Belle is a fictional character and one of the two protagonists of the Disney animated film, Beauty and the Beast and its two direct-to-video sequels, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas and its several spin-offs, including Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World. She is also an official Disney Princess.
She also appears at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as a meetable character and in various shows and parades. She also makes a cameo appearance in Disney's 1996 animated feature The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Belle also appears in many episodes of the Disney's House of Mouse television series and in the direct-to-video releases Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse and Mickey's House of Villains. She also appears in the Kingdom Hearts series of video games as one of the most important Disney characters.
Belle is a young woman living in the French countryside with her father, an inventor. She's a lovely free-thinker who likes to read and go on adventures within her own imagination. She is not shy and is not afraid to speak her mind, especially in tight situations, though she can be slightly hesitant when nervous. She is very compassionate and takes care of those in need. She can be stubborn and always tries to protect people she truly loves. She's also very patient towards others.
A true dreamer and a lover of fantasy and adventure, Belle is a shrewd nonconformist for her time in many ways. The most pronounced is her love of books, excitement and knowledge, which the townspeople find odd for a woman. Gaston says to her at one point, "It's not right for a woman to read. Soon she starts getting ideas and...thinking...". Belle also does not care about appearances, whether they pertain to herself or anyone else. This is highly ironic, considering she is seen as the most beautiful woman in her village. In the song Belle, a woman sings, "It's no wonder than her name means beauty. Her looks have got no parallel."
Through the film, though more apparent in the broadway musical in her solo song, A Change in Me, Belle changes her view of the world. In the beginning she craves adventure and excitement, but after her days with the Beast, she grows to see that she no longer needs her childhood dreams and she sees that she likes life how it is now that she's found her love.
Belle's most common outfit is a blue and white peasant dress with a white apron which she wears throughout most of the movie. She wears a blue bow in her hair and brown shoes. Many fans[who?] believe that this outfit is based upon Dorothy Gale's dress in The Wizard of Oz. But when actually, her outfit was based on Maria's dress in the film "The Sound of Music". Sometimes she is featured with her hair down such as when she is attacked by the wolves during the middle of the film.
When she is outdoors, she wears a dark blue cloak. During her time in the castle, she wears a pink dress and a green dress. Her most famous and popular dress is a golden ball gown, though it is seen only during the ballroom scene in the film. In the Kingdom Hearts games she alternates between her ball gown and her blue peasant outfit.
Disney hired actress Sherri Stoner to portray the role of Belle during development. They filmed Stoner acting out various actions and mannerisms, and used the footage as inspiration for Belle's performance.
When Beast's key animator Glen Keane and one of Belle's animators, Mark Henn, were drawing their respective characters in the same scene, they had to coordinate their work across the country. Henn was at the Disney-MGM Studio in Florida, and Keane was at the animation studio in Glendale, California. To keep the scenes harmonized, the animators had to exchange drawings daily by courier.
Beauty and the Beast
Main article: Beauty and the Beast (1991 film)
Belle is a young woman living in a small French town. Her father, Maurice, on his way to a fair, goes missing while she was reading books and not wanting Gaston to marry her. Belle rides to a mysterious castle in possibility of finding him. She finds her father locked away in a dungeon, and begs the dungeon master to free him, offering her own freedom in exchange for her father's. On the condition that she stay with him forever, the dungeon master, a hideous beast, frees Maurice from the dungeon. However he is deeply moved by her beauty and affection towards her father, and can't help but feel attracted to her boldness and bravery. Belle is originally hesitant to interact with the Beast, but after he develops a more civil manner, aided by enchanted furnishings, a bond is formed. The Beast falls deeply in love with her, but is in denial that she will ever love him in return. Belle is soon granted right to leave on behalf of her sickly father, who tries to rescue her. But after denying Gaston (a conceited hunter) her hand in marriage for a third time, a mob of villagers, led by Gaston, plots against the Beast. After a grueling tussle between Gaston and Beast, the Beast is stabbed. Gaston laughs but slips and falls from the castle roof...Never to be seen again. Belle is able to lay the Beast on a balcony, and he dies in her arms. Belle confesses her love for the beast just as the last petal falls from the enchanted rose. Belle's love for the Beast revives him and releases him from the curse, and he, along with his furnishings, return to human beings.
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
Main article: Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
A midquel taking place during the winter segment of Beauty and the Beast, this is the story of Belle's attempt to bring back to the castle the one ritual Beast hates most: Christmas, because it is the very day that the Enchantress cast a spell on him.
Unfortunately, a pipe organ called Forte is determined to do anything necessary to keep the spell from breaking, because he thinks that if the curse is broken then the Beast won't be nice to him anymore. Thus, he proves to be an obstacle in Belle's plans. After several attempts to get Beast to agree, Beast finally approves of the idea of Christmas and allows Belle to prepare festivities, though he still harbors resentment for the day.
