Beauty And The Beast Sing-Along Event at the El Capitan Theatre
Toonzone News was on hand for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along event at the El Capitan Theatre. The event celebrated the release of the brand-new Diamond Edition of the movie on Blu-ray/DVD. Live at the event were the voice actors for the titular Beauty and the Beast, Paige O’Hara (Belle) and Robby Benson (the Beast). Also on hand was the movie’s composer, Alan Menken, who won Oscars for his work on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid. Menken is one of the visionaries responsible for Disney’s renaissance period of the late ’80′s and early ’90′s.
Benson spoke with Toonzone about going through his fourth open heart surgery procedure. He will be writing his second book called, I’m Not Dead Yet, which “will help guide people going through this [heart surgery] for the first time so they can get through this ordeal.” The book will be out in November. Benson also says he and O’Hara “broke a Disney rule” by recording some of their voice-over sequences together. We also briefly spoke with Paige O’Hara who feels the Belle character was a revolutionary character in terms of Disney animation heroines since she was the first one who was kind of “odd” and not really “looking for a husband.” Ms. O’Hara is such a fan of Disney animation she also does original Disney art paintings.
Following the red carpet, Benson and O’Hara introduced the event and their memories in working on the movie, quoting select dialogue from the movie in their characters’ voices. Benson reflected on seeing the movie projected for the first time at the El Capitan theatre nearly twenty years earlier, with his daughter (who is now an adult) sitting on his lap and being in awe of the movie and gaining a role model in Belle. O’Hara loved how much the Belle character was like her in being a bookworm and a brown-eyed brunette, and the experience of getting fan mail from young girls that were so happy about O’Hara playing a Disney Princess that was just like them. They then introduced composer Alan Menken who brought out his piano to play a medley of Disney songs that he wrote and composed. Menken’s medley consisted of famous songs from The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Hercules, and even Newsies. Following Menken’s medley was a screening of the sing-along version of Beauty and the Beast, featuring punctuated subtitles during the musical numbers of the film.
The Beauty and the Beast Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo pack will be released in stores on October 5, 2010. For more information, check out our earlier coverage here, and stay tuned for more news features for the release, including our interviews with Paige O’Hara and Robby Benson and a virtual roundtable with animator Glen Keane.
Photos by Jeffrey “TheVileOne” Harris and Disney Public Relations.