|“||So, you want me to throw her father into the asylum unless she agrees to marry you? (groans) Oh, that is despicable. (chuckles evilly) I LOVE IT!!||„|
|~ Monsieur D'Arque upon learning of Gaston's plan to make Belle his wife.|
Monsieur D'Arque (simply known as D'Arque) is a supporting antagonist of Disney's 30th full-length animated feature film Beauty and the Beast and its 2017 live action adaptation. He is the head of the local insane asylum bribed by the town hunter Gaston Legume to pronounce Belle's father Maurice insane and lock him in the asylum to blackmail Belle into marrying Gaston.
He was voiced by the late Tony Jay (who later voiced Judge Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Shere Khan in TaleSpin and The Jungle Book 2) in the 1991 film, and portrayed by Adrian Schiller in the 2017 live action adaptation.
Although he does not have much screen time compared to the film's other villains, enough of Monsieur D'Arque is seen for people to judge him as a greedy, callous, eccentric, duplicitous, and self-centered man who will do anything for money, to the point that he even notes that Gaston's plan to blackmail Belle into marrying him is extremely despicable, only to claim immediately afterwards with an evil laugh that he actually loves it, clutching a gold coin tightly in his fist. Also, when he arrives with the lynch mob to take Maurice away, he promises Belle with a wicked smile that they will "take good care" of Maurice in the madhouse, possibly implying that the patients there are subjected to forms of abuse, and D'Arque himself takes pleasure in watching it. However, although not shown onscreen, he is willing to pardon anyone whose sanity has been proven to the public, as Maurice was finally released after Belle proves the Beast's existence; even D'Arque himself admitted earlier that he considered Maurice to be very harmless in nature.
Despite being the supporting antagonist, it is rather interesting to note that D'Arque's personality and Tony Jay's performance as the character is what lead Disney to cast Jay as Judge Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Beauty and the Beast (1991 original)
When Belle turns down Gaston's marriage proposal, Gaston becomes angry but when Belle's father Maurice comes into the tavern telling everyone that Belle has been locked in the dungeon by the Beast and everyone starts laughing thinking that Maurice is crazy, Gaston comes up with a plan to make Belle his wife.
Later that night after everyone goes home, Gaston and his lackey LeFou remain in the tavern to meet up with Monsieur D'Arque, who runs the local madhouse (or "Asylum for Loons"). Gaston reveals his plan to make Belle agree to marry him by exploiting her father's crazy ravings about a unnamed Beast holding her prisoner in his castle. D'Arque is quite hesitant at first as he truthfully states that Maurice is quite harmless in general (despite his claims). However, Gaston offers D'Arque a bag of gold to throw Maurice in the madhouse unless Belle agrees to marry him, to which D'Arque happily accepts. When they go to Belle's cottage to find out that neither Belle nor Maurice are there, so Gaston has LeFou stay there on guard until Belle and Maurice return.
When Belle and Maurice do come home, LeFou rushes to get Gaston and D'Arque, who both rallied up much of the villagers for support. D'Arque himself appears at Belle's doorstep and snidely promises her that they will "take good care" of Maurice, showing her the madhouse's carriage. D'Arque has his men carry Maurice to the carriage, despite Belle's protests. Gaston promises to have Maurice released if Belle will marry him, but Belle turns down Gaston's proposal again and manages to prove that her father's sanity by proving the Beast's existence with the Magic Mirror, resulting Maurice's release. D'Arque and his men are not seen after this since they were not among the rioters attacking the Beast's castle, so it is likely that they merely went home, knowing now that Maurice was telling the truth the whole time.
Beauty and the Beast (2017 remake)
D'Arque appeared in the 2017 live-action adaptation of the film, where he was played by Adrian Schiller and has a smaller role. However, unlike in the animated film, it's left in question to believe whether D'Arque is aware of Gaston's plan to marry Belle or not, as he hasn't been shown to accept a bribe from Gaston to lock up Maurice.
