Disney animator Glen Keane says the 'Beauty and the Beast' remake perfected a scene he had trouble creating

Kirsten Acuna
·4 min read
glen keane beauty and the beast
Glen Keane spoke with Insider about Disney's live-action remakes and animating the Beast in "Beauty and the Beast." Insider, Walt Disney Animation
  • Disney legend Glen Keane animated some of the studio's most beloved characters, including the Beast, Ariel, and Aladdin.

  • Keane said 2017's "Beauty and the Beast" remake nailed one moment he had difficulty animating — when the Beast finally makes the decision to let Belle go and check on her ailing father.

  • "All I can say is, you're always learning. And if I had the chance to do it again, I'd do it just like he did it," Keane said of Dan Stevens, who played the Beast in the remake.

  • Insider also asked Keane what he thought of Disney's many live-action remakes. 

  • He said they shouldn't just be copies, but should add more to the original, such as 2016's "The Jungle Book."

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Former Disney animator Glen Keane helped bring some of the most beloved and memorable characters to life, including Aladdin, Ariel in "The Little Mermaid" and the Beast in "Beauty and the Beast."

And although Keane wouldn't say how he felt about Disney's 2017 live-action "Beauty and the Beast," he did share that the live-action interpretation perfected a pivotal moment in the film that he struggled to animate in the 1991 classic. 

Both films follow Prince Adam, who has been turned into a Beast by an enchantress. If he's not able to find true love before the final petal on an enchanted rose falls on his 21st birthday, he'll remain an animal.

Still, a few months before his time is up, he imprisons a young woman, Belle, in his castle, hoping that she can break the spell. He never tells her about the curse.

Over time, she slowly warms up to the Beast and takes a liking to him and his staff, who were also turned into inanimate objects due to the spell. But late in the film, Belle learns her father has fallen ill back home. The Beast grapples with whether or not she should stay.

"I never got it. It's where Beast has to decide to let Belle go free, to go home without telling her that he will remain a beast forever if they don't fall in love," Keane recalled. "It's him looking at the flower and there's just one petal left there and he struggles with it. He's trying to make that decision to let her go."

beast beauty and the beast lets belle go
The Beast goes through a range of emotions as he struggles with the decision to let Belle see her father. Walt Disney Animation

"I kept animating him looking at the flower with such intensity, trying to draw the struggle that's going on inside of him and I could never communicate it with the power," Keane admitted of the scene.

When the illustrator watched the 2017 live-action film, starring Dan Stevens as the Beast, he knew exactly how he should have animated the scene.

"At that moment, he doesn't look at the flower," Keane said of Stevens' performance. "He kind of looks up and as soon as he did it, it was like, 'Yes. Oh, it's like a prayer. Why didn't I do that?' It was so much better."

beast live action let belle go
Instead of looking down at the rose, Dan Stevens' Beast gives a small look up in an "aha" moment. Disney

The moment Keane is referring to is so subtle, occurring in mere seconds of the film, that it's one of those things you may not catch. Unless you've worked on one of the movies in great detail, you may not notice it at all.

"All I can say is, you're always learning. And if I had the chance to do it again, I'd do it just like he did it," Keane added. 

During his wide-ranging interview with Insider, Keane also shed light on how he feels seeing some of the movies he worked on turned into live-action movies.

"You want to honor those stories by not just copying them, but lifting them," he said. "I thought 'Jungle Book' was such a wonderful live-action version of that movie that respected [the original], but felt very free to play and push it further."

Keane isn't the only former Disney animator to praise Jon Favreau's remake of the 1967 classic. "The Jungle Book" seems to be the favorite remake among former Disney animators. Sergio Pablos ("Klaus") along with Tony and Tom Bancroft ("Mulan") previously praised the 2016 film to Insider. The others? They had stronger opinions on those.

"You just don't want to kill the golden egg; the goose that lays the golden egg," Keane said while promoting his new Netflix movie, "Over the Moon," which is available to stream now.

Read the original article on Insider