Spoiler Warning: This article contains spoilers for Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast — so if you don't want to learn about Voldemort's guest appearance, make like Potter and pop on the nearest Portkey, pronto.
The minute Emma Watson was announced to play Belle in Disney's live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, naturally fans have been trying to find any possible way to tie this classic remodeling to the #HarryPotter franchise. And while #EmmaWatson is clearly no stranger to playing a female lead in an enchanted castle, the connection is not quite as obvious as that.
At first, eagle-eyed fans who nabbed tickets to early showings of #BeautyAndTheBeast claimed that the reference to Potter's Wizarding World comes in the form of a line uttered during the song "Belle." While Watson roams around her Provincial town, she asks Monsieur Jean if he has forgotten something, to which he replies, "I believe I have. The problem, I can’t remember what!” — a statement that carries distinct similarities to a Neville Longbottom line in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. And, while it is similar, this theory was already debunked by Beauty and the Beast's director, Bill Condon:
"I saw those rumors. It wasn’t intentional. It really is just – at the beginning of the movie [The Enchantress] is narrating and she says 'They were forgotten by the world and all the people who love them.'"
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However Could There Be 'Something There' That These Fans Did Not Spot?
OK, so a connection to Neville Longbottom did not make it into this #liveaction, but could there be another, far subtler reference to the The Boy Who Lived? I think there might be; it's short, and does not scream "YER A WIZARD HARRY," but its there.
During the number "Something There," Belle and the Beast are frolicking in the garden, playing with snowballs and bonding over stroking Philippe the horse, when for more than a few moments, the camera pauses on a fluffy white creature perched on a branch in the forefront of the shot. And this creature bares a striking resemblance to (dun, dun, dun) — yup, you guessed it: Hedwig. Harry Potter's closest companion, the Snowy Owl gifted to him by Hagrid — the first present he'd ever received — before he started at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Call me crazy and yes, it might be a long shot, but this would be an excellent way to hat tip Emma Watson's largest role to date without making a whole, well, beastly deal out of it. Don't you think?
Do you think the snowy white owl was a subtle link to Harry Potter?