|“||Trust me, Fife. Humanity is entirely overrated! Before the enchantment, there was no need for my particular brand of genius. But now, the Master needs my melodies to feed his tormented soul. I am his confidant and his best friend..... and I won't let some peasant girl RUIN IT FOR ME!!! Fife! See to it that this blossoming love withers on the vine.||„|
|~ Maestro Forte planning to ruin Belle and the Beast's relationship to ensure that the spell remains intact.|
Maestro Forte (simply known as Forte) is the main antagonist of Disney's 1997 direct-to-video animated holiday film Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. He is an evil pipe organ who acts as both the Beast's musician advisor and "best friend", but later reveals that he has been manipulating the Beast to prevent him from falling in love with Belle, so he can remain as a pipe organ.
He was voiced by Tim Curry, who also played Hexxus in 20th Century Fox's FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Emperor Palpatine, Belial in The Legend of Atlantis by Golden Films, General Von Talon in Disney's Valiant, Pennywise in Stephen King's IT, Drake in The Pebble and the Penguin, El Malefico, Big Bayou in the Courage the Cowardly Dog series, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, and Ben Ravencroft in Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost.
Forte is depicted as an evil, sarcastic, manipulative, acrimonious, obstreperous and a bit paranoid pipe organ. At first, Forte appeared to the Beast as his "best friend", but he was really manipulating him because he wanted to both remain as a pipe organ and sought some attention. Forte also seems to be quite afraid to fade in the background, afraid that he will be forgotten. He also has a deep hatred towards happiness (or at the very least, happy songs) as he prefers sad music. He is also extremely superior, cunning, powerful, intelligent and a bit misanthropic, as he considers humanity to be overrated.
Following his failure of his plan to break up Belle and the Beast's relationship, Forte loses what was left of his sanity by attempting to bring the castle down with his loud music, apparently having no regard of his own life as he was willing to take everyone's lives in the castle along with his own. This may indicate that Forte may have some destructive and suicidal thoughts, as he was willing to endanger his own life to ensure that the spell remains intact. Despite Forte's true colors being exposed and his diabolical plans foiled, the Beast mourned Forte's death, as he considered him to be his closest friend.
Forte was once the loyal composer for the selfish prince, and had been very close to him as the latter rules his kingdom with an iron fist. It was not until one Christmas night, when the prince selfishly refused to give shelter to an elderly woman, who revealed herself to be an enchantress in disguise. As punishment, the enchantress casts a spell on the castle, transforming the prince into the Beast and that he will remain that way until he earns the love for who he is on the inside before the magical rose blooms away on his 21st birthday. As such, all of the servants were transformed into objects, and Forte was transformed into a pipe organ which was chained to the wall of a hidden room in the castle's West Wing. Because of this event, the Beast and Forte develop a hatred of Christmas for the rest of their lives.
Unlike the Beast and the other enchanted servants (who all wish to end the curse and change back to human), Forte did not wish to be human again since the Beast came to him often to hear his soothing music, which would ease his tormented soul. In this form, he also developed powerful and seemingly demonic abilities, which he could release through his own music, and became obsessed with it. As such, Forte felt that he had more use in his enchanted form so he decides to use it to keep the Beast close to himself to prevent the spell from breaking, which has remained this way for 10 long years.
Following the tenth year, a village bookworm named Belle came to the castle and made a deal with the Beast to stay with him in exchange for her father's freedom, to which the Beast accepted. As the winter goes by, Belle and the Beast develop a newfound relationship after the latter saved the former from a pack of wolves. This raises up both the Beast and the other servants' hopes that the spell will finally be broken, but Forte became enraged by this and secretly plotted to destroy their relationship to make sure the spell would remain intact forever.
Through his henchman, Fife the enchanted piccolo, he tried to destroy the Beast and Belle's relationship, promising him a solo in B Flat (though he never actually intends to give Fife the solo). He tried to persuade the Beast that love was meaningless and that his music was all that he just needed. When that failed, Forte tried to convince the Beast that Belle does not care about his true feelings for the holiday (though Belle does not actually know about them yet), which led to a serious argument between Belle and the Beast. This too also failed, as Lumiere convinces the Beast of a Christmas gift that Belle made for him as it shows how much she cares about him, which prompted the Beast to have another chance with the holiday. Seeing this, Forte makes another attempt by luring Belle with his music and convincing her to go down the treacherous Black Forest to find the perfect Christmas tree (despite Belle's promise never to leave the castle grounds), which Forte states to be the Beast's favorite part of the holiday. However, it is not true.
