Philippe was originally named Orson in the 1989 screenplay. In addition, he almost ended up taken away due to Belle's family being unable to pay their taxes, with Clarice objecting to his potentially being taken away. Presumably, Orson accompanied Maurice (at that time a bankrupt merchant instead of an inventor) to sell Belle's mother's music box for cash and got lost in the storm. While Orson and Maurice rode through town, they were briefly greeted by a prostitute with the implied offer that the latter be her customer, causing Orson to briefly grin as Maurice bashfully tips his hat riding by. Orson would later aid Belle in getting to the castle in the climax, although in the screenplay, he was given the name Wilbert.
Philippe is first seen in the movie taking Maurice to the fair so that Maurice can enter his invention in the fair and make lots of money. On the way, Philippe and Maurice become lost in the woods and come across the crossroads. Phillipe would rather take the bright, cheerful with birds singing path on the left, but Maurice insists on going the foggy, eerily-lit path (the path that was cursed by the Enchantress) on the right thinking it's a shortcut and forces the reluctant Phillipe to take that route. But then as Maurice starts to turn Philippe around, Philippe hears the sound of wolves in the distance and becomes frightened causing them to crash into a tree and wake up a swarm of angry bats which frightens Philippe and he runs away scared to the edge of a cliff. Maurice tries to get Philippe to calm down but Philippe frighteningly throws Maurice off of him and runs away scared with some wolves on his trail. When Philippe escapes the wolves he arrives home and finds Belle and she asks him where her father is and tells him to take her to him. Philippe takes Belle to the gates of the Beast's castle and he becomes frightened by the sight of it but Belle manages to calm him down while she goes into the castle to find her father.
Later when Belle is scared by the Beast she takes off with him into the forest in order to escape the castle (presumably he was waiting outside the castle main door while Belle was dealing with the Beast). Philippe and Belle are attacked by a pack of wolves who chase them through the black forest. During the chase when they believe they have gotten away from the wolves they ambush Belle and Philippe and his reins get tangled on a couple of tree branches. The wolves try to attack him but he is able to kick one away and Belle defends him. The Beast soon arrives and fights off the wolf pack saving both Philippe and Belle. Philippe shows concern for the Beast when he's wounded despite his monster form. Belle then takes the Beast back to the castle with the Beast on Philippe's back.
Philippe is later seen when the Beast sets Belle free from the castle. The two of them find her father and return home. Philippe is last seen after the villagers decide to kill the Beast. After Belle and her father escape their basement with the help of Chip, they ride Philippe back to the castle to save the Beast, and Philippe bursts through the front door to get into the castle. It is presumed that after the curse was broken, Philippe stayed with Belle and Maurice in the castle.
Philippe is seen when Belle and Chip go into the black forest to find a perfect Christmas tree. He pulls the sleigh that Belle and Chip sit in. After Belle and Chip find the tree, Fife accidentally scares Philippe causing him to stomp and smash the ice of the frozen lake Belle and Chip are on. After Beast saves Belle from drowning, he follows them back to the castle.
Philippe appears in the live-action remake but is a white horse instead of being a draft horse.
Philippe first appears when Belle's father Maurice asks his daughter about what he can bring for her, and Belle asks for a rose before Maurice and Philippe leave. As Maurice and Philippe travel across the woods at night, Maurice notices a pack of wolves preparing to attack. The two end up separated during the attack, though before he can be eaten by the wolves that corner him, Philippe rides over in time for Maurice to land on his back. The two ride away from the wolves and arrive at the Beast's Castle.
Leaving the castle, Maurice starts to ride off on Philippe again, though he notices a garden of roses and decides to pick one for Belle. When he tries to pick one, Maurice notices the Beast approaching him, and Philippe runs away in fright. Running back into the village, Philippe returns home and approaches Belle. Noticing Maurice isn't with him, Belle mounts Philippe and the two ride into the forest, eventually finding the Beast's castle.
Belle later leaves the castle in fear after the Beast angrily tells her to leave, riding on Philippe, only to notice that the pack of wolves is approaching. To save her, the Beast manages to scare away the wolves, but is injured in process. Philippe later appears during the part where Belle tells the Beast to pet him gently and later during the climax of the film where Belle plans to warn the Beast about Gaston's evil plans.
- Phillipe does not appear in the stage adaptation. Therefore, Belle instead finds out Maurice is missing when she finds LeFou playing with her father's scarf she had given him before he left.
- Philippe is Belle's most prominent animal companion.