In France, there was a prince who has been turned into a horrible beast to reflect how he acted on the inside. He and his kingdom have been forgotten for years after the spell was cast. In a close town, an adventurous and strong-willed girl named Belle loves to get lost in her imagination, hoping for something more. She lives with her father and is constantly harassed by the most popular guy in town named Gaston.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is the classic animated film from Disney that was released in theaters in 1991. It is the “second” film from what some consider to be the rebirth of Disney Animated Classics after THE LITTLE MERMAID in 1989. This was also one of the first Disney films to incorporated hand-drawn animation with computer generated imagery. This was how they were able to do the sweeping camera during the dancing scene as well as some other minor peppering through out the film.
This is one of my favorite in Disney Animated Classics catalog, probably because I grew up in a Disney household and it has some excellent moments. The movie has aged well because it comes from the old fairy tales that are timeless and this is what Disney is known for. Sure, they have some missteps but in the early 90’s, they were unstoppable.
Paige O’Hara – Belle
Robby Benson – Prince Adam/Beast
Richard White – Gaston
Jerry Orbach – Lumière
David Ogden Stiers – Cogsworth
Angela Lansbury – Mrs. Potts
The transfer is a 1080p AVC presentation.
The transfer looks excellent here. It is the same as the release from several years ago but it has been a while since I have seen it in HD. The lines are very clean with small details in the images that show hand-drawn animation. The colors are bright with brilliant yellows, reds, and blues that pop. When combined with the newer animation from the segment “Human Again”, the sequence blends in well and looks seamless. There are a few times where the contrasting gets strong and makes the lines look white.
The audio is a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix.
Due to this being one of the musical classics by Disney, the music was also a huge focus on bringing this film to Blu-ray. The score almost has more magic than it did in the early 90’s but there difference here is that you can hear the score under the singing and sound effects. The audio as a whole sounds beautiful and has so many high points. The treble is incredible clear and the LFEs are rich.
-Audio Commentary: Directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale, Producer Don Hahn, and Composer Alan Menken. This is only available on the Extended Edition.
-Always Belle: Paige O’Hara tells about her times and life with Disney after BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
-Menken & Friends: 25 Years of Musical Inspiration: Alan Menken, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and Stephen Schwartz gather to sing songs from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
-#1074: Walt, Fairy Tales & Beauty and the Beast: This is a look back at Walt Disney traveling through Europe and having the idea for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST on the books. He wanted it made decades ago.
-The Recording Sessions: This is a look at making the movie with the actors and animatics.
-25 Fun Facts About Beauty and the Beast: Stuck in the Middle’s Kayla Maisonet and Best Friends Whenever’s Gus Kamp run through 25 facts about the film.
-Beauty and the Beast Sneak Peek: This is an incredibly short clip of the live-action version of the story coming ti theaters in 2017.
-Song Selection for the Sing-Along Edition Only
-Classic Bonus Preview: This shows the extras available from Disney online.
2 disc set w/ 1 Blu-ray and 1 DVD
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Even though this isn’t a remaster of the film, this is a solid release. It looks as great as it did when first hitting Blu-ray. The extras are are good with some really cool new ones but Im’ starting to see a trend: releases are beginning to have bonus features that are only able to be accessed online. This is rather than having a multi-disc release to store the features online. The worst part is that access expires on the extras so there will be a point that they won’t be available. That’s the only reason this didn’t get a full 5. If you’re a fan of the film or don’t own the other Blu-ray releases, pick this one up.