Review: Disney's Beauty and the Beast Blu-ray

Beauty and the Beast Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD boxSTUDIO: Walt Disney Studios | DIRECTOR: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise | CAST: Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson, Jerry Orbach, Angela Lansbury
RELEASE DATE: 10/5/2010 | PRICE: Blu-ray $39.99
BONUSES: documentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, three versions of the movie, sing-along, more
SPECS: G | 92 min. | animated family | 1.78:1 aspect ratio | 7.1 DTS-HD audio | English, French and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Beauty and the Beast movie sceneDisney‘s Oscar winning Beauty and the Beast — the first animated movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture — has made its high-definition debut in a stunning Blu-ray version. Released as a Diamond Edition, Beauty and the Beast is viewable in three versions and comes packed with special features.

Fans can watch the original theatrical release of the movie, the special extended edition with the musical number “Human Again” and the original storyboards of the film in picture-in-picture while the original movie plays. These were available on the Platinum Edition DVD of the movie, which was released in 2004.

The original and extended editions of the film are still wonderful, with beautiful animation, and on Blu-ray, the rich colors of the picture stand out even more.

The three-disc Blu-ray release includes two Blu-ray discs, one with the movie and some special features and the other with more special features. Even the menus are fun, hosted by the castle characters and showing off great images of the castle’s interior.

One of the best new supplements is the extensive documentary “Beyond Beauty: The Untold Stories Behind the Making of Beauty and the Beast.” The interesting film details the movie’s production and the environment in which it was made in Disney history, with interviews from the voice actors, including Angela Lansbury, animators and even Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg. The documentary also offers viewers moments when they can click for further information on a subject, such as a tribute to the late song master Howard Ashman, who died shortly after finishing his work on the film.

The music of the movie is also celebrated in the featurette “Composing a Classic: A Musical Conversation With Alan Menken, Don Hahn & Richard Kraft,” composer, producer and Disney historian, respectively.

And the film’s transformation to the stage is explored in the featurette “Broadway Beginnings,” which includes interviews with such Broadway stars as Donny Osmond, who played Gaston on stage; and former Belles Jodi Benson, Debby Gibson and The Sopranos’ Jamie-Lynn Sigler. Sigler says that as much fun as she had filming the HBO TV show, being on Broadway is a dream come true.

Fans also can see a number of deleted scenes from Beauty and the Beast, including a long alternate opening.

Kids will enjoy the “Enchanted Musical Challenge: A Disney Quest Game,” in which they use their remote to answer questions and find members of the castle. Some honesty is required for single players, as the answers are to be shouted out then the disc reveals the right answer and asks if the player was correct. The game is playable for up to four players, though.

Another game is included, “Bonjour: Who Is This?,” but it’s played with cell phones and requires cell phone costs, so keep that in mind if you let your children control the Blu-ray by themselves.

The three-disc Blu-ray set also has a DVD with the movie playable on regular DVD players.

Disney is selling Beauty and the Beast in both a Blu-ray and DVD box on their respective shelves, but a DVD-only version of the Diamond Edition was released on Nov. 23, 2010.


Buy or Rent Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition
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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.