The Wardrobe is a supporting character in Disney's 1991 animated feature film, Beauty and the Beast. She is the castle's lady-in-waiting who was cursed by the Enchantress along with the other servants, and transformed into a sentient wardrobe.
The second issue of the Beauty and the Beast comic expanded on the Wardrobe's character, revealing some of her backstory: she was an opera singer before turning into a wardrobe, hailed as "the toast of Europe" and "the brightest star ever to grace the stage". She had once performed at the Royal Opera and the King of France himself watched her.
The character of Wardrobe was introduced by visual development person Sue C. Nichols to the then entirely male cast of servants and was originally a more integral character named Madame Armoire (which means "Mrs. Wardrobe" in French). Her role was later expanded upon and ultimately taken over by Mrs. Potts. Wardrobe is known as Madame de la Grande Bouche (which means "Mrs. Big Mouth" in French) in the stage adaptation of the film, where she has an expanded role and was even Cogsworth's love interest. This name was later used in spin-off media such as Disney Princess games.
The Wardrobe is a jovial and gregarious character. She always speaks in a sweet tone and tries to find the upside to every situation. However, she was also secretly depressed because the nature of her transformation meant she can't do her opera aspects as she's a wardrobe, and thus felt she was useless. In "Human Again", she expresses contempt for her unnatural size and longs for the day she could again indulge in such human luxuries as makeup, gowns, and hair care.
As implied by her name, her cursed state was a luxurious white and green wardrobe with gold linings.
Although her human form was never shown in the animated film itself (see Trivia below), it has been shown in other media. In a flashback during the second issue of the Beauty and the Beast comic, she is depicted as slightly rotund, although full details are not visible due to the distance in the panel her human form was shown in. In various children's books, she is shown to be slightly robust and tall, with red hair that's curled in a similar manner to her headdressing, as well as wearing a dress with a white apron possessing flower-like decorations. The overall colors of the dress were similar to that of her wardrobe form's appearance.
The Wardrobe is first seen in the background of Belle's room when Belle throws herself down on her bed and begins crying; however, she has no words here. She first meets Belle after her imprisoning and comforts her along with Mrs. Potts. When dinnertime is near, she begins to pick a dress but becomes aghast when Belle declines the invitation to dinner. This angers Beast, having him storm to Belle's room in a rage. After he leaves, the Wardrobe tries to convince Belle that the Beast is not all bad once she gets to know him but this fails as Belle, who still is angry with him for his mistreatment of Maurice, states that she wants nothing to do with him. She is seen later happily watching as Belle goes to meet the Beast for a dance. The Wardrobe assists at the final battle against the villagers led by Gaston in which she dresses one of the male villagers as a woman, and also lands on another villager after jumping from a balcony. However, after the spell is broken, she is one of the few servants of the castle who is not seen in human form.
In the Special Edition DVD release, her role is expanded with the song "Human Again" where she showcases her desires to become human just like the others and is actually given a solo. In addition, near the end of the song, the Wardrobe proceeds to jump into the nearby fountain pool. The resulting splash forces the major characters to oversee the renovation work to flee.
The Wardrobe makes an appearance in "Mrs. Potts' Party" when Belle comes to talk to her about Mrs. Potts in her bedroom. A far greater role lies in the story "The Broken Wing", where she hides an injured bird Belle recently found from the Beast, despite her reluctance as she is allergic to birds.
The Wardrobe, named Madame de Garderobe, appears in the 2017 live-action remake, both voiced and portrayed by Audra McDonald. Here, she is an opera singer for the ball during the film's prologue. Her husband, Cadenza, plays the harpsichord.
When the Enchantress places her spell upon the castle, Garderobe is transformed into a wardrobe and separated from her husband, transformed into a harpsichord. She is stuck in the upstairs of the castle while he is on the ground floor, and neither can get to each other because their enchanted forms prevent them from transcending the stairs. As each petal from the Enchanted Rose falls, she finds herself growing more tired as she becomes more and more like a regular wardrobe.
Garderobe makes up a dress for Belle, but she gets out of it and wants to escape. She later decorates a ballgown for Belle so that she can fall in love with the Beast, just as she and the Beast dancing together during the musical number "Beauty and the Beast". During the battle against Gaston, Garderobe fights against Gaston and his henchmen. After the battle stops, Garderobe Cadenza reunites, but they turn into inanimate antiques. When the Enchantress decides to undo her curse, Garderobe and Cadenza return to life and return to their human forms. Garderobe later sings a reprise of the musical number "Beauty and the Beast" while Cadenza plays the piano as everyone dances in the ballroom.
In the first issue, the Wardrobe's surprise party was being planned, but Beast's roaring almost ruined the planned surprise.
In the second issue, the Wardrobe's depression over her transformation nearly resulted in the surprise party being canceled because she didn't come downstairs. Eventually, Belle, after trying out one of her dresses to make her feel useful, tricked her into coming downstairs by leaving a key part of the dress behind in time for the surprise party, which included a play.
