Belle has garnered widespread acclaim from film critics who appreciated the character's bravery, intelligence and independence. Reception towards her feminism, however, has been more mixed, with commentators accusing the character's actions of being romance-oriented. The fifth Disney Princess, Belle is often ranked among the franchise's best. Highly regarded as one of Disney's strongest examples of a feminist character, critics agree that Belle helped spearhead a generation of independent film heroines while changing the reputation of a Disney princess. Also one of Disney's most iconic characters, Belle was the only animated heroine nominated for the American Film Institute's greatest heroes in film ranking. The character also appears in the film's several sequels and spin-offs, as well as her own live-action television series. American actress Susan Egan originated the role of Belle in the Broadway musical adaptation of the film, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Emma Watson played a live-action version of the character in the 2017 live action adaptation of the original 1991 film.