Original production drawing of Gaston in graphite and blue pencil from "Beauty and the Beast," 1991; Numbered "55" lower right and with animation ladder upper right; Size - Gaston 9 x 6", Sheet 12 1/2 x 17".
Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman of Walt Disney, was responsible for the creation of the "Beauty and the Beast" as we know it today. He ordered the film to be made as musical in line with the previous Disney successful film "The Little Mermaid," and Katzenberg oversaw the project down the last details. In the case of Gaston, the film's villain; he was transformed into a handsome hunter rather than a thin unattractive fop. Richard White, an American actor and opera singer, was the voice of Gaston and gave the character a wonderful deep bass range which was absolutely perfect! Andrea Deja was given the task of animating Gaston in a realistic manner; and the role of Gaston was changed to being more of a narcissist, rather than conniving and scheming villain.
"He (Gaston) was challenging as far as animation assignments are concerned, because Jeffrey Katzenberg insisted that this villain needed to be handsome. He was right, of course, because the overall theme of the film was: Don't judge a book by its cover. So, Gaston had to be good looking, but we find out he is not only full of himself, he is also a murderer. There were scenes where I used live action reference, in other shots I acted out the motion myself. This character was a "toughie" because he had to be handled with realism."
Close up of Gaston drawing.
This drawing is a wonderful original production drawing of Gaston completed in graphite and blue pencil. His eyes are open and his eyebrows are angled up, with a wonderful full arrogant smile. You can even see is black hair pony tail! This drawing is from the wonderful scene where he proposes to Belle, and the line he is saying in this drawing is, "And do you know who that little wife will be?" Drawings of Gaston are very rare in the open market and this is the first drawing of this character that I have every offered for sale.
To view the scene which this drawing was used to create, click on the short video below:
The film was a huge box office success, with over $424 million in sales worldwide. "Beauty and the Beast" was nominated for several awards, winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. It also became the first animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, as well as nominations for Best Original Score, Best Sound, and three separate nominations for Best Original Song. The film did win Best Original Score as well as Best Original Song for its title song. In 2002, "Beauty and the Beast" was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. In addition, the film was transformed into an extremely successful Broadway Musical, the first Disney film to make the transition.