When Walt Disney Pictures unleashed the now classically revered animated film “Beauty and the Beast” over a quarter century ago in 1991, one of the winning elements that immortalized it in the hearts and memories of generations of fans was its soundtrack, most especially the title theme song. Coming in two different flavors, one by Angela Lansbury for the movie proper and another for the credits by the duet of Peabo Bryson and Celine Dion, the eponymous “Beauty and the Beast” song poetically describes what the film and its two main characters are all about, in the most romantic light. It’s gratifying to know that the song will also be there for the live-action remake with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, but it won’t be Dion as one of the vocals; she’s doing something else for the film.

New song to the soundtrack

In a Twitter post by the diva herself, Celine Dion announced her contribution for Disney’s sixth live-action remake from their animated canon: a brand new song without any counterpart from the 1991 movie. The title has been teased as “How Does a Moment Last Forever,” and that’s been it thus far. However, there are signs that it would be a worthy addition to the “Beauty and the Beast” songs, due to being written by the original musical team of composer Alan Menken and Tim Rice on the lyrics. “How Does a Moment Last Forever” is described “an emotional ballad about holding onto life’s precious moments.” The thing is, it won’t be in the film proper but another credit song. Oh well.

Theme song revival

But where does this leave the iconic theme song?

Fret not, because Disney’ plans to make a new recording of “Beauty and the Beast”, this time with Dion and Bryson being replaced by the duet of Arianna Grande and John Legend. It’s set to be produced by Ron Fair, who along with Grande and Legend was tapped for the new rendition by Disney soundtrack head honcho Mitchell Leib. That makes for some powerhouse music too considering that Leib and Fair worked together on soundtracks for films like 1990’s “Pretty Woman”.

A music video will also come out to be directed by Grammy and MTV Video Music Award winner David Meyers.

Tale as old as time

Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson’s original “Beauty and the Beast” duet was highly regarded and went on to win an Oscar, a Grammy, and a Golden Globe. The Grande-Legend version and “How Does a Moment Last Forever” are part of the live-action film’s soundtrack, familiar work for Alan Menken who wrote songs for the cartoon and its stage adaptation.

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” will premiere in theaters on March 17, 2017.

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