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

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An early storyboard, featuring Belle, her father Maurice, and younger sister Clarice (Image via Disney)

16. Belle had a younger sister and a cat named Charley

Belle’s home was originally a lot more crowded.

This is thanks in part to the early Purdum version of Beauty and the Beast. There, Maurice, Belle’s father, is a merchant sailor (much like he is in the 1946 Cocteau film). His sister, Marguerite, soon joins the household and becomes an oppressive force throughout the film. Creators became worried that she would be too reminiscent of other oppressive, older female characters, such as the stepmother in Cinderella. She was quickly scrapped.

Belle also had a young sister named Clarice and a cat, Charley. Gaston is still there, but he was first a foppish aristocrat who was as concerned about his powdered wig as he was about winning Belle’s devotion. The released film version certainly didn’t draw back on Gaston’s vanity, but they made him more of a rugged French countryman than a dandy. There is also a goofy horse, for some reason.

In yet another creepy turn, the enchanted objects don’t have faces or voices. Seriously. I think I would rather that they didn’t enter into the story at all, instead of considering the nightmare existence of a potentially sentient, yet faceless candelabra.

As you likely know, the final film had only Belle and her father Maurice, now a mildly crazed inventor. The general quirkiness of Belle and her small family’s isolation in their village is all the more poignant when there is only Belle and her father.