This Villain has been Headlined on November 2009, and is considered one of the best articles of the Villains wiki.
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|“||It's over, Beast! Belle is mine!||„|
|~ Gaston stating his intent to marry Belle during the final battle.|
|“||I'll have Belle for my wife! Make no mistake about that!||„|
|~ Gaston vowing to marry Belle by force.|
|“||The Beast will make off with your children! He'll come after them in the night! We're not safe 'till his head is mounted on my wall! I say we KILL THE BEAST!||„|
|~ Gaston convincing the town to help him murder the Beast.|
Gaston LeGume, also simply known by his first name Gaston, is the main antagonist of Disney's 30th full-length animated feature film Beauty and the Beast (which is based on the 1756 French fairytale of the same name by the late Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont), and its 2017 live action adaptation of the same name. He is also one of the supporting antagonists in Mickey's House of Villains. He is a treacherous, chauvinistic, egotistical, deceptive and arrogant hunter from Belle's village, who was after her hand in marriage by any means necessary (regardless what she thinks about his offer). He is the Beast's arch-nemesis.
In the original 1991 film, he was voiced by Richard White. In the musical, he was portrayed by Burke Moses. In the 2017 live action film, he was portrayed by Luke Evans, who previously played Owen Shaw in the Fast & Furious franchise and Vlad Tepes III alias Dracula in Dracula Untold.
|“||He's handsome, all right, and rude and conceited and...Oh, Papa, he's not for me.||„|
|~ Belle commenting to Maurice about Gaston's chauvinistic nature.|
Gaston initially happens to be a handsome and muscular hunter, and he certainly likes to brag of his abilities toward others for pleasure. However, beneath his charming looks is an extremely rude, impatient, manipulative and narcissistic person who is willing to appeal to his own ego by any means necessary.
He is very conservative and narrow-minded to the extent that he disapproves intellectualism as he regards ideas as "dangerous pastimes"; he is also extremely misogynistic and lascivious, as he believes that women's sole purpose in life is to serve and obey men. Because of his charming looks, he is well-respected in the village as he was able to rouse up a mob to help him kill the Beast, although it was clear that he cared nothing for the villagers in general as he was using them all as pawns to justify his own needs.
He is also shown to be completely lustful and provocative towards Belle, as he plans to marry her because of her beautiful looks as opposed to her nonconformist and unconventional personality. Even when Belle made it clear that she does not want to be with Gaston (with LeFou pointing out that the other women in the village are quite fond of Gaston), the latter still wants to marry Belle to satisfy his own ego, proving to be quite regardless of her feelings or anyone else's. He even feels extremely possessive and jealous after learning that Belle has feelings for the Beast, which only incites him in hunting down the Beast so that he can have Belle for himself. He is also very abusive, insulting, vituperative, uncomplimentary and argumentative towards LeFou and his buddies, as he would subject them to pain and suffering whenever things go wrong (even if it is not their fault).
Despite his anti-intellectualism, Gaston is also shown to be very intelligent and knowledgeable, as he can come up with clever plans to get what he wants, such as throwing Belle's father Maurice into the local asylum in order to blackmail Belle into marriage, as well as manipulating the villagers into helping him kill the Beast in case his plan would fail. In spite of his intelligence, Gaston can also be quite spontaneous and impulsive, as shown when he tried to grope Belle by menacingly cornering her announcing "Say you'll marry me.", before attempting to kiss her, which forced a disgusted Belle to throw him out of her house in retaliation. In addition, he is extremely cunning, reckless and passionate, as shown during the climax when he took his chance to fatally attack the Beast without assessing any perilous risks, which ultimately led to his own demise.
Gaston is considered one of Disney's most popular villains. He is ranked #11 in an official poll, and the Nostalgia Critic placed him as the 5th best Disney villain, citing him as being different from most other Disney villains in that he was not evil from the start. Fans on the Internet often jokingly idolize him similar to how the townspeople do in the movie, giving birth to the "No one (X) like Gaston" meme, and the "Gaston" song is a very popular source for YouTube Poop in particular.
- In early drafts, he was known as Gaston LeGume; his original last name came from the French word "legume", which means "vegetable" in French.
- Gaston was created for the film and does not appear in the original fairytale Disney based the film on. In fact, Beauty's sisters (who were cut from the film) are the antagonists of the original fairytale.
- Gaston was instead directly inspired by an antagonist alongside Belle's siblings in Jean Cocteau's 1946 fantasy film adaptation of the original story, named "Avenant", who is a friend of Belle's brother. At the end of the film, he is punished by the Roman goddess Diana to take on the form of the Beast when Belle and the Beast profess their love for each other.
- Ironically, in a planned sequel for the 1991 film, Gaston would've had a younger brother, Avenant, who would've tried to avenge Gaston by attempting to ruin the lives of Belle and the Prince, and eventually kill them, before meeting his death at the hands of the Prince.
- He is ranked #11 in the Top 30 Disney Villains.
- Gaston was going to be voiced by Rupert Everett, the same actor who also played Doctor Claw in the 1999 live action film adaptation of Inspector Gadget by Walt Disney Pictures, and voiced Prince Charming in the two DreamWorks films Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third. However, Everett was turned down because he did not sound arrogant enough, something that he would later keep in mind when voicing Prince Charming.
