- This article is about the Beauty and the Beast character. For the Christmas Carol character, see Belle (A Christmas Carol). January 21, 2007 - April 21, 2017
Belle is one of the two main characters of Beauty and the Beast and its direct-to-video follow-ups, The Enchanted Christmas and Belle's Magical World. In all of the above media, her speaking and singing voices are provided by Broadway icon Paige O'Hara.
Belle is an official Disney Princess, and the fifth in order of release, after Ariel and before Jasmine. He like a Cinderella (1950 film) and Cinderella (2015 film), he has a Cinderella.
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 (who was prevously Chelsea Daniels on That's So Raven').
Belle is a young woman living in a small unnamed French town. Her father, Maurice, on his way to a fair, goes missing while she was reading books not wanting Gaston to marry her. Belle rides to a mysterious castle in possibility of finding him. She finds her father locked away in a dungeon, and begs the dungeon master to free him, offering her own 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 attracted to her boldness and bravery. Belle is originally hesitant to interact with the Beast, but after he develops a more civil manner, aided by enchanted furnishings, a bond is formed. The Beast falls deeply in love with her, but is in denial 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 (a conceited hunter) her hand in marriage for a third time, a mob of villagers, led by Gaston, plots against the Beast. After a grueling tussle between Gaston and Beast, the Beast is stabbed. Gaston falls to his death when he loses balance. Belle is able to lay the Beast on a balcony, and he dies in her arms. Belle confesses her love for the Beast just as 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.
A midquel taking place during the winter segment of Beauty and the Beast, this 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 had 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 that she was trying to desert him again.
Belle is then thrown into the dungeon to rot, but Beast then finds a book that Belle had 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 bring the whole castle down with Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in order 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.
In one of the stories it is Lumiere's anniversary with Fifi yet he does not know the proper way to confess how he truly feels. Belle assist him by taking the role as Fifi and practicing what he's going to do for their date. Fifi sees the two and believes Lumiere is leaving her for Belle. Eventually all is straightened out.
In another 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.
Belle also makes a cameo appearance in Disney's 1996 animated feature The Hunchback of Notre Dame. During the song Out There, Belle is seen walking through the streets reading her book, which would make some believe that both films take place at the same time.
Beauty and the Beast (musical)Edit
A Broadway musical adaptation of the film premiered on Broadway on April 18, 1994 at the Palace Theatre with Susan Egan as the original Belle. Since then many actresses including Deborah Gibson, Toni Braxton, Andrea McArdle, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Christy Carlson Romano and Ashley Brown have played the role on Broadway. The show closed on July 29, 2007 at the Lunt-Fountanne Theatre with Anneliese van der Pol as the show's final Belle.
Sing Me a Story With BelleEdit
From 1995 through 1999 on both Disney Channel and in syndication, a series titled Sing Me a Story with Belle aired from the Disney-MGM Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Actress Lynsey McLeod portrayed Belle, who was the owner of a book and music shop in France in her commoner costume.
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
Belle is a very attractive young woman in her late teens or early twenties. Although she is known throughout her village for her beauty, she is quite ignorant of her own appearance, but ironically greatly aware that her fellow citizens think of her as "odd" and "peculiar". Belle pays very little attention to her appearance, unlike the vain Gaston, who only loves her because she is "the most beautiful girl in town".
Belle is stunningly beautiful. She has long, brown hair, most often tied in a low ponytail, brown eyes, rosy cheeks and a sculpted figure. One of her distinct features are the strands of hair that constantly find their way onto her forehead, causing her to frequently brush them back into place.
Throughout the film, Belle wears various outfits depending on the occasion. Her most elaborate and renowned is her golden ball gown, in which she shares her first dance with the Beast in the "Beauty and the Beast" sequence. With this outfit, she wears some of her hair in a neat bun, but the majority of it trails down her neck in a beautiful, flowing motion, resembling a ponytail.
The storywriters and producers of Beauty and the Beast wanted to give Belle's movements an air of elegance, so they studied the movements of ballerinas during the course of Belle's development. Like ballerinas, Belle walks diligently and swiftly on her toes no matter what types of shoes she is wearing, or where she is located. The designers and artists wanted Belle to be noticeable in a crowded town, so they payed close attention to her wardrobe. Belle is the only member of the town to wear blue, while the other townfolk wear rustic colors, such as red, green and brown.
It is made quite obvious in the early chapters of the film that Belle has a beautiful singing voice, courtesy of broadway actress and singer Paige O'Hara.
