Watching Disney's new live-action Beauty and the Beast brought on a weird case of déjà vu - and no, I don't just mean it reminds me of the original animated version. Upon reflection, I realized it has a ton of random overlaps with Harry Potter, the film franchise that launched Emma Watson to superstardom. In light of these similarities, her role as Belle feels totally meant to be.
1. In both movies, Emma Watson stars as an ambitious only child.
With no brothers or sisters to distract her, Belle dreams of a life outside her tiny village.
And Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series is the hard-working only child born to Muggle parents.
2. Belle and Hermione are both serious bookworms.
Belle's home village has a tiny library with just one shelf of books. When she sees the Beast's massive collection, she's awestruck.
Hermione doesn't just appreciate books - she can't fathom why anyone wouldn't.
3. Both stories are set in fancy castles in Europe.
The Beast's castle is in France.
While Hogwarts is in Scotland.
4. Both castles are filled with independent-minded magical objects.
In Beauty and the Beast, the curse that turned the prince into a beast also turned his servants into objects - Lumiere became a candelabra, Cogsworth became a clock, and so on.
Hogwarts has its Sorting Hat, an assortment of portraits that think and speak, and suits of armor that sing Christmas carols.
5. Emma rocks a cloak in each movie.
A short brown cloak over her blue dress as Belle...
... and a long black cloak with a Gryffindor scarf as Hermione.
I've never worn a cloak, but I wonder if Emma must be constantly shivering. Someone bring her a zippered fleece!
6. Popular, athletic hotties are always after her.
If you forget the part about the Beast, Beauty and the Beast is basically a jump-cut of Gaston - the war hero who eats five dozen eggs for breakfast every morning - proposing marriage to Belle about 600 times in a row. (She says no just as often.)
In Harry Potter, Hermione winds up briefly dating Bulgarian Quidditch star Viktor Krum.
7. Her actual love interests occasionally forget their manners.
Whether they're losing their temper...
... or just stuffing their faces.
8. Each character wears an ICONIC dress to a fancy dance.
For Belle, it's a yellow ball gown when the Beast asks her to join him for an evening of dancing.
For Hermione, it's this ruffled pink Yule Ball dress that has been on my birthday wishlist every year since 2005 (I'm still waiting).
And both dances were way more glam than prom will ever be. Ugh.
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