In the classic film Aladdin (the animated version is the only one we recognize in this house), Aladdin sings “A Whole New World” to Jasmine to explain how much there is to see outside her palace. During ABC’s Disney Family Singalong II last night, Idina Menzel and Ben Platt sang “A Whole New World” to viewers, reminding us that there is more to see outside our living rooms. Elphaba and Evan Hansen came together for the televised event, a sequel to the original program that brought us a surprise Beyoncé performance of Pinocchio’s “When You Wish Upon a Star.” Although not quite at that level, Menzel and Platt’s performance still managed to surprise, mainly by Platt wearing a Disneyland T-shirt and Menzel harmonizing with a millennial for non-Glee reasons. Showing us the world, indeed.
Elsewhere in the show, Katy Perry took her performance of “Baby Mine” from Dumbo very seriously, one-upping her hand sanitizer outfit with a full Dumbo costume, including an ensemble for her dog. The Disney ballads didn’t stop there, with John Legend and Jennifer Hudson pairing up for “Beauty and the Beast” and a red-haired Halsey performing “Part of Your World.” And in more upbeat performances, the Muppets opened the show with Seth Rogen, Chloe x Halle joined The Princess and the Frog’s Anika Noni Rose to sing “Almost There,” and Keke Palmer reminded us she still has the range when she did “Zero to Hero.” Wonder if Disney’s live-action Hercules casting agents were watching.