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 callous, self-centred man who will do anything for money. However, it's implied that he may be far more motivated by sadism than money, to the point that he even notes that Gaston's plan to blackmail Belle into marrying him is despicable, only to claim immediately afterward with an evil laugh that he actually loves it, clutching a gold coin tightly in his fist. Also, when he arrives with his men and the lynch mob to take her father away to his establishment Les Maison des Lunes, he promises Belle with a wicked smile that they will "take good care" of Maurice, further implying that the patients there are subjected to forms of abuse, and D'Arque himself takes pleasure in at the very least watching it.
Despite being a minor villain, it is rather interesting to note that D'Arque's personality and Tony Jay's performance as the character are what led Disney to cast Jay as Judge Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Coincidentally, Tony Jay also portrayed one of the antagonists in the live-action TV series Beauty and the Beast, made before the Disney animated feature.
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 else goes home, Gaston and LeFou summon Monsieur D'Arque, who runs the local madhouse Les Maison des Lunes (or "Asylum for Loons") and Gaston pays him to listen to his plan upon learning he did not usually leave the asylum at night. He then tells him that Maurice had earlier ranted about a Beast in a castle holding Belle in a dungeon, and mentioned that Belle needed "persuasion." D'Arque, uncertain of what Gaston was getting at, noted that Maurice, though eccentric, was not a violent or aggressive man and therefore not truly insane. Gaston (and LeFou), clarifies that he means Belle would do anything to prevent Maurice from being locked up in the madhouse (which is blackmail). Considering the management of asylums of the 18th century (the time that the film takes place), this is an extremely harsh threat. Fully understanding what Gaston is suggesting, D'Arque notes with apparent disgust that the plot was despicable, only to chuckle and declare he loves the idea.
However, when Gaston and LeFou go to Belle's cottage neither Belle nor Maurice are there, the latter have left just seconds earlier to go rescue his daughter whom he still believes to being held prisoner by the Beast. Gaston has LeFou stay there on guard until Belle and Maurice return.
When Belle and Maurice do come home, LeFou rushes to get Gaston, D'Arque, and their lynch mob. D'Arque himself appears at Belle's doorstep and formally says he has come to "collect" Maurice, before snidely promising her that they will "take good care of him", showing her the asylum'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 in the bluntest manner and manages to prove that her father is sane by showing the crowd the Beast by using the Magic Mirror the latter had loaned to her. D'Arque is not seen after this, and since he was not among the rioters attacking the Beast's castle, it is likely that he and his men merely went back to Les Maison, knowing that he now had no case against Maurice, whose sanity had effectively been proven.
Disney on Ice
In the Disney on Ice version of Beauty and the Beast, Monsieur D'Arque enters the tavern (and the story) earlier than in the film, coming in just as Maurice is telling Gaston and the villagers about his encounter with the Beast. He is bribed by Gaston into locking Maurice up in the asylum wagon (prior to carting him off later to Les Maisons des Lunes if Belle refuses to marry Gaston) but disappears after that.
In the stage musical version, D'Arque's scene with Gaston and Lefou in the tavern is turned into a musical trio, "Maison Des Lunes". He also joins Gaston and the villagers in their attack on the castle, mainly out of greed, as indicated in his gleeful reaction to Gaston's line, "Take whatever booty you can find..." During the battle, he is seen getting a well-deserved trouncing from some of the Objects.
In a touring production of the musical, the trio "Les Maisons des Lunes" was replaced by spoken dialogue, in which D'Arque, who is depicted as more of a humorous character, pretends to mistake Gaston and Lefou as potential patients when he meets them, giving a cuttingly accurate analysis of them both.
Monsieur D'Arque appears in the 2017 live-action remake, played by Adrian Schiller. However, unlike in the animated film, he plays a smaller role and 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 of 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 to 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 hairpin.
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 afterward.
He largely serves the same role as in the film in the official comic adaptation. However, in the comic, he personally accompanies Gaston into Belle's Cottage only to discover both Belle and Maurice's absence, with his also asking what they are to do regarding them before being told by Gaston that they wait them out and then be ready for them (which is what he said to LeFou in the film).
This novel expands greatly on D'Arque's background. Flashbacks reveal that his first name is Frederique and that he was close friends with Maurice and Alaric Potts - Mrs. Potts' husband and the stable-master of the Prince's castle- when he was younger. However, Frederique already harboured a subtle distrust of magical beings despite the fact that he possessed a minor magical ability himself in the form of the ability to see brief glimpses of the future, prompting him to agree with the king and queen's plans to drive magic out. When he learns that Alaric was smuggling out suspected magical beings, he stabbed his old friend in the chest and buried him in the stables, and captures the Enchantress - revealed to be Belle's mother, Rosalind - after she casts the curse. Other people he arrests over the years include LeFou's aunt, whose apparent magical ability was merely the ability to create exceptional cakes. In the final confrontation in the asylum, it is revealed that he has successfully 'repressed' the magic in several of his patients via brutal treatments, and has even partially lobotomized himself to remove his own abilities. He is killed when Gaston shoots him in the back during a confrontation with the villagers, who were told of his actions by the Beast and are disgusted that D'Arque would lock so many people away when any possible magic they possessed was relatively harmless.
- His name means literally "of arches" in French, which might be a reference to his eyebrows and angular features. It could also be a play on the English word "dark" in reference to his character.
- In the initial draft for the original film under Linda Woolverton's treatment of the story, Monsieur D'Arque had a comparatively minor (and far less villainous) role in the story, where Gaston and LeFou personally went over to the Maison de Lunes insane asylum and (offscreen) request that he collect Maurice through legitimate channels (although he is still implied to be in on the deal due to Gaston winking at him when stating he'll deal with Belle). In addition, when Belle exposes the Beast to prove Maurice's claims, Monsieur D'Arque promptly apologized to Maurice for the misunderstanding in horror at the Beast's appearance before fleeing with the other men from the asylum.
- Coincidentally, given the connection between Tony Jay's casting as Monsieur D'Arque and his later being cast as Judge Claude Frollo as noted above, his actor in the live-action remake Adrian Schiller had previously portrayed Abbot Vincent Dorin in the video game Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, a similar religious madman who nearly doomed the town he was charged with guiding for his own selfish purposes.