This issuance celebrates the rich legacy of the Walt Disney Studios Ink & Paint Department with a pane of 20 stamps showcasing 10 classic Disney villains:
• Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)
• Honest John (Pinocchio)
• Cruella De Vil (One Hundred and One Dalmatians)
• Captain Hook (Peter Pan)
• Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)
• Lady Tremaine (Cinderella)
• Ursula (The Little Mermaid)
• the Queen (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
• Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)
• Scar (The Lion King)
Gaston is the main antagonist of Disney's 1991 animated feature film, Beauty and the Beast. He was an arrogant, chauvinistic hunter who was determined to have Belle's hand in marriage, even by force if necessary. This obsession turned him into a ruthless, traitorous villain, especially when he found out that Belle's love was not for him, but for a Beast.
In the 1988 screenplay, although Gaston himself did not exist, there did exist three suitors for Belle who competed for her hand in marriage who were ultimately similar to him, and shared the role of antagonist with Belle's wicked sisters. They ultimately were transformed into animals, alongside Belle's sisters, by the Enchantress as punishment for their misdeeds, including nearly murdering the Beast.
In the 1989 screenplay, the three suitors were condensed into a single character, Gaston. In this version, Gaston was depicted very differently. Instead of a hunter who was the town hero, he was a marquess, or French nobleman. He would have shared the role of antagonist with Belle's aunt, Marguerite who would have chosen him as Belle's suitor, specifically as revenge towards Maurice (who in this version was a failed merchant who lost his wealth at sea, just like in the original tale). In the climax, he was to have traveled to the Beast's Castle, also stealing the Sedan Chair to ensure he tracked down the castle, and upon arrival fight off several of the Enchanted Objects with a rapier before personally dueling the Beast in battle. He also met his fate differently.
As such, his design was also completely different. He was tall and lank with a mole on the left side of his face and a crooked nose. His attire consisted of a sky-blue jacket and a powdered wig tied with a red ribbon. All of these features gave him a somewhat similar appearance to French noblemen, such as Jean Rousseau or Napoleon.
After Jeffrey Katzenberg demanded a rewrite to the film, Gaston's characterization was altered significantly, being made into the town hero as well as the village's local hunter. According to Linda Woolverton, she had based this version on Gaston on previous unsuccessful relationships, and she had also wanted Belle's decrying of Gaston being her suitor (whom Woolverton referred to as a blockhead) to be the focal point of the film, necessitating that Belle's wicked sisters and their respective love interests be left out, as well as cutting her snobbish Aunt Marguerite.
Story reels for the original screenplay (included in the Platinum and Diamond Editions of the final film) indicate that his surname was intended to be LeGume, as he is referred to with said name by Marguerite. This acted as a pun on his small-minded views. This was presumably dropped in the final release, as in both "Belle" and its reprise, the Bimbettes and Belle referred to him and herself as "Monsieur Gaston" and (albeit sarcastically) "Madame Gaston" respectively, implying that "Gaston" was his surname.