At first glance Beauty and the Beast might seem like your average fairytale romance. But, look a little closer and you’ll see it is about much more than romance and village life. It is an important message about female education and the ability of books to empower lives.
Emma Watson spoke to Mashable about the deeper significance of her character Belle’s love of books and the story’s underlying message about female literacy.
At the start of the film she is a “peculiar” outsider. But, it is her passion for books that ultimately brings her and Beast together and sets the characters’ love story in motion.
“[Books are] so powerful and they have the ability to change your life and your outlook, and this story really speaks to that, the sacred nature of books and their ability to transport you and empower you,” says Watson.
“We still live in a world where there are probably over 80 million girls who won’t get to go to school just because of their gender.”
Beauty and the Beast is also a lesson in not judging a book — or a beast — by its cover.