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|“||♫Now, it's no wonder that her name means 'beauty';
Her looks have got no parallel.
But behind that fair façade,
I'm afraid she's rather odd—
very different from the rest of us...
She's nothing like the rest of us,
Yes, diff'rent from the rest of us is Belle!♫
|~ Lyrics from the townsfolk in "Belle"|
|“||♫There must be more than this provincial life!♫||„|
|“||Princess Sofia! Your amulet brought me here to help.||„|
|~ Belle when she was summoned by Sofia's amulet.|
|“||And best of luck finding your song.||„|
|~ Belle's goodbye to Vanellope|
Belle is the overall main protagonist of the Beauty and the Beast franchise. She is the main protagonist of the 1991 film Beauty and the Beast, its direct-to-video follow-ups The Enchanted Christmas and Belle's Magical World. She is an official Disney Princess, the 5th in order of release, after Ariel and before Jasmine. In Beauty and the Beast, she was the Prince Adam's love interest after the end of the movie. She is 17 years old in the film Beauty and The Beast.
Paige O'Hara did both her speaking and singing voices. Back in 2011, Paige O'Hara retired from voicing her character, Belle and left Julie Nathanson to look after her character.
A stage version of the 1991 film debuted on Broadway on April 14, 1994, with the 'live' role of Belle originated by Susan Egan (who would later go on to voice Megara in Hercules), and finalized by Anneliese van der Pol.
In live action, Belle was portrayed by Emma Watson in the live action reboot of Beauty and the Beast, and she was also portrayed by Emilie de Ravin in the television series Once Upon a Time. Belle also appeared in the Descendants film series on Disney Channel portrayed by Keegan Connor Tracy. In Japanese dub from the movie, she was voiced by Eri Ito, who also voiced Mulan in Disney Mulan and singing Queen Erika in Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper.
Beauty and the Beast
Belle is a young woman living in an unnamed village in France. She first appears at the beginning of the film (after the prologue) as she emerges out of the cottage she lives in and heads to a bookstore in the village, unaware that the villagers are noting her peculiarity and how she doesn't fit in with the rest of them due to her love for books. At the bookstore, Belle returns a book she has borrowed and takes the one she perceives as her favorite. While heading back home to the cottage, she is pursued by a rude, conceited, arrogant, greedy, muscle-headed hunter named Gaston, who eventually stands in her way. Gaston takes the book from belle, drops it into a mud puddle, and tells Belle to get herself out of reading and pay more attention to "more important things" like him. Just then, an explosion comes out from the basement of her cottage, prompting Belle to run back home.
Descending into the basement and coughing her way in, Belle finds her father, Maurice, who is about to give up on his latest companion that he has built. Belle faithfully tells her father how she has believed he will get the machine working, win first prize at the fair, and become a world-famous inventor. Inspired by his daughter's beliefs, Maurice reworks on the machine, and once he thinks he has done fixing it, he gives it a test run. To both Belle and her father's surprise, the test run goes successfully. Belle waves goodbye to her father and wishes him luck as Maurice, riding on their Philippe, goes off to the fair with the invention.
The following day, Belle hears a knock on a door. She uses the periscope, only to find that Gaston was at the porch, much to her dismay, but nevertheless lets him in. Gaston reveals to Belle cornered at the door and is about to plant a kiss on her, Belle turns the doorknob, and Gaston accidentally pushes the door open and falls into a mud swamp outside. After a furious and humiliated Gaston throws LeFou into the mud and leaves, Belle runs outside, shocked in disbelief at how Gaston has asked her to marry him. Not wanting to be the wife of that boorish, blunderous, brainless man, she runs off into an open, fields where Phillipe comes to her. Seeing the horse without her father, Belle pleads the horse to take her to where her father is.
Belle rides to a mysterious castle on Phillipe in the possibility of finding her father. She finds her father locked away in a dungeon, and begs the dungeon master to free him, offering him her freedom in exchange for her father's. On the condition that she stay with him forever, the dungeon master, a hideous beast, frees Maurice from the dungeon, however, he is deeply moved by her beauty and affection towards her father, and can't help but feel touched by her boldness and bravery.
Belle is originally hesitant and suspicious to interact with the Beast, but he saves her from a pack of wolves and develops a more civilized manner, aided by enchanted furnishings, a bond is formed. The Beast gives Belle his enormous library and Belle helps him to act more like a gentleman. The Beast falls deeply in love with her but fears that she will ever love him in return. Belle is soon granted right to leave on behalf of her sickly father, who tries to rescue her. But after denying Gaston her hand in marriage again, a mob of villagers, led by Gaston, plot against the Beast. After a grueling tussle between Gaston and Beast, the Beast is fatally stabbed. Gaston falls to his death when he loses his balance; Belle can lay the Beast on the balcony, and he dies in her arms. Belle sobs over the Beast's dead body and confesses her love for him mere seconds before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose. Belle's love for the Beast revives him and releases him from the curse, and he along with his furnishings return to human beings. Belle and the Prince then dance in the ballroom with her father and his servants watching the couple happily.
