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|“||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 confident 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.|
|“||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.|
Maestro Forte (simply known as Forte) is the main antagonist of the 1997 direct-to-video animated holiday film, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. He is an evil, living pipe organ that resides in the castle. He 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 the legendary British actor who is best known for portraying many villainous roles and the characters in the film, Tim Curry, who also played General Von Talon, Pennywise, Drake, El Malefico, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Ben Ravencroft, Hexxus, Kilokahn, and Wadsworth.
Forte was once the loyal composer for the prince who was to become the Beast. When the castle was enchanted by the enchantress who cursed the spoiled prince however on one Christmas night, he was transformed into a pipe organ which was chained to the wall of a hidden room in the west wing. Because of this event, it's what led both the Beast and Forte to hate Christmas for the rest of their lives.
Manipulating the Beast
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, seemingly demonic abilities, which he could release through his own music, and became obsessed with it. Thus, Forte felt he had more use, and more importantly, power in his enchanted form. He decides to use it to keep the Beast close to himself to prevent the spell from breaking. It had remained this way for ten years until Belle came and made a deal with the Beast in exchange for her father's freedom, Forte became enraged that the Beast spent all his time with her, and he felt unneeded, and secretly plotted to destroy their relationship to make sure the spell would remain unbroken 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 Beast that love was meaningless and that his music was all that he needed. When that failed, Forte tried to convince the Beast that Belle doesn't care about his true feelings for the holiday (though Belle doesn't actually know about them yet), which led to an argument between Belle and the Beast. This too also failed, as Lumiere convinces the Beast of a Christmas gift Belle made for him shows how much she cares about him, prompting 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 dangerous 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, though 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 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 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, apologizing for his actions and allowing her 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're dead. He creates an 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 and Forte 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 ripped Forte 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 crashes to the ground, destroyed.
Though the Beast finally knew that Forte had villainous designs, 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.
Forte is depicted as an evil, cruel, snooty, selfish, uncaring, sarcastic, villainous, egotistical, manipulative, unsympathetic, obstreperous, acrimonious, vindictive, conceited, pompous, greedy, immoral, ruthless, truculent, 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 seeked some attention. Forte also seemed to be afraid to fade in the background, afraid that he will be forgotten. Forte also has a hatred towards happiness, or at the very least, happy songs. Forte seems to prefer sadness, or sad music. Forte also likes to feel extremely superior and powerful. He is also shown to be a bit misanthropic, as he considers humanity to be overrated. Even though Forte did all these evil deeds, the Beast actually considers Forte as his best friend.
|“||Well, I think I might. I'll just pick myself up and... oh, dear, what's this? I'M BOLTED TO THE WALL!||„|
|~ Maestro Forte being chained to the wall|
|“||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.|
|“||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!!||„|
|~ Maestro Forte revealing to Fife that his promise to give him a solo is a lie.|
|“||Heavens, master. You're not singing!||„|
|~ Maestro Forte before he blasts the Beast with music magic.|
|“||Is that happy enough for you, master?! I know I'm downright GIDDY!!!! (cackles evilly until the Beast grabs Forte's keyboard and smashes it to the ground) Eh...what?! (starts to fall down) WHAT??! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!||„|
|~ Maestro Forte's last words before the Beast destroys his keyboard, causing him to crash to the floor dead|
- Forte is very similar towards Xaldin from Kingdom Hearts II, seeing how they both didn't want the Beast to fall in love with Belle for their own selfish reasons.
- However, there were a few differences as to why the two didn't want the Beast to fall in love with Belle. Forte did not want the Beast to fall in love so that the curse isn't lifted, so that he remains as a pipe organ, and so he doesn't fade into the background. While Xaldin tried to prevent the Beast from falling in love so he can turn the Beast into a powerful Heartless and Nobody.
- Forte is of the few, in not 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 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 villain 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 favour 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 villain from the original film wanting revenge would later be reused with Nasira in Aladdin in Nasira's Revenge and Morgana in The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea.
- 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 a 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 iconic antagonist of the franchise, Forte is the main antagonist of this film, since he had bigger plans throughout this plot. Plus, the movie was chronologically set during the events of the original film, so Gaston must have been waiting for Belle's return, while Forte was in the limelight.