ABC’s “Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration” special has picked Grammy® and Academy Award® Winner H.E.R. to star as its Belle.
Presented by “The Wonderful World of Disney,” the two-hour reimagining of this classic story will be taped in front of a live audience at Disney Studios, and will air Thursday, December 15 (8-10pm EST), on ABC.
It will then be available to watch on Disney+ the next day.
30 Years Since Its Oscar Nominations
2022 marks the 30th anniversary of when 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,” and the film’s theme song, “Beauty and the Beast,” won the Academy Award for “Best Original Song” that year.
A Hybrid Production
From the way it’s described, the special will incorporate live performances on specially created sets weaved into a showing of the animated movie.
ABC used a similar strategy when it aired “The Little Mermaid” special back in 2019.
As previously announced, Jon M. Chu will executive produce the special, with Hamish Hamilton set to direct.
No other casting announcements have been made yet.
H.E.R. has proven herself as a versatile force in music, earning 20 GRAMMY® Award nominations (with four wins), in addition to Academy Award®, Golden Globe® Award, and Critics Choice Award nominations for her powerful song, “Fight For You,” from the film “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
Next year, she will make her film acting debut in the Warner Bros. adaptation of the Tony® Award-winning Broadway musical “The Color Purple.”
“I can’t believe I get to be a part of the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ legacy. The world will see a Black and Filipino Belle!” said H.E.R. in a statement.
“I have always wanted to be a Disney princess, and I get to work with two wonderful directors Hamish Hamilton and my favorite, Jon M. Chu. It is very surreal and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
I love H.E.R. as a musician, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she brings to the role. Will you be watching this 30th Anniversary production of “Beauty and the Beast”? Let us know in the comments.