House of Mouse
Belle made cameo appearances in many episodes of the House of Mouse television series, usually seen wearing her peasant outfit (though she did wear her gold dress in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse and "Dining Goofy").
In "Mickey and the Culture Clash", Belle attempted to read a book that Mickey was balancing on his head, but her hand was slapped away by Mortimer Mouse. She then asked what the commotion was about, and was informed by Clarabelle that Minnie was looking for someone more sophisticated than Mickey. It was the only time she spoke in the show.
In "[Ask Von Drake", Belle was seen sitting with Beast during Disney character head count.
In "Jiminy Cricket", when Jiminy mentions the possibility some characters may not have children, the camera pans to Belle and Beast. Belle can also be seen in recycled crowd shots, cheering alongside Mrs. Potts and Chip.
Belle also appeared aside Beast in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, and in some crowd shots in Mickey's House of Villains.
Sofia the First
Belle made a guest appearance in the episode "The Amulet and the Anthem".
She teaches Sofia that actions speak louder than words when apologizing about her bragging didn't break her croaking curse by singing "Make It Right".
She teaches Sofia that actions speak louder than words when apologizing about her bragging didn't break her croaking curse by singing "Make It Right".
Curiously, like Princess Jasmine before her, Belle's hairstyle is different than what her redesign shows. Rather than being waist length with a large sock bun and two free locks framing her face, the hairstyle that she sports in the episode is only just past her shoulders with the bun being the previous fancy knot that she had prior to her redesign. This is either because this version of the hairstyle was easier and less time-consuming to animate or the animators chose to combine aspects of her original hairstyle with her new one as a sort of homage to her first appearance.
In "Forever Royal" when Sofia is battling Vor inside her amulet, Belle appears to Sofia in spirit form along with all the other princesses who have been summoned to help Sofia in her times of need and they encourage her to be brave and strong for they all believe in her.
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
A midquel taking place during the winter segment of Beauty and the Beast, thus is the story of Belle's attempt to bring back to the castle the one ceremony Beast hates most: Christmas. It has not been well received because it ignores the movie's continuity, and that at the point the movie is supposed to take place. Belle still considered herself a prisoner in the castle and was not truly friends with the Beast at that point, though she has begun to accept him.
A pipe organ called Forte is determined to do anything necessary to keep the spell from breaking, because he thinks that if the curse is broken, then the Beast won't need his depressing music anymore. Thus, he proves to be a real obstacle for Belle's plan.
After several attempts to get Beast to agree, Beast finally approves of the idea and allows Belle to prepare for Christmas, though he still bears a grudge, for Christmas is the day the Enchantress cast the spell on him and the castle residents.
With advice from Forte, Belle goes out into the woods to get a suitable tree for Christmas, but she falls into thin ice and almost drowns. Fortunately, she is rescued by Beast, who is enraged at her because Forte told him she was trying to desert him again.
Belle is then thrown into the dungeon to rot, but Beast then finds a book that Belle has written for him earlier in the West Wing and decides to set Belle free and they both continue to prepare for Christmas. But Forte doesn't give up there, even going as far as to attempt to ring the whole castle down with Beethoven Symphony No. 5 to prevent the spell from ending, as it can't if everyone is dead. Fortunately, Beast stops him in time by crashing his keyboard to pieces.
The viewers are soon taken back the actual Christmas taking place, and Belle is presented with a gift from her husband: a rose.
Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World
In this movie, Belle is the only human character. She meets her new three enchanted object friends Webster, Crane, and LePlume and is about to solve problems in all four segments.
In the first story, a love triangle ensues, when the Beast's dictionary servant, Webster gives synonyms to Belle's insults until an apology letter is written. When he realized it was a forgery, the "betrayed" Beast was afraid that his plan to love Belle and become human would be ruined by Webster, so he banished the servant and his friends from the castle, until Belle allows them back in, assuring them that he "has a good heart."
In the second story, it is Lumière's anniversary with Fifi yet he does not know the proper way to confess how he truly feels. Belle assists him by taking the role as Fifi and practicing what he's going to do for their date. Fifi sees the two and believes Lumière is leaving her for Belle. Eventually, all is straightened out.
In the fourth story, Belle finds a wounded bird and takes it in. She spends most of her time hiding it from Beast originally until he grows to like. After a while, another problem brews as the bird is healthy once more, but Beast wants to keep it for it's singing. Belle convinces him to let it free. In the end, they become closer and closer showing signs of feelings for each other.
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
- Main article: Belle (2017)
Belle appears in the 2017 live-action remake, once again as the female protagonist. She was portrayed by Emma Watson, who previously portrayed Hermione Granger.
