How ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Belle reminded the movie’s Angelina Jolie voice actor: ‘She was a little too perfect’

The new book shows Bell’s early designs beauty and the beast She looked like Angelina Jolie. (Photo: Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection)

like the song goes on, beauty and the beastBelle of Belle was very different from her Disney Princess ancestors when the animated classic hit movie screens in 1991. A bookish and independent young woman from a rural village, Belle (voiced by Paige Hara) stood in contrast to the other Disney Princesses. She is gorgeous royalty like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.

But according to Emily Zemler’s new book, Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara, beauty and the beast Led by James Baxter and Mark Henn, the animators initially envisioned a character more akin to a charming member of Hollywood royalty.

“She looked like Angelina Jolie – so beautiful,” O’Hara says in the book of the first concept art for her alter ego. I didn’t know what to do.You looked at her and put her on the pedestal.Mark and James changed her appearance.She was a little too perfect.”

LONDON, UK - OCTOBER 27: Angelina Jolie attends the

Angelina Jolie attends UK Eternals Premiered in London in October. 2021. (Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage)

For the record, it’s unlikely Jolie was Bell’s direct inspiration. interrupted girl When the Star Was a Teenager beauty and the beast was in the works and did not make its feature film debut until the 1993s. Cyborg 2In Semmler’s book, Baxter notes that he and Hen first made Bell “look more European, with fuller lips, [and] Slightly darker eyebrows’ — a trait that certainly equates to Jolie. beyond the tiaraThat said, celebrities that served as reference points for the animators included 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 confirmed to Yahoo Entertainment via email. “You can see how far Bell has evolved by looking at the sketches. Paige O’Hara recalled an early version of Bell that resembled Angelina Jolie, but that’s just Paige’s perception. None of the animators I spoke with mentioned Jolie as an inspiration for Bell.”

as pre-production beauty and the beast Continuing, Baxter and Henn eventually agreed with their star that Belle could be a transformative Disney princess, and revised her image accordingly. “I knew it would change,” O’Hara says in the book. I thought.”

Emma Watson played Belle in Disney's live-action animated film adaptation in 2017.  (Photo: Laurie Sparum/Walt Disney Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Emma Watson played Belle in Disney’s live-action animated film adaptation in 2017. (Photo: Laurie Sparum/Walt Disney Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Belle ultimately changed the face of Disney princesses and directly influenced how subsequent characters such as Jasmine, Pocahontas and Mulan were written. “Belle further opened her door to anyone who could be considered a Disney princess, welcoming a wider fan base,” says Semler.”Her representation in both her personality and appearance encouraged the creator Aladdin To make Jasmine more adventurous and energetic. It had a ripple effect. ”

That emphasis on spirit and adventure carried over into live-action adaptations of many classic Disney cartoons. little mermaid When snow white, starring Hal Bailey and Rachel Zegler, respectively. (Emma Watson played Belle in the 2017 film version. beauty and the beastbut also the character depicted in variety Also Variety of performers on stage and screen.)

“1937, cartoon [Snow White and the Seven Dwarves] She was focused on finding true love, which wasn’t on her mind at all in this movie. Maybe she’ll find friendship. But what really matters is that she finds her own voice. ”

For Zemler, Bell’s enduring legacy has more to do with her demeanor than her looks. “I’ve always admired Belle’s spirit and her love of books,” says the author. Breaking traditional clichés: She’s a devoted daughter, a kind friend, and understands the world by reading books, so she knows a lot or we are related or aspire to be.”

beauty and the beast Now streaming on Disney+. Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara Available now at most major bookstores, including Amazon.

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