As bizarre fictional crushes go, swooning over cartoon animals is actually pretty par for the course in childhood.
A member of the stylist.co.uk office freely admits to falling hard for Disney’s foxy Robin Hood as a youngster, while Ariel from Little Mermaid and the not-so terrifying Beast from the original cartoon version of Beauty and the Beast are regulars in the top 10 cartoon figures we crushed on as kids.
Now, the Beauty and the Beast remake has hit cinemas in all its CGI glory and the audience is conflicted about their feelings for the hirsute anti-hero.
He’s hot AF, apparently.
Adults who had a thing for cartoon Beast back in 1991 have found they are still more drawn to the character’s animal form than after his princely makeover (sorry, Dan Stevens).
Plus, a whole new generation are facing up to the strange realisation they’re attracted to an anthropomorphised animal of indeterminate origin.
Never in my life would I had thought I would fancy some one so hairy but the beast in beauty and the beast is hot 😍🙈— L.B ✨ (@birch_lauren) March 20, 2017
Even Emma Watson, who stars as Belle, has admitted she finds the CGI Beast “hot.”
“There’s something a bit sad about when he transforms. You’re like a bit…oh…okay, you were quite nice before. He’s hot. The beast is hot,” the 26-year-old told Yahoo News at the Beauty and the Beast premiere.
Stevens agrees that his animal self is a babe. The 34-year-old told Elle.com he didn’t blame fans who are disappointed by the human changeover, conceding of the Beast, “he’s cute.”
I saw beauty and the beast last night and the beast was high key hot— Emily Clune (@emclune) March 19, 2017
Proper fancy the Beast in the new beauty and the beast defos his muscles so lush but then he turns into a proper weird ugly prince ://///— Emily (@emilyarmstr0ng8) March 19, 2017
The Beast is in fact inspired by a hybrid of wild predatory animals; the body of a bear, legs and tail of a wolf, head of a buffalo, brow of a gorilla, mane of a lion and the tusks of a wild boar.
Not that this information is likely to make reluctant Beast admirers feel any better.
The film smashed its opening weekend, taking £18.4 million at the box office and breaking records as the highest grossing three-day opening weekend for a PG movie.
Watch the official Beauty and the Beast trailer:
Images: Rex Features/Disney