Sunday, November 22, 2015

'Beauty and the Beast' celebrates its 24th anniversary

Today marks the 24th anniversary of Disney's Beauty and the Beast! Release on this day in 1991, the animated classic is a landmark achievement for the studio. Featuring the voices of Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Angela Lansbury, Jerry Orbach, and more, the film became the first animated feature to gross more than $100 million dollars in its initial theatrical run. 
Beauty and the Beast also became the first animated feature to win the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture (Music or Comedy) and took home the inaugural Annie Award for Best Animated Feature. Truly a trailblazing film, Beauty and the Beast was nominated for six Academy Awards, including becoming the first animated film nominated for Best Picture (no other animated films were nominated in the category until Up and Toy Story 3). Beauty and the Beast went on to win two Oscars, including Original Song for "Beauty and the Beast" (music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman" and Original Score (Alan Menken). 
In 2002, the National Film Registry selected the film for preservation, deeming it to be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and two year later it became Disney's first animated feature to be adapted for the Broadway stage. Beauty and the Beast has also seen the release of two sequels, a 3D re-release, a long-running stage show at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and a prominent presence at the Magic Kingdom, including the ever popular Be Our Guest restaurant. 
In 2017, Disney will release a live-action musical version of the animated classic featuring new songs from Alan Menken and Tim Rice. Directed by Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Dreamgirls, Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2), the film also features the talents of Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (Beast), Luke Evans (Gaston), Josh Gad (Le Fou), Ewan McGregor (Lumiere), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Ian McKellen (Cogsworth), and more!

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