Analyzing ways in which Disney's heroines have evolved overtime due to "the approach to the characterization of the princesses chang[ing]" as the characters gradually transformed from passive young women into heroines who "had ambitions and desires aside from finding true love," critics often divide the Disney Princesses into three separate categories and rank Belle among the middle of the , with Kit Steinkellner of observing that the character improved upon "the Disney princess " by simultaneously serving as both a "" and a "doer" in her film, as opposed to exclusively the former. Film historian Paula Sigman Lowery explained to the that Belle's personality is a combination of Ariel's spirit and burgeoning independence, and ' maturity, while Belle is "a little older [than Ariel] and a little further along in their journey towards independence." 's David Nusair believes that Belle belongs to a category of Disney Princesses known as "The Lady Vanishes," in which the heroines, in spite of being brave, outspoken and independent, nonetheless "are forced to behave passively as others help them achieve their respective goals." Michelle Munro, writing for , felt that even though Belle shares several traits with her more passive predecessors, the character introduced "new possibilities for princesses." Girls in Capes wrote that Belle pioneered a generation of princesses who taught "about ambition, self-discovery and the pursuit of what we want." Additionally, Belle remains Disney's first and only princess to have hazel eyes.
The following day, Belle hears a knock on a door. She uses the periscope, only to find that Gaston was at the porch, much to her dismay, but nevertheless lets him in. Gaston reveals to Belle that he wants to make her his little wife and the mother of seven handsome little boys; Belle is disgusted by this idea and slips away from Gaston, who continues to approach her. As Gaston has Belle cornered at the door and is about to plant a kiss on her, Belle opens the door, causing Gaston to fall into a large mud pond outside. After a furious and humiliated Gaston leaves the cottage, Belle goes outside to feed the chickens, shocked in disbelief at how Gaston has asked her to marry him. Not wanting to be the wife of that boorish, brainless man, she runs off into an open field, where Philippe finds her. Seeing the horse without her father, Belle pleads the horse to take her to where her father is.
Although Belle displays few athletic abilities, she is able to ride a horse at quite stunning speeds with ease and skill, and subconsciously navigate her way through a crowded street while reading, without colliding with any other people or objects (although having several near-misses), at one point even deflecting water that was about to pour on top of her while she was reading without once looking up. She also has enough strength to not only break free of Xaldin's hold, but also stun him with an elbow to the gut. She also may have had enough strength to lift the Beast, as evidenced by the Beast being placed onto Philippe (although how she was able to put him on Philippe's back was never shown on-screen). Later on, she was able to pull the Beast up on to a balcony. In addition, she also was revealed to have rescued her dad from the elements and presumably place him onto Maurice while the latter was still out cold despite his being far larger than her in terms of weight.
Belle remains one of Disney's most beloved animated heroines. The character was the only animated heroine to be nominated for the 's ranking. ranked Belle among " and other animated heroines", a list recognizing some of Disney's greatest heroines. According to the , Belle is Disney's second most iconic character, describing her as a "portrait of bravery, teaching us to look beyond appearances and stand up for what we believe in." Meanwhile, ranked Belle Disney's second best hero. Considered to be both a and fashion icon, Belle has garnered accolades for both her appearance and costumes. The character was ranked 64th on 's list of the most attractive female cartoon characters, while being ranked 14th on 's "25 Hottest Cartoon Women of All Time". ranked Belle the second best-dressed Disney Princess, crowning her "the most of all the Disney princesses." Author Emily Popp went on to praise the character's ballgown for being "off the runway," while included it among the "Most Famous Dresses", with author Sarah Karmali dubbing it "One of the most instantly recognizable dresses in Disney history." Revered as iconic, the dress is currently among the most famous in film history. , the winner of , wore an evening gown that she described as "the more sexy version" of Belle's dress. Belle appeared on 's "Definitive Ranking Of 72 Disney Princess Outfits" four times, ranking the character's green, blue, pink and yellow dresses 51st, 37th, 31st and 15th, respectively. Similarly, Belle's blue, pink, yellow and green costumes were ranked 18th, 10th, ninth and fourth by , whose author believes that the character's ballgown "went down in the history books." In February 2016, the blogs said the dress that Oscar winner, wore at the channeled Belle's ballgown. Belle appeared on 's list of the "Best beauty looks in Disney" twice, both for the character's hairstyles. ranked Belle's hair fifth in the magazine's "Disney Princesses: Ranking Their Hairdos – and Don'ts!"
|Belle Disney Princess | 2560 x 1600 | Download | Close|