20 Things You Didn’t Know About Beauty and the Beast

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA – MAY 09: Actress Angela Lansbury attends the 25th Anniversary screening of ‘Beauty and the Beast’: A Marc Davis Celebration of Animation at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on May 9, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

13. Angela Lansbury recorded “Beauty and Beast” in one take

Believe it or not, Angela Lansbury didn’t want to record the now famous title track for the film. Lansbury was already an established singer and Broadway star. She had even done her own singing for an earlier Disney project, Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971). She was eventually cast as Mrs. Potts, the motherly talking teapot.

However, she was worried that her aging singing voice wasn’t right for such a prominent song. It didn’t help that earlier versions of “Beauty and the Beast” were written in a rock style that was unfamiliar to her previous experience. Songwriters would later insist that she simply “sing the song the way [she] envisioned it”.

So, despite her concerns, Lansbury agreed to complete one full take as a backup. It didn’t help that, on the way to the recording session, her plane was delayed due to a bomb threat. While her plane was taking an emergency landing at Las Vegas, everyone at the studio scrambled to reschedule. Lansbury, meanwhile, called from the airport once she safely landed in New York and reassured the frazzled musicians that she would be there.

As she understood it, this version would only be used if they didn’t find a suitable actress to re-record the musical part. Ultimately, filmmakers were so happy with her version that they kept it in the film, nearly intact. Apart from picking up a line here or there, that one recording is the version you hear in the film. Her performance even reportedly moved those present in the studio to tears.