25 years of Belle
September 20, 2016 7:07 AM   Subscribe

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of Beauty and the Beast, Angela Lansbury Sings the title song at Lincoln Center

Alan Menken - Disney Medley [Live at the 25th Anniversary Screening of Beauty and the Beast]

Beauty And The Beast (Demo) - Howard Ashman

The story behind this is that Howard Ashman was HIV-positive and wasn't telling anybody—he had been very quiet. And here we had written this crazy seven-minute opening number that was much more ambitious than anybody had asked for, and I remember his fear [about everything] in that moment. I remember Howard was very, very reluctant to send it out, thinking that we were going to be laughed at. He delayed sending it for two days. Finally, of course, we sent it, and Disney loved it. You didn't open an animated movie with a seven-minute number, but it redefined the form. We wanted to keep it very classical Mozart, very She Loves Me, with a quiet opening—'Little town, it's a quiet village…' And then it explodes. 'Bonjour!'

It’s so weird at Halloween every year that little girls wear that ball gown. I go, ‘I know where that came from, and I know the night we figured it out over pizza!”
posted by roomthreeseventeen (10 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
And the 70th anniversary of La Belle et la bête...
posted by jim in austin at 7:41 AM on September 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Lansbury at 90: still killing it.
posted by allthinky at 8:08 AM on September 20, 2016 [10 favorites]

Lansbury at 90: still killing it.

I can't be the only holding out for a "Jessica Fletcher's Last Case" Murder She Wrote tv movie, can I? I know it's ridiculous, but I just want CBS to throw all the money at making that happen.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:33 AM on September 20, 2016 [14 favorites]

I always loved The Beast.
posted by Coda Tronca at 10:47 AM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wait that can't be right...

25+15= ah crap... that is right...
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:28 AM on September 20, 2016

After you turn 40, it's always right, even if it doesn't feel like it should be.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:15 PM on September 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

That was so perfectly on point.

On another note, in my personal opinion, this song belongs to Lansbury. Yeah, Celine & Peabo sound amazing.. and Ashman and Menken wrote a beautiful and charming composition.. but there is no way I can hear the intro and not be excited about the upcoming sound of tenderness in Lansbury's voice. 25 years later it is still as effective and moving as the first time I heard it.
posted by AloneOssifer at 12:45 PM on September 20, 2016 [5 favorites]

Watching Lansbury sing that at 90 years old makes me really appreciate a talented artist. Her presence owned that stage, her performance was so effortless yet flawless. Truly a master making it all look easy.
posted by ShakeyJake at 5:12 PM on September 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

I worked at an event honoring Alan Menken a few years ago, and as a person at the exact sweet-spot age to imprint on renaissance Disney in childhood, it was one of the best nights of my life. It's so clear how present Howard is, even in the performances of those songs today. You felt it, all the time, and you felt how much he was missed. We were so, so fucking lucky to have had Howard Ashman in the world.
posted by ariadne's threadspinner at 6:41 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Angela Lansbury is so awesome -- what a lovely performance. I was smiling along all through the end of the song, and then that delightful surprise when she spoke in character made my heart gooey. "Run along and get in the cupboard, Chip. Time you was in bed. G'night, love."

I needed that, thank you!

And as if I required more proof of how awesome she is -- from the Vanity Fair link:
When the legendary actress was on a flight to New York to record the film’s title track, her plane had to make an emergency landing due to a bomb threat on board. The plane was grounded for hours, and she nearly missed the recording session. “Ms. Lansbury came in after being up all night long, and she came in like a trooper,” recalled O’Hara during the Q&A. “We were all worried that she would be too exhausted, but she comes out and sings ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in one take. They took the first take [for the film]!” Lansbury explained: “We made it just in time, and I think it was the excitement and the sense of doing it now that helped me sing the song.”
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 10:04 PM on September 20, 2016

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