This year marks the 30th anniversary of when Beauty And The Beast became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, and while that may seem like a weirdly specific anniversary to celebrate (tell us you missed the actual anniversary without telling us you missed the actual anniversary), but that’s apparently what ABC is going with as the peg for its new Beauty And The Beast TV special.
The Hollywood Reporter says the special will be a combination of animation and live-action, which unfortunately probably means that nobody will be dressing up like a teacup and dancing around. What it will have is “never-before-seen musical performances” and “new sets and costumes inspired by the classic story,” with the musical performances all “[paying] homage to the original animated favorite while also adding to its iconic story.” (Whatever that means.)
The special will be executive produced by Jon M. Chu (of the upcoming Wicked dyad) and directed by Hamish Hamilton, a veteran of this kind of live television event (The Little Mermaid Live!, this year’s Emmy Awards Grammy Awards, and the last Super Bowl Halftime Show). The special will on December 15 on ABC, and it will be available on Disney+ a day later. And, again: This is the 30th anniversary of when Beauty And The Beast was nominated for Best Picture, not the 30th anniversary of when Beauty And The Beast came out. That would’ve been last year, which was when Disney announced a Beauty And The Beast prequel show about Gaston with brand new music from Alan Menken… though that project has since been delayed and THR says it’s not happening at all anymore.
But hey, some kind of Beauty And The Beast celebration! A tale as old as time! New performances that pay homage to the original while also adding to its iconic story!