20 Things You Didn’t Know About Beauty and the Beast

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HOLLYWOOD, CA – MAY 23: Producer Suzanne Todd and screenwriter Linda Woolverton attend Disney’s ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ premiere with the cast of the film, which included Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska and Sacha Baron Cohen at the El Capitan Theatre on May 23, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

7. Screenwriter Linda Woolverton was also a bit of a gamble

Like Wise and Trousdale, screenwriter Linda Woolverton hadn’t done much work for the film industry. Before, she’d only written for the Chip ‘n’ Dale Disney series and had not undertaken any major animation projects.

Just the fact that Beauty and the Beast had a screenwriter was unusual. Previous Disney projects relied on storyboarding to create the tale at the same time that animators were working on character design and environments. However, it paid off. Woolverton added some of the most iconic features of the story. We have her to thank for making Belle a bookish, intellectual heroine, for one. She was also instrumental in creating a story that was strong enough to get the film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Linda Woolverton became the first woman to write an animated feature for Disney. She went on to adapt her screenplay into the book for the Beauty and the Beast Broadway musical. Woolverton co-wrote the screenplay of The Lion King and helped with the story development for Aladdin.

She also wrote the screenplay for 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, the Tim Burton film where a grown up Alice returns to Wonderland and its denizens after a long absence. Alice in Wonderland earned more than $1 billion, making Woolverton the first female screenwriter with a sole writing credit for a billion-dollar film.