The latest Disney live-action adaptation, Beauty and the Beast, hits theaters this month, and is so highly anticipated that it looks set to break box office records. The re-imagining of the 1991 animated classic is an updated look at the classic story, with several changes including Disney’s first ever gay character, and promises to “expand on [the original], and give it more detail and depth”.
In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a few new clips and songs from the film, including Gaston’s song, Belle singing “Bonjour”, and of course, the final trailer for the film. Now, one more clip has been revealed ahead of the movie’s release in a couple of weeks, showing one of the classic scenes from the original movie – with a big twist!
The clip, titled “Dinner Invitation”, is forty seconds long, and takes place just after Belle (Emma Watson) has taken her father’s place as the Beast’s (Dan Stevens) prisoner. The clip starts with Beast standing outside of Belle’s room, joined by Lumiere (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth (Ian McKellen), Mrs Potts (Emma Thompson) and Plumette (Gugu Mbatha Raw). He demands that she join him for dinner, before being reminded by his servants that Belle just lost her father and her freedom, and is probably “scared to death.” However, Belle doesn’t appear too terrified, as the clip cuts to her inside the room, dragging a long rope made of sheets/clothing to the window, evidently about to escape. The scene ends with Beast showing off his charming smile… or lack thereof.
In many ways, the scene is near-identical to it’s counterpart in the animated classic, with several of the lines themselves remaining the same. However, there are a few differences. In the animated film, Plumette plays a much smaller role, and isn’t in this scene at all. Beast is also much angrier in the original, threatening to break down the door, and Mrs Potts doesn’t mention Belle’s fear. The biggest difference, however, is in Belle’s actions: In the original, she is sitting on the bed, simply refusing to come out. In this version, she is actively trying to escape.
This change is big news for fans of the original who were keen on seeing a more feminist Belle in the updated version, as Watson’s take on the character is clearly not someone who is going to wait around to be rescued. It looks like she’ll be a little more difficult to win over, and is going to be far more focused on escaping – at least in the beginning. This fits in nicely with Watson’s recent comments about the common criticism of the film that Belle develops Stockholm Syndrome, rather than falling in love.
Others, however, may be less than thrilled about this particular change. In the original, one of Belle’s positive qualities was her willingness to sacrifice herself and to stick to her word. When she eventually does attempt to run away, it is only after being terrified by the Beast, which pushes her past her limit. If this new version of Belle is attempting to escape from the start, it may suggest that she doesn’t have the same sense of honor as her predecessor, which could be a real loss to the character. We’re excited to see what other changes have been made to the script, though, and how Watson will be putting her own spin on this (much more independent) Belle.