Disney shines spotlight on domestic staff in two smash hits

Disney shines spotlight on domestic staff in two smash hits

Disney shines spotlight on domestic staff in two smash hits

Disney movies have introduced us to countless memorable and much-loved characters over the decades.

In the 1991 animated classic Beauty and the Beast, audiences met the likes of Lumiere and Cogsworth, members of the titular Beast's domestic staff, who made a lasting impact on Disney lovers.

The characters were resurrected 26 years later in the live-action retelling of the tale, which was another huge hit for the House of Mouse.

A unique cast
Beauty and the Beast tells the story of a prince whose arrogance results in him being cursed by an enchantress and turned into a monster, while the staff who run his castle become household objects. The prince must learn to love another, and earn their love in return, to break the spell.

In the 1991 animated version, the cast of quirky and charismatic characters forced to take inhuman form includes Cogsworth, the head of the household staff who becomes a mantle clock; Lumiere, a valet transformed into a candelabra; and Lumiere's sweetheart, a maid turned into a feather duster.

Belle, a young girl from a nearby village who comes to the castle looking for her father, meets the enchanted objects and is treated to a lavish dinner. This moment is marked by one of the film's stand-out musical numbers: Be Our Guest. Desperate to have someone to serve and look after, the staff spring into action and serve Belle a luxurious meal while singing and dancing.

Later in the film, we see the household workers show their steely side as they defend the castle from attackers who want to kill the beast.

More than a quarter of a century on from the release of this animated favourite, Disney introduced us to new versions of these characters in its 2017 live-action version of Beauty and the Beast.

This time, audiences were entertained by a much starrier cast, with Ewan McGregor playing Lumiere, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth and Emma Thompson taking on the role of Mrs Potts, the castle's housekeeper who is turned into a teapot.

Plumette, the maid transformed into a feather duster, was given a bigger role in the later adaptation and played by British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

Smash hits

These characters are now familiar and highly popular figures within the Disney universe, largely thanks to the huge success of these two films.

The 1991 version had a budget of $25 million and grossed $425 million at the worldwide box office - a massive amount back in the early 90s. It was the first animated film to win the Golden Globe for the best musical or comedy and to be nominated for the Academy Award for best picture.

Disney's live-action take on the famous story was the second-biggest movie at the global box office in 2017, bringing in more than $1.2 billion. That makes it the 13th highest-grossing film of all time, just behind another Disney smash, Frozen.

There's no doubt the success of these movies was fuelled by their wonderful characters, most memorably of all the domestic staff who provide the comedy moments and musical highlights.

Here at Aurora, we don't have any enchanted objects to help with our work, but we're confident our professional cleaners have all the skills they need to keep your workplace in great shape.


Posted by Julie Tucker