Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles 25 years ago, the world was introduced to Walt Disney Animation’s "Beauty and the Beast." Its anniversary has given us a chance to reflect on the inner workings that gave the 1991 classic an everlasting legacy. So, “Be Our Guest” and enjoy this week’s episode of Disney Facts, as we highlight production secrets, hidden details, and more. Walt Disney first had the idea for Beauty and the Beast in the early 1940s. Five decades later, the film was finalized after countless revisions and rewrites. For instance, the prologue introducing the movie was written about 200 times before filmmakers finally landed on the one you see in the final version. [She transformed him into a hideous beast.] It was decided upon only months before the movie opened. Although a prologue is a fairly traditional element of classic fairy tales, the filmmakers wanted to distinguish Beauty and the Beast from its predecessors. Rather than guiding viewers through a book, like many other fairy tale films, they opted for the beautiful stained glass montage. In early development, lyricist Howard Ashman fought for a version of the story that would include a small child version of the Beast, which much of the team found laughable, bizarre, and too similar to Eddie Munster. However, this does affirm the amount of contemplation that took place over the look and feel of the Beast. After several drawings and revisions, Glen Keane is credited with designing and creating the Beast that we're familiar with today. There was also a lot of discussion over the character Gaston. In addition to his aesthetic, filmmakers carefully considered which voice actor would portray him. [Ah, this is the day your dreams come true.] In order to get the part right, one of the audition songs for the part of Gaston was “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” A song with the energy that can spark an entire stadium to sing in unison, filmmakers considered it the precursor to his infamous song in the pub. In earlier versions of the film, Maurice gave Belle a music box for her 17th birthday. The music box was discussed as a potential character, but that was eventually replaced with Chip. [But I’m not sleepy.] [Yes you are.] All of this goes to show what a labor of love creating this film proved to be. However, some of its magic came in the matter of seconds. Several lines throughout the film were ad libbed or improved by the actors, which helped in humanizing some of the characters. Here’s one of our favorite improvised lines: [Flowers, chocolates, promises you don’t intend to keep.] After all of the creative decisions were said and done, it was time to debut the film. A work in progress screened at the New York Film Festival on September 29th 1991. Disney had never done anything like this before. As for the result? The film received a 10 minute long standing ovation. This set the trend for critical acclaim. Beauty and the Beast went on to became the first animated movie to ever be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Today, it remains the only traditionally hand-drawn animated movie to ever gain the prestigious nod. Fast forward to 2016, and the legacy of Beauty and the Beast continues to evolve. Next spring, about 75 years after Walt Disney first started developing the story, the live- action recreation will be released. While its release is anxiously awaited, the 25th Anniversary Edition of the animated classic is available for a limited time.