When Emma Watson appears in Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast movie, she might slyly mention a certain street rat who charms the harem pants off of a princess with his roguish smile.
Emma Watson is playing Belle in the upcoming Beauty and the Beast movie, and many Disney fans likely can’t wait to see the bookworm witch from the Harry Potter movies as the bookworm who tames the Beast. And speaking of magic spells and Princess Belle’s love of reading, a scene in the animated version of Beauty and the Beast recently attracted the attention of the Disney conspiracy theorists who love to look for ways that the House of Mouse’s animated movies are connected. For example, they’ve already theorized that Tarzan is the brother of Frozen sisters Anna and Elsa.
The suggested connection between Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin isn’t quite as big, as no one is saying that Aladdin’s magic carpet was one of the Beast’s enchanted servants. However, the popular Tumblr fan theory that E! News recently reported on is still pretty intriguing. It concerns a scene in Beauty and the Beast where Belle goes to the library to return a book. When the librarian tells her that he doesn’t have anything new for her to read, she cheerfully checks out a book that she’s already read twice and explains why she loves it so much.
“But it’s my favorite!” Belle says. “Far off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince in disguise!”
As US 99.5 points out, Belle would definitely consider the fictional land of Agrabah a far off place, there are swords aplenty in Aladdin, and the Genie uses magic to give Aladdin a very princely disguise that includes dozens of dancing girls, 75 golden camels, 95 white Persian monkeys, and an elephant that used to be a monkey. Aladdin was released in 1992 and Beauty and the Beast hit theaters in 1991, so some fans think that Disney was cleverly teasing the plot of its next animated movie. Now, many Beauty and the Beast fans are likely wondering why they didn’t see it there before.
— E! Online (@eonline) February 9, 2016
E! News points out that a picture in the book that Belle is talking about looks more like a scene from a fairytale such as Sleeping Beauty. Still, it’s possible that the screenwriters had Aladdin in mind when they wrote the description of Belle’s favorite book.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time a link between Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast has been discovered. According to BuzzFeed, Aladdin’s future father-in-law has a collection of toys that includes a Beast figurine. If you look at the Sultan’s toy as more than an Easter egg, it seems to indicate that the events in Beauty and the Beast took place before those of Aladdin. The story of Belle and her enchanted prince presumably became so popular that it spread to Agrabah, where toys like the Beast figurine were produced.
— Olimba Media (@Olimba_Media) January 29, 2016
Perhaps Disney will reveal which fairytale Belle was really talking about when the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie hits theaters in 2017. According to BuzzFeed, the live-action version of the movie will star Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Ewan McGregor as Lumiére, Sir Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Josh Gad as Le Fou, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, Audra McDonald as Garderobe, and Stanley Tucci as a new character named Cadenza (he’ll be playing a grand piano). Josh Gad shared the fun Beauty and the Beast cast photo below last April.
The live-action version of the animated classic is also going to be a musical, and it sounds like Emma Watson is a bit nervous about singing the songs as old as rhyme from the tale as old as time. In an interview with Total Film (via the Telegraph), Emma said that she thinks it will be challenging for her to belt out songs like “Belle” and “Something There.”
“I sing, so that’s really unexpected,” Watson said. “I’ve never had to do that for a film role before, and I think people will be interested to see me do something very different like that. It gives me a different challenge, really. That’s terrifying in and of itself!”
At least some there are some elements of Beauty and the Beast that Emma Watson should be comfortable with — she got plenty of experience facing off against beasts in the Harry Potter movies, and she’s also used to carrying around piles of books. It’s just a shame that Disney can’t sneak a Harry Potter Easter egg into the Beauty and the Beast movie by having Belle check out a copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them instead of her mystery fairytale book.