ByKristy Anderson, writer at
Kristy Anderson

, the 1991 animated film inspired by a French fairy tale, remains one of the most popular offerings in the vast library, and Belle, the film's heroine, has long been considered one of the best role models among the classic Disney Princesses.

She's No Damsel

Unlike many of the earlier princesses like Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, Belle doesn't lay around waiting for a prince to come rescue her. She is the one doing the rescuing, sacrificing her freedom for the sake of her elderly Father, and bringing out a more gentle side in The Beast.

Unlike 's Ariel, Belle never wishes to be anything she is not, never changing herself for the sake of her love interest. The Beast grows to love and respect Belle exactly as she is, with Belle seeing past The Beast's frightening exterior to love him for who he is inside. Though the spell is broken, returning The Beast to his handsome human form, it hardly matters anymore at that point — Belle would have loved him anyway.

Now, the upcoming live-action remake of the film, starring former star Emma Watson as Belle, looks set to expand upon the character's legacy.

A New Belle For A New Generation

In the original film, Belle lives with her Father, Maurice, an inventor, and is looked upon with disdain by many of the townspeople due to her love of reading. The remake aims to change things up a bit. Belle, too, will be an inventor, having created a washing machine to help with chores so she has more time to read.

This move could add great depth to the story, as well as improving Belle's already strong status as a role model. It is possible that Maurice could take Belle's invention to the fair rather than his own. If Belle feels responsible for her Father's incarceration at the hands of The Beast, it gives all the more reason behind her self-sacrificing decision to replace him as The Beast's prisoner.

Casting as Belle is another great move. Aside from the fact that she looks absolutely perfect in the role, her days as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films mean she is no stranger to being a role model. She takes this status seriously, meaning it is highly unlikely that we will see her embroiled in any sort of drug or sex-related scandal.

She will be a wonderful Belle, and I have no doubt that she will continue to be a great role model for the new wave of young fans soon to be heading her way.

Check out the Beauty and The Beast teaser trailer here:

What do you hope to see Belle offer to young female viewers?



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