'Beauty and the Beast' stills offers first look at Emma Watson as Belle

Beauty and the Beast

Screengrab via Disney Movie Trailers/YouTube (CC-BY)

Simply spellbinding.

We've still got half a year until the live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast will hit theaters, but already the hype has built to a fever pitch.

Photos purporting to be the first stills from the movie have been making the rounds, giving Disney fans a first look at the CGI beast and Emma Watson as Belle.

Watson looks right at home grasping two leather-bound books in one hand and clutching a library ladder in the other at the town bookshop. Her dance with the Beast has drawn the most criticism, however. Some fans worry that the shoddy depth of field and unpolished VFX details spell trouble for this spellbinding classic.

Not to fear. The film, which is slated for a March 17, 2017 release, is currently in post-production. That means that in addition to waiting for the film to come out, we've still got some time before that formal trailer hits YouTube. In the meantime, there's always the teaser trailer and concept art to regale.

Update 10:07am, Oct. 3: As evidenced by the broken link above, the original tweet linked to in this story has been deleted by its author, who retweeted this statement in its stead: 

Accordingly, we have removed and replaced the lead art image due to copyright concerns.
emma watson
Can Emma Watson's Belle move Disney princesses forward?
The good news: The trailer for the live-action adaption of Beauty and the Beast is out, and it looks absolutely terrific.
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