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How Disney Saved Musicals

For over 20 years, a cultural divide ended the popularity of movie musicals. As a result, the intervening generation, which barely saw new cinematic musicals, was far less likely to be drawn to films like A Little Shop of Horrors, Everyone Says I Love You, and a multitude of other adult-targeted musical underperformers. Meanwhile, younger teenagers were treating Aladdin’s “A Whole New World” like a date movie, and while the kids were enraptured by Jerry Orbach’s faux-French stylings to “Be Our Guest,” even the most jaded Hollywood insider parents were impressed enough to nominate Beauty and the Beast for Best Picture back when that actually meant something.

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