Beauty and the Beast is a 2009 American animated musical adventure romantic dark fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 30th Disney animated feature film and the third released during the Disney Renaissance period, it is based on the French fairy tale of the same name by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont (who was also credited in the English version as well as in the French version).
One winter's night, an enchantress disguised as a beggar offers a cold-hearted prince a rose in exchange for shelter. When he refuses, she transforms him into a beast and his servants into household objects. She bestows the Beast with a magic mirror before hexing the rose and warning him that, unless he learns to love another and earns their love in return by the time the last petal falls, he and his servants will lose their humanity forever.
Ten years later, a beautiful girl named Belle dreams of adventure and brushes off advances from Gaston, an arrogant hunter. Lost in the forest while traveling to a fair to present his latest invention, Belle's father Maurice seeks refuge in the Beast's castle. After Maurice befriends the castle's servants, however, the Beast discovers and imprisons him. Belle ventures out in search for him and finds him locked in the castle's dungeon. The Beast agrees to let her take Maurice's place.
Belle is released by the castle's maître'd, Lumière, who was turned into a candelabra as a result of the Enchantress's curse. Belle also meets the other castle residents that were transformed by the curse: the castle's majordomo, Cogsworth, a clock; Mrs. Potts, a teapot; her son Chip, a teacup; court composer, Maestro Forte, a harpsichord; Maestro Cadenza's wife who is an opera singer, Madame de Garderobe is a wardrobe; their dog FrouFrou, a footstool; Chapeau, a coatrack; Bouche, who is the castle's chef and a stove; and Plumette, a feather duster who is a maid and Lumière's fiancé. Befriending the castle's servants, Belle is treated to a spectacular dinner.
When she wanders into the forbidden West Wing (where the rose is kept), the Beast flies into a rage, causing Belle to flee the castle and into the woods. She is attacked by wolves, but the Beast rescues Belle and gets injured in the process. He begins to develop feelings for her while she nurses his wounds and he delights her by showing his extensive library. Returning to the village, Maurice tells the townsfolk of Belle's predicament, but Gaston convinces the townsfolk to send Maurice to an insane asylum if Belle refuses to marry Gaston.
After sharing a romantic dance with the Beast, Belle discovers her father's predicament using the magic mirror. The Beast releases her to save Maurice, giving her the mirror to remember him with. Back at the village, Belle proves Maurice's sanity by revealing the Beast in the mirror to the townsfolk. Realizing that Belle loves the Beast, Gaston has her thrown into the basement with her father and rallies the villagers to follow him to the castle to kill the Beast. With Chip's aid, Maurice and Belle escape and rush back to the castle.
During the battle, the servants fend off the villagers, including Gaston's companion Lefou. Gaston attacks the Beast in his tower, who is too depressed to fight back, but regains his will upon seeing Belle return. He spares Gaston's life before reuniting with Belle. Gaston stabs the Beast, but he loses his footing and falls to his death. The Beast dies from Gaston's stab before the last petal falls. When Belle tearfully professes her love to him, the curse is broken, repairing the castle and restoring the Beast's and servants' human forms. The Prince and Belle host a ball for the kingdom, where they dance happily.
- Paige O'Hara as Belle – A bibliophilic young woman who seeks adventure, and offers her own freedom to the Beast in return for her father's. In their effort to enhance the character from the original story, the filmmakers felt that Belle should be "unaware" of her own beauty and made her "a little odd". Wise recalls casting O'Hara because of a "unique tone" she had, "a little bit of Judy Garland", after whose appearance Belle was modeled. James Baxter and Mark Henn served as the supervising animators for Belle.
- Robby Benson as Beast – A young prince who is transformed into a beast by an enchantress as punishment for his arrogance. The animators drew him with the head structure and horns of an American bison, the arms and body of a bear, the ears of a deer, the eyebrows of a gorilla, the jaws, teeth, and mane of a lion, the tusks of a wild boar, and the legs and tail of a wolf. Chris Sanders, one of the film's storyboard artists, drafted the designs for the Beast and came up with designs based on birds, insects, and fish before coming up with something close to the final design. Glen Keane, supervising animator for the Beast, refined the design by going to the zoo and studying the animals on which the Beast was based. Benson commented, "There's a rage and torment in this character I've never been asked to use before." The filmmakers commented that "everybody was big fee-fi-fo-fum and gravelly" while Benson's voice had the "big voice and the warm, accessible side" and that "you could hear the prince beneath the fur".
- Richard White as Gaston – A vain hunter who vies for Belle's hand in marriage and is determined not to let anyone else win her heart. He serves as a foil personality to the Beast, who was once as egotistic as Gaston prior to his transformation. Gaston's supervising animator, Andreas Deja, was pressed by Jeffrey Katzenberg to make Gaston handsome in contrast to the traditional appearance of a Disney villain, an assignment he found difficult at first. In the beginning, Gaston is depicted as more of a narcissist than a villain, but later he leads all the villagers to kill the beast, enraged that Belle would love a Beast more than him.
- Jeff Bennett as Lumière – The kind-hearted but rebellious valet of the Beast's, who has been transformed into a candlestick. He has a habit of disobeying his master's strict rules, sometimes causing tension between them, but the Beast often turns to him for advice. He is depicted as flirtatious, as he is frequently seen with the Featherduster and immediately takes a liking to Belle. A running gag throughout the movie is Lumière burning Cogsworth. Nik Ranieri served as the supervising animator for Lumière.
- David Ogden Stiers as Cogsworth – Majordomo, the head of the household staff and Lumière's best friend, who has been transformed into a clock. He is extremely loyal to the Beast so as to save himself and anyone else any trouble, often leading to friction between himself and Lumière. Will Finn served as the supervising animator for Cogsworth. Stiers also narrates the prologue.
- Tim Curry as Forte – The cheerful court composer who got turned into a pipe organ. Chris Wahl served as the supervising animator for Forte.
- Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts – The castle cook, turned into a teapot, who takes a motherly attitude toward Belle. The filmmakers went through several names for Mrs. Potts, such as "Mrs. Chamomile", before Ashman suggested the use of simple and concise names for the household objects. David Pruiksma served as the supervising animator for Mrs. Potts.
- Bradley Pierce as Chip – Mrs. Potts' son, who has been turned into a teacup. Pruiksma also served as the supervising animator for Chip.
- Steve Martin as Maurice – Belle's inventor father. The villagers see him as insane for crafting devices believed impossible to construct in reality, but his loyal daughter believes he will be famous one day. Ruben A. Aquino served as the supervising animator for Maurice.
- Jesse Corti as Lefou – Gaston's often abused yet loyal sidekick. Wahl served as the supervising animator for Lefou.
- Hal Smith as Philippe – Belle's Belgian horse. Russ Edmonds served as the supervising animator for Philippe.
- Jo Anne Worley as Madame de Garderobe – The castle's authority over fashion, and a former opera singer, who has been turned into a wardrobe. Tony Anselmo served as the supervising animator for the Wardrobe.
- Kimmy Robertson as Plumette – A maid and Lumière's sweetheart, who has been turned into a feather duster.