ByMaggie Stancu, writer at
Professional Fangirl. GoT, X-Men, Westworld, POTC, and too many other fandoms to count.
Maggie Stancu

Disney films have become kind of like superhero films — you can't go a year without at least one hitting theaters. Whether it's a film like Cinderella or something a little more wild like The Jungle Book, brings something for everyone. Now, the time has finally come. The long anticipated live action film is in theaters and is set to break some major records. And that's despite multiple countries refusing to screen it.

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Why is this film so exciting for fans? Maybe because, like Cinderella, it's a classic tale. Maybe it's because Disney is breaking the mold and featuring their first gay character. Plus, there's no question that the star-studded cast is impressive. Realistically, it's a combination of all of these things, but as is unquestionably a huge incentive. Some have had their doubts, but all you have to do is compare the actress and the character and realize that she is perfect for the role. Not only that, but Watson is basically a modern day Belle. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

Watson Is A Total Bookworm

If you were a bookworm growing up, chances are that your favorite Disney Princess was Belle. She would read a book in a day only to rush down to the library to pick out another. She would re-read her favorites and dream of living in those exciting, far-off places. She's very book smart, and that is just like Watson. Watson loves knowledge, and she always is trying to learn new things. If you don't believe she loves to read just go onto and check out her group Our Shared Shelf. It's a book club that Watson herself started, where members read and share books on equality/feminism.

Watson even goes the extra mile by hiding books on trains and across cities, making sure as many people can get their hands on information as possible! She walks the walk, which makes her inspiring but also relatable. Belle was a Princess that many of us looked up to because she wasn't the Princess we were used to seeing. She didn't want to go to a ball or meet Prince Charming. All she wanted was to read and have adventures, which set her apart from everyone else.

She Fights For What She Believes In

Belle and her father, Maurice 'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
Belle and her father, Maurice 'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]

While she isn't always viewed as one, Belle is definitely one of the more stubborn Princesses. When it comes to her morality, she doesn't waiver. She makes her choices based solely on her own beliefs, and there's something quite admirable about that — something that Watson herself very much embodies. She's faced a lot of backlash over the years, and it really became prominent when she started the movement.

"There is a level of criticism that comes with being an actress and a public figure, which I expect, but once you take a stance on something like feminism, that's a completely different ball game."

She admitted that it hit her hard. The threats were intense, and some took action against her by leaking her private photos. But that didn't silence her. Watson has continued to be a strong advocate for women's rights and overcomes every obstacle. She knows what she believes in, and she won't let hate stop her from sharing love.

"Call me a 'diva,' call me a 'feminazi,' call me 'difficult,' call me a 'First World Feminist,' call me whatever you want. It's not going to stop me from trying to do the right thing and make sure that the right thing happens."

Young Hermione [Credit: Warner Brothers]
Young Hermione [Credit: Warner Brothers]

Belle And Emma: Breaking The Mold

Belle 'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
Belle 'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]

When we first meet Belle, she's instantly relatable, singing about how she wants so much more than a provincial life. She wants adventure and passion, the kind she reads about in books. She breaks the mold later in the film by overcoming a common Disney Princess stereotype: She saves the Beast. She is no longer the only Princess to have done so, but she was one of the first, and I think people frequently underestimate that moment. She showcases her true bravery, and it changed how people viewed Princesses. And this, in particular, is why Emma Watson is truly perfect for the role.

Many of Watson's quotes empower women, but there's one specifically that really stands out:

"I feel like young girls are told that they have to be a princess and fragile. It's bullsh*t. I identify much more with being a warrior — a fighter. If I was going to be a princess, I'd be a warrior princess."

Some may find that funny, as she's now playing one of the most iconic Princesses of all time, but Belle isn't like any other. She's fierce and she was the first to make her own destiny. Watson wants to stop the stereotypes. Women are not this or that. We are not fragile, delicate things. We can be feminine and fierce. We can wear heels one day and sneakers the next. We aren't things that can be defined by one word. And Belle? Well, she proves that. Watson even made sure that Belle wore riding boots instead of flats, always ready for an adventure, always practical. She really is different from what we've seen before, and it's going to make a huge impact.

Emma Watson As Belle 'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
Emma Watson As Belle 'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]

Watson is picky with her roles, and that's a good thing. She makes sure that every movie she does speaks to her and sends a clear message. She's about empowerment and equality above all else. Portraying Belle and being a part of something so massive that will reach so many people is really going to continue guiding things in the right direction. Think of all the young girls coming out of the theater — they'll emerge with a new role model, one worth looking up to. Isn't that what it's all about?

Beauty and the Beast is in theaters now! What are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments!


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