It built its reputation on princesses finding their prince, living happily ever after in storylines which set the benchmark for romance for generations of children.
Now, Disney is to move firmly into a new era as it introduces its first “exclusively gay moment”, disclosing the new version of Beauty and the Beast will star a manservant exploring his sexuality.
The live-action version of Beauty and the Beast is already on course to be the most thoroughly modern film of its kind, with star Emma Watson discussing how she made the role of Belle more feminist.
The team have now revealed one character, LeFou, will experience Disney’s first ever “gay moment” on screen, as he struggles with his feelings for ultra-macho leading man Gaston.
In the original 1991 animated film, LeFou is introduced as the hapless sidekick of Gaston, the swaggering ladies’ man who hopes to woo Belle with a series of ill-judged seduction techniques.
LeFou is best-known to fans of the film for singing “Gaston”, a pub ditty aimed at cheering up the spurned hero.
The release of the new version is scheduled for March 17.