With advice from Forte, Belle goes out into the woods to get a suitable tree for Christmas, but she falls into thin ice and almost drowns. Fortunately, she is rescued by Beast, but he is angry at her because of a lie that Forte told him: that she was trying to desert him. Belle is thrown into the dungeon as punishment, but Beast then finds a book in the West Wing that Belle had written for him earlier, and decides to set her free. They both continue to prepare for Christmas.
Persistent Forte attempts to bring the whole castle down with Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in order to prevent the spell from ending, trying to end everyone's lives. Fortunately, Beast stops him in time by crashing his keyboard to pieces. Christmas finally comes, and the story goes back to the actual party, which is one year after these events. Belle is presented with a gift from the Prince: a rose.
Belle's Magical World
Main article: Belle's Magical World
In this movie, Belle is the only human. She meets her new three enchanted object friends Webster, Crane, and LePlume and is set out to solve problems in all four segments.
Belle's Tales of Friendship
Main article: Belle's Tales of Friendship
In Belle's narration, Belle owns and works at her music and bookstore in France. A group of children walk into the store eager to hear Belle's stories, as she is noted to be a great storyteller. Belle agrees to tell a story, but the gang also play games and learn some simple lessons about life. Belle narrates two classic Disney cartoons, The Three Little Pigs and Babes in the Woods, while the children help Belle clean the bookstore. She also reads The Wise Little Hen and Morris the Midget Moose, but Shawn and Harmony will not help make chili for the group. Along the way, Belle adds music and interacts with the children.
Paige O'Hara reprises her voice cast as Belle, while Lyndsey McLeod portrays the character in the live-action sequences.
Sing Me a Story with Belle
Main article: Sing Me a Story with Belle
In the live-action television series, Belle (portrayed by Lyndsey McLeod) lives in the country of France and owns her own music and bookshop. Helping her at the bookstore are Lewis and Carol, two magical bookworms. Also at the bookstore is Harmony the Cat. The bookstore is visited by local children to whom Belle will tell (and sing) stories, usually with a moral that fit a situation happening in the shop or with the children.
Disney Princess Enchanted Tales
Main article: Disney Princess Enchanted Tales
Originally, when the first installment of Disney Princess Enchanted Tales was to be released, it was to feature a new Belle story and a brand new Aurora story. The First chapter was entitled "A Kingdom Of Kindness". The plot of Belle's story featured Chip getting in trouble with the Beast after breaking some of his things. Terrified, Chip runs away. Belle finds him and convinces him to come back to the castle, and teaches Beast what it means to be kind. She also teaches Chip that even when people are mad with you, it still means they love you. All of the original Beauty and the Beast cast returned for "A Kingdom Of Kindness", with the exception to Jerry Orbach.
Only one known song has been written for Belle, this song is called "You'll Never Lose This Love", and is available to watch on the Enchanted Tales Website.
Kingdom Hearts Series
Main article: Kingdom Hearts
Belle (ベル Beru?) appears as an important Disney character in the renowned Kingdom Hearts series. Belle is portrayed as one of the seven Princesses of Heart, maidens who contain no darkness in their hearts. These Princesses hold the power to open the door to Kingdom Hearts, the heart of all worlds and a reservoir of untold wisdom. In the hopes of taking control of Kingdom Hearts to rule all worlds, Maleficent kidnaps her and has her world destroyed by the Heartless. Belle is then taken to Hollow Bastion where she is held hostage alongside the other Princesses. However, Belle is rescued by the Beast, who escaped their homeworld's destruction, and the adventurers Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy. By speaking to Belle after rescuing her, she gives Sora a new weapon, the Divine Rose Keyblade. Belle returns to her homeworld with the Beast when it is restored at the end of the first game.
Belle appears again in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, this time as a figment of Sora's memories of Hollow Bastion. In this scenario, she is once again captured by Maleficent, who hopes to steal her pure heart and use it to perfect her own dark powers. The Beast arrives to save her, but Belle, hoping to keep her heart out of Maleficent’s reach and to keep the Beast safe, coldly rejects her help. However, she is unable to hide her true feelings for long and sacrifices her heart to Maleficent when the witch tries to steal the Beast’s heart. After Sora defeats Maleficent, Belle is restored and reunites with the Beast.
Back in their world, Belle continues to live with the Beast in his castle, the Beast avidly protecting her and his home from Heartless attacks, as depicted in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. However, in Kingdom Hearts II, Xaldin, a member of Organization XIII, sows seeds of distrust and rage in the Beast in an attempt to transform him into a powerful Heartless and Nobody for the Organization to control. While being manipulated by Xaldin, the Beast locks Belle in her room and his servants in the dungeons. Fortunately, Sora and his friends arrive and bring the Beast back to his senses. Later, Xaldin returns and holds Belle hostage with the Beast's enchanted rose. Xaldin forces the Beast to choose between the two, but Belle elbows him in the stomach and makes her escape with the rose, allowing Sora, the Beast and co. to defeat Xaldin. By the end of the game, Belle is shown to be with the Beast, who has transformed back into a prince.
Belle appears in the Kilala Princess manga as one of the group of Disney princesses.