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4.6 out of 5 stars
Beauty and the Beast [DVD]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2011
Truly, truly an amazing movie. The story, characters and music that I fell in love with when I was a young child have been magically revived in this wonderful DVD.

The story is a basic boy meets girl romance, but with a twist. Beautiful Belle (beautiful in French) is the classic Disney heroine - Intelligent, not getting what she deserves in her life and with an arrogant man after her, who gets trapped by a 'beast' in an enchanted castle after saving her father from the prison. Little does she know that with a little help from the residents of the castle, humans that have been turned into house hold objects by a curse, she will fall in love with the beast, who is a prince that was transformed by the same curse and her love will ensure he and all the residents of the castle turn back in to their original state.

Each song is fantastic, with the highlight being of course "Be Our Guest" and "Beauty and the Beast" which gives me Goosebumps every time I hear it.

What's more the three versions of the film on this DVD include an extended version of the film, and there is also a never before seen start of the film - so even if you have seen the movie it is sooo worth buying this amazing DVD.

Ok, so it sounds stupid right? But you have to watch it to really appreciate the wonder of the story.

I was so pleased with the service from amazon as well, not only did I purchase the DVD for less than half of the RRP, it arrived in perfect condition the next day.

With the restored digital imaging, stacks of bonus features and the classic songs I just have one question....Why are you reading this, and not watching the movie?

Off to watch it for the second time today now, no really.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Belle is bored with life in her village. Her only escape is her books, and she longs to have an adventure of her own. When her father heads out to a fair, he gets lots, and Belle finds him in an enchanted castle. The objects are thrilled, because if she and their master, the Beast, fall in love, they will all be freed from the enchantment. But will Belle be able to see past the outward appearance? And what about the handsome bore back home who wants to marry Belle?
I feel in love with this movie the first time I saw it, and that love has only grown over the years. The story is the right mix of fun and uncertainty. Gaston was a wonderful addition to the mix because his story was the part I was most uncertain about the first time around. The artwork on the film catches your eye from the first shot of the castle, and doesn't let go. Beside the incredible background shots are wonderful drawings of the characters. I especially love the boyish excitement they manage to give the Beast in several scenes. Finally, there's the music. Every song adds to the story and is memorable in its own right.
This DVD is perfect for any fan of this movie. Disc 1 includes three versions of the film. The first is the "in progress" version shown to the New York film festival 6 weeks before the premier of the movie in 1991. While it's fun to have, I won't be watching it regularly. The second version is the original release. And finally comes the special edition, with the added scene and "Human Again." Ironically, this is probably my least favorite of the songs added to the Broadway version, but it does advance the story. And, there's always the option of watching the original version. Obviously, the version that you are supposed to watch is the special edition, as the audio commentary and sing along bonus features only work with this option. All three come in Dolby 5.1 sound, which sounds great.
The second disc features hours of bonus material. Most of it focuses on the making of this movie. Everything is covered, from original idea through characters and the Broadway version and special edition. Galleries show character designs over the course of the project. Also featured is the original treatments for "Human Again" and "Be Our Guest." Celebrity voices give background on the original story and Disney versions of classic tales. And there's a fun documentary as the stars of "Even Stevens" take a backstage look at all the work that goes into making a feature animated film.
This is the only film so far to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture. Watching the film, the reason is clear. This is something the entire family can enjoy. Don't miss your opportunity to get this classic film.
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96 of 106 people found the following review helpful
Just consider for a moment that this film was nominated for an Oscar among other wonderful films of its day, such as Silence of The Lambs, Terminator 2, Hook and even JFK. Now that is rare for animation... This is pivotal in itself for so often in the past, the animated film has been considered expendable amongst the recognition of live action films. Beauty and The Beast broke that mould however with its throwback to the glory days of traditional Disney animation. The film does not try to be clever, nor does it hold any sophisticated meaning apart from one simple truth; that love can prevail when one looks beyond appearance. How fitting it is then that our protagonist 'Belle', the young book lover and son of an inventor, is at first horrified by the appearance of the ghastly Beast, living alone in his gloomy (yet enchanted!) castle - yet once she see's beyond the cover, the contents is undoubtedly loveable.