In the 11th issue, Belle informed her about Beast's insensitive remark about her favorite book being ruined by the storm. She also heard from Belle about the contents of the book (off-screen).
In the 12th issue, she reveals that Belle's earlier complaint inspired her to create an opera about it. This almost resulted in disaster when she managed to start the opera just as the Beast was going to present the rebound book to Belle, causing him to lose confidence that his gift would mean anything until Belle came asking what he wanted.
The Wardrobe first appears blocking the entrance to the Undercroft, sleeping heavily, and preventing Sora from entering. She then has to be pushed out of the way, being the first to tell Sora and his friends Donald and Goofy about a spell that had been placed on the castle by an enchantress long ago. She informs Sora that the spell had transformed the castle servants into household objects and the prince of the castle into a hideous beast. She refuses to say any more at this point. The Wardrobe then proceeds to beg Sora to help her fellow servants, who are being held in the dungeon and promises to reveal more of the story of the spell upon his return. She does so, returning to Belle's room, where she would stay from then on, soon after.
In the animated movie stage musical adaptation, the Wardrobe is given a name: Madame de la Grande Bouche. Her role is expanded and uses the backstory first introduced in Marvel Comics. When she tries to lend Belle the gown she wore that night, the young woman thanks her but doesn't accept the gift, as she doesn't plan to dine with the Beast, despite his orders. Madame de la Grande Bouche calls her silly, which makes Belle's temper rise. The girl yells at her but apologizes no sooner. Like in the movie, Mrs. Potts and the Wardrobe comfort Belle over losing her freedom and her father.
When the Beast storms into Belle's room, Madame Bouche (along with Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth, and Lumiere) try to calm him down and encourages him to ask her politely. When the prisoner refuses, however, he throws a tantrum and forbids her from eating anything. The Beast watches through his handheld Enchanted Mirror as the Wardrobe tries to convince Belle that, despite his temper and gruff attitude, he isn't that bad and to give him a chance. However, the girl refuses. Not much later, Belle admits to Madame de la Grande Bouche that she is hungry. The opera singer kindly volunteers to ring for Mrs. Potts and sing an aria while they wait. However, Belle says she wants to herself, leaving the Wardrobe worrying about what will happen if the Beast finds out she has disobeyed his orders. She joins the other enchanted objects in singing "Be Our Guest" to cheer Belle up.
In Act II, Madame Bouche sings a solo in "Human Again", revealing she wants to resume taking care of her appearance and to regain her former weight. It is assumed she dresses Belle up for her dinner with the Beast. When the mob of villagers breaks into the castle, she helps to scar them away, particularly defeating Lefou with a high note. When the spell is broken, she is restored to her human form and appears wearing her Royal Opera gown. Cogsworth courts her while revealing himself to be an admirer of the opera diva as he listens to her boasting about her performance in the Royal Opera. In her final appearance (apart from the Curtain Call), Madame de la Grande Bouche sings a reprise of "Beauty and the Beast" as she watches Belle dance with the Prince.
Wardrobe plays a pivotal role in the Enchanted Tales with Belle attraction at Magic Kingdom. She welcomes the guests to the castle and then casts them as characters for the retelling of the movie that they are to perform with Belle and Lumiere in the library.
In an Imagineering video, they presented the interactive Wardrobe audio-animatronic, designed to be extremely realistic with real-looking LCD eyes and functioning lip movements.
In the guest rooms of the Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta, TV stands are modeled after Wardrobe.
The Wardrobe appears in Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast, barricading a door in an attempt to keep out Gaston's mob.
- She is the only principal enchanted object (along with the stove and the Coat Rack) who is not seen in human form in the finale. However, she is depicted in human form in a "Where's Waldo" type activity book that was released at the time of the film, and more recently, in the Disney Princess book Royal Weddings. She is also seen in human form in the 2017 film.
- Many fans believe that during the final battle in the castle, the villager the Wardrobe landed on (specifically the one that is the caricature of Gary Trousdale) was killed by her as the man does not appear to move after she crushed him.
- However, if one looks closely when the villagers are running out of the castle, the man she supposedly crushed is seen laying on the steps, which proves that the Wardrobe did not, in fact, kill the man and he most likely was just knocked out by her when she landed on him.
- In the stage adaptation, Wardrobe stuns a villager with a high note while dressed as Brunhilde instead of crushing him.
- In the Disneystrology entry for her, she represented November 19. However, the Marvel Comics had her birthday as being a significant part of the story of the first two issues, as well as implying that the course of the comic took place just a few days before Christmas. This would indicate her birthday is in mid-December.
- In the 2017 live-action film, her name is Garderobe, which means "wardrobe" in some languages.
- Her furniture appearance (specifically the interior of the wardrobe, which resembles the interior of an opera house) is a reflection of her former role as an opera singer.