The Real Life Frenemies Behind Lumiere and Cogsworth

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Discover the story behind two of the most famous frenemies of all time

Fans of Beauty and The Beast had a lot to celebrate this week as the movie turned twenty-five. First, Angela Lansbury took us back to childhood with a live rendition of “Beauty and The Beast”. Then Disney released the 25th anniversary Beauty and The Beast edition of the film yesterday, which included more behind the scenes footage and commentary.

The commentary included a little known piece of information about two of Disney’s most successful animators.



A Strained Relationship

One of the most interesting things we learned from the Beauty and The Beast DVD extras, was that the animators behind Cogsworth and Lumiere were frenemies in real life. Will Finn and Nik Ranieri had an “interesting” working relationship. Ranieri says the relationship was “strained” after sharing an office during the animation of Rescuers Down Under. “They would drive each other insane,” says Gary Trousdale, co-director of Beauty and The Beast.

“Lumiere and Cogsworth have an interesting relationship, because they have to work together yet they don’t always get along. Nick and I shared a similar reality,” Finn says in the DVD extras. “That’s a tough subject,” adds Ranieri.

beauty and the beast animators

Talented Artists

Both Will Finn and Nik Ranieri were talented animators. Finn had animated films like The Fox and the Hound, The Little Mermaid and Rescuers Down Under before being asked to animate Cogsworth for Beauty and the Beast. Ranieri had worked on Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Little Mermaid as well.


Cogsworth and Lumiere

At the end of their work together on Rescuers, Finn and Ranieri were ready to move on and move out of the office they shared. Unfortunately for the duo, they were informed they would be working closely together on Beauty and The Beast, animating two of its central characters. “I think if they put us in the same office while doing that we would have killed each other,” says Finn in the interview.

Finn and Ranieri were chosen, because they were great animators, but according to Beauty and The Beast Co-Director, Kirk Wise “The reason why we cast Will and Nik to animate those particular characters also had a little to do with the fact that they were like those characters.” Ranieri was more suave and sophisticated, while Finn owns up to being more tightly wound. Luckily the duo were able to overcome their differences, and create two of Disney’s most beloved characters.

To watch the full interview buy the 25th anniversary edition of Beauty and The Beast available online now.

Michelle McKinley is a journalist and digital marketer from Los Angeles, CA. She earned her Journalism degree from Pepperdine University, and has been writing for the web since 2003. She’s a life-long Disney fan who travels and writes about her experiences for fun.

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