In the 1991 cartoon, Belle has very little backstory, and exists almost solely as an object of desire for Gaston and the Beast. When she began filming the live-action movie, Watson was determined to play a princess who held her own. Watson worked with the film's creators to make 2017 Belle an inventor with her own skills, interests, and personal past. Perhaps most notably, Watson also refused to wear a corset under her character's iconic yellow dress . Watson told Entertainment Weekly that she wanted to play an "active" princess, and that a corset would restrict her movement. After all, this modern Belle does a lot more than sit around in ball gowns all day. (Not that there's anything wrong with a stunning gown—Watson worked with the film's designer to ensure the dress kept that magical Disney feel while still allowing lots of free movement.) Watson's choice is a big deal. It sets a major precedent by prioritizing Belle's personality and physical freedom over a rigid standard of appearance.
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