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Beauty And The Beast Featurette Highlights Belle's Independence

For many Disney fans, and even everyday film-watchers, Belle is somewhat of a paragon of strong female characters. Bookish and bent on bringing equality to everyone, the provincial not-quite-princess has gained a reputation for being independent and empowered. And the latest behind-the-scenes clip from the live-action Beauty and the Beast film highlights just that.

Emma Watson, who portrays Belle in the upcoming Bill Condon-directed film, discusses what the character means to her in this new featurette, which also introduces audiences to the more intricate side of the rebooted Beauty.

"She really is the first modern Disney princess who doesn't want to be a princess," director Bill Condon says. Rather, Belle is focused on finding herself, fueled by her "thirst for knowledge, her imagination, [and] her curiosity" according to Beast actor Dan Stevens. The rest of the cast describes the character as a fearless heroine and a fantastic role model.

Watch for yourself in the video above.

Blending together her industriousness and her inventiveness, Belle in the forthcoming Beauty and the Beast film is anticipated to be a "21st-century heroine," with a lightness and a wonder to her sure to inspire many viewers. Josh Gad, who plays bad guy Gaston's dopey lackey LeFou, perhaps puts it best: "Emma as Belle empowers a whole new generation of girls."

Fans can see the headstrong and heroic Belle in Beauty and the Beast beginning March 17. Until then, read up on the other Disney princesses, most of whom have some pretty creepy backstories.