The inclusion of a "gay moment" in Disney's remake of the Beauty and the Beast animation is "totally unnecessary", says the National Council of Churches of Singapore.

In a statement, the council slammed the inclusion of the scene, describing it as "an attempt to influence young children and socialise them at an early age into thinking that the homosexual lifestyle is normal."

Some Christian leaders in Singapore are deeply concerned about the LGBT representation in the new Disney movie, which it says is a marked departure from the original 1991 Disney classic.

It said the only instance of same-sex relationship in Disney's children's entertainment is on small screen, in an episode of Good Luck Charlie in which one of Charlie's friends had two mothers.

"This is the first time that an explicitly gay character is introduced in a Disney big screen production."

The council urges parents to "be aware of this strand in the movie and its possible influence on their children who watch it, however subtle."

It also urged parents to be "attentive to the entertainment choices of their children and engage in meaningful conversations with them as they seek to make sense of the world in which they live.

"Above all, NCCS would like to encourage parents to help their children to be rooted in the teachings of the Bible and the Church and to develop a biblical worldview that would enable them to respond to our rapidly changing culture."

Beauty and the Beast
Josh Gad plays LeFou, the gay character in the fantasy film Disney

In a separate statement, the Roman Catholic Church of Singapore said parents "must discern and reflect with their children on whether the lifestyle is consonant with the teaching of Christ."

It added: "It must explain the implications and the consequences of such a lifestyle for themselves and society," a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdioceses of Singapore told Channel News Asia.

The movie, a remake of Disney's classic, stars Emma Watson as Belle, a young girl who falls in love with a Beast, played by Dan Stevens. Luke Evans plays the story's main villain, Gaston. Unlike the original story, the movie introduces a gay character. Gaston's sidekick, LeFou will have a "nice exclusively gay moment" in the movie, according to director Bill Condon.

The film has been approved by Singapore censors but given a PG rating for "some intense sequences" depicting moderate violence.

In Malaysia, a 'minor gay' scene has been cut and in Russia, it has been rated as "adults only."