People out here acting like Belle was this suppressed Disney princess who needed the live action remake to make her a strong independent princess. YeAH, NO. like, listen, I love a lot of the things they did to Belle’s character in the new movie. They really fleshed her and gave her more backstory that the original movie didn’t give her. YEAH. But okay, in the process of that they also somehow took away a little bit of the warmth and kindness and weakness that is in Belle, despite her independence and tough strength.
Belle in the live action didn’t laugh and dance along during Be Our Guest, she didn’t weep and mourn the loss of her father and freedom, she didn’t fear what her life was becoming. In the original, Belle takes her father’s place willingly. She doesn’t try to escape. She’s self sacrificing, compassionate and kindhearted, and there’s moments in the live action where that falls flat, if it’s even there as it is.
It’s not about Emma Watson’s Belle or her acting. I like Emma Watson’s Belle. I can’t look at her and see Belle from the beloved original, but she is definitely Belle, and she makes Belle her own. Overall, I like her fresh take on the character, and I’m grateful for her portrayal. But because of the little things they took away from Belle’s character in the live action, she’s not completely Belle, in my own personal opinion.
Does that make any flipping sense? I doubt it.
I guess what the point of all this babble and incoherent opinions is this. Belle was already a strong female character for girls to look up to. That’s the point I’m trying to make. Everyone’s acting like SUDDENLY she’s worth something now, because she’s being portrayed as a bit tougher and stronger. Which, okay, great. But don’t take away the fact that when Beauty and the Beast came out in ’91, Belle was a very different princess than the others had been. She, and, well, Ariel too, really broke the mold of what the Disney princesses were, and literally paved the way for the princesses to gradually stand on their own more and more.
(I love Walt’s Original Three and am not saying they aren’t princesses who don’t stand on their own they are all so so important and strong and I will kick anyone who fights me on this. I’m talking about Belle right now though)
So, like, admire Emma Watson for the new things she’s brought to the table, the way she brought more depth to an already beloved, strong princess, while still appreciating Belle for who she already was, who she always has been.