Beauty And The Beast Screenwriter Talks Belle And The Disney Princess Mold

Credit: Disney
Credit: Disney

I would be hard-pressed to find a movie that has stayed with me the same way that Beauty and the Beast has. It is probably, in my opinion, the most perfect fairytale movie out there.

Sure, the Beast is a bit terrifying to a five-year-old. But the fear abates at the heart of this tenderly touching love story for the ages.

Tale as old as time, indeed.

With the new live action Beauty and the Beast months away from a debut, we still want to hear more about our favorite story for the ages.

Recently, Entertainment Weekly talked to Linda Woolverton, who wrote Beauty and the Beast. In addition to that film she has also written The Lion King, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Maleificent, and, most recently, Alice Through The Looking Glass.

Apparently, it was quite the fight for Woolverton to bring the kind, quirky, and fierce Belle to the big screen. Disney had perfected the formula for their heroines after all. More importantly, she thought no one would buy it.

She said: “Well, yeah. I just didn’t think anyone was going to buy it, honestly. By the time I rolled around, I’d been through the women’s movement in the ‘60s and ‘70s and I definitely couldn’t buy that this smart, attractive young girl, Belle, would be sitting around and waiting for her prince to come. That she was someone who suffers in silence and only wants a pure rose? That she takes all this abuse but is still good at heart? I had a hard time with that.”

Woolverton said that lyricist Howard Ashman, who died before the film’s release, also fought for the Belle characterization audiences know today.

Actually I need to acknowledge [lyricist] Howard Ashman — him and I really conjured up Belle together. Howard unfortunately wasn’t around to see the finished product, but he was also fighting for this character.”

Well I can safely say that Belle had a huge impact on my childhood, and I can’t wait to see the live action version of the film.

Beauty and the Beast comes out March 2017.

Bec Heim