There is much hype surrounding the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie, set to open in March 2017. In part, the anticipation is undoubtedly because of the stellar cast list, including Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast and Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, but fans are also excited to see another adaptation of the beloved movie, because the original is just so good.
First released on October 9th, 1991, the Disney animated classic Beauty and the Beast became the third film in the Disney renaissance era and very quickly became a huge success. The film went on to become the first animated movie to be nominated within the Best Picture category at the Academy Awards, and won the Oscar for Best Score and Best Original Song for its title song.
Beauty and the Beast‘s score came from Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, with the film being released eight months after the death of Ashman from AIDS related illness. Though Ashman didn’t live to see the completed film, he did see an early screening and said he knew it would be a success. He was right, and in part that success was down to the incredible music that the film delivered, including the aforementioned “Beauty and the Beast” theme. Released as a commercial single, sung by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson, the song peaked at number nine on the Billboard 100.
However, it’s really the original film version that fans of the movie love the best. Performed by Angela Lansbury, as the voice of Mrs. Potts, “Beauty and the Beast” is a simple, heartfelt tune, which aptly chronicles the two central characters falling in love. With the twenty fifth anniversary of the film’s release coming up, Disney held an evening of celebrations at the Lincoln Center, where Menken took to the stage to play some tunes from the film. A surprise awaited fans when he was joined on stage by Lansbury, who gave a moving and faithful performance of the song which can be viewed, below.
The performance is perhaps all the more surprising when you realize that Lansbury is now 90 years old. Not only does she still seem in great health, she has also retained her voice well; something that few actors are able to do in their advancing years. Lansbury’s Mrs. Potts came to life once more during the performance; right down to her recreating her line at the end when she sends Chip the cup off to bed. She earned a well-deserved standing ovation for the song, which sounded pretty much note perfect and exactly as it did 25 years ago.
In the 2017 live-action Beauty and the Beast, Mrs. Potts will be voiced by Emma Thompson who will no doubt make the role her own. Nevertheless, the Oscar-winning Thompson is surely aware that she has a hard act to follow.
Beauty and the Beast (live-action) will be released in theaters March 17th, 2017
Source: ABC News