Emma Watson sings in new Beauty and The Beast teaser: amazing or yikes?

This is the poster for the new live action Beauty and the Beast film, out March 17. I can’t say I’m that excited for this film, which is odd because I love the cast and I love fairy tales. I’ll likely end up seeing it but I’m not crossing the days off my calendar until it’s premiere, you know? However, there are many who are excited for this film. Belle is a pretty beloved Disney princess, and rightly so. As I understand it, people were fine with the supporting cast but not the two leads Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. Stevens I kind of get because he’s not very Beast-like but I don’t understand the concern over Emma. A big question surrounding Emma, who also narrates Disney’s Magic of Storytelling campaign video, was: can she sing? Thanks to a 30-second clip during the Golden Globes, we now have our answer:

Eh. She’s fine. Let’s face it, Audra McDonald is going to blow away everyone in this film anyway. Plus, for me, no one is going to top Paige O’Hara’s Belle from the 1991 animated feature. Reaction on Twitter has been mixed but in Emma’s defense, it sways between ‘meh’ to exalted so I don’t think she has that much to worry about.

One thing I didn’t know is that Belle is the inventor in this story, not her father. Her father is played by Kevin Kline, who I would watch read a phone book, but it makes me wonder what he’ll be doing? The movie’s sets and costumes look right, if you are going by the ’91 flick. What doesn’t look right? The Emma Watson as Belle doll that is currently available for order:

At least that’s funny. But this isn’t because oh my word – it really does look like Justin Bieber:

I may be indifferent to Emma as Belle but everyone deserves better than a Justin Bieber princess doll.



Photo credit: WENN Photos and Twitter

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77 Responses to “Emma Watson sings in new Beauty and The Beast teaser: amazing or yikes?”

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  1. Jenns says:

    OMG, that doll. Why is it’s head so big?

    As fr the film, I feel “meh” about it. But I do want to see Luke Evans as Gaston.

  2. Mia4S says:

    It’s always tricky when the leading couple in a musical is guaranteed to be the weakest link. I mean she’s….fine…but…eh.

    Oh my god that doll! I may think she’s a weak actress, but she’s certainly beautiful. What were they thinking?!?

  3. Bex says:

    I’m not a sound engineer or anything but the use of autotune seems pretty liberal on that clip. I’m sure she’ll be fine though. Not so sure Ewan McGregor’s ‘French’ accent will be :D

    • freebunny says:

      Aren’t all the characters supposed to be french?

    • Div says:

      Ha, this is probably the only time I’ll ever side-eye Ewan more than Emma. Emma sounds decent/good to me even if she is autotuned. To be fair, I figured they would always autotune her voice because it is the to go thing.

      Ewan’s voice tho…yikes. I get that perhaps he wanted to be camp and over the top, but even then it is extreme.

    • Karen says:

      Emma is using her English accent (or a terrible french one that sounds English), I don’t think they’re going for continuity here.

      • Bex says:

        In the animation everyone just used English or American accents with the exception of Lumiere, who’s always been played with a French one. I’ve seen one too many high school productions with some poor sod trying to roll their ‘r’s. They probably wanted to keep the live action version consistent with the original, but Ewan’s attempt (from what I’ve heard) sounds terrible :D He said himself it seems more Mexican than anything!

    • Roller74 says:

      My husband IS a sound engineer and he was like ”Holy auto tuning!” Even with the auto tuning, Emma still sounds flat. There are a lot of actresses out there who could have killed this role because they can act and have legitimately powerful singing voices. Shame that Disney didn’t cast a wider net for the role of Belle. The supporting cast will be the true stars of this movie, because they will make the two leads look and sound a lot better than they really are.

  4. Chelsey says:

    I’m waivering somewhere between “yikes” and “eh.”

  5. QQ says:

    To me that doll is Corollary to this entire REALLY RIDICULOUS UNNECESSARY DUMB looking movie (and in keeping with my mystified wonder about the constant To Do y’all have with Emma Watson.. cause really she reads so Bland and ordinary to me?!)

    • Aminah says:

      +1 on each and every point.

      Also, I think the doll looks exactly like her, so I’ve no idea why people are “OH NO! NO WAY! YIKES!!1!” about it.

    • Marny says:

      I think if you’re a Harry Potter fan you’ll be an Emma Watson fan for life. I’m one of those so can’t imagine thinking she’s ordinary!

