ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

With Disney's beloved currently getting the live action treatment, fans are eager to hear how the new film will approach the iconic songs. With tunes such as the titular "Beauty and the Beast" and "Be Our Guest," Howard Ashman and Alan Menken's soundtrack is an absolute classic, though sometimes even a classic can use a little spruce up.

Though already known that Menken will be composing three entirely new songs for the live-action version, EW has since revealed that one old favorite will also be revamped - the hilarious "Gaston." Touchingly, the updated version will feature lyrics written by the late Howard Ashman, which went unused back in 1991.

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Menken explained:

"In 'Gaston,' we had a treasure trove of lyrics that Howard had written that we did not put in the movie. In many cases they were a little bit risqué — not risqué sexually, but risqué in terms of sensibility. We all felt ready to have these lyrics. When Bill found out about those lyrics, he said, 'Oh my god, can we please look at that, because it would be a wonderful way to add an extra freshness to the movie.' So, yes, you’re going to hear some unheard Howard Ashman lyrics."

However, Ashman's unused lyrics will not only feature in "Gaston." Director Bill Condon has also revealed that another of Ashman's lyrics will pop up towards the end of the film. "It’s a surprise at the end," Condon said. "I don’t want to give that away, but it’s a really gorgeous lyric that we found."

Howard Ashman and Alan Menken accept their Oscars in 1989
Howard Ashman and Alan Menken accept their Oscars in 1989

Actor Luke Evans, who is playing Gaston in the film also spoke about the new additions.

"The guys at Disney reviewed all the transcripts and recordings and they’ve been able to go back through those hours and hours of recorded footage and listen to lyrics that were written and never used, which are actually gems. So, for the [audience members] who know the songs immensely well, which I think is most people, you will hear a few new lines, which are really, really special."

Menken and Ashman's contribution to Beauty and the Beast was recognized at the 1991 Academy Awards where the pair were nominated for three awards in the Best Original Song category and won with "Beauty and the Beast." Sadly, it was a posthumous win for Ashman, who passed away eight months prior to the release of Beauty and the Beast from AIDS-related complications. The film is dedicated to him.

The dedication to Howard Ashman in Beauty and the Beast [Disney]
The dedication to Howard Ashman in Beauty and the Beast [Disney]

Beauty and the Beast hits theaters on March 17.


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