Part of the popularity of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is due to its large and vibrant cast of characters, but there was one last-minute character change that had a big impact on the movie. The original animated film of Beauty and the Beast was released in 1991 and was the fifth Disney Princess movie. It was based on the fairytale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, but, like most of their adaptations, Disney made changes from the original. Their best changes were adding characters like Gaston, the main antagonist, Maurice, Belle’s father, and, of course, the memorable living objects that serve in the Beast’s castle.
Some of the Beast’s staff members were Mrs. Potts, the head housekeeper who was transformed into a teapot by the Enchantress, and her children, who were turned into teacups, including her seven-year-old son Chip. Chip was brave and cheerful and easily the cutest character in Beauty and the Beast, but, surprisingly, he wasn’t always intended to have such a prominent role. Originally, the movie had an enchanted music box that would have been the cute character on-screen, while Chip was only meant to have one line of dialogue. However, Chip’s voice actor, Bradley Michael Pierce, who would later go on to play Peter Shepherd in the original Jumanji, impressed the film’s creators so much, that Chip had to be given a bigger role.
Beauty & The Beast Is Much Better With Chip
Chip was extremely important to the plot of Beauty and the Beast. He was the one who first announced Belle’s presence in the castle to the other objects, even though Mrs. Potts didn’t believe him. Later, in the climax of the film, when Belle and Maurice were captured by Gaston and the villagers, Chip was the one who used Maurice’s wood-chopping machine to save them. Additionally, his relentless joy, such as when he offered to show Belle a trick and blows tea bubbles out of his head, was what helped Belle start to get comfortable in the Beast’s castle. The little teacup became such a beloved character some fan theories speculate he might have an even deeper role in the plot, such as one suggesting Chip was actually the Beast’s son.
Who Voices Chip In The Live-Action Beauty & The Beast
After Bradley Michael Pierce’s impressive performance, many actors have gone on to play Chip, including The Sixth Sense actor Haley Joel Osment in Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, and Nick Jonas in the 2002 Broadway production. In Disney’s 2017 live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson, Chip was played by Nathan Mack. Mack was only ten when he voiced the role, and it was his first major role. He had many memorable scenes alongside Emma Thompson in the role of Mrs. Potts. However, unlike the original movie, the live-action Chip didn’t go back to the village to save Belle and Maurice and instead participated in fighting off Gaston and the villagers at the castle, a battle which eventually led to Gaston falling to his death.
The Music Box did still appear in the original Beauty and the Beast movie, having a brief cameo during the ending battle. Later, during a short comic series following Beast’s life before Belle’s arrival, the Music Box’s more significant role was restored, and it was given a backstory and a personality. Yet, ultimately, it was the right choice to replace the Music Box for Chip. In what might have otherwise been a much darker story about a girl trapped against her will in a castle, Chip is the one who reminds Belle and the audience of the innocence and joy that Disney fairytales are supposed to inspire.