Now that the live-action retelling of Beauty and the Beast is finally out in the world, we want to learn everything we can about how the tale as old as time was brought to life. From roses, to candles, to Beast’s beautiful castle, we want to know it all. How did they make that beautiful lake outside of the castle? What went into making Belle’s iconic yellow dress? Just how many candles did it take to get the lighting atmosphere right? Lucky for all of us, our friends at Walt Disney Studios have provided us with some answers to these questions. This new information about the filmmaking process has us completely in awe. See if any of these facts surprise you:
- Over 8,700 candles (or 104,400 inches of wax) were used as set decoration during production.
- The ballroom floor in Beast’s castle is made from 12,000 square feet of faux marble and its design is based on a pattern found on the ceiling of the Benedictine Abbey in Braunau in the Czech Republic. The 10 glass chandeliers in the ballroom—each measuring 14 feet by 7 feet—are based on actual chandeliers from Versailles which were then frosted, covered in fabric, and candlelit.
- Approximately 1,500 red roses were grown or purchased during production for use as research or set decoration.
- The enchanted forest which surrounds Beast’s castle and features real trees, hedges, a frozen lake, and 20,000 icicles, took 15 weeks to complete.
- Approximately 180 feet of feather light satin organza was used to create Belle’s yellow dress. The dress, which required 3,000 feet of thread and took over 12,000 hours to create, and was accentuated with 2,160 Swarovski crystals.
- During production, the costume department challenged itself to design and create ethical and sustainable costumes made from fair-trade fabrics (meaning the use of organic materials from suppliers that pay their employees a fair wage and are considerate of the environment), which they achieved. Working in tandem with Eco-Age and the Green Carpet Challenge, the department used natural and low impact dyes, carefully disposing of any waste water, and printing with traditional wood blocks.
- A production crew comprised of more than 1,000 people worked around the clock to design, build and decorate the film’s mammoth sets.
- Philippe, Belle (Emma Watson) and Maurice’s (Kevin Kline) horse, is played by three different horses, two of which had to be painted on a daily basis.
- Emma Watson (Belle), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Luke Evans (Gaston) and Nathan Mack (Chip) all share the same birthday, April 15, which was also the date of the cast read through.
- Froufrou, the dog belonging to Madame de Garderobe (Audra McDonald) and Maestro Cadenza (Stanley Tucci), is played by Gizmo, a rescue from one of the U.K.’s oldest and most famous animal rescue centers.
- The coat of arms in the Beast’s castle is a lion and a boar with a WD anagram (the WD is meant to represent a fictional character, William Devereaux, but could also stand for Walt Disney).
- Some of the original lyrics written by Howard Ashman for the songs “Gaston” and “Beauty and the Beast” that were not used in the animated film have been added to the live-action adaptation.
- The lend-a-hand lights on the terrace and staircase in Beast’s castle and the rose colonnade on the castle grounds are an homage to Jean Cocteau’s 1946 avant garde film, La Belle et le Bête, which was a source of inspiration for director Bill Condon.
Whoa. Doesn’t it seem absolutely meant to be that four cast members have the same birthday and it was the same date as the cast read through? What are the odds?! Only in a tale as old as time does something magical like that align. Every single one of these facts is further proof of the great care and attention to detail that went into making Beauty and the Beast, and that’s one of the many reasons why the live-action retelling has us completely enchanted.
Which Beauty and the Beast fun fact had you completely amazed? Tell us in the comments!