After its triumphant preview at the New York Film Festival, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST developed a buzz that few if any animated films had. It would eventually become the first animated film ever to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
I was in college when the film came out. A lifelong Disney fan, after seeing the 20/20 segment on the making of the film, I left campus the afternoon it came out, driving an hour to the nearest theatre to see it. When I got back, everyone asked me what I saw. After embarrassingly mentioning it was the latest Disney cartoon, rather than strange looks, instead everyone was saying "Oh how was it? I want to see that."
Disney animation was back.
Without having seen the film in a few years, I put on the Blu-Ray. The film looks amazing. Colors are perfectly rendered.
But aside from the animation, the music in the film more than holds up. I had forgotten just how much fun the Alan Menken / Howard Ashman score was. From the opening "Belle", to "Gaston", "Be Our Guest" and the title song, the film was on its initial released often compared to a great Broadway show. Of course, it became one later on.
The film is being released in a three disc Blu-Ray. There are two Blu-Ray discs with a third DVD of the film. While the Blu-ray will be released in a three pack next week, October 5, the DVD will be released on its own on November 23rd.
There are three viewing options for the film. There is the extended version featuring the very catchy "Human Again" added to the film. There is also the Theatrical Version as well as the theatrical with the "Work Print" version in a picture in picture comparison. An audio commentary is available for the extended version.
Other extras include
- COMPOSING A CLASSIC (20:18) - Alan Menken discusses writing the music for the film.
- DELETED SCENES - There are two never before seen deleted scenes including an alternate story opening (18:24) and Belle in the library (8:27). Both of these are in rough form, with introductions.
- BROADWAY BEGINNINGS (13:07) - Donny Osmond, Deborah Gibson and Nick Jonas among others discuss what it was like appearing in the Broadway play.
- MUSIC VIDEO (3:26) - Jordin Sparks sings a new version of the title song.
BEYOND BEAUTY - An excellent almost hour long documentary featuring crew members, along with others such as Jeffrey Katzenbeg, who discuss the making of the film. This is shown in enhanced mode where, at a few points in the feature, you can click on the remote to hear even more information about a certain point being discussed.
Disc two also features the extras from the previous DVD, including a documentary, music video, alternate versions of scenes, deleted scenes, animation tests, and TV spots.
Disc three features the feature film and extras on standard DVD
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST DIAMOND EDITION is available on DVD and Blu-ray .