I'll never get this boneheaded contraption to work!
~ Maurice frustrated with his invention.
Maurice is a major character from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. He is the village inventor and Belle's father. However, he is considered by the majority of the village to be insane.
He is voiced by the late Rex Everhart in the 1991 film and portrayed by Kevin Kline in the 2017 film.
Beauty and the Beast
During the beginning of the movie, he is working on a machine that automatically chops up firewood. Once it is successfully working, he leaves for the County Fair to display his invention. However, he is unable to make it to the fair due to getting lost in the woods. After going down a path that results in the loss of his horse and cart, and being attacked and nearly killed by a pack of rabid wolves, he winds up at the gate of a dark castle. When he enters the castle to stay for the night, he ends up being locked up by the Beast, the castle's master.
Belle learns of what happened and goes to the castle, attempting to release her father. She then tries to convince the Beast to release him from the castle. She succeeds in convincing the Beast to release him, under the condition that she is to take her father's place, to Maurice's protests. He later tries to seek the villagers' help in trying to rescue Belle, but he learns that they don't believe him, and they consequently throw him out of the tavern.
Determined to not give up on Belle, he decides to return to the castle alone. However, it doesn't take long before he succumbs to the harsh winter. Luckily, Belle discovers that her father is in trouble via the Beast's Magic Mirror and is released by the Beast so she can save him. Shortly after arriving back home, LeFou has alarmed the villagers of their return. Shortly thereafter the keeper of the Maison de Lunes Insane Asylum and the other villagers come to take Maurice to the insane asylum in an intricate plan to blackmail Belle into marrying Gaston. Belle reveals that Maurice's rants are true and that the Beast does exist. Both she and Maurice are locked up by Gaston in the cellar, to stop them from interfering with Gaston's goal to kill the Beast. Chip Potts has managed to stow away in Belle's satchel and uses the automated firewood cutter to destroy the door to the cellar. Maurice and Belle leave for the castle to stop Gaston from killing the Beast. He is last seen in the ballroom as he happily watches Belle and the Beast (who is now transformed back into a handsome prince) dance while he laughs at Chip's question whether he still has to 'stay in the cupboard'.
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
Maurice only makes a cameo in the midquel, as one of the people listening to the story Mrs. Potts is telling.
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Maurice appears in the 2017 live-action remake of the film, played by Kevin Kline. In this version, Maurice is an overprotective father as a result of the loss of Belle's mother. He does not create odd inventions, rather he spends his time creating an array of music boxes. Some of these music boxes represent different countries and were tailored as such so that Belle may experience the world without actually leaving their town. The character has a slightly larger role in this film than in the animated movie. Just like in the original fairy tale, he plucks a rose and is punished as a result, rather than for trespassing in the castle. When he returns to town to ask for help, he is able to take Gaston and LeFou back into the woods, only to find the path to the Beast's castle having been hidden beforehand. Upon learning that Gaston only came with him in the hopes of getting his blessing for marrying Belle, as well as learning of his true violent nature, Maurice furiously refuses. As a result, Gaston leaves Maurice to die at the hands of the wolves, but he is rescued by Agathe, the disguised Enchantress, and brought back to town, where he tries to prove Gaston tried to murder him. However, without Agathe's testimony, nor LeFou's since he witnessed the entire event, Maurice is deemed insane by Gaston and is taken away by Monsieur D'Arque before Belle arrives back on Phillipe to prove Maurice is sane. However, Gaston has Maurice and Belle locked in the asylum wagon while he leads the townsfolk to the Beast's castle. With Belle's help, Maurice is able to pick the lock and escape, leaving Monsieur D'Arque stunned as he and Maurice watch Belle return to the Beast's castle to save him. During the ending celebration, Maurice is seen painting the scene as his latest creation.