The “Disney Family Singalong” happened Thursday night on ABC, and as with all families, there were surprises and disappointments amid all the social distancing and video appearances.
In a great example of what the night could accomplish, Luke Evans and Josh Gad, accompanied by pianist Alan Menken, knocked out a spot-on virtual version of “Gaston” from “Beauty and the Beast.” Evans voiced Gaston and Gad was LeFou in the 2015 movie remake.
The biggest surprise, though? Beyoncé appeared via video chat to sing “When You Wish Upon a Star,” which she dedicated to “all of the healthcare workers who’ve been working tirelessly to keep us safe.”
Virtual fainting, screaming and general excitement occurred all over social media, as the singer had not been promoted ahead of time as a performer.
Country singer Thomas Rhett got two of his three daughters involved in his performance of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” from the movie “Frozen.” Willa Gray, 4, and Ada James, 2, dressed up as characters Elsa and Anna and made it “snow” on the Rhetts’ front porch.
Give little Lennon Love, Rhett’s youngest daughter, a pass for missing out: The little girl was just born in February.
Zac Efron, meanwhile, might have been the family’s biggest disappointment, through no fault of his own. The “High School Musical” performer showed up for the Disney special but didn’t sing.
“This star is hunkered down in the middle of nowhere with patchy Wi-Fi, but he did not want to miss out on tonight,” host Ryan Seacrest said by way of introduction.
Then Efron did a brief intro of his own to the song “We’re All in This Together,” which was sung by his onetime castmates Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman and Lucas Grabeel, with help from “High School Musical” director Kenny Ortega.
Ortega had explained Efron’s message-only plans earlier in the week to Deadline.
“We couldn’t reach Zac until late but when we did, he immediately jumped in, of course,” Ortega said. “Everyone we reached out to was quick — and you’ll see it in their spirit and the way they come together from their homes. They recognize this is an opportunity to strengthen spirits for those joining us for the broadcast.”
Alas, not everybody watching had read that fine print.