For many, Beauty and the Beast marks the highlight of Disney’s filmography and is one of the most accomplished films of the Disney Renaissance, saving the studio and securing the company’s place in our film collections for years to come. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the critically acclaimed film, which first debuted worldwide on November 13, 1991. Disney is rolling out all the stops: a special 25th anniversary edition of the movie, hosted a special screening of the film at Lincoln Center in New York City, and they had some of the actors come back and host a Q&A session about the making of the movie.
The highlight of the evening was when Angela Lansbury, who played Mrs. Potts (the motherly teapot), sang the movie’s most beloved song, “Beauty and the Beast.” For those who are having a little trouble remembering, it’s the song that plays while Belle and the Beast dance for the first time in the ballroom. Lansbury, who at 90 years old is still active in the theater scene, is able to give the song that same lilting, romantic quality as she did when she recorded the song over two decades ago as composer Alan Menken accompanies her on piano:
The story, according to Belle’s voice actress Paige O’Hara, is that Lansbury first recorded the song after a long night of traveling but managed to get it all done in one takes. During the Q&A, Lansbury remarked on what a phenomenon the film became:
“When I think of the history of this film, and the young children who fell in love with it as little toddlers and grew up and still continue to watch it and tell me about it — it’s so interesting, they will tell me about scenes in the film as if I hadn’t been anywhere near it.”
Disney is also producing a live action remake of Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast, as well as Audra MacDonald, Kevin Kline, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Emma Thompson, Stanely Tucci, Ewan McGregor, and Ian McKellen. The film will debut on March 17, 2017.