On Tuesday, the network announced that they will present Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration on Dec. 15 on ABC. The two-hour special will feature a blend of animated and live-action sequences, paying tribute to the beloved film and its legacy by combining the film itself with new musical performances.
Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians, In the Heights) is executive producing the special with Hamish Hamilton (The Little Mermaid Live) set to direct. The cast, who will deliver musical performances, woven together with the original film, is still to be announced.
"Beauty and the Beast was always a game-changing cinematic experience for me," said Chu in a statement. "When the animated movie came out, I watched it multiple times in the first weekend. It showed me the outer limits of what animated artists and storytellers could achieve, so the fact that I get to executive produce a tribute to all the creatives that made this masterpiece through our Electric Somewhere company is a dream I didn't even think was possible. With world-class creatives and talent to reinterpret the classic musical numbers (with a few surprises), I can't wait for the audiences, in person and at home, to experience what we have in store for them. It's a true celebration of creativity."
The special will also feature new sets and costumes inspired by Beauty and the Beast, and the songs will be performed in front of a live audience at Disney Studios.
When Beauty and the Beast debuted in 1991, it was a groundbreaking animated film, marking the high water mark of the Disney renaissance as the first animated film to ever earn a nomination for the Best Picture Oscar. It ultimately won Best Original Song for title track, "Beauty and the Beast," celebrating its iconic score by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman.
Since that time, the film has become an indelible part of Disney's legacy, spawning a foundational Broadway musical in the success of Disney theatrical endeavors and a new live-action version starring Emma Watson as Belle in 2017.
The special will also be available on Disney+ the next day.
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