ABC is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Disney classic film Beauty and the Beast with a two-hour hybrid animated and live-action special. Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration airs Thursday, December 15 at 8 PM EST on ABC, and will be available the next day on Disney+.
Jon M. Chu (In The Heights) will executive produce with Hamish Hamilton set to direct. The cast, whose performances will be woven throughout the original feature film, will be announced at a later date.
The special will include live never-before-seen musical performances, along with 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. 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.”
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 title theme song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1992.
As we reported earlier this year, Disney+’s Beauty and the Beast prequel series, starring the original film’s stars Josh Gad and Luke Evans, is not moving forward.
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, Hamilton, Caitlin Foito, Raj Kapoor, Richard Kraft and Katy Mullan.