ABC’s Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration: Everything We Know So Far

A tale as old as time is being told to Disney fans once again. Beauty and the Beast will be the focus of a two-hour-long animation live-action hybrid musical event titled Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration that will air on ABC. This event is to celebrate of the original animated movie’s 30th anniversary.

Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is a beloved classic that is not only a family favorite but holds various groundbreaking records. This film was the first animated film ever to be nominated for the Best Picture award at the Academy Awards. It won a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture, and the title theme song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1992.

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Craig Erwich, president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment, released a statement saying:

“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 the new generation being introduced to this cherished tale.”

Here’s what we know about the musical so far.

Beauty and the Beast: The Plot

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The original plot of the Disney animated film is about a young prince whose kingdom is visited by an old woman asking for shelter in exchange for a rose. The prince turns away the woman due to her disheveled appearance. However, she reveals herself as a witch and curses the prince for his actions, transforming him into a beast. He is gifted an enchanted rose that will bloom until his 21st birthday. The curse will be broken if he finds someone who loves him despite his beastly looks. If he does not, then he will remain a beast forever.

Belle, the main heroine of the movie, is an outcast of the kingdom due to her love of reading and adventurous spirit. The main villain, Gaston, wants to marry her due to her looks. Her father, an inventor and an outcast, takes a trip to sell an invention. After getting lost on the castle property, he becomes a prisoner of the Beast. When Belle finds him, she asks to take his place, becoming a prisoner herself. However, as she lives with the Beast, she learns to love him for who he is.

Minor changes have been made to this beloved film in the 2017 live-action film version. As such, ABC has announced that there will be never-before-seen musical performances, sets, and characters that were all inspired by the original film. Everything added to this film is meant to pay homage to the Disney classic.

Beauty and the Beast: The Cast & Crew

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Disney and ABC have announced that they have hired two creative veteran minds for Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration, Jon M. Chu and Hamish Hamilton, to work behind the scenes for this event. Jon M. Chu is the director of Crazy Rich Asians and In the Heights. He is also currently working on a film adaptation of the famed book and musical, Wicked. Hamish Hamilton is known for directing the Superbowl’s Halftime Show since 2010. He has worked with several musical artists such as Mariah Carey, Eminem, and Madonna. Both men have an extensive background in music and musical events.

Other than Jon M. Chu and Hamish Hamilton, there have been no cast announcements as of yet. Fan casting will undoubtedly start to appear all over the internet as the hype builds for the Beauty and the Beast live event. There is certainly a lot to look forwards too as the musical’s release date draws closer.

Release Date

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It has been officially announced that Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration will debut on ABC on December 15, 2022, at 8 pm ET. Disney has stated that it will be available to stream on Disney+ for account holders the very next day.

Everything Else We Know

This live-action treatment of films has been seen before. Disney and ABC produced a similar event with The Little Mermaid. Starring Auli’i Cravalho and Graham Phillips, the special aired in 2019. It currently can be found on Disney + for viewing. Like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast will not be fully live. While certain songs of the 19991 animation movie will be performed in front of a live audience at Disney Studio, the special itself will not be a live broadcast.

While the fans wait for more news, the original animated film can be streamed on Disney +.