As Belle fell into it, Forte informed the Beast that she has "abandoned" him, leaving the angry Beast to revert back to his hatred of Christmas and send him to destroy the Christmas decoration and dinning room and take Belle back to the castle before locking her up in the dungeon for breaking her word, much to Forte's sensational delight. However, the Beast finally regained his senses after opening up his Christmas gift, which turns out to be a book written by Belle, explaining the true meaning of Christmas. Through the words of the book, the Beast finally sees that Belle never intended to leave him and instead tried to bring back his Christmas spirit as promised, and that the greatest gift that anyone could receive was hope. Seeing that there could still be hope to break the spell, the Beast decides to release Belle, much to Forte's objections. The Beast then apologizes for his actions and allows Belle and the rest of the servants to celebrate the holidays, much to their delight.
Knowing that there will be a chance for the spell to be broken, Forte, refusing to "fade into the background", decides to bring the whole castle crashing down, intending to kill everyone inside, since no one can fall in love if they are dead. He creates a destructive earthquake that rattles the castle by playing a grand tune at sonic sound levels. Fife tried to stop him as the plan was too extreme, but Forte refused and revealed to him (via exposing blank music sheets) that his promise to give Fife a solo was a lie.
Upon seeing that the castle is in danger, Belle and the Beast break into Forte's room, where the Beast angrily berates his composer for his actions, demanding him to stop. Seeing no more in his heart to listen to the Beast, Forte refuses to stand down and instead continues rumbling the castle with his music, unleashing the full might of his power, and uses note shaped lightnings to strike his own master.
Avoiding the lightning, Fife advised the Beast that he must destroy the keyboard to stop the music. As such, the Beast decided that his own best friend was too dangerous and harmful to remain alive, and he ripped Forte's keyboard away from him and smashes it, which ceased his contact with his pipes. In a blind rage, Forte tore himself free of the wall and began to collapse. This effectively "kills" Forte and he slams down to the ground screaming in defeat, finally destroyed and silenced.
Though the Beast finally knew Forte's true colors, he ended up mourning the death of, what he considered, his best friend, with Belle comforting him. With Forte defeated, the whole castle continues to celebrate the holidays as planned, as Fife would later take up Forte's job as the new composer.
|“||(Fife: Bravo, bravo! Ancora!) (chuckles) Fife... you approve? (Fife: Oh Maestro, it's magnificent!) Oh, come along. It's merely an opera... (plays more intensly and ruptures the castle) ...to bring the house down.||„|
|~ Maestro Forte's introduction.|
|“||(Sarcastic) Well, I think I might. I'll just pick myself up and... oh, dear, what's this? (Tugs on the chain that keeps him connected to the wall) Good heaven's, look! (Serious) I'M BOLTED TO THE WALL!!!||„|
|~ Maestro Forte being chained to the wall after being told to by Fife to come over and look out a window.|
|“||Noise? Noise?! This is my masterpiece.||„|
|~ Maestro Forte to Beast.|
|“||I am Maestro Forte, court composer, and your most humble servant.||„|
|~ Maestro Forte introducing himself to Belle and Chip.|
|“||Don't fall in love!||„|
|~ Maestro Forte singing.|
|“||So, Beast gets girl, and it's a happy ending for everyone. Enchantment lifted... and Forte fades into the background. No longer important... no longer needed. I THINK NOT!!!||„|
|~ Maestro Forte, before attempting to destroy the Castle in an effort to kill both the Beast and Belle.|
|“||(Fife: What do you think you're doing?) Don't you see, Fife? They can't fall in love if they're DEAD! (Fife (furiously): I'll tell you what I see--A BIG OLD WINDBAG!!) You could've joined me, Fife, but I see my triumph is a solo act! (Fife: My solo--IT'S BLANK!) So naive. You're second fiddle, Fife, and that's all you'll EVER BE!! (Beast: Forte!) We can remain as we are, FOREVER AND EVER!!||„|
|~ Maestro Forte revealing to Fife that his promise to give him a solo is a lie.|
|“||(Beast: FORTE! Enough!) Heavens, master. YOU'RE NOT SINGING!||„|
|~ Maestro Forte before he blasts the Beast with musical magic.|
|“||Is this happy enough for you, master?! I know I'm downright GIDDY! (cackles evilly) (Fife: Master! The Keyboard!) (The Beast grabs Forte's keyboard and the organ's ghostly music images dissipate.) Eh...what?! (The Beast then smashes the keyboard to the floor, causing Forte to slowly tilt over) WHAT??! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!||„|
|~ Maestro Forte's last words before the Beast destroys his keyboard, causing him to crash to the floor dead.|
- Forte's name is derived from the Italian word for "strong", such as Portuguese, being also a term used in musical scales indicating loud and heavy playing.