D'Arque briefly appeared in the climax as he was taking Maurice to the asylum under Gaston's orders. As it turns out, Gaston previously left Maurice to die in the woods after the latter refuses to let him marry Belle, and Maurice has returned after being rescued by the local beggar woman Agathe before accusing Gaston for attempted murder. To that end, Gaston plans to have Maurice detained in the asylum for his 'silly' cravings about the Beast in order to cover his crime and blackmail Belle into marrying him. Fortunately, an arriving Belle foils this by using the Magic Mirror to prove the Beast's existence, which made D'Arque and the villagers realize that Maurice was telling the truth.
Despite this turn of events, a furious Gaston (being jealous of Belle's relationship with the Beast and not wanting to be exposed of his crime) steals the magic mirror and convinces the townsfolk that the Beast is a threat to the village that must be put down. As Gaston rallies the villagers to attack the Beast's castle, he angrily orders D'Arque to lock up both Belle and Maurice in the carriage and watch the two on guard until he and the villagers return after slaying the Beast. However, D'Arque is forced to move back from the carriage as the villagers march off to raid the Beast's castle, which buys Maurice enough time to release himself and Belle from the carriage by unlocking the padlock with Belle's hair pin.
As D'Arque returns to the carriage, he is stunned to find it empty with Maurice standing next to it. Maurice then stalls D'Arque by returning his padlock to him, which allowed Belle to escape on horseback, much to D'Arque's shock and confusion. Maurice then asks D'Arque if he has any children, but D'Arque remains speechless as he watches Belle running off to the Beast's castle. It is unknown what happened to him afterwards.
Beauty and the Beast (musical)
In the musical, D'Arque's role is the same as it was from the film. However, he tends to be more humorous than his animated counterpart, and his asylum is called the Maison Des Lunes, which is French for "House of Lunatics". He, Gaston, and Lefou even sang about Gaston's plot in the song called "Maison Des Lunes". Also, unlike in the film, D'Arque took a role in raiding the Beast's castle (mostly out of greed), but was later warded off by several of the enchanted servants, causing him to flee with the other rioters in defeat.
There's a danger I'll be thwarted,
And denied my honeymoon,
For the pretty thing I've courted,
Refuses to swoon.
So the time has come for a murky plan
For which I turn to a murky man
To find that fiend
What better than;
Gaston + LeFou:
THE MAISON DES LUNES
I don't take this girl for granted,
There's no path I haven't hewn,
To her heart; no seed unplanted,
No flowers unstrewn.
But quite amazing to relate
she doesn't want me for her mate.
Which forces him to contemplate;
Gaston and LeFou:
THE MAISON DES LUNES
I don't wish to seem a tad obtuse,
But I don't see how I can be of use,
For I lock people up, I'm not a Lonely Hearts Club.
I'm a cold, cold fish,
I've a nasty, vicious streak.
It's Belle's father whose your client,
She adores the old buffoon.
She'll be forced to be compliant,
She'll dance to your tune.
We'll get the daughter through her dad,
You just pronounce the old boy mad.
And whoosh, he's slammed up
In your pad;
LeFou + D'Arque
THE MAISON DES LUNES
Do I make myself entirely clear?
It's the simplest deal of my whole foul career!
Put Maurice away and she'll be here in
Moments, in a dreadful state,
Oh, I'll be strapping up an inmate
But please don't bring him in late;
Our check-in time's noon.
So wave one bachelor good-bye,
She'll be my bride!
She'd rather die...(uncomfortable pause)...then see her daddy
Ossify? In my sordid saloon!
Gaston + LeFou + D'Arque:
So book the church, raise glasses high,
to THE MAISON DES LUNES.
- The name "D'Arque" is a pun of the word "Dark".
- Some fans believe him to be related to Judge Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, because they are both French and voiced by the late Tony Jay.
- As a matter of fact, Tony Jay's performance as D'Arque is what led to Jay's role as Frollo.
- Monsieur D'Arque's initial appearance is similar to that of Doctor Claw from the Inspector Gadget series.
- His appearance in the 2017 film is similar to his appearance in the play.