ABC Live-Animation Hybrid Beauty and the Beast Show Planned

In honor of Beauty and the Beast‘s 30th anniversary, ABC is putting on a 2-hour live-action/animation hybrid performance. Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration will air Thursday, December 15th, and will be available on Disney+ the following day. The show will be produced by Jon M. Chu (In the Heights), with Hamish Hamilton directing. The performances of live actors will be woven through the original animated film. The actors attached have not been announced yet. Check out what the president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment, Craig Erwich, had to say here:

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.”

And producer Jon M. Chu:

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.”

ABC Beauty and the Beast

I think Erwich’s statement is innocuous enough. However, I doubt many kids out there haven’t seen the animated movie. I didn’t see it until I was older, but that was for weird personal reasons; I think most people show their kids their favorite Disney movies ASAP. I agree with Jon M. Chu for the most part; Beauty and the Beast is my favorite film ever produced by Disney feature animation. I find it a little odd to say it represents the “outer limits” of what animated content can achieve since its technical feats have been surpassed by now, and animated movies can be just as meaningful as any other variety. 

Regardless, this live show could be a good thing or a very bad thing. It sounds like the Little Mermaid Live show they did back in 2019, which I liked a lot! That show had better casting than the actual live-action remake; I won’t judge Halle Bailey until I see her performance, but Auli’i Cravalho is a force of nature. And I’d take Queen Latifah over Melissa McCarthy any day of the week. If this show is similarly well-cast and executed, I’m in favor of it. 

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