Beauty and the Beast (Diamond Edition) (Blu-ray)

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Rating: G

Starring:
Paige O’Hara as Belle (voice)
Robby Benson as Beast (voice)
Richard White as Gaston (voice)
Jerry Orbach as Lumiere (voice)
David Ogden Stiers as Cogsworth / Narrator (voice)
Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts (voice)
Bradley Pierce as Chip (voice) (as Bradley Michael Pierce)
Rex Everhart as Maurice (voice)
Jesse Corti as Lefou (voice)
Hal Smith as Philippe (voice)
Jo Anne Worley as Wardrobe (voice)
Mary Kay Bergman as Babette (voice)
Brian Cummings as Stove (voice)
Alvin Epstein as Bookseller (voice)
Tony Jay as Monsieur D’Arque (voice)

Special Features:
All-new Digital Restoration With Enhanced High Definition Picture And Sound

Three Versions Of The Film
-Original Theatrical Release
-Special Extended Edition
-Original Storyboard Version

Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scene

Never-Before-Seen Alternate Opening

Beyond Beauty: The Untold Stories Behind the Making of the Film

All-New Music Video “Beauty And The Beast” Performed By Jordin Sparks

Bonjour, Who Is This? (BD-Live): Use your Phone, Receive Secret Messages, and Guess

Other Players’ Identities Before They Guess Yours!

Enchanted Musical Challenge: Go on a Quest to break the Spell Before the Last Petal Falls!

Broadway Beginnings: Hear From Celebrities Who Have Appeared in the Hit Broadway Production

Composing A Classic: A Musical Conversation with the Songwriters and Producer

Disney Sing Along Mode

Classic DVD Bonus Features:
-The Story Behind the Story
-Deleted Song “Human Again”
-”Beauty and the Beast” Music Video Performed By Celine Dion

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
DTS-HD MA 7.1 Sound
French and Spanish Languages
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 92 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“Acclaimed and treasured like no other, Disney’s beloved modern classic, the first animated feature film in the history of the Oscars® nominated for Best Picture (1991), is brilliantly transformed to a new level of entertainment through the magic of Blu-ray™ High Definition. The music you’ll never forget, the characters who will fill your heart and the magical adventure about finding beauty within all come to spectacular life in Blu-ray. Plus, all-new, immersive bonus features will transport you even further into Belle’s enchanted world. So be our guest and join the beloved, independent Belle and the Beast with the soul of a prince as they cast an enchanting spell like never before.”

“Beauty and the Beast” is rated G.

Mini-Review:
“Beauty and the Beast” returns to your home theater again, this time in Blu-ray format. As you might expect, the animation looks fantastic on an HD screen. The colors are incredibly bright and the picture is amazingly sharp. The movie has never looked better. In fact, the opening scenes showing the brightly colored stained glass are almost too hard to look at since the images are so intense.

You get the choice of three versions of the film – the original theatrical version, the special edition, and a version with the animatics and storyboards. The special edition features the added musical number “Human Again,” so that’s the version you’re definitely going to want to watch. It’s amazing to me how well the movie still holds up. From the beautiful animation to the memorable songs, nobody has matched it since.

Among the bonus features, many of the extras included on the original “Platinum Edition” DVD from 2003 are included here. You’d probably be safe getting rid of your old DVD version. On top of that, you get a few new HD bonus features. They include “Composing A Classic” which features an informal conversation with Alan Menkin. It’s very candid as he talks about Howard Ashman’s final days and his fears and frustrations while composing music for this film. But he also talks about the creative process behind what are now considered the classic songs. “Broadway Beginnings” highlights the Broadway musical and talks with several of the former cast members including Debbie Gibson, Donny Osmond, and one of the Jonas Brothers. It’s interesting as they discuss flubs on stage, how they got their roles, and more. An “Alternate Opening” is also included. It’s 18 minutes long and shows Belle’s Dad as a failed shipping mogul, Belle’s little sister, and a high society version of Gaston with a wig and frilly outfit. It’s quite obvious this would have been a very different movie if they had gone with this version. There’s also a deleted scene showing Belle entering the library and having a conversation with an enchanted book, globe, and statue. It’s long and dull, but you start to realize just how much trial and error is in the creative process when you see this.

While the new bonus features are nice, the real reason to add this Blu-ray to your collection is for the superior picture quality. If you have an HD TV, you want to make the most of it. If you’re a Disney animation fan, then this is most definitely a required addition to your collection.

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