Tag Archives: Gaston

Beauty and the Beast “Battle on the Tower” (1991)

From the moment Gaston saw the Beast in the magic mirror, it became clear that a conflict between the two was inevitable. And Gaston couldn’t ask for a more complacent target: ever since he let Belle go rescue her father, the Beast has been sunk in a deep depression, he doesn’t think Belle is ever coming back and so he doesn’t care if he lives or dies. Thus, when Gaston appears in the West Wing with an arrow cocked at him, the Beast doesn’t even twitch (that alone should’ve told Gaston that this was no ordinary “Beast” but we already know that he’s not one to think anything through), that is until he gets an arrow in the back.

Beauty and the Beast “Battle on the Tower” (1991)

Gaston is being deliberately cruel: clearly an an expert hunter, he’s deliberately taunting the Beast (as opposed to a swift kill) because (in his mind) “how dare this ugly thing claim Belle as his own in any way?” He’s so blinded by hate that he can’t see that the Beast is clearly heartbroken. But Gaston’s taken way too long; Belle comes riding up and when Beast sees that Belle has come back, the entire game changes (and not in Gaston’s favor).

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While Belle races to the West Wing, Gaston and Beast play cat and mouse on the roof tops of the castle. I mentioned in the post for “Tale as Old as Time” that this scene very nearly became the CGI scene (in which case the roof of the castle would’ve been computer generated), but the test images weren’t nearly realistic enough, so the idea was scrapped and animated traditionally.

Musically, this scene is a blending of several themes, most noticeably there are several lines from “Something there” but in an entirely different key (you can hear “for he’s no prince Charming” when Belle is seen running up the stairs, and “something there I didn’t see” when Gaston smashes the head of a statue by mistake).

Beauty and the Beast “Battle on the Tower” (Soundtrack version) (1991)

Gaston is delusional at this point, going so far as to say “Were you in love with her Beast? Did you honestly think she would want you? When she had someone like me??” It’s a total lie and the Beast knows it (if Belle had been attached to anyone in the village in that way, she would’ve surely said something to him), and he sneaks up for the attack. But Gaston believes he has him cornered until he goes one step to far and shouts “Belle is mine!!” This is too much for the Beast who, in two swift movements, knocks Gaston’s club away and leaves him dangling off the rooftop with one hand around his neck. What happens next is very, very important. Gaston (true to his character) is now a sniveling coward, pleading for his life. He’ll do anything, ANYTHING, just don’t kill/hurt him. I always knew that when the Beast did NOT kill Gaston, that he had learned mercy, embracing his inner humanity, but it only struck me last week that there was something more as well.

Remember in the prologue when, just before his initial transformation, the Beast tried to apologize to the Enchantress? It occurred to me, just then, that the Prince must have begged for mercy in the exact same way that Gaston begged for his life. And the Beast paused (with a magical theme echoing in his ears no less), not just because he was choosing mercy, but because he can see the person he was (a spoiled young man) in Gaston. And so, he’s granting Gaston the mercy that the Enchantress did not show him (the Prince) in the hopes that he will learn something from it, merely telling him to “Get out!”

 

Just at that moment, Belle appears on the balcony, and the Beast only has eyes for her. Gaston watched him climb towards Belle, but neither of them care; the Beast is awestruck that Belle really did come back and there’s a beautiful moment as the two grab hands, and you can tell they’re both happy to be together again. But just as the moment is building to a romantic climax…Gaston intrudes for the last time. Not content to run away with his life, Gaston has fully embraced the “if I can’t have her, no one can” mindset, snuck up from behind and STABBED the Beast in the back! Anyone who’s seen the movie knows what comes next, but would you believe me if I said the ending used to be a whole lot darker?

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Don’t get me wrong, Gaston was always going to die, but it was the how of his death that was changed. In the original script, after stabbing the Beast, Gaston was going to shout something cruel to Belle and then throw himself laughing off the balcony down to his own death. And I can hear people saying Disney wanted to do this?? While it is incredibly shocking and dark, bear in mind that this is the same studio that originally planned for Bambi to come back and find his death mother in a pool of blood (Disney himself vetoed that idea once he got wind of it). Thankfully for all concerned, the animators and writers felt that this really was too dark and Gaston’s death was re-animated to the version we know today: the Beast thrusts Gaston aside and he falls screaming to his death. But you can actually see a few frames of the original ending (because the animators were running out of time and money): look at Gaston’s face and body posture just before he gets knocked off and begins to flail. See that insane grin? You can tell he’s positioned to jump, but in the very next shot, he’s in a slightly different spot.

