The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science celebrated the 25th anniversary of Beauty and the Beast with a reunion of the film’s famous voice cast at its Beverly Hills Headquarters last night.
Many of the film’s original performers were there—including Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts), Bradley Pierce (Chip), David Ogden Stiers (Cogsworth), Robby Benson (Beast) and Paige O’Hara (Belle)—as well as animator Glen Keane director Gary Trousdale, and other talents.
Composer Alan Menken was noticeably absent, but that’s because he’s busy at work on the live-action version of the movie, currently filming in New York.
Menken attributes much of Beauty & the Beast’s staying power to the genius of of his creative partner, lyricist Howard Ashman, who passed away from AIDS complications just eight months before the film’s 1991 premiere. (It went on become the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.)
“This, of all the projects, was the one that was infused with… that last flame of [Howard’s] talent and creativity and heart,” Menken, who is incorporating much of the animated version’s original score into the new version, told ABC 6.
“And, I think, at some interesting level, that comes through in Beauty and the Beast. It comes through in these tender moments.”
Set for release next year, the new film is directed by Dreamgirls helmer Bill Condon and stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the titular roles—plus Luke Evans as Gaston, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Ewan McGregor as Lumière and Ian McKellen as Cogsworth.
Below, Pierce posted candids from the event to his Instagram account.