      • QQ says:

        I suppose so Marny, to me she reads like these plain little petite birdie girls in Hollywood that stay in that Precious Adolescentish thing? Like Anna Kendrick/ Natalie Portman to an extent to be Honest, not great beauties/middle of the pack actress petite gal

      • teacakes says:

        @QQ – I AM a lifelong Harry Potter fan and Emma was fine as Hermione but the trouble is, Belle in this trailer basically looks and sounds like Hermione in a different costume. Which, MEH. Though this will still book that little-kid money because fairy tale.

        I’m really not the biggest fan of the Harry Potter movies, I loved #3 but that was because of Alfonso Cuaron directing it.

        Also, I’d say Natalie Portman is in fact a beauty – her looks are a huge part of the reason she has the career she does (despite how much her camp might try to pretend otherwise, her talent isn’t all that)

      • OhDear says:

        IMO, she’s popular because she’s nonthreatening and “classy.” For example, if EW had an hourglass figure she’d be mocked to oblivion for her lack of talent like Blake Lively and Jessica Biel.

        I also think she’s a hypocrite – she bases her image on being an activist, but had hired an undocumented immigrant and was one of the people in the Panama Papers.

      • teacakes says:

        @OhDear – I’ll amend that to “if she wasn’t the face of a wildly beloved franchise and showed up everywhere in wearing clothes”, she would certainly be slated as hard as Biel and Lively.

        The tax avoidance scheme was a real joke. Shame on her.

      • Timbuktu says:

        agree, Nathalie Portman is stunning, but the other two are aptly described, I thought.

  6. jinni says:

    Why didn’t they hire someone like Emmy Rossum who can actually sing to play this part like they did for Phantom? It’s not like they really needed known actors to play the two leads. Hell the actor playing Beast is just barely known himself, so why him? It’s a live action Disney Princess movie, it would have sold itself without Watson. Or if they were going to get a mediocre, at best, singer like her maybe they should have changed it from being a musical all together. Don’t even get me started on the fact that both Beast and Belle looks are underwhelming in every way.

    I’ll not be watching this.

  7. LizLemonGotMarried says:

    I adore Emma Watson-I’m probably biased because I ADORE Hermione, and she was my first Hermione. So I’m excited to see this, and I’m thrilled that she’s the inventor, not her father.
    I feel like I have to throw in a disclaimer every time I say I love her/want to see this movie: yes, Stockholm Syndrome, yes problematic elements, yes, yes yes. I still want to see how they handle it, especially considering that Emma is a vocal feminist who advocates globally for women.

  8. MissMerry says:

    I thought her voice was awful in the trailer…

  9. freebunny says:

    She sounds ok, thanks to autotune.

  10. oliphant says:

    oh dear that singing is very…..dull? flat? Such a shame they couldn’t pick an actress with charisma and who could actually, you know, act.

    However Ian McKellan is playing Cogsworth, and EwenMcGregor Lumiere, so may be worth a watch :)

  11. Mom2two says:

    She’s ok, not bad or great. My kids will want to see this and I am sure we will. Not as excited about this as I was the live action Cinderella. I thought I read somewhere that Emma requested that Belle be the inventor and not her father.

  12. Shijel says:

    That’s a lot of autotune, but she still has a better voice than me I guess. I can keep a tune just fine, but actual voice? Nawp.

    I like Emma, but why…. why do we need this movie again?

  13. Maum says:

    Ewan McGregor had a really hilarious story on the Graham Norton about realising he couldn’t sing in a French accent and freaking out about it.

    I agree that the leads are so uninspiring. Dan Stevens is a really odd choice- he wasnt great in Downton and has no presence.

    As for Emma… add me to the list of people who don’t get her appeal- she is an average actress and like Stevens has very little presence. I loved the Harry Potter movies but as Hermione she was one of the weakest castmembers. Her range was OTT huffing and/or looking worried/sad/scared (same face in all three situations).

    ETA based on the cast Belle should definitely run off with Gaston… :)

    • Erinn says:

      One of my favorite music videos is Catfish and the Bottlemen’s Hourglass (quite a few fbombs in it for those who don’t care for that sort of thing youtube link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plbgQKQFVcA ). Ewan McGreggor plays the guy working and working on the song – and sings and everything for the video. Basically the band overhears him working on it in the hotel, and they ‘steal’ his song. There’s also a Ewan McGregor cover version of it where he plays it straight through. But I always thought it was super funny.

