The two-hour special will include live never-before-seen musical performances and features brand-new sets and costumes inspired by the classic story. Each performance is created to pay homage while also adding to the iconic story for viewers at home. Songs from the original animated classic will be performed in front of a live audience at Disney Studios, though the special will not be shot live.
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The special will air on ABC on Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. ET and will be available to stream the following day on Disney+. Jon M. Chu is executive producing with Hamish Hamilton onboard to direct. The cast for the special will be announced at a later date.
“‘Beauty and the Beast’ is a timeless story and we’re so fortunate to work with creative mastermind Jon M. Chu and veteran director Hamish Hamilton to bring a modern twist to this beloved classic for an unforgettable night of Disney magic,” said Craig Erwich, president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment. “Stacked with unforgettable performances, this will be a must-see special event for fans of the original and for the new generation being introduced to this cherished tale.”
“Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration” is produced by Done+Dusted in association with Walt Disney Television Alternative and Electric Somewhere. Executive producers are Chu, Caitlin Foito, Hamilton, Raj Kapoor, Richard Kraft and Katy Mullan.
This will not be the first time a Disney classic has been presented in such a hybrid format. In 2019, ABC aired “The Little Mermaid Live,” which saw celebrities like Auliʻi Cravalho, Shaggy, and Queen Latifah performing songs from the beloved animated film live onstage alongside a screening of the film. Hamilton also directed that special.
“‘Beauty and the Beast’ was always a game-changing cinematic experience for me,” said Chu. “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.”
“Beauty and the Beast” was released in late 1991 and went on to achieve considerable box office and critical acclaim. In 1992, it became the first animated film to be nominated for the Oscar for best picture. It ultimately won two Oscars — one for best original score and another for best original song.
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