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As Rapunzel and Belle are from different series, they have never met in canon. While the Disney film, Ralph Breaks the Internet, has online versions of the two known as "netizens". Where they are two of the Princesses from the website, Oh My Disney. As the Princesses gather around Ralph after they saved him, Belle and Rapunzel are seen standing beside each other. Along with them standing close as they both asked Vanellope if she too had ever been kidnapped or enslaved. In Kingdom Hearts Belle was one of the first chosen seven before her and the other princess's completed task and role came to an end as the light that made them the Princesses of Hearts passed themselves onto others, where Rapunzel is revealed to be one of them, while a Disney channel junior series have them as two of the princesses that were summoned by the Amulet of Avalor to aid Princess Sofia the First with their wisdom after the amulet has cast one of its punishing curse spells, on separate occasions where both of their given advice songs mention their love interests. In the final episode, both of them and the other princesses that have aided Sofia in the past give her their support in spirit.
Both Bell and Rapunzel like to read books, get along well with horses and other kinds of animals, are strong in their own unique ways, have worn a pink colored dress, dream about having advances beyond the places they called home, and have brown hair. While Rapunzel was born as a blond and her long hair had grown back in Tangled: Before Ever After, Rapunzel's hair original turns brown whenever it gets cut, as her new regrown hair in the TV series cannot be cut, and she had married Eugene as a brunet. Along with Rapunzel's short cameo appearance in Frozen is of Rapunzel with her short cut brunet hair.
Belle's Disney film is based on the fairy tale that is the same name as her film, while Rapunzel's is of the fairy tale Rapunzel under a different name, where some of the themes in the film relate to the original story. While both of their films are drawn from two separate fairy tales, the main similarities between them are a magical flower, an old woman becoming a younger woman through magic and their main female characters being held prisoner, along with Bell and Rapunzel having their own encounters and likes with them. As they were both held prison, the Sun-Drop flower was used to save Rapunzel's life before she was born, had inherited its magical properties and had once saw the withered flower with her own eyes, just has Belle had felt drawn to the Enchanted Rose. Rapunzel was raised by the woman who had used the flower's magic to keep herself young until it was taken to save the Queen and her unborn baby and had took baby Rapunzel to replace her stolen flower, while in As Old as Time, a darker plot twister version of Beauty and the Beast that is part of the book series, A Twisted Tale, the Enchantress is Belle's mother.
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While the exact origins of the ship is a mystery, as to when it started or what might have triggered the idea of shipping the two together, it could simply be due to fans who enjoy doing crossover, femslash ships that involve the Disney Princesses within the Disney fandom, or believe that a few of their similar traits can have the two get along with each other; as friends before moving onto lovers.
Because of their shared love for books, many fanfics and artwork has them reading books together, where it is sometimes the same book.
On AO3, the ship 9 fanfics in its Disney category and 3 in its Once Upon A Time category, while fanfication.net has 3/2 in the crossover category of Beauty and Beast and Tangled.
- Rapunzel/Belle (OUaT) tag on AO3
- Rapunzel/Belle (Disney) tag on AO3
- Belle/Rapunzel (Disney) on FanFiction.Net
- Belle/Rapunzel (Sofia the First) on FanFiction.Net
- Belle/Rapunzel (Kingdom Hearts) on FanFiction.Net
- Rapunzel/Lacey (Once Upon A Time) on FanFiction.Net
- On Rapunzel's nineteenth birthday in Tangled: The Series, one of her presents is a yellow dress that looks like Belle's signature gown. Along with a Beauty and the Beast book.
- They both appear in Once Upon A Time.
- They are two of the characters in Disney Magic Kingdoms.
- They both have appeared in Sofia the First.