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No one dies like Gaston (I couldn’t resist)

And there we have the end of Gaston, and also the end of the Beast as Belle knows him. Next time, the final entry for Beauty and the Beast: “The Transformation”

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*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

For more Beauty and the Beast, see:

Beauty and the Beast “Belle” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Belle (reprise)” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Gaston” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Be Our Guest” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Something There” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Human Again” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Beauty and the Beast/Tale as Old as Time” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “The Mob Song” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “The West Wing” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Transformation” (1991)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Beauty and the Beast “The Mob Song” (1991)

Events in Beauty and the Beast begin to come to a head with “The Mob Song.” To recap, Belle has been allowed to leave the castle to rescue her father who has gotten lost trying to find her (Belle) and is now dangerously ill. Belle’s return is exactly what Gaston has been waiting for: unless Belle agrees to marry him, he’ll have her father taken away to the insane asylum. I’m not sure that Gaston is thinking rationally at this point: no girl in her right mind would agree to that kind of proposal, and even if she did, it wouldn’t be a happy marriage. Belle unwittingly makes things worse when she fetches the magic mirror to prove that everything her father has been saying is true. Gaston is visibly shocked to see that Maurice WAS telling the truth, but is almost as quickly filled with jealousy because it’s crystal clear to him (if not to Belle) that she has feelings for this “monster.” Belle finally snaps and tells Gaston the cold truth:

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He’s no monster Gaston, YOU are!”

The truth hurts, doesn’t it? Enraged at this final rejection, Gaston decides that “if I can’t have her, no one can” and begins to paint a picture of the Beast as this terrible monster that MUST be destroyed. This pack of lies that Gaston feeds to the townspeople is the basis of “The Mob Song” and is a perfect illustration of how mob mentality works. Keep in mind that up until five minutes ago, no one in the town believed that the Beast even existed, and they certainly didn’t consider it a real threat. But now, with Gaston painting a picture of their darkest fears, it doesn’t take much to turn the crowd into a ranting mob bent on one thing: killing the Beast!!

The Beast will make off with your children! He’ll come after them in the night!
We’re not safe ’til his head is mounted on my wall! I say we kill the Beast!

We’re not safe until he’s dead
He’ll come stalking us at night
Set to sacrifice our children to his monstrous appetite!
He’ll wreak havoc on our village if we let him wander free
So it’s time to take some action, boys
It’s time to follow me!

Through the mist, through the woods
Through the darkness and the shadows
It’s a nightmare, but it’s one exciting ride
Say a prayer, then we’re there
At the drawbridge of a castle
And there’s something truly terrible inside
It’s a beast!
He’s got fangs, razor sharp ones!
Massive paws, killer claws for the feast
Hear him roar! See him foam!
But we’re not coming home ’til he’s dead
Good and dead! Kill the Beast!

Belle, to her credit, tries to intervene, but Gaston is way ahead of her this time. He locks both Belle and her father in the cellar and gathers the crowd to head to the castle. And thanks to the magic mirror, he’ll have no trouble finding it. At this point, the song becomes a choral number, with the townspeople carrying the melody. Meanwhile, back in town, Belle is trying to break out, but she can’t do it. Thankfully, little Chip stowed away with her and is still outside the house. He sees the invention that Belle’s father made still sitting on the hill and notes that it has a very sharp axe in front. To make a long story short, Chip uses the device to break the door down, freeing Belle to race to the castle.

But at the same time, the townspeople have nearly reached the castle, still singing of death and vengeance, while the Beast broods upstairs, deep in depression. There’s one verse the townspeople sing that basically sums up how these people think:

We don’t like what we don’t understand/in fact it scares us/and this monster is mysterious at least

All of this really boils down to fearing what you don’t understand, and now Gaston is going to use that fear to destroy the Beast and the castle (though the enchanted occupants aren’t about to make it easy for him).

“The Mob Song” really is a great Disney song because it serves to drive the story forward toward its climax. Gaston is firmly in place as the story’s true villain (reinforced by riding a black horse), and the stage is set for the final battle.

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

*all images are copyright to Walt Disney Studios

For more Beauty and the Beast, see:

Beauty and the Beast “Belle” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Belle (reprise)” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “The West Wing” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Gaston” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Be Our Guest” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Something There” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Human Again” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Beauty and the Beast/Tale as Old as Time” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Battle on the Tower” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Transformation” (1991)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Beauty and the Beast “Gaston” (1991)

You would have a very hard time convincing me that there is a Disney character more narcissistic and conceited than Gaston. I mean seriously, this guy is convinced that he is absolute perfection, God’s gift to women, etc. The other townspeople certainly don’t need any convincing of this “fact.” Therefore, Gaston can probably (maybe) be forgiven for presuming that Belle would agree to marry him without any argument whatsoever.

Yes, I said marry. Gaston has decided to completely skip courting Belle and is just going to ask her to marry him (and then hold the ceremony immediately afterward), what could POSSIBLY go wrong?

What Gaston can’t fathom is that the idea of being a housewife, raising a large brood of kids and doing whatever a boorish husband demands is the LAST thing Belle wants to do with her life. So needless to say, the proposal goes badly (Gaston ends up face first in a mud hole). But rather than accept this rejection, Gaston won’t take no for an answer, he MUST have Belle, it doesn’t matter what she thinks!

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Despite this proclamation, Gaston is depressed that Belle said “no” to him, and while Belle is adjusting to life in the castle, Gaston is brooding in the tavern while Le Fou tries to cheer him up. This is the setting for “Gaston”, one of the crazier songs of the Disney Renaissance.

