The New 'BATB' Makes Belle Even More Badass


I have to be careful with the way I phrase this, because I know you're already so excited about this movie that you could pop. However, the new Beauty and the Beast clip shows Belle being a feminist, and — whoops, there you go, whizzing off into the sky like a balloon leaking air. This was my fault. There's already so much to be psyched on in the Disney reboot, from the familiar songs to the intricate animation to the exciting new cast, centered around Dan Stevens and Emma Watson in the lead roles. Now I'm adding female empowerment to the mix? I know, it's a lot to handle.

The new video was released Wednesday and features the scene where the Beast comes to Belle's door to invite her to dinner. He's helped by his enchanted servants Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, and Plumette, who are trying to teach their master how to be charming. At least, that's what we know happens later on in this scene from watching the animated original, but this 40-second snippet focuses more on what's going on inside the room with Belle. It's not what you might think.

Mrs. Potts and Lumiere muse that the young girl is probably equal parts devastated and terrified from "losing her father and her freedom in one day," and speculate that she's probably in there "scared to death." Cut to Emma Watson halfway out the window at the end of a makeshift rope.

I love it. Original Belle is like, "Let me emotionally grapple with the implications of all that has happened to me today," and 2017 Emma Watson Belle is like, "Let me physically grapple down the side of this building, and I'll figure out the rest of it on the fly." The first reaction is perfectly natural and probably represents most of us, but it's so great and empowering to see the character of Belle taking some initiative in this early clip, preparing to climb out into the unknown instead of waiting around in comparative safety for some strange man to tell her what to do.

I guess the lesson here is that if a Beast locks you away in a room in his castle and happens to be a gracious enough captor to provide you with stacks of matching, satiny bedding, you don't sit around waiting to be called to dinner. You tie together a dang rope and make tracks. Obviously, in this case, we know that Belle doesn't actually escape this way, otherwise the movie would be over and not much fun to watch. But I love seeing that grit from her, and I can't wait to see more when the full movie is released on Mar. 17.