Prince Adam was a handsome young prince who lived in a luxurious castle in France and had everything he wanted. As a result he was a selfish and spoiled human. One night, on Christmas Eve, his kindness, or lack of it, was put to the test when a beggar woman came to the castle and pleaded for shelter from the freezing cold and rain, with a single rose as payment. Repulsed by her appearance, he sneered at the simple but beautiful gift. The woman begs again, and he still refuses. When he shuns the beggar woman for her repulsive appearance again, her ugliness melts away and then reveals her true form: as a beautiful (and powerful) Enchantress.
Seeing her beauty and realizing her power, the Prince tries to apologize. But it is too late, for she has seen in her disguise that there was no love in his heart. As punishment for his cold heart, she turns him into a terrifying beast-like creature. She also casts a ghastly curse on the entire castle, transforming it into a dark, foreboding place, its lush green grounds into dark, misty woods, and the good-natured servants into anthropomorphic household objects to reflect their different personalities. Ashamed of his new appearance, the Beast conceals himself inside his castle with a magic mirror as his only window to the outside world.
The Beast is a main character of Disney's 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast. As the film is based on the traditional fairy tale of the same name, the Beast is based on the corresponding character from that fairy tale. He has also appeared in two direct-to-video midquels, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas and Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World. The character also appears in the Beauty and the Beast musical. He also appears in all three installments of the Disney/Square video game series, Kingdom Hearts, and has appeared numerous times in the ABC series House of Mouse. He is featured in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse. The Beast also appears at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as a meetable character.
The Beast is voiced in all of his movie and video appearances, as well as in the Kingdom Hearts series, by Robby Benson. While his true name is never mentioned in the media franchise, it has been confirmed by the CD-ROM tie-in game The D Show that his real name is Prince Adam.