      That being said, Beauty and the Beast was probably one of my least favorite Disney movies. The Little Mermaid and Aladdin were my favorites. Even as a little kid I thought it was super weird that she fell in love with a weird animal/monster/man thing. I watched it when I was far too young to get the symbolism, but whatever.

      Emma really isn’t a great actress in my opinion. She’s okay. She seems like a likable enough person, but you’re dead on with her HP acting. Super huffy, super OTT. I never really saw Hermoine that way when I was reading the books. She was a teachers pet, and she was really smart, really keen to follow most rules, but willing to stick her neck out for the people she cared about once she warmed up to them. A certain amount of huffiness and obnoxious-know-it-all kind of behavior is to be expected. But whatever.

    • Angel says:

      Thank you re: Emma’s acting in HP, so awful!

  14. CharlotteCharlotte says:

    I’m all for Emma as a person, but… I thought her acting skills were limited. I didn’t know that her acting shines compared to her singing. And that now really leaves me baffled as to why she was cast?? She is very pretty, but so are so many other actresses who can actually sing.

  15. JulP says:

    That doll is really unfortunate looking …

    I think Emma’s voice is ok, nothing special. I’m still bitter that they didn’t cast Emmy Rossum as Belle, or an unknown with a great voice (because let’s be honest, this movie is making millions of dollars regardless of who is cast as Belle). I just don’t see Emma as Belle, and I think she’s a terrible actress.

  16. Margo S. says:

    Yikes all around is what I thought when I saw the TV spot. It took me off guard because I was looking on my phone at the time but heard the song and thought “that sounds dull…” she has zero power to her voice. Why hire an actress that bearly sings?! Ugh.

    I’m only seeing this film for dan stevens. So. Friggin. Hot.

  17. Jess says:

    I think Emma Watson is beautiful and a lovely girl. However, she can’t really act and her voice in that trailer is as auto-tuned as a Kanye West song….

    I thought about Emmy Rossum and other killer singers for the role of Belle but honestly they’re too old now. So my question is why did Belle have to be white in the first place?? Why not just a beautiful, up-and-coming fabulous singer?? For some reason I keep thinking they missed the boat by not casting Zendaya. She would have been fantastic.

    • JulP says:

      Agreed completely with your last point. I mean, they cast Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette and she would have been an amazing Belle! But she’s perhaps a bit too old (isn’t Belle supposed to be 15 or so?), in which case I agree that someone like Zendaya would have been a good choice or, as you suggested, an unknown with a great voice (who can also act)

    • Roller74 says:

      Agree Jess, I have nothing against Emma as a person but her acting (thus far) and her singing voice (from what I’ve heard) have limits.

  18. QueenB says:

    on paper emma is the perfect casting but im not excited.

    i thought the movie was silly anyway. “its about whats on the inside” say two very conventionally beautiful people. i mean getting a handsome prince as a “reward” for not caring about looks is a very strange ending.

    but it will make gazillions of money. (and we will be told that it is the most feminist movie of all time)

  19. Onerous says:

    When they did Cinderella, I took my daughter and several friends to Alamo Drafthouse to see it (for her birthday) and I thought it was pretty good, but the girls (13 years old at the time) absolutely loved it. Although now I can barely remember anything about it, lol! Was there singing in it?

    My point is that I think this will still be a big hit with the younger audience and I will likely be schlepping 6 girls to Alamo Drafthouse again for my daughter’s birthday to see this one.

  20. D says:

    I was looking forward to seeing this, but I didn’t know it was going to be a musical. I hate musicals.

  21. Nic919 says:

    They should have taken a broadway talent to play Belle. No one is going to see Beauty and the Best for Emma Watson but because its Disney Beauty and the Best. A talented unknown would have worked just as well. As for the Beast, he doesn’t sing much (unless they are taking songs from the musical too) so maybe they don’t need a singer, but frankly the costume looks so weird. Something that worked as a cartoon, just seems disturbing in real life.

  22. Rocio says:

    Perfect voice for a Disney movie. Off topic I bet Emma Watson is regretting having turned down La La Land.

  23. Miss V says:

    I don’t dislike Emma, but in my opinion, they should have cast someone better for this role. I was so excited for this movie, -and now I’m all, meh. No, thanks… I will wait to watch it on demand.

  24. Beatrix says:

    Awful. I have to give her props for her confidence, but there is no interpretation or feeling in the way she sings that song, it’s like she’s barely holding the tune and people were just grateful for her staying in key enough for autotune to do the rest.