Ralph Breaks the Internet
In Ralph Breaks the Internet, Belle appears alongside the other Disney Princesses as netizens in Oh My Disney. Working as a cast member, Belle and the princesses meet-and-greet with net users. On one particular day, the backstage room of the princesses is infiltrated by a glitch named Vanellope von Schweetz; Belle is seen reading a book when Vanellope arrives. Belle jumps into action in defense—believing Vanellope to be a threat—and arms herself with her book. Belle lays down her defense when Vanellope claims to be a princess as well. When Pocahontas asks what kind of princess is Vanellope, Belle and Rapunzel ask if Vanellope has ever been kidnapped or enslaved. Though she hasn't, Belle relates when Vanellope reveals that she doesn't have a mother.
Shortly after, the princess becomes enamored with Vanellope's "gown", and switch into more comfortable modern attire to match. Belle dons a yellow tank top with a black silhouette of the Beast's head that reads "BFF" (meaning "Beast Friends Forever"), golden pants, and brown ballet slippers. While lounging, Belle continues reading her book. Ariel, meanwhile, expresses her excitement over wearing a shirt (and briefly asks Belle what the clothing is called). She starts to break into song, but Vanellope's confusion cuts her off. As Vanellope has never had a song, Rapunzel advises her to sing about what she desires most. Vanellope's song about a steering wheel is less than stellar, but Belle tries to avoid any criticism and asks if the steering wheel that Vanellope mentioned is a metaphor. Vanellope explains that she's being literal. As the princesses prepare to get back to work, Merida tries to send some advice in an unintelligible Scottish accent; during which means, Belle makes an awkward face.
During the climax, Belle and the princesses leave Oh My Disney after the Internet is taken over by a virus. After the virus has been neutralized, the princesses spot Wreck-It Ralph plummeting from the air. Belle, Ariel, Tiana and Cinderella use their gowns as parachutes to safely descend Ralph to the ground, where the princesses can formally meet and befriend him.
- The name "Belle" means "Beauty" or "Beautiful" in French.
- Belle made a cameo as a background character from the 1996 Disney film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
- In an early draft of the film, Belle had a younger sister named Clarice as well as a snobbish aunt named Marguerite (who would have moved in with Belle, Clarice and Maurice to help them out after Maurice's fortune was lost at sea. She also wished for Belle to marry Gaston so her family could have a better life).
- Emma Roberts, Kristen Stewart, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, and Emmy Rossum were considered for the role of Belle before Emma Watson was cast.
- in House of Mouse series, Ariel's voice actress, Jodi Benson took over as the voice of Belle, although Paige O'Hara did reprise her role as Belle in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse.
- When Paige O'Hara was auditioning, a bit of her hair flew in her face and she tucked it back. The animators liked this so they put it in the movie.
- Belle's love of reading is meant to be a sign of great intelligence, a trait that had previously not been shown in a Disney Princess. It is also a subtle hint to the movie's message: "Don't judge a book by its cover."
- This movie depicts Belle as being an only child, or at least makes no mention of her having siblings. In the original fairy tale, Belle is the youngest of three daughters and her sisters are wicked and selfish, and secretly taunt and treat the kind-hearted Belle like a servant to them. It is believed that the sisters were purposefully omitted from the Disney adaptation because they were too similar to characters in another Disney movie, Cinderella (1950).
- Belle is the first brown-haired Disney Princess.
- The song 'Be Our Guest' was originally supposed to be sung to Maurice instead of Belle, but Bruce Woodside pointed out that the song was in the wrong place because Maurice was not the focus of the story, and it made no sense to waste such a wonderful song on a secondary character.
- Belle's blue-and-white dress and hairstyle were inspired by Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (1939).
- Disney was originally going to have Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid (1989) also provide the voice for Belle. However, it was decided that Belle needed a more "European"-sounding voice. Howard Ashman remembered working with Paige O'Hara and suggested she try out for the part.
- The first song of the movie, "Belle", has her express her fantasies, "Oh, isn't this amazing. It's my favorite part because, you'll see. Here is where she meets Prince Charming, but she won't discover that it's him till chapter three". Later, the same music is reprised during "Something There", where along the same tune she sings, "New and a bit alarming, who'd have ever thought that this could be? True, that he's no Prince Charming, but there's something in him that I simply didn't see." It is basically a retelling of the story she had read, with herself, unknowingly, as a character in it.
- Paige O'Hara was in her early thirties when she voiced the much-younger Belle.
- Paige O'Hara, the voice of Belle, was amongst the first few artists to express an interest in recording the pop version of "Beauty and the Beast" as heard at the ending credits, but Walt Disney Pictures dismissed her because she sounded "too Broadway".
- Belle's eyes were originally going to be gray, but in the final cut, they were hazel. Belle is currently the only official Disney Princess to have hazel eyes.
- Paige O'Hara sobbed real tears while recording Belle's mourning of Beast. Her performance was so intense that directors Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise asked her if she was okay, upon which O'Hara immediately dropped out of character and said "Acting!"
- When Belle first becomes Beast's prisoner, he warns her to never go to the west wing. Belle not only goes to the west wing once, but three times in the entire movie. The first time she goes is in the beginning after "Be Our Guest". The second time is when Belle wishes to see her father. The third time is when the Beast was dying in Belle's arms.
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