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This year marks the 25th anniversary of Disney's classic Beauty and the Beast. The film was celebrated in New York over the weekend with a special screening, but it was the live-action part of the evening that made the event truly special. Angela Lansbury appeared in person and sang the Acadamy Award winning title song from the film. Be our guest, and check it out below.
In addition to Angela Lansbury appearing to perform the song, and even drop her in classic lines at the end, the film's composer, Alan Menken, is the one accompanying her at the piano. For fans of the classic film, it had to have been one of those moments that you'll never forget. We almost certainly will never see a moment like this on stage again. At 90-years-old Angela Lansbury hasn't missed a beat. Her performance is as flawless here as it was when she first performed the song for the film in 1991.
While Angela Lansbury hasn't been seen much on the big or small screen in recent years, that's because she has continued to perform on Broadway. At this point, it looks like she may never stop acting, and she may not ever need to. She looks and sounds great here. Based on the performance here there's no reason for her to ever slow down.
Beauty and the Beast is the only animated film to be nominated for Best Picture. While it did not win that particular award, it did take two awards home that night for its music. One for Menken's score, and the other for Best Original Song. The film was virtually guaranteed the Original Song Oscar, as the songs "Be our Guest" and "Belle" were both also nominated in the category.
The celebration of the original film is perfect, and surely not accidental, timing for Disney. Beauty and the Beast will be the next live action fairy tale remake for the company, hitting early next year. Emma Thompson will be taking over the role of Mrs. Potts from Angela Lansbury. Unlike Disney's previous remakes, Beauty and the Beast will be a full musical production, meaning that we'll have new versions of the classic songs to listen to. Recreating the magic of the original from a musical perspective may be the most difficult task ahead of the new film. Those songs are all classics and simply the fact that they won't be the same may rub fans the wrong way. Still, if they hadn't brought the music into the new movie, it surely would have felt like something vital was missing.
After 25 years Beauty and the Beast still captures the imagination of fans. It is clearly one of the truly great animated Disney films. In the end, it doesn't matter how good the remake is, as we will always have the original and its fantastic music.