In honor of the 30th anniversary of the beloved Disney animated classic and its Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, The Wonderful World of Disney and ABC are thrilled to present Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration. This two-hour animated and live-action blended special will pay tribute to the original Disney Animation’s “Beauty and the Beast” and its legacy by showcasing the fan-favorite movie, along with new memorable musical performances, taking viewers on a magical adventure through the eyes of Belle. Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration airs Thursday, December 15th (8:00-10:00 p.m. EST), on ABC, and will be available the next day on Disney+.
The esteemed Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), who is currently in an overall deal with Disney Television Studios, is set to executive produce with Hamish Hamilton set to direct. The talented cast, whose performances will be seamlessly woven through the original feature film, will be announced at a later date. The special presentation includes live never-before-seen musical performances and features brand-new sets and breathtaking 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.
“‘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, 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’ 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.” This year, 2022, marks the 30th anniversary of when Disney Animation’s Beauty and the Beast became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards®. The film went on to win the Golden Globe® Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, while the theme song “Beauty and the Beast” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1992.
Chu is known for his visually stunning blockbuster films as well as his kinetic work across various genres, from groundbreaking series to commercials and films. He most recently helmed the critically acclaimed adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights for Warner Bros. Studios as well as the worldwide phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians, which was nominated for numerous awards, including a SAG Award, a Golden Globe, and PGA Award. It is one of the top 10 highest-grossing romantic comedies of all time and the highest in a decade. It was also the first contemporary studio picture in more than 25 years to feature an all-Asian cast and opened up a new chapter in Asian American representation in Hollywood.
Currently, Chu is prepping production of Universal’s Wicked, the feature-film adaptation of the record-breaking musical phenomenon which will star Academy Award-nominated actress Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande. He is also in development on Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go! with Warner Bros. and JJ Abrams’s Bad Robot, which will be his first animated film. 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, Hamish Hamilton, Raj Kapoor, Richard Kraft, and Katy Mullan. Hamilton will serve as director.