then she patted me on the back and said,‘Honey,if I sang like you,I wouldn't be nervous at all!'"
Recording Booth Secrets: "They never do this,but for me and Robby Benson (the Beast) they recorded everything together," reveals O'Hara."It was our request,so that our relationship could bond and develop together.It takes more time and is a lot more expensive,but we recorded everything together." To see what some of that recording looked like,take a look at this exclusive clip (available as part of the new DVD release):
Regis Philbin and Katie Lee Gifford AuditionedWe know what you're thinking: There'snoway this happened.Well,turns out,it did."Regis and Kathie Lee had [Live!with Regis and Kathie Lee] that was part of Disney," explainswilliamhill388Beauty and the Beastproducer,Don Hahn,of why the pair was brought in."I have Regis' audition tape somewhere,and Kathie Lee singing,and then Regis playing the part of [Belle's] dad or the Beast or something.We were happy to audition them,but…you have to be right for the role.They knew that going into it.The funny thing is,Kathie Lee is really a good singer.So,it wasn't just a matter of saying,‘You can't sing.' She really can.Regis as the Beast was a bit of a miscast.[Laughs] I think he understood that going in."
Mrs.Potts Was Almost Mrs.Chamomile:Can you even imagine?"The reason they changed it to Mrs.Potts is that Mrs.Chamomile was too hard to say," explains Hahn."Mrs.Potts was a lot easier." What's more,Lumiere was almost called Chandal at one point,like the chandelier.Again,"It was a little hard to say,which is why it was changed," says Hahn.Cogsworth,on the other hand,was always Cogsworth."That stuff happens all the time," says Hahn."In the beginning though,Mrs.Chamomile was very present in the story.It was just too hard for little kids to pronounce.Too hard for us to pronounce too!So,Mrs.Potts it was."