This is only half the value of the movie, for the soundtrack lends itself as an important motive to the films enjoyment. Every single song from the film is memorable both in lyric and melody, making it all the more sad that the lyricist Howard Ashman passed away before the movie was even released. It's also challenging to say that much of Beauty and The Beast's music is more emotionally captivating than many of the studio's efforts beforehand. This is no fluke - it was a need and a wanting to return to importance of sound within animation.

'Diamond Edition' - Disney's latest blurb for their hand-picked movies that they consider to the studio's finest, though I would argue this entirely given that 'Fantasia' was dropped from the line only earlier this year (for some reason...), and that itself was pivotal in movie history. Needless, Beauty and The Beast has had possibly Disney's best ever treatment. Not only do you get a nice selection of extra features on the movie discs (both Blu-Ray and DVD), but the package as usual has yet another Blu-Ray disc dedicated to extras - so many that the back of the case can't fit them all. A week of owning this product has not been enough to join Lumiere in the virtual-castle and seek all the extra features that are on offer. Disney have frankly pulled out all the stops here, and it doesn't disappoint in any single way.

On a note of Disc formats, a few people are confused about the whole 'Double Play' description and what you get with the product. This is made all the worse because Disney, in a vein attempt to move people to Blu-Ray, have released the exact same product only in a DVD case. Essentially, the disc layout is the following, and this applies to ALL Diamond/Platinum Editions;

1 x Blu-Ray [Movie Disc, With Extras]
1 x DVD [Movie Disc, With *limited* Extras]
1 x Blu-Ray [Extras Disc - "Bonus Material"]

Therefore, PLEASE be aware that the dedicated "Bonus Material" is a Blu-Ray, NOT a DVD. If you want just a DVD only product, you will have to wait until it is released;

Beauty and the Beast [DVD]

On a final note, 'Double Play' simply means that the FILM can be played in both Blu-Ray and DVD formats within that product. Furthermore, a 'Triple Play' product means you get a Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital copy of the film to watch in that product. I know, it's all rather uncalled for and I have sympathy for those who are confused to find the alternative 'DVD Packaging' of the same product in the DVD section of high-street stores.

Picture quality needs very little mention, essentially because the film itself was mastered on digital files, and therefore does not require the same 35mm film scanning that older Disney films require from Lowry Digital. However, it will look dramatically different. The colour timing has been shifted away from any release seen before and into, what was stated, the "intended palette', meaning even the theatrical release never looked this good. Background paintings are stable and lush, revealing gorgeous water-colour detail. The animation is pin-sharp, itself revealing all the original pencil lines. It's as pristine as it will ever look. The sound also benefits Blu-Ray for the lossless format booms with emotion, just increasing that dynamic range and giving the Beast a menacing growl, while the music pierces the top ends.

Presented in a glorious slip-case and intuitive menu system, Beauty and The Beast has reached the treatment it deserves. With bags of humor and lessons of love, it is truly the ultimate family film and couldn't have been released at a better time. There is just something so majestic about this film that, as Belle and Beast dance through the Ball-Room and the camera tracks down from the ceiling, it is obvious animation can go beyond what live action may offer - possibly even touching the viewer and placing them in that very scene, such is the beauty of the artwork and relationship to the title song 'Beauty and The Beast'. It was just the right film at the right time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 31 December 2011
My partner ordered a new 3D TV so the first thing I did was order my favourite Disney movie in 3D.
I have seen this film too many times already and owned almost every release and format over the years.
I do not need to tell you how great this film is, if you havent seen it yet then don't delay any further!
I was worried that Disney would ruin something that is already stunning in every sense, but my fears were soon gone as I was immersed into some amazing 3D. The level of depth was great, even the stained glass windows that told the story of the Prince turned into Beast seemed to have depth for each pane of glass. The 3D was more than just layering, it gave depth to faces and the whole body of the characters.
I really do believe it added something special being in 3D, like "something there that wasnt there before!"
I am just excited to see Little Mermaid when that is released in 3D in 2013.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 2011
Beauty and the Beast has always been my favourite Disney film since I first saw it at the cinema 20 years ago (!)
Since then I must have watched it over a hundred times.On video with my children when they were young,in Imax some years later ,the excellent live stage production and then on DVD.
So when I heard Disney were making a 3D version from the original I was expecting,at best,something that looked like a 3D 'pop-up'book.
It has however far exceeded my expectations ! From the opening scene to the end titles the quality of the 3D is nothing short of amazing ! You would think it was originally made in 3D rather than a conversion 20 years on which made the whole viewing experience like watching it for the first time all over again !
Stunning 3D picture and beautiful sound make this special release very special indeed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Coming at a time when Disney animation had actually been banished from the studio lot and was desperately trying to work its way out of a decade long slump from a low-rent warehouse on the other side of town, 1991's Beauty and the Beast went from being a troubled production to the triumph that completely reinvigorated the entire studio and ushered in the Disney Renaissance of the 90s. It's not surprising: at the time it was quitepossibly the best Disney animated feature since Pinocchio.

