The tale as old as time is getting a new look to celebrate 30 years of Beauty and the Beast. On Thursday, Disney and ABC released the first look at Grammy and Academy Award-winning singer-songwriter H.E.R. as Belle and Tony, Emmy and Grammy-nominated artist Josh Groban as the Beast in Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration. Presented by the network's Wonderful World of Disney, the two-hour, animated and live-action blended special celebrates the 30th anniversary of the 1991 beloved Disney animated classic when it airs December 15th on ABC (and streaming the next day on Disney+).
Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration will pay tribute to the animated film and its legacy by showcasing the film along with never-before-seen musical performances, brand-new sets, and costumes inspired by the classic story. Disney describes the special, which will be taped in front of a live audience at Disney Studios, as "part animated film, part live-action spectacle, 100% Disney magic."
H.E.R. and Groban lead an all-star cast that includes Rita Moreno (West Side Story) as the narrator, Joshua Henry (In the Heights) as Gaston, Martin Short (Only Murders in the Building) as Lumière, David Alan Grier (In Living Color) as Cogsworth, Rizwan Manji (Outsourced) as LeFou, Jon Jon Briones (Ratched) as Maurice, Leo Abelo Perry (Cheaper by the Dozen) as Chip and Shania Twain as Mrs. Potts.
Taking viewers on a memorable journey through the classic enchanted tale is director Hamish Hamilton (The Little Mermaid Live!, The Disney Family Singalong) and executive producer Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians, In the Heights).
"Beauty and the Beast was always a game-changing cinematic experience for me," Chu said when announcing the special. "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."
Chu added: "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."
The Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration special airs December 15th on ABC and is streaming December 16th on Disney+.