Disney‘s beloved classic Beauty and the Beast is making its way back to our screens. Disney and ABC have announced that the film will receive a hybrid live-action/animated special to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its landmark Oscar nomination for Best Picture in 1992. The celebration, officially titled Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration, will air on ABC on Thursday, December 15 from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. ET. It will be available the next day on Disney+.
The two-hour special will pay tribute to the original animated film and its legacy by presenting the film along with additional, never-before-seen musical performances. Each performance will offer an homage to the story while adding its own surprises for viewers. Songs from the original version will be performed for a live audience at Disney Studios. The special will also include new sets and costumes inspired by the story.
Beauty and the Beast first released in 1991. The animated musical classic follows the story of Belle, a young woman who becomes the prisoner of a prince cursed to be a monster forever. However, the prince’s curse may be broken if he finds the love of another. As Belle lives out her sentence, she and the Beast grow closer and closer. The film made history the following year in 1992 when it became the first animated feature to receive a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards. It won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, and ultimately earned the Academy Awards for Best Original Song and Original Score. In 2017, Disney released a live-action remake that received two Oscar nominations for costume design and production design.
Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration is executive produced by Jon M. Chu (In the Heights), Hamish Hamilton, Caitlin Foito, Raj Kapoor, Richard Kraft, and Katy Mullan. Done+Dusted is producing in association with Walt Disney Television Alternative and Electric Somewhere. Hamilton serves as director. The cast will be announced at a later date.
About the special, Craig Erwich, President of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment, 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.”
“‘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, 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.”
Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration airs on December 15 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Stream the original animated version and the live-action 2017 version now on Disney+.