Why Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ may have originally resembled Angelina Jolie

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A brand new e book finds that early designs of Belle in Beauty and the Beast resembled Angelina Jolie. (Photo: Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection)

Like the song goes, Beauty and the Beast‘s Belle used to be very other from the remainder of her Disney Princess forbearers when the animated vintage graced film monitors in 1991. A bookish and impartial younger lady from a rural village, Belle (voiced through Paige O’Hara) stood in marked distinction to extra glamorous royals like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.

But in line with Emily Zemler’s new e book, Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara, the Beauty and the Beast animators — led through James Baxter and Mark Henn — originally envisioned a personality who extra carefully resembled a glamorous member of Hollywood royalty.

“She kind of looked like Angelina Jolie — very beautiful,” O’Hara remarks in the e book about the preliminary thought artwork for her adjust ego. “I didn’t see how anybody would identify with that person. You’d look at her and put her on a pedestal. Mark and James changed the look of her. She was a little too perfect.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27: Angelina Jolie attends the LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27: Angelina Jolie attends the
Angelina Jolie attends the UK Eternals premiere in London in Oct. 2021. (Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage)

For the report, it is not going that Jolie used to be the direct inspiration for Belle. The Oscar-winning Girl Interrupted celebrity used to be simplest a youngster when Beauty and the Beast used to be in manufacturing, and did not make her characteristic movie debut till 1993’s Cyborg 2. In Zemler’s e book, Baxter says that he and Henn first of all envisioned Belle as being “more European-looking with fuller lips, [and] a little bit darker eyebrows” — traits which are no doubt known with Jolie. According to Beyond the Tiara, regardless that, the celebrities that did function reference issues for the animators integrated Elizabeth Taylor, Natalie Wood, Audrey Hepburn and O’Hara herself.

“The animators created a lot of concept artwork and dozens of sketches to find the best fit,” Zemler confirms to Yahoo Entertainment by way of e mail. “You can see in the sketches how much Belle evolved. Paige O’Hara recalled early versions of Belle looking like Angelina Jolie, but that is simply Paige’s perception. None of the animators I spoke with mentioned Jolie as an inspiration for Belle.”

As pre-production on Beauty and the Beast endured, Baxter and Henn ultimately got here to trust their celebrity that Belle had the attainable to be a transformative Disney Princess and revised their symbol of her accordingly. “I knew this was going to change the view of Disney Princesses,” O’Hara says in the e book. “Belle was the first one not looking for a man. She wanted to see the world and all the places she’d read about in books.”

Emma Watson played Belle in the 2017 live action adaptation of the Disney animated film. (Photo: Laurie Sparham/Walt Disney Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)Emma Watson played Belle in the 2017 live action adaptation of the Disney animated film. (Photo: Laurie Sparham/Walt Disney Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Emma Watson performed Belle in the 2017 are living motion adaptation of the Disney animated movie. (Photo: Laurie Sparham/Walt Disney Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Belle did in the end exchange the face of Disney Princesses, at once impacting the method next characters like Jasmine, Pocahontas and Mulan have been written — to not point out drawn. “Belle opened the doors to who could be considered a Disney Princess even wider, welcoming a broader fanbase in with her,” Zemler says. “Her representation, both in character and in appearance, encouraged those making Aladdin to make Jasmine more adventurous and spirited. It had a ripple effect.”

That emphasis on spirit and journey carried over into the are living motion variations of many vintage Disney cartoons, together with upcoming variations of The Little Mermaid and Snow White, starring Halle Bailey and Rachel Zegler, respectively. (Emma Watson performed Belle in the 2017 movie model of Beauty and the Beast, however the personality has additionally been portrayed by a variety of diverse performers on stage and screen.)

“In 1937, the cartoon [Snow White and the Seven Dwarves] was so focused on her finding true love, and it’s not even in her mind at all in this film,” Zegler informed Yahoo Entertainment at D23 remaining month. “Maybe she finds love. Maybe she finds friendship. But what’s really important is that she finds her own voice.”

For Zemler, Belle’s lasting legacy has much less to do together with her seems to be and extra to do together with her perspective. “I’ve always admired Belle’s spirit and her love of books,” the creator says. “Sometimes we think of a classic princess as blond and perhaps somewhat shallow, but Belle undercuts those traditional cliches. She is a devoted daughter, a kind friend and she understands the world through reading books. In that way, she’s someone to whom a lot of us relate to or aspire to be.”

Beauty and the Beast is these days streaming on Disney+; Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara is to be had now at maximum primary booksellers, together with Amazon.

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