- The animators researched high school and college jock stereotypes to create Gaston's menacing and arrogant mannerisms.
- Gaston acts as a foil to the Beast, as they are both egotistical men who want to have Belle for selfish reasons (the Beast wants Belle to help break his curse while Gaston wants her as his trophy wife). However, the Beast proves himself to be capable of change, compassion and courage as he is willing to ensure Belle's happiness and safety (such as saving her from a wolf pack, giving her a library, and letting her go to help her father), which allowed him to earn her love to break his curse. Gaston, on the other hand, refuses to change his ways out of his own arrogance and prefers to use dirty tricks to get what he wants, making himself far more evil than the Beast. Gaston serves as an example of what the Beast would become if he had never met the Enchantress and Belle.
- Gaston was not present in Kingdom Hearts II, despite being the main antagonist of Beauty and the Beast. Xaldin, a member of Organization XIII, serves as this world's main antagonist and reprises the role of Forte.
- However, Gaston finally debuted in the Kingdom Hearts series in Kingdom Hearts chi.
- Originally, Gaston was going to say to The Beast: "It's over Beast! Time to die!". However, this was changed, because it was slightly out of character, as Gaston is attempting to kill the Beast so that he can have Belle for himself.
- When he says "Belle is mine!", Gaston instead syncs his lips to "Time to die!", implying that the filmmakers changed the line late in development.
- In two mockbusters of the Disney version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, namely the Golden Films version and The Secret of the Hunchback, the respective main villains are clearly based off Gaston, especially the Golden Films version.
- Though Gaston persuaded the villagers to hunt the Beast by lying that he was a threat to the entire village (even though the Beast only left his castle twice to rescue Belle from a wolf pack and a lake of thin ice), Gaston ultimately decided to deal with the Beast himself, likely due to seeing him as a rival for Belle's affections and the villagers would potentially discover the Beast's peaceful nature if they discovered him before Gaston.
- During his fall off the castle, skulls can briefly be seen in the pupils of his eyes, firmly implying he did not survive the fall. This can be seen in the Gallery page.
- During the production of the 1991 film, there were several alternative versions to Gaston's death:
- After wounding the Beast, Gaston fell from the castle into the woods, where he has survived with a broken leg. However, he is confronted by several wolves who previously pursued Maurice and Belle. Without hesitation, the wolves close in on Gaston and mauled him to death. This scene was removed for being too horrific, but was later reused for the death of Scar in The Lion King (the wolves were replaced by Shenzi, Banzai, Ed, and the Hyena Clan). Ironically, the original version of Scar's death, in which he defeated Simba, and thew him off of Pride Rock before being engulfed in flame was scrapped for the same reason.
- The earliest version of Gaston's death had differences with the above mentioned version. In this version, Gaston and Beast fight in the woods, and Beast meets his near end after being shot by Gaston, and Gaston, rather than loosing his footing, is thrown off a nearby cliff when Belle throws a rock at his head. Again, this has similarities with The Lion King in which the protagonist (Simba and Belle) throw the antagonist (Gaston and Scar) off a cliff where they meet their demise.
- Another alternative version of his death was for Gaston to lay multiple stabbings on the Beast and commit suicide by falling to his death laughing maniacally, as he feels that no one else would have Belle if he cannot have her for himself, but not before he lashes out at Belle for ruining his pride and preferring the Beast over him. However, this was edited out since it was too dark, rewritten to have Gaston lose his footing after stabbing the Beast and only requiring one stab to finish him off.
- Before Prince Hans from Frozen, who is confirmed to be 23 years old, Gaston was the youngest major Disney villain to date, as most believe him to be around 25 years old.
- In the 2011 Youtube comedy series called The Frollo Show, Gaston is the deuteragonist and is Frollo's best friend. Ironically, he is portrayed as rather heroic, though otherwise, he is similar to personality to his Disney counterpart.
- Gaston's supervising animator is Andreas Deja, famous for animating Jafar (who came out two years later), Scar, and Hercules.
- Gaston is set to appear Disney's Heroes: Battle Mode game, as a playable hero, despite being a villain, this trait follow by Emperor Zurg, Maleficent, Scar, Hades, and Ursula, who had already appear in the game.
- Gaston is the first Disney villain to have two completely different songs.
- Gaston is a very similar character to Judge Claude Frollo. They are both French, both are respected authority figures, both are misogynists and lust after the main heroine (Belle and Esmeralda), and are frustrated when the heroine rebukes their advances and chooses a benevolent and misunderstood "monster" (Beast and Quasimodo) over them, and both have their advances turn forceful, aggressive and even murderous. Additionally, both fall off a high building to their deaths. Gaston's insane laughter in the deleted scene mirror's Frollo's descent into further insanity (seeing himself as God's wrath against Quasimodo and Esmeralda).
- Their resemblance is augmented when Gaston rallies the mob while riding a horse very similar to Frollo's one.
- However, their differences is that Belle chooses over Beast while Esmeralda chooses over Phoebus. Another difference is that Frollo is Pure Evil while Gaston isn't.