Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken knows a thing or two about Disney princesses, having written some of the most iconic music from the studio's animated classics including "The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin," "Pocahontas," and "Beauty and the Beast." As the latter film gears up for its live-action remake debut, Menken has once again been contributing his songwriting skills, and according to the composer, the new cast -- led by Emma Watson as Belle -- is as perfect as it seems on paper.

Menken was especially impressed by Watson's performance, and in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, gushed about the actress's interpretation of the iconic role.

"She's really good!" Menked told EW about his new leading lady. "I can't picture anyone else [in the role], honestly. She's Belle for me now entirely."

As for the rest of the starry ensemble -- which includes Dan Stevens as the Beast, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Luke Evans as Gaston, and Josh Gad as LeFou -- Menken had equally effusive praise.

"The cast is just a dream cast, it's ridiculous," he told EW.

We can't wait to see them all in action. "Beauty and the Beast" hits theaters on March 17, 2017.

[via: Entertainment Weekly]