I recall when Disney came out with the 17″ live-action Belle doll, and something fans and others noticed right away, other than that horrid face (sorry, y’all, that face was so poorly done that I actually feel a bit bad for Emma Watson), was that the gown was different than in the movie. In some of the many, many Disney groups I’m in, people speculated that Disney was getting cheap with their doll ensembles and couldn’t be bothered to embroidery three layers (not that they bothered embroidering anything in the movie, but I digress…). Here is the limited edition Disney 17″ doll, and one of the Hasbro dolls.
There’ve been a few promotional photos floating around of Emma in a gown with a single embroidered layer, with them all being longer, but those have appeared to be digitally changed, and that gave pause to some, that perhaps some photos were changed to match the doll dress. I’d heard rumor that that was the first gown used, and that it wasn’t eye-catching enough when dancing, and that it was changed after the dolls had gone into production. Now, it is true that the lead time on dolls is easily a year. So this hypothesis was plausible. But where was that original gown? Well, I found a photo. It definitely exists. And it has the same number of layers as the Disney limited edition doll.
The theatre that displayed this gown quickly changed to the film version. Photos taken opening night of the gown on display were of the three-layered gown we all know. This gown must have been on display for the media. Fortune.com (apparently they host their images on WordPress, which is strange) and Getty are the only outlets I’ve found with any images of this version, and even then, the versions in their articles are of the three-layered gown.
I thought this was an interesting little thing to share.