The new Disney production of Beauty and the Beast airs tonight (December 15) at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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Three decades ago, the original animated film aired in theaters, portraying the love story of a young French maiden and a prince cursed to live in the body of a beast.
Now, there is a new television special starring Grammy and Oscar winner H.E.R. and legendary crooner Josh Groban. Also performing is Martin Short as Lumière and Shania Twain as Mrs. Potts.
“I can’t believe I get to be a part of the Beauty and the Beast legacy,” said H.E.R. in a statement. “The world will see a Black and Filipino Belle. 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.”
“With her obvious extraordinary talent and stage presence, H.E.R. is the perfect embodiment of our Belle, and we are thrilled for audiences to see her in this celebration of creativity,” added the show’s director, Chu. “We were both influenced as storytellers by the original animated movie, so it’s very exciting to collaborate together to honor the artistry of that timeless classic while also inspiring a whole new generation of creators.”
The 25-year-old H.E.R. has already garnered 20 Grammy nominations. She is also set to appear in the new adaptation of The Color Purple, which includes musician Ciara.
The new Beauty and the Beast is one of many live-action adaptations of Disney’s famous animated catalog, including others like The Jungle Book, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and more.
Following its airing on Thursday, the special will stream on Disney + the next day.
According to reports, the new show combines animated scenes with live-action performances. The original animated film was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars when it was released 30 years ago in 1992.
Other stars of the new offering include Rita Moreno as the narrator, Joshua Henry as Gaston, David Alan Grier as Cogsworth, Rizwan Manji as LeFou, Jon Jon Briones as Maurice, and Leo Abelo Perry as Chip.
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