While the new Beauty and the Beast is tearing it up at the box office, it’s worth remembering the Emma Watson still doesn’t get to lay claim to Belle. She’ll always share that honor with Paige O’Hara, the voice actress of Belle in the animated classic. If you’re wondering what O’Hara has been up to lately, well, she’s been doing the same thing a lot of fans have been doing — making awesome fan art!
People has a cool little feature about O’Hara, who attended the Los Angeles premiere in Belle blue. A lot of the feature is about O’Hara’s history with the character, and how voicing Belle felt like acting as herself.
But, the really cool tidbit is at the end, when we find out that O’Hara might just be the world’s preeminent Belle fan artist. Appropriately, it’s a tale as old as time — an erstwhile street artist before the Belle gig, she started painting Belle after the movie for fun until her work started fetching some not insignificant prices. She got good enough at it to land on Disney’s radar — Disney, probably not interested in taking legal action against an actual Disney princess, brought her on board as a Disney Fine Artist to create paintings as collector’s items. You can check out her work here — I’m not sure how much these go for, but I imagine some of them are expensive enough to be worthy of Beast’s castle.