Belle was inspired by other great movie heroines. Her peasant dress was loosely based on Judy Garland’s (Dorothy) attire from The Wizard of Oz. The scene where Belle runs to the hills singing is a homage to Julie Andrews and the opening scene of 1965’s The Sound of Music. Also, towards the end of the film Belle holds the dying Beast in her arms. This is similar to the way Maria holds the slain Tony in West Side Story.
Belle is one of the few Disney heroines who is not a princess, and one of the few who shows interest in books.
Belle is French for beautiful and yes Kelsie, you are beautiful!