As ABC gears up for Disney’s “Beauty and The Beast: A 30th Celebration,” producer Jon M. Chu has confirmed that the hybrid live-action will feature a tribute to Angela Lansbury, who died in October. Lansbury voiced Mrs. Potts in the original 1991 animated feature.

“We definitely do a nod to her for sure. How could we not pay tribute?” Chu says.

The filmmaker, who has begun filming on his two-part film adaptation of the Broadway musical “Wicked,” offered some more details on the special: “We have some great cameos in this. Paige O’Hara, the voice of the original Belle, has a cameo. Composer Alan Menken does a little appearance.”

The other surprises will have to wait until the special airs Thursday night.

Described as “part animated film, part live-action spectacle,” the celebration features over 400 costumes by Marina Toybina. Chu and the creatives behind the special spoke to Variety about what to expect from the production.

Chu, who serves as a producer on the special, credits Disney’s animation in the early 1990s, films such as “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin,” for sparking his love for storytelling.

“It started in animation,” Chu said. Aside from collecting all the memorabilia and watching the original “Beauty and the Beast” four times over the opening weekend, Chu also saw an early work-in-progress screener that the Academy sent out to voters. The screener featured concept art and storyboards.

“As a young child, I remember watching that and thinking it was made by someone who had hand-drawn that. The songs, everything, was made by people. It was all inspirational — this idea that you could create this whole new world,” said Chu.

Audiences can expect to see song and dance numbers intertwined with clips from the animated feature. He said, “We want to show how young dancers and choreographers can reinterpret some of the same numbers and some that were never in the animated version.”

Helping to put the numbers together were choreographers Jamal Sims and Derek Hough. Hough revealed over 30 dancers came together for the special: “What I love about this is the diverse and eclectic cast. They all had so many different styles; from breakdance, ballet and contemporary.”

However, Hough had to workshop ballroom dancing with the group. “Many had never done that before and many had never danced with a partner. It was a completely different world for them. So that was great to work on.”

Sims described the challenges and called it one of the “hardest jobs I’ve ever done.” He said, “As creators, we hope to get a job like this right because it means so much to many people and these numbers have been performed for over 30 years by different performers and choreographers. Everyone had had their take on it, so it was about trying to figure out a way to bring something new to it.”

Producer Raj Kapoor describes the camera work as “cinematic”: “We didn’t want the at-home audience to feel like a spectator. We wanted them to feel as if they were a guest in the television special.”

Representation was important to Chu. Award-winning singer H.E.R. takes on the role of Belle and makes history as the first Black Filipina to play the iconic princess. The village look she wears serves as an homage to her heritage, featuring ancient Filipino script.

“She is amazing. You couldn’t find a more amazing representative for Belle, someone who reveres the Disney ethos but also does her own thing,” Chu said. “To have her represent that and have [Filipino American actor] Jon Jon Briones play her father — that is so exciting.”