|“||She's as crazy as the old man. The Beast will make off with your children! He'll come after them in the night! We're not safe until his head is mounted on my wall! I say we kill the Beast!||„|
|~ Gaston snapping, encouraging the town to kill the Beast.|
|“||Get up! Get up! What's the matter, Beast? Too kind and gentle to fight back?||„|
|~ Gaston taunting the Beast|
Gaston Legume (simply known as Gaston) is the primary antagonist of Disney's 30th full-length animated feature film, Beauty and the Beast. He is an egomaniacal hunter from Belle's town who declared himself as Belle's would-be fiancé and this made him the Beast's arch-nemesis.
In the Story
At the beginning of the story, Gaston is known to be as the village's town hero and is well-respected by much of the villagers (including his right-hand LeFou) and the object of affection of every girl in the village, except for Belle. He tries to propose marriage to Belle, who respectfully refuses. Depressed and upset, Gaston plans to do whatever it takes to marry Belle.
Gaston knows that this act will rouse little suspicion because Maurice already seemed to be insane to the rest of the town, raving about a monstrous Beast holding Belle as his prisoner (thanks to a deal she made with the Beast). He then forms up a plan, he bribes the owner of the local asylum Monsieur D'Arque to lock up Maurice until Belle agrees to marry him. Even when D'Arque comes to take her father, Belle still refuses to marry Gaston, and proves that the Beast indeed does exist by causing him to appear on the magic mirror that the Beast gives her which proves to be a mistake: It was then the whole town (including Gaston) realized that Maurice was right about his claims of the Beast's existence, resulting Maurice's release.
Upon seeing this, Gaston suspects that Belle has feelings for the Beast (since he had let her go to help her father). Out of jealousy, Gaston plays on the villagers' fear to incite them to form a mob to lay siege to the Beast's castle. He then had the mob to lock up Belle and Maurice in their cellar to prevent them from warning the Beast, though a talking teacup named Chip manages to free them. Though the mob end up being warded off by the castle's enchanted servants for good, Gaston himself finds the Beast in the West Wing, and brutally attacks him. The Beast doesn't fight back, as he feels disheartened that Belle won't come back for him. Eventually, Belle does return with Maurice who is trying to protest to Gaston, and upon witnessing this, the Beast regains his will to defend himself, engaging into an intense fight with Gaston.
With Gaston using a makeshift club - a piece off one of the sculptures in the castle - as a weapon, the fight turns infinitely more brutal. Though Gaston initially appeared to have an advantage over the Beast, his arrogance would be his undoing; once he taunted the Beast for his monstrous appearance enough, the Beast finally snapped and overpowered him, holding him by the throat over the edge of the castle. With his life at stake, Gaston finally abandons his pride and pitifully begs for his life. The Beast almost kills him, but doesn't, because he had become more human through his love for Belle. He pushes Gaston aside, angrily telling him to leave the castle and never return. Just before the Beast can comfort Belle, in an act of more jealousy Gaston jumps onto the Beast and stabs him in the back with a knife. The Beast swings his arm backwards roaring in pain, causing Gaston to lose his balance and fall screaming from the roof to his death, and drowning in a moat.
Despite laying a fatal stab on the Beast, Gaston would die alone that night in vain; the Beast had been bonded to an enchanted rose that kept him in his beast form and would bloom until his twenty-first birthday, and he would only turn back into a human if he could learn to love another and earn her love in return before the rose's last petal fell. Just as the Beast succumbed to his wounds, Belle tearfully begged him not to leave her and admitted she loved him, mere seconds before the last petal fell. The spell was broken bringing the Beast back to life and returning him to his human form.
As stated earlier, Gaston is a rude, egomaniacal, and narcissistic hunter who will go to any length to get what he wants, even if it involves bribes or blackmail. He is very narrow-minded to the extent that he disapproves of women reading. This is due to the fact that he regards ideas as dangerous. Because he is very handsome and muscular he is also well-respected in the village; he is able to rouse a mob whose intent is to kill the Beast. This shows that he is also vengeful, since he suspected that Belle (whom he wanted to marry) had feelings for the Beast.
Despite Belle calling him "brainless", he is not stupid, as he can come up with clever plans to get what he wants. In spite of his intelligence, he was extremely reckless, shown when he openly bragged many key details about his plan to kill the Beast during the Gaston reprise, as well as during the climax when he stabbed the Beast in the back without assessing the risks, causing his own death.
Gaston is considered one of Disney's most popular villains. He ranked 11th 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 is not pure 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 in particular is a very popular source for YouTube Poop.
Once Upon a Time
Gaston is featured in the ABC series in a very minor role played by Sage Brocklebank. Here, he was engaged to Belle through an arranged marriage, but just like the film, she did not love him because she found him "shallow." Unlike his Disney counterpart he appears to be more noble and focused, as shown when he expressed concern for Belle's agreement to go with Rumpelstiltskin and when she refused his marriage proposal. He attempted to reclaim her from Rumpelstiltskin regardless, but was transformed into a rose and given as a gift to Belle.
Gaston was revived, and it was also revealed that he had two twin sons, who he named after himself (which is not surprising); their names are Gaston Jr. and Gaston the Third, but his two sons have not inherited his obsession with girls.
- Gaston was supposed to be voiced by Rupert Everett, the same man who played Doctor Claw in the live action film adaptation Inspector Gadget and the voice of Prince Charming in Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third.
- The animators researched high school and college jock stereotypes to create Gaston's menacing and arrogant mannerisms.
- Gaston was not present in Kingdom Hearts II, despite being the main villain of Beauty and the Beast. Xaldin, a member of Organization XIII, serves as this world's main villain & reprises the role of Forte. In many Kingdom Hearts fanfiction, Gaston is one of the most popular Disney Villains added to the series.
- Gaston was created for the film and does not appear in the original fairy tale Disney based the film on. Beauty's sisters (who were cut from the film) are the antagonists of the original fairy tale.
- Originally, Gaston was going to say to The Beast: "It's over Beast, time to die!". This was changed, because it was slightly out of character, as Gaston is attempting to kill the Beast out of love, not malice. If you look carefully when Gaston says: "Belle is mine!" his lips are slightly off.
- 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, specially the Golden Films version.
- During his fall off the castle, you can quickly see that some skulls appear in his eyes. This is likely to symbolize that Gaston did not survive the fall.
- His original death was the Wolves who pursued Maurice, Belle, and after a violent battle, wounded the Beast, they ate after falling off the castle as originally survived and one leg was broken. This death was removed, but was later reused for it was the death of Scar (the original (and removed) death of he was that fall from the Pride Rock and died burned alive) in The Lion King (single Wolves were replaced by the Hyena Clan, and by Shenzi, Banzai & Ed).
- In the 2017 live-action remake of Disnet's Beauty and the Beast, he will be portrayed by Luke Evans, who also portrayed Owen Shaw in Fast and Furious 6.