  25. Dolphin7 says:

    The cinematography in this movie looks fantastic from the trailer. My daughter is six and I can’t wait to take her. I think Emma is beautiful and her voice sounds okay to me. But wow they dropped the ball on that doll.

  26. Nicole says:

    She’s fine. She won’t blow me away but I don’t hate it.
    She is the inventor and it’s one of the many things Emma wanted changed for the adaptation. Another is her insistence that she doesn’t wear a corset. The changes were her ideas from the interviews behind the scenes.
    Feminism in practice.

  27. Marty says:

    As someone who was obsessed with the animated version, I have ZERO interest in this movie. Something like a super CGI Beast and a mediocre Belle just isn’t doing it for me.

  28. Kori says:

    I’m looking forward to it. Dan Stevens has more presence than he’s given credit for based on DA. He’s been really good in some of the roles he’s done since then. I’m holding out on Emma Watson. Emmy Rossum may have been too old? But there are a lot of familiar actresses who can sing. Anna Camp, Brittany Snow (both from Pitch Perfect and I’ve liked BS since her days on Guiding Light), Kristen Bell and I’m sure there are others–including those known more for acting who may not be known as a singer. I didn’t know how well KB could sing until Frozen. But I still have hopes for the movie. If nothing else, I’m sure the cinematography, set design, etc will be great. I was slightly disappointed in the rendering of her iconic yellow dress though. They did SUCH a beautiful job with Cinderella’s dress in the last movie–and with the costumes as a whole. And that doll?! There are no words. Female dolls, especially princess ones, are the bread and butter of some of these lines–how could it be messed up so badly? It’s not like they never make them.

  29. RussianBlueCat says:

    I thought the doll looked like Caitlyn Jenner. Does anyone else see that?

  30. MellyMel says:

    I want this movie to be good and I hope Emma pulls it off, but I’m a huge Harry Potter fan so my loyalty to her is based off wanting only good things for the HP fam. This is also one of my favorite Disney movies so my fingers are crossed. I’m still a little bothered by how CGI looking the Beast looks but we’ll see…

  31. hey-ya says:

    …did Angies Malificent sing?…why is this Beauty singing?…is there singing in poc….

  32. Grant says:

    Emma just looks so bland as Belle. The yellow gown is one of the most iconic princess gowns in the Disney canon but it did NOT translate into live action. It looks so basic which is not how Belle should look in the iconic library waltz scene.

  33. CarolinaBelle says:

    Meh. Emma and Dan are so bland. Can’t wait until the French version with Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux is available next month!

  34. Lala says:

    Big yikes. The most obvious use of autotune I’ve heard in a while. It almost sounds like she spoke the song, and they pitch matched each word. For all the (unfair) criticism she’s been getting about her looks and being cast as the “beauty,” I was really rooting for her, but gosh that’s awful.

  35. moon says:

    Emma is beautiful but she’s such a terrible actress. No range, no vocal expressiveness, just bland and boring.

  36. tealily says:

    She sounds good to me. *shrug* Still won’t see the movie though. It looks boring and it’s not my favorite story. Also, why is she in ‘The Sound of Music’ all of a sudden?

  37. vespernite says:

    They never should have let her sing…Paige O’hara should have been asked to cover the music…Bollywood style. I was for the film until Iearned they were letting Emma sing. This is my favorite Disney story too. Oh well, I always have the original.

  38. K.T says:

    Is anyone more freaked out about that Beast animatronic/cgi monstrousity? I saw that and was like heck! That thing looks scary, ugly and weirdly inappropriate…like, who greenlighted a horned tree to sex-up Belle. Beauty and the Groot. Also, I don’t mind Emma Watson but another casting direction could have been Hailee Stienfeld -she has a tweeny following from her music and she was good in Edge of Seventeen.

  39. Amanda D says:

    Eek. Her singing is below average and she’s not a real “beauty” IMO. More of an average looking girl. Seems to be miscast.

  40. Sky says:

    Oh geez, that doll looks pretty bad. It’d be a little better if the head didn’t look like someone wearing a wig from the old movie Coneheads. I actually laughed out loud when i saw that doll picture. :/

  41. Janine says:

    Jesus, I read the comments first and you’d think Emma sounds disastrous or something. She doesn’t. She sounds lovely. Nothing to be blown away by, but she’s no professional singer, so I didn’t expect that, anyway.

    You know what is disastrous? That doll. It does have her features, but that head is completely misproportioned. Wtf.

  42. Ana says:

    I think people weren’t too happy with Emma being cast because she’s not really a good actress. Just saying.