Gosh, it disturbs me to see you, Gaston
Looking so down in the dumps
Every guy here’d love to be you, Gaston
Even when taking your lumps
There’s no man in town as admired as you
You’re everyone’s favorite guy
Everyone’s awed and inspired by you
And it’s not very hard to see why!

No one’s slick as Gaston
No one’s quick as Gaston
No one’s neck’s as incredibly thick as Gaston
For there’s no man in town half as manly!
Perfect, a pure paragon!
You can ask any Tom, Dick or Stanley
And they’ll tell you whose team they prefer to be on!

From beginning to end, the entire song is an homage to Gaston, how amazing he is, how perfect he is, and how everyone wishes they could be him!

No one’s been like Gaston
A king pin like Gaston
No one’s got a swell cleft in his chin like Gaston
As a specimen, yes, I’m intimidating!
My what a guy, that Gaston!
Give five “hurrahs!” Give twelve “hip-hips!”
Gaston is the best and the rest is all drips!

No one fights like Gaston
Douses lights like Gaston
In a wrestling match nobody bites like Gaston!
For there’s no one as burly and brawny
As you see, I’ve got biceps to spare
Not a bit of him’s scraggly or scrawny.
That’s right!
And every last inch of me’s covered with hair!

There’s actually a funny story as to how this song came together (I referenced it in Film Music 101: “Test” Lyrics ). What happened is, when the writers were putting the songs for this film together, they created fake lyrics to accompany the melody to serve as a placeholder. However, the fake lyrics for “Gaston” proved to be so catchy that the writers made the decision to keep them!

No one hits like Gaston
Matches wits like Gaston
In a spitting match nobody spits like Gaston
I’m especially good at expectorating! Ptoooie!
Ten points for Gaston!

When I was a lad I ate four dozen eggs
Ev’ry morning to help me get large
And now that I’m grown I eat five dozen eggs
So I’m roughly the size of a barge

No one shoots like Gaston
Makes those beauts like Gaston
Then goes tromping around
Wearing boots like Gaston!
I use antlers in all of my decorating!

My what a guy, Gaston!

As it is, the song gives an enlightening view of how Gaston’s mind works. He receives constant praise from all the townspeople, which in turn feeds his massive ego. It’s amazing what the townspeople have put up with from him: Gaston knocks over the chess board when he’s about to lose; Gaston cheats in a brawl; Gaston is a bully but everyone seems to be okay with that! The song also reveals that Gaston is a hunter par excellence (this includes mounting a rabbit head and a frog head on his wall).

Beauty and the Beast “Gaston” Soundtrack Version (1991)

Except for his ego, Gaston otherwise fits the bill of a traditional Disney hero, even his singing voice is excellent. This was all planned by the Disney animators, they wanted Gaston to appear as this perfect specimen in the beginning, to contrast him with the terrible behavior of the Beast. However, as the story develops, the Beast and Gaston gradually switch roles: with the Beast becoming more “human” and Gaston becoming more and more “Beast-like.”

That’s all for Gaston for the moment (we’ll get back to him after while), next time, I’m not sure which song I’ll pick next (they’re all so good), but I’ll be back with more tomorrow! Have a great day!

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

For more Beauty and the Beast, see:

Beauty and the Beast “Belle” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Belle (reprise)” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Be Our Guest” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Something There” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Human Again” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Beauty and the Beast/Tale as Old as Time” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “The Mob Song” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “The West Wing” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Battle on the Tower” (1991)

Beauty and the Beast “Transformation” (1991)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Film Music 101: “Test” Lyrics

When a film needs to have a song written for it, the composer (or group of composers) will create what are known as “test” lyrics while the melody is being put together.

As a general rule, test lyrics bear little to no resemblance to the final version, they’re really intended as a tool to help guide the song writers in putting the verses together (in a sense, test lyrics are similar to the temp track created for a film, see The Temp Track for details).

Once the final lyrics are completed, the test lyrics are thrown out and never seen by the public…not usually. There is one notable exception, where the test lyrics became so popular that the writers kept them as the final version.

I’m talking about the song “Gaston” from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1991)

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There’s a reason those lyrics are particularly silly…

It turns out that when the writers for this movie were putting the songs together, the song that turned out to be “Gaston” was originally planned to be completely different. What it was supposed to be we will never know, because the writers became so attached to the test lyrics, that they decided to just keep them and thus, “Gaston” was born.

 

“Gaston” – Beauty and the Beast

Please enjoy the wonderful silliness that is this song. It’ll be interesting to see if the live remake contains a song like this one (or if it will have any songs at all!). Enjoy! Thank you for all of the likes and comments, you guys are awesome!

You can become a patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

For more Film Music 101, see also: Film Music 101

See also:

Film Music 101: The First Film Score

Film Music 101: Borrowing

Film Music 101: Arranger

Film Music 101: Anempathetic sound

Film Music 101: Empathetic Sound

Film Music 101: Foley

Film Music 101: Montage

Film Music 101: Compilation Score

Film Music 101: “Stinger” Chords

Film Music 101: Dubbing

Film Music 101: Diegetic vs. Non-Diegetic Music

Film Music 101: Underscore

Film Music 101: Sidelining

Film Music 101: Orchestration and cues

Film Music 101: Leitmotif

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