At the 2013 Disney D23 Expo which recently took place in Anaheim, California, we caught up with former Disney animator (and now Disney Legend) Glen Keane as he was being recognized for his contributions to the Walt Disney Company. Amongst one of Keane’s many tasks over the years at Walt Disney Feature Animation was acting as the supervising animator for Beast in Disney’s immortal classic, Beauty and the Beast.
We seized the opportunity to ask Keane his thoughts on whether Beast had an alternative, human form name, a rumor in the form of Prince Adam, which has not only perpetuated itself on the internet, but has extended to merchandising and even wall space at the Port Orleans Walt Disney World Resort (which has reportedly been taken down since).
Although not quite flat-out denying it here, Keane tells our Keith Lapinig that if Beast did have an alternative name prior to being Beast, it just doesn’t matter. ‘I never referred to him as anything but Beast,’ he answered. ‘To me he’s always been Beast. I always just believed that Belle called him Beast from the moment that he transformed… so whatever his name was before is not important because he was called Beast after that.’ Keane also went on to add, ‘matter of fact, when he changed into the prince, I knew everybody was going to be disappointed by that, because they fall in love with the beast.’
Keane also told us about his plans for keeping the memory of Beast alive even after the transformation. ‘We recorded a line when we were actually recording Robby Benson and Paige O’Hara as they were at that scene where they’re dancing,’ he told us. ‘I wanted there to be this moment where as she’s now dancing with her handsome prince, something’s missing, and she just says, “do you think you can grow a beard?” So we recorded that — we should’ve put it in there — I’m still hoping someday we still put it in there.’
Video contribution by Keith Lapinig on assignment from Stitch Kingdom. Photo courtesy Disney.