ABC Celebrates Beauty and the Beast's 30th Anniversary With Hybrid Animated, Live-Action Special

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Beauty and the Beast, and ABC is celebrating the occasion with a special hybrid event. Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration is a special two-hour animated and live-action blended special that pays tribute to the beloved Disney animated classic and its Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Viewers of the special will get to experience the original fan-favorite animated movie, along with new musical performances. Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration is scheduled for a December 15th premiere date at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, and will be available to stream the next day on Disney+.

Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians, In The Heights) is set to executive produce with Hamish Hamilton directing. Disney is going all out to celebrate Beauty and the Beast, with new sets, performances, and costumes being featured. Songs from the original animated classic will be performed in front of a live audience at Disney Studios, while the official cast will be announced at a later date.

"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. "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," 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, 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 made history as the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Some of its other accolades include winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and the theme song "Beauty and the Beast" winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1992.

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Disney's recent live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast was set to have a spinoff prequel series on Disney+ featuring stars Josh Gad and Luke Evans. However, it's no longer moving forward reportedly due to behind-the-scenes creative reasons such as issues with the script and a delay in the original music.

Are you ready to celebrate Beauty and the Beast's 30th anniversary later this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!