I love Disney Princesses and I love Christmas, so much so that a cherished Christmas memory I have is reading Ariel’s Christmas Under The Sea during the holidays as a kid.
FYI, I was so happy when I found an upload of this on YouTube after I got rid of my book years ago. That book brought me so much joy. So Princess love plus Christmas love should equal me loving this movie right.
Which is a shame as the original cast does return and the new voices are nothing to scoff at as you’ve got the likes of Bernadette Peters, Paul Reubens, and Tim Curry joining the cast. That line-up alone should make for a killer movie but it doesn’t.
I don’t think it is an overstatement to say that Tim Curry is an icon. He has played so many memorable and beloved villains. FYI, if you want to see him as a good villain in a Disney movie, watch Muppets Treasure Island.
This sadly is not of his better villain roles. Sure, the character being played by Tim Curry does elevate him somewhat but not by much. Curry brings that unflappable charm and charisma to all the characters he plays. And god even as a pipe organ, his voice is so sexy.
So, this movie is a bit weird as it’s less a sequel and more a midquel seemingly taking place sometime around the wolf attack from the original movie. That’s always the confusing thing with midquels as you have to try to figure out the placement of this movie in the original movie’s timeline. When we see him early on, we see that he doesn’t seem to like Belle very much as the only servant that does not. Taking this even further, we do get a glimpse of Forte as a human in a flashback
So, this is confusing on many levels. This movie is presented as a story being told by Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, and Cogsworth to Chip during the Christmas after they became human again. This means we have a flashback inside a flashback and also how did Mrs. Potts and the others know about this when they were not present for the moment before this flashback took place. I find this confusing and a bit odd. Also, I get the idea that the human forms are meant to represent the objects that are turned into but it looks so much worse with Forte.
Forte is cold, calculated, and manipulative. He is willing to do anything to get what he wants and it seems as though he can use the power of music to create allusions that help in spreading his manipulation. He also plays on the wants of others. This is seen where he promises Fife a solo and that is why Fife agrees to work with and help him at first. Belle is more astute than he’d like though as she can point out how Forte can twist her words.
His desire is so baffling to me as he does not want the curse broken, he wishes to remain a pipe organ as he believes that he is more useful as a pipe organ to Beast than he was as a human. I get this in a sense but it doesn’t seem like a fully thought out plan. In some sense, I get what he’s saying but apparently if one is to look at this on a meta-level, his plan would have failed even if he had succeeded. It’s been confirmed that if the curse was not broken, the enchanted objects would start to lose more of their humanity until the point where they were nothing but the objects they appear as. Don Hahn stated in a DVD commentary for the original that if the curse was not broken, Beast would become more animal-like the people that became the Enchanted Objects would die.
This means that he’d lose the one thing that he craves most over everything having control over Beast and being manipulate able to him with his music.
That’s my major reaction to what Forte wants. It’s just so bad.
Fife is a likable enough character if not entirely memorable. He is quite gullible but he does turn tides after seeing how badly Belle and Chip almost get hurt. He wakes up and realizes that he can’t work with Forte any long. He does eventually get to play his solo at the end of the movie as a human. So, that’s nice.
I do like Fife overall and he is a nice if forgettable addition to the line-up of servants that the Beast/Prince has.
Don’t Fall in Love
Oh, how this song makes me miss Howard Ashman. That man gave us so many great songs from the original movie. Sure, it’s not truly fair to compare something from a quick Christmas cash-in to a movie that was nominated for multiple Oscars but man, Tim Curry deserved better than this. This is the same man that gave us classics like “I’m Going Home” and “A Professional Pirate”. He’s selling it the best he can but he deserves better than this. I know years ago when The Creature and I reviewed the RHPS remake he mentioned how much his heart broke watching Curry as The Criminologist in that abhorrent film. That’s my feeling here as this movie wastes Tim Curry and wasting Tim Curry should be a crime.
Honestly, if it were anyone other than Tim Curry, I probably wouldn’t hate this song as much as I do but knowing how much Curry has given us, this is just not right.
Most Evil Deed
I will say the one interesting thing that Forte does is that he comes so close to convincing The Beast to destroy The Enchanted Rose as he views it as a symbol of the pain of the past. That is an interesting idea and shows what Forte is capable of.
Yeah, Forte’s demise is quite the feat. It’s a little easier if I quote the Disney Wiki.
Forte was finally defeated when the Beast ripped his keyboard away from him, 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 crashed to the ground
That’s quite intense but considering what happened to Gaston, I’m not that surprised by it. It also does work in opinion in showing how much Beast is willing to protect those that he cares about.
Is Maestro Forte A Good Villain?
Not really, no. And that is a major shame as you have an iconic actor known for playing beloved villains in this role. And Tim Curry playing this character is truly the only thing that saves him from being any worse. I wish I liked him but he’s just so uninteresting. Join me next time as we look at a villain from another Christmas sequel. One that is a bit better than this one but not by much as we look at…