Country Music Icon to Play Mrs. Potts in 'Beauty and the Beast' ABC Special

Disney will mark the 30th anniversary of Beauty and the Beast with a new star-studded special airing on ABC in December. Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration will feature Shania Twain as Mrs. Potts, the role Angela Lansbury memorably voiced in the 1991 animated classic. Leo Abelo Perry, who recently starred in the Disney+ Cheaper by the Dozen remake, will voice Chip.

Martin Short will play Lumiere, while David Alan Grier will voice Cogsworth. Rizwan Manji (Schitt's Creek) will play LeFou and Jon Jon Briones (Ratched) was cast as Belle's father Maurice. ABC previously announced that H.E.R. will play Belle and Josh Groban will play The Beast. Joshua Henry was cast as Gaston. Rita Moreno will narrate the special.

(Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for ZFF)

Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration is described as an "animated and live-action blended special," executive produced by Jon M. Chu. Hamish Hamilton, a seven-time Emmy nominee for directing the Grammys, the Oscars, and the Super Bowl halftime show, will direct. Caitlin Foito, Raj Kapoor, Richard Kraft, and Katy Mullan are executive producers. H.E.R. is also a producer on the project.

The two-hour special will be filmed in front of a live audience at Disney Studios. It will air on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and will stream on Disney+ the next day.

Disney's animated adaptation of the classic Beauty and the Beast story hit theaters in 1991. It was an unprecedented critical and commercial smash hit and is still considered one of the studio's best animated films. Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and won the Best Original Score and Best Original Song Oscars. The film was adapted into a Broadway musical and a 2017 live-action film. It is also on the Library of Congress's National Film Registry.


The special could also serve as a tribute to Lansbury, who sang the Oscar-winning title song in Beauty and the Beast and voiced Mrs. Potts. Lansbury died last week at age 96, just days before she was set to celebrate her 97th birthday. She had a long history with Disney, having also starred in the 1971 film Bednobs & Broomsticks and she was honored as a Disney Legend in 1995. Beauty and the Beast and Bednobs & Broomsticks are both available to stream on Disney+.