‘The world will see a Black and Filipino Belle!’
Grammy-winning singer H.E.R. is set to become Belle in an ABC special, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Disney animated film “Beauty and the Beast.”
Based on the 1756 fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, “Beauty and the Beast” first premiered in 1991, which featured the voice acting of Paige O’Hara as Belle, Robby Benson as the Beast, and Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts, among others. It made movie history by being the first animated movie to be nominated for the Best Picture award at the 64th Academy Awards (Oscars) in 1992. It took home the Oscars for Best Original Song and Best Original Score that year.
Leading the “Beauty and the Beast” special are Jon M. Chu as executive producer and Hamish Hamilton as the director.
“I can’t believe I get to be a part of the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ legacy. The world will see a Black and Filipino Belle!” said H.E.R. in a statement. “I have always wanted to be a Disney princess, and I get to work with two wonderful directors Hamish Hamilton and my favorite, Jon M. Chu. It is very surreal and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
“With her obvious extraordinary talent and stage presence, H.E.R. is the perfect embodiment of our Belle, and we are thrilled for audiences to see her in this celebration of creativity,” said Jon. “We were both influenced as storytellers by the original animated movie, so it’s very exciting to collaborate together to honor the artistry of that timeless classic while also inspiring a whole new generation of creators.”
Apart from her Grammy victories, the Filipino-American singer also won an Oscar for the song “Fight for You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah” film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the special will be recorded in front of a live audience and air on Dec. 15 and will present a mix of new musical performances, sets, and costumes, all paying homage to the Disney classic.