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Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast to join list of live musical productions on ABC

A special one-night only live broadcast of a reimagined version of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award nominated hit “Beauty and the Beast” is set to air on ABC to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its Best Picture Oscar nod.

The Beauty and the Beast special will air live on December 15, then will be available to stream Dec. 16 on Disney+.

During the broadcast, live performances will be seamlessly woven into the original feature film. Disney employed a similar strategy with its “The Little Mermaid” live show in 2019.

The production will feature new sets and costumes to highlight the never before seen musical performances. The goal is to pay homage to the original film, while adding to the viewing experience.

Disney has brought on Jon M. Chu (“Crazy Rich Asians”) to executive produce and Hamish Hamilton (known for directing live events, concert films and award shows) to direct. No casting announcements have been made.

“‘Beauty and the Beast’ was always a game-changing cinematic experience for me,” said executive producer Jon M. 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,” Chu added. “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.”

Chu is currently tied to Universal’s “Wicked” movie adaption of the Broadway stage show. He also directed “In the Heights,” an adaption of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s breakout musical, for Warner Bros.

Beauty and the Beast Honors

2022 marks the 30th anniversary of Disney Animation’s “Beauty and the Beast” taking the Oscars by storm. It is the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The film won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. The theme song “Beauty and the Beast” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1992.

“‘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.

Erwich added, “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.”

We don’t know about you, but we have noticed a bit of a revival of BATB musical productions and were hoping that the 30th anniversary might bring about a Broadway revival for the stage production. Maybe if we all watch this version and wish really hard, we might just get it.

“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,” said Chu.