ABC are celebrating the 30th anniversary of Disney classic Beauty And The Beast with another film – here’s everything you need to know about it.
When you think of your favourite Disney film, a few solid ones always spring to mind. We’re talking The Jungle Book, The Lion King, Sleeping Beauty and, of course, Beauty And The Beast.
The tale of Belle and the Beast is one that has stood the test of time, not least because it’s blissfully romantic and made our childhood hearts swell.
More recently, we were saddened to learn that the Disney+ prequel series would not be going ahead. But we have been able to enjoy the Disney classic film as a live-action remake starring Emma Watson and, for those of us who are fans of London theatre, watch it as an on-stage spectacular with its arrival at The London Palladium.
Now, we’re getting another bite of the Belle and Beast cherry as a brand new film has just been announced.
The new cinematic celebration will honour the film’s 30th anniversary and will be a two-hour hybrid animated and live-action special. It’s set to be a musical spectacular, not least because it will be produced by the same director as In The Heights, Jon M Chu. The film will also be directed by Hamish Hamilton, who is well-known for directing the annual Super Bowl halftime show since 2010.
According to Deadline, the special will include live never-before-seen musical performances, along with new sets and costumes inspired by the classic story. Songs from the original 1991 film will also be performed in front of a live audience at Disney Studios.
Of course, by now, we’d expect you to know what the film is all about but in case you need a refresher, the story follows Belle, a beautiful young woman, who agrees to live with the evil Beast in exchange for the return of her abducted father.
Soon, Belle discovers that her hideous captor is actually an enchanted prince. He has been cursed with the appearance of a monster as a punishment for his arrogance, along with his servants, who have been transformed into household objects. (An honourable mention for Lumière and Mrs Potts, please.)
In order to break the curse, the Beast has to learn to love Belle – and earn her love in return – before the last petal of an enchanted rose falls off or else he’ll be stuck as a monster forever.
It became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards and went on to win the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy, while the title theme song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1992. It’s safe to say it’s the stuff of Disney legend, so no wonder we’re getting another cinematic experience centred around it.
Speaking about the upcoming project, president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment, Craig Erwich said: “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.
“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.”
Chu also commented: “Beauty And The Beast was always a game-changing cinematic experience for me. 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.
“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.”
As yet, further plot details and casting announcements have not yet been revealed. We’ll be sure to update you as soon as we know more, though.
Watch this space.
Beauty And The Beast: A 30th Celebration will air in the US on ABC on Thursday 15 December and will be available on Disney+ the following day, though a UK screening date is yet to be confirmed.
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