Disney didn’t mess around when it came to their villains — and especially the demise of many of them. The same holds true for Gaston in Disney’s 1991 masterpiece, Beauty and the Beast.
When Gaston and the Beast are locked in combat upon the ramparts of the castle, they hung on the edge of a turret. But just as the wounded Beast made his final attempt to save Belle, Gaston could hold no longer and fell down, down, down into the misty darkness.
Disney animators wanted to make sure that every detail spoke of this villain’s demise, and therefore added tiny skulls into Gaston’s pupils as he is falling. The moment is incredibly quick, so much so that unless you pause the film at just the right moment, you will most likely miss it.
All the same, animators have used this subtle detail in response to fans theorizing that Gaston did not die in the fall, by stating that those skulls are confirmation in and of itself that there was only one outcome for him.
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".