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Beauty and the Beast: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Alan Menken praise Gaston

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Disney

When Disney gathered a who’s who of musical heavyweights to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Beauty and the Beast, the group talked at length about the 1991 classic’s legacy and how it changed the game for all the animated musicals that followed its release — and, perhaps surprisingly, when asked about favorite songs, they all agreed on the same villainous tune.

Yes, that’s right. Everyone loves “Gaston.”

“[It’s] one of the great villain songs of all time,” Lin-Maneul Miranda told Good Morning America in an interview that aired Friday morning.

Miranda joined legendary Disney composer Alan Menken, Frozen scribes Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and Broadway and Disney hitmaker Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pocahontas) for the gathering, part of which is included as a bonus feature on the new signature-edition rerelease of Beauty and the Beast (out now on digital HD and coming to Blu-ray on Tuesday).

“The subversive quality of that villain was a really fresh idea at the time,” added Anderson-Lopez.

Speaking to EW at that same taping, Menken and Schwartz also sang the praises of the dozens-of-eggs-eating, covered-in-hair antagonist’s titular song.

“It took me a lot of time before I could be in front of that lyric without just cracking up and just losing it between ‘Every last inch of me’s covered in hair’ and ‘I use antlers in all of my decorating,’ his pride in his spitting abilities,” Menken said. “It’s just so funny.”

“It was sort of revolutionary for animation — that a villain would a) be presented as a comic character, and b) be featured in a song that is full of subtext, musical theater subtext, where he is singing and is completely clueless about the way the listener is responding to what he’s singing,” added Schwartz. “That’s a musical theater technique that I’d never seen applied to animated musicals before.”

You can see Good Morning America’s report below, and head here for more from EW on the 25th anniversary of Beauty and the Beast.