Maurice is an eccentric, yet humble inventor residing in a small French village with his daughter, Belle, and horse, Philippe (what became of his wife is unknown). Maurice hopes to someday create an invention capable of reforming the life of his family for the better and is regularly hard at work in his basement/workshop on various contraptions. Though they’re usually met with failure, his dream and Belle’s support motivates him to push forward each time.
Maurice is widely known throughout the village as “crazy old Maurice”. Due to the uniqueness of his inventions, he is often looked down upon and thought to be mentally unstable, albeit harmless enough not to cause any legitimate concern amongst the townsfolk; they’d much rather ridicule him as a means to garner a few laughs. Belle takes after him in being a fairly unconventional individual and receives a similar form of critical judgment from the townsfolk because of this. Maurice, however, tends to ignore the opinions of others, simply putting his focus towards his work and family.
In the original 1989 storyline of the film, Maurice was a merchant who lost all his money, as in the original tale. His reason for leaving the house before finding the Beast’s castle was to sell his late wife’s music box so that he could pay his taxes. According to animator Andreas Deja, his design in that version of the film was based on actor Jack Lennon. In addition, his wife was mentioned to be deceased in this version, while in the final version, Belle’s mother is never alluded to.