Unseen Footage From Disney’s First Attempt at ‘Beauty and the Beast’

An early interpretation of the Beast by Glen Keane.

As Disney prepares its live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, it’s worth taking a look back and remembering that the beloved Disney feature was not always intended to be a musical.

The story reel clip, which starts at the 5:17 minute mark, provides a glimpse of a lighter, less gloomy prologue to Beauty and the Beast, with a temporary music box soundtrack, an excised sinister aunt character, and a cheery old-fashioned narratorial style that makes one long for the dark, rich tones of David Ogden Stiers. Executives back in Burbank, California felt that it wasn’t the right take on the story and eventually pushed the film in a more musical direction with different directors. Below is an extended look at the Purdums’s reel:


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