If you didn’t grow up with Disney movies, you were deprived of such a magical childhood. Disney Animated Classics shaped a lot of our imaginations, helping us grow into a very unique breed. I like to call us… Disneyholics. And sometimes, Disneyholics get a little too carried away.
The Internet is a dangerous, scary place, filled with viruses, scams, and false information about our beloved Disney characters. Not to toot my own horn, but I’m very familiar with the brand – I have friends inside the Walt Disney Company who I’ve talked to regarding some of these crazy rumors you read on the Internet, so let’s kick it off by debunking one of the biggest myths in Disney history:
The Beast’s name is not ‘Adam’.
That’s right! Contrary to popular belief, the Beast from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast does not have a name. Throughout the entire film, no one refers to him as anything other than “the Beast” or “Master”. In fact, the Beast is literally credited as “Beast” at the end of the film.
So where did ‘Adam’ come from?
Thanks to my good friend and Disney Cast Member, Keith Lapinig, there are a couple of “sources” that he’s found that lead people to believing that the Beast is named Adam.
- The first is “found” inside a book written by Dave Smith, the founder of the Disney Archives. In his book, “Disney A to Z”, many people think that Smith states that Adam is the Beast’s real name. This is completely untrue. Throughout the entire series of Dave Smith’s books, he never refers to the Beast as Adam. In fact, Dave Smith addresses that it is completely false in an interview on an older version of the D23 website.
- Disney Interactive released a Disney trivia CD-Rom game in 1998 (The D Show), in which one of the trivia questions states that the Beast’s name is Adam. Sadly, this actually exists. However, the game was actually licensed out to a company called Cyberflix Incorporated and not actually developed by The Walt Disney Company.
- Animators had apparently given him this name, and called him that throughout the entirety of Beauty and the Beast’s production. This isn’t correct, either: Disney animators and producers have come out and said that Adam is a fan-made name. Actually, there’s an audio commentary with the directors (Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise) and producer (Don Hahn) on the Beauty and the Beast Blu-ray / DVD that states they never had a name for the Beast during production.
“It’s a widespread lie that’s gone viral.”
Of course the above aren’t the only factors that come to play in causing people to believe the Beast’s name is Adam – these are simply the oldest “sources” of information, which potentially caused the downward spiral of confusion. There are a number of licensed toys and merchandise that have popped up in the mid-to-late 2000’s and early 2010’s which have the Prince version of the Beast labeled at “Prince Adam”. In Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside, there are plaques that have the silhouettes of the Disney Princes and their names, and, of course, the Beast is mistakenly labeled as “Prince Adam”.
This, again, is just to show that people make mistakes. The Walt Disney Company is not to blame for the oversight when it’s confusing information (not every Disney employee can possibly know everything about Disney), and it’s not the fans’ fault for believing in official product. The Walt Disney Company is taking the proper steps to educate not only the public, but its employees on keeping character integrity clean and consistent.
In fact, Lapinig (Disney ABC), and Doug Engalla (Researcher) and Tom Pniewski (Collections) of the Disney Animation Research Library, have put together a presentation that was featured at the 2017 Disney D23 Expo at the Disney Animation booth. They’ve also been sharing a very similar presentation to various departments of the Walt Disney Company, hoping to educate fans and employees alike on character and story integrity. If you’d like to dig a little deeper into the facts behind the Beast’s real name (and other Disney myths), I’d encourage you to check it out!
If you need more proof, check out this interview with Glen Keane (character animator) where he states that they never had a name for the Beast: