Sep 222016
 

Beauty and the Beast is still a phenomenal animated movie all these years later and still holds up as one of Disney’s best and an argument can be made, the best of the modern era.

 

 

Beauty and the Beast
— 25th Anniversary Edition —

(1991)

Genre(s): Animation, Fantasy, Family, Romance
Disney | G – 85 min. / 91 min. – $39.99 | September 20, 2016

Date Published: 09/22/2016 | Author: The Movieman/Brad Lowenberg

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Writer(s): Linda Woolvertib (animation screenplay)
Voice Cast: Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson, Jerry Orbach, Angela Lansbury
DISC INFO:
Features:
Commentary, Featurettes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 43.4 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

 


THE MOVIE — 4.5/5


Note: Portions of this review was copied from the original 2010 and 2011 Blu-ray reviews, appended with updated information.

Some say Disney rebounded (after a period of pretty poor animated films) with The Little Mermaid, but I think it did with Beauty and the Beast. Right after Beast we had a cavalcade of great Disney Animated films like Aladdin, The Lion King and one of my favorites (though often forgotten), Mulan.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is based on a French Fairy tale which finds the character of Belle in France caring after her old and often crazy father. The film opens with a spectacular music number (parodied by South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut) where we, the viewer, get to explore her small little village. Her father leaves town where he stumbles upon a big castle that happens to be the home of ‘The Beast’ who captures him instantly.

The Beast was actually a man who was turned into a Beast by a witch who he turned away when she needed help. Because of that, the entire Castle was cursed and everyone inside was turned into a household object, while the man was turned into The Beast. Living a sheltered life, he assumed that Belle’s Father was there to harm him and locks him up. Eventually Belle comes looking for him and trades spots with her Father and becomes The Beasts prisoner.

As one might expect, the two eventually fall for each other and The Beasts hopes that Belle will fall in love with him so that she can break the spell an turn him back into a human. A pretty ho-hum story that really comes to life with the numerous musical numbers. It’s been a good fifteen years since I last saw this film, and instantly remember nearly every musical line and was cheerfully singing along (as was my girlfriend).

I still think the film might be a bit too scary for a kids film (there’s a death, a stabbing, a wolf attack), but it holds up well 25 years later and watching it again, only for perhaps the third time in my life, it just works so well. The music is some of the best from Disney from the catchy “Be My Guest” to the emotional title song. Beyond that, the animation looks fantastic, such high animation values that with the strong story, this deserved its Best Picture nomination.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5


This two-disc set is contained in a standard Blu-ray case and comes with a glossy slip cover. Inside is a code for the Digital Copy (more on that in a bit).

3 Versions of the Film – As with the previous release, this comes with the Original Theatrical, Special Edition and a Sing-Along.

Always Belle (11:32; HD) is a new interview with Page O’Hara recounting her time working on Beauty and the Beast.

Menken & Friends: 25 Years of Musical Inspiration (19:06; HD) is a reunion with Robert Lopez, Kirsten Anderson-Lopez and Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stephen Schwartz and Alan Menken as the get together to sing songs from the movie and discuss the musical side of the production.

#1074: Walt, Fairy Tales & Beauty and the Beast (9:36; HD) – This is a short featurette on the Disney and his travels and inspirations for the Disney fairy tales and the early incarnation of the idea behind Beauty, i.e. story #1074.

The Recording Sessions (3:48; HD) is another short featurette with behind-the-scenes footage of the voice cast recording their lines/songs.

25 Fun Facts About Beauty and the Beast (5:24; HD) – Hosted by Disney Channel stars Gus Kamp and Kayla Maisonet lets viewers in on some fun factions. Just for kids.

Beauty and the Beast Sneak Peek (1:24; HD)

Classic Bonus Preview (0:43; HD) is a promo to look at the features included digitally. Boo!

Now, onto the Digital Copy. Doing research, many of the features on previous releases are included on the Digital Copy and also have a few more new ones. I hope to delve more into these later but my score reflects only what’s available on the disc itself.

 


VIDEO – 5.0/5


Beauty and the Beast is presented in 1.78:1 (MPEG4) on a 50GB Disc. One word: Amazing. I’m sure you’ve read that a lot when Disney releases an animated film on Blu-ray, but this one truly looks it. Being that this was hand painted, you can actually see the brushstrokes in the image. All of that said, this is the same transfer as before so there’s nothing new.

AUDIO – 5.0/5


Disney has included an English 7.1 DTS MA Track for this release. Another echo – amazing. Music blares through all 7 speakers and slight noises crackle when the film goes into dialog mode. I don’t know how Disney continues to pump out one amazing release after another, but they do.

 


OVERALL – 4.5/5


Overall, Beauty and the Beast is still a phenomenal animated movie all these years later and still holds up as one of Disney’s best and an argument can be made, the best of the modern era. As far as this 25th Anniversary Edition is concerned, the audio and video transfers are still great but the lack of features being ported over (not counting the ones available digitally) holds me back on giving it a complete recommendation; however the new features included are nice. I’m almost certain in 5 years, to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary we’ll get some Ultimate Edition with all the features cobbled together on a bonus disc.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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