Belle has gained a significant amount of intelligence over the years due to her love of books, providing her with a wide vocabulary, active imagination, and open mind. She is very confident and outspoken in her opinions, and seldom likes being told what to do. Unlike most characters in the film, Belle isn't concerned about her's or other's appearances, and is able to look past how people appear and into their hearts. This is how Belle managed to break the Beast's enchantment, and restore love and laughter to the castle.
Belle is somewhat a women's-libber for her time, and refuses to be mistreated, undermined, demeaned or directed by any (sexist) man, especially Gaston with his belief (for the time that the film takes place) that a woman should only be confined to doing housework (cooking, cleaning, obedience to a husband and taking care of the children) and be forbidden from reading or doing anything that increases intelligence - which he finds wrong for a woman. (At the time that the film takes place, 18th century France, marriage was something akin to slavery anyway, especially in the case of Gaston and his ideals on how his wife should be like.) However, she willingly listens to her father, Maurice, and considers the opinions and directions of the Beast, because they are both able to treat her as an equal (the Beast had more time to learn how to) while Gaston is not. She is quite obstinate when it comes to stating her points, upholding her opinions and maintaining her ideas.
Belle's personality transforms throughout the film. At first, she frequently dreams about a life of adventure and romance, not realizing that sometimes adventures might take a turn for the worst. As Belle begins to spend more time with the Beast, and their relationship blossoms into a strong friendship, she begins to fall in love with him without realizing it. As she matures during the course of her imprisonment, her pure heart breaks the enchantment. Belle realizes that having dreams is great, but sometimes you need to look beyond them and find what you're truly looking for.
Most of Belle's abilities are based on knowledge and intelligence, instead of physical strength.
One of Belle's more obvious abilities is her use of vocabulary. Possibly due to her love of books and constant reading, Belle is able to call out many words off the top of her head and use them in the correct context in order to prove a point or state a fact, such as "primeval" and "provincial".
Belle is quite witty, and is able to use this trait to her advantage. When in an argument with the Beast, Belle was able to hold her ground and challenge each of the Beast's points with a cunning comeback, such as "If you hadn't frightened me I wouldn't have run away", or "You should learn to control your temper." Each of these facts left the Beast stunned and at a loss for words. Belle managed to think of these comebacks without much thought or hesitation. When Lumiere and Cogsworth were attempting to lead Belle's curiosity away from the West Wing, she challenged them by saying the West Wing wouldn't be forbidden if the Beast wasn't hiding something in it.
Belle has a strong sense of character, and is able to use this trait in a variety of ways, even to her own advantage. On Belle's first night in the castle, following the "Be Our Guest" sequence, she develops an urge to explore the castle, and asks for a guide. Observing Cogsworth's "authoritative" personality, she immediately knows that Cogsworth would be the best candidate. At first, Cogsworth is quite reluctant of the idea, but when Belle says she's sure he knows everything about the castle, he agrees.
Although Belle is quite ignorant of her own beauty, she does somehow manage to use her feminine charm to her advantage. When Gaston proposed to Belle, she pretended to be clueless and at a loss for words, however, she was secretly leading Gaston to the door, and when cornered against it, opened it and sent him flying into a mud pond.
Although Belle displays few athletic abilities, she is able to ride a horse at quite stunning speeds with ease and skill, and subconciously navigate her way through a crowded street while reading, without colliding with anyt other people or objects.
Significance and LegacyEditPart of Belle's legacy is the fact that she brought a new dawn of more adventurous, heroic and independent heroines to the world of film, although Ariel brought a new personality trend to heroines. Belle is the first heroine to not be saved by a prince in order to live happily ever after. Instead, she "saves" the Beast by evolving him into a loving gentleman, proving that true beauty is beneath the skin, breaking the spell, and transforming him into a handsome prince once again through her love. Belle's pioneering role in Beauty and the Beast introduced more heroic heroines to the Disney scene, specifically with Pocahontas in 1995 and Mulan in 1998.
Belle is sometimes used as an advocate for women's liberation and intelligence among women around the world. She is also used to encourage children in their love of reading and literature.
Belle appears as a meetable character in the Disney Parks, wearing either her commoner costume (such as in "Storytime with Belle" at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World) or her gold princess outfit and appears in many shows such as Fantasmic! and every Disney Parks parade. She can be spotted on a float in Mickey's Soundsational Parade.
In the former show held at the Magic Kingdom, Belle will walk out to an audience a reads a story.
Belle appears in the nighttime water show in Disney California Adventure park in the Disneyland Resort. Belle appears in the opening during the theme of the show shown ball dancing with Best. She later appears starting the show's finale as she confesses her love for Beast and he transforms into a handsome prince.
- Belle is the third Disney princess after Atta and Dot in 1998 from A Bug's Life. However, she is the first human Disney Princess.
- Belle on Wikipedia
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