Cogsworth, the real name revealed to be Henry, is a supporting character in Beauty and the Beast. He is voiced and portrayed by Ian McKellen.
Cogsworth is the Beast's majordomo and head butler, who as part of the curse was turned into an enchanted pendulum clock.
- “This has gone far enough! I'm in charge, here!”
Cogsworth naturally has a serious demeanor which is evident in his strict attitude in serving the Beast and ordering the other servants around constantly. However, Cogsworth does mean well and is as good-natured as Lumière is. He is Lumière's best friend and also a rival of sorts. Cogsworth's preference to abide by the Beast's rules often puts a severe strain on his friendship with Lumière, who opts for a more rebellious and carefree personality, but overall, he values his friendship with Lumière and sees him as a brother, demonstrated in the original film (when he saves Lumière from being melted by LeFou, Gaston's henchman) and the midquels.
Though often viewed as a "stick-in-the-mud", Cogsworth has a much softer side to his personality. He's ultimately compassionate, intelligent, and actually enjoys the idea of having a fun time within the castle; only ruling against various festivities in hopes of keeping the Beast's anger at bay. He can also be rather sassy and is prone to making sharp remarks in response to the words of his friends; often in a rather serious manner.
Though loyal enough, Cogsworth's allegiance to the Beast is mostly driven by fear (at least during the time of the curse). Although this is true, he was shown to care for his master's happiness and well-being, specifically during the time of Belle's imprisonment, and took it upon himself to provide a boost of confidence whenever the insecure Prince was in need of such.
Role in the Film
In this adaptation, Cogsworth's first name is revealed to be Henri. He is also revealed to have a wife, Clothilde. At the end of the film, he is reunited with Clothilde (much to his dismay), who, along with the other villagers, had lost her memory of him and the other servants in the Beast's castle. This incarnation of Cogsworth is older than the original.
- The costume that Cogsworth dons during the battle to defend the castle is an obvious reference to Napoleon Bonaparte, a famous French general.
- The Disney novel, Lost in a Book, expands on his military history, as Cogsworth states that he participated in the American battle of Yorktown (1781) against the British 'redcoats,' as well the Battle of Quebec (pg 104). He additionally lists fights during the Seven Years War and battles against Prussia.
- John Cleese was originally intended to voice Cogsworth.
- He is visually referenced in the 2004 DreamWorks film Shrek 2, when Shrek, Donkey, and Puss try to escape the Fairy Godmother's factory, and they accidentally leak a potion that spills over and turns two of the Godmother's henchmen into a candelabra and a clock.
- DreamWorks also references this in a trailer for their 2017 film The Boss Baby, where the boss baby plays with toy versions of Lumière and Cogsworth, poking fun at the remake, before which this trailer played.
- An inanimate clock resembling Cogsworth can be seen on a table alongside a candelabra resembling Lumière in the ABC series Once Upon a Time episode "Skin Deep".
- Cogsworth's line, "Flowers, chocolates, promises you don't intend to keep," was improvised by his voice actor David Ogden Stiers.