One of the biggest laughs in Disney’s new live-action Beauty and the Beast musical comes when Beast (Dan Stevens) and Belle (Emma Watson) get into a snowball fight, and Beast returns Belle’s playful lob by drilling her in the face with a monster snow bomb.
If the sequence feels familiar, it’s not necessarily because you’ve already seen the scene play out in the classic 1991 animated film. (In the original version, it’s Beast who takes a few shots to the mug.) No, the reason you feel a sense of déjà vu is likely from a similar scene in the 1994 doofus comedy classic Dumb and Dumber, in which some innocent wintery frolicking turns hostile as Harry (Jeff Daniels) nails Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly) square in the face with a snowball (and subsequently tackles her and shoves her face into the ground.)
The similarities between scenes are purely coincidental, Beauty director Bill Condon told Yahoo Movies at the film’s Los Angeles press day. “It wasn’t,” Condon said when asked if he was paying homage to the Farrelly brothers favorite costarring Daniels and Jim Carrey. “But I’ll have to go back and look at it, that’s crazy.”
As for why Condon put Belle on the receiving end this time: “It just seemed like a funny thing to do,” he explained. “What I liked is they both go toe-to-toe in this movie. She gets him, he gets her. He makes fun of her for liking Romeo and Juliet, she makes fun of him. They’re always one-upping each other.”
Beauty and the Beast is now in theaters.
Watch Watson explain how Condon tricked her into singing live on set:
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