- Forte is one of the few characters (if not the only character) that was cursed, to want to remain in his cursed form.
- The concept of Forte using music to comfort and later control his "master" is based all too literally on the metaphorical saying "music soothes the savage beast".
- The line; "I'M BOLTED TO THE WALL!," has become one of Forte's most famous lines on YouTube.
- Before he sings his song "Don't Fall in Love", Forte was a very unenthusiastic and emotionless singer.
- Forte is the only character in Beauty & the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, who is entirely computer animated, while his human form was hand drawn.
- Forte was originally intended to be a character named Avenant. Although Avenant was the antagonist of the 1946 French film and the inspiration for Gaston, this incarnation of Avenant would have been portrayed as Gaston's younger brother and the villain of a possible sequel to the 1991 film. His goal would be to ruin the lives of Belle and Prince Adam and then possibly kill them both, and although his plan would work partially, the truth would have been uncovered and it would lead to Avenant's demise at Adam's hands.
- Although this portrayal was scrapped in favor of a midquel, several of Avenant's characteristics were incorporated into Forte, who desired to remain in organ form forever, despite doing so would ruin Belle and the Beast's lives, and his plan to drive them apart almost worked but was ultimately foiled by Beast. In addition, the concept of a relative of the main antagonist from the original film wanting revenge would later be reused with Nasira in Aladdin in Nasira's Revenge and Morgana in Disney's The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea.
- In the 2011 edition. When Forte first introduced himself to Belle, his lip syncing was off.
- During his final performance to oppose the heroes, Forte claimed that he never took a lesson in music, meaning that his composing skills are based on raw talent alone and, combined with reluctance to do so, explains why the time he tried to compose an effervescent and cheerful Christmas carol ("Deck the Halls") turns out so terribly, especially as the notes appear on music sheets as blots.
- Although Gaston is the main and most recurring antagonist of the overall franchise, Forte is the main antagonist of this film, since he had bigger plans throughout this plot. Plus, the film was chronologically set during the events (or rather the middle events) of the original film, so Gaston must have been waiting for Belle's return, while Forte was in the limelight. Plus, Forte is far more dangerous than Gaston as he was more than willing to stand his ground against the Beast, Belle and the other servants by crumbling the entire castle down with his music to kill them all.
- Forte may have been an inspiration for Cadenza, an original character of the 2017 live-action adaptation of the 1991 animated classic, as they are both maestros turned into large musical instruments with keys (Forte as a pipe organ, and Cadenza as a harpsichord). However, unlike Forte, Cadenza is very heroic and loyal to the Beast as he desires to become human again along with the other servants.
- It should be noted that even if Forte did kill Belle and the Beast, it would potentially backfire on him for the worse because it has been revealed by Don Hahn in a commentary and the 2017 live action film that the curse was not lifted, the servants (alongside Forte) would die and turn into real inanimate objects as a result of the spell not being broken and the Beast will develop psychologically into a literal beast. It is most likely that Forte never knew this.
- The grand tune that Forte plays when he tried to bring the castle down, was not Betoveen 4th symphony. But the "Davy Jones theme" from Pirates of the Caribbean composed by Hans Zimmer.