Aside from the strong screenplay, much of the credit must go to Howard Ashman's witty and intelligent lyrics and Alan Menken's superb score, which lift the film onto another plane. Most surprising is the use of ensemble numbers, such as the opening number, which introduces both Belle and all of the villagers and the dark and driving 'Kill the Beast'. Unlike much feature animation, this does not patronise the adult members of the audience while still maintaining its appeal to children.

The animation is superb and always alive with its use of 'crane shots', 'tracking shots' and a brief snatch of amazing computer animation in the ballroom sequence to give it the visual versatility and depth of a live action feature. The characters are well designed with fine performances from the voice cast and the film has a couple of great scary set pieces in the Beast's fight with the wolves (who get a bad rap here as always) and the rooftop finale amid a fierce rainstorm.

The film has always been treated as one of the studio's crown jewels, and the original but now deleted two-disc DVD and Blu-ray editions certainly did it justice, including not just the original 85-minute theatrical version but the extended 92-minute special edition when the animators were able to go back and complete sequences they had neither the time nor the money to do so at the time, the latter with audio commentary from directors Kirk Wise and Don Hahn and composer Menken. On Blu-ray the theatrical version also includes the work-in-progress version as a picture-in-picture option, though this was only available full frame on the original DVD release and on the DVD that accompanied the original DVD/Blu-ray combo release.

In many ways it's the most important of the extras: the rapturous reception to its screening at the New York Film Festival in September 1991 turned the finished film from a "So what?" into a "Must see" that was a key step in its huge success. Introduced with a brief explanation of the four stages of animation - storyboard, rough animation, clean up and final colour. There are no additional scenes, with only marginal differences in some background details in the 30% or so that is represented by either rough animation or production sketches. Most affected in this section are the early scenes of the Beast, some of the computer animation and most of the finale, and it must be said that while there is some initial fascination with watching the assembled footage, the jumps from mono to colour are somewhat jarring and a little of it goes a long way.

Unfortunately if you get the more recent single-disc issues of the title, aside from a couple of futurities and a music video, that's pretty much your lot for extras. However, if you can track down the original Blu-ray release the second disc includes interactive documentary Beyond Beauty - Untold Stories Behind the Making of Beauty and the Beast; featurettes The Story Behind the Story, Animation Tests, Roughs and Clean-ups, The transformation Pencil Version, A Transformation - Glen Keane and Camera Move Tests; early presentation reel; alternate version of Be Our Guest; alternate score for The Transformation; deleted song Human Again with introductions by Don Hahn and Alan Menken; original music video; interactive game; 4 TV spots, original theatrical trailer and IMAX release trailer introduced by Don Hahn. It's not so easy to find these days, but it's definitely the one to get.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2012
Having had the opportunity to watch both DVD versions of one of first animated classics from Disney and as a former (now retired) member of Disney Management staff, it is strikingly obvious that the charm and production of how we (of a certain age) remember so fondly the animation, and it is somehow lost that in the newer Disney releases, albeit digitally remastered, with the loss of widescreen vision, the over emphasis of sharp lines, etc.

Buy the Original Release if possible - you will not be disappointed.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2003
Whereas some people would dismiss this sort of film as "kids stuff", whenever I watch this film I am constantly amazed with its moral undertones, amazing musical score and animation. This film is without doubt one of the greatest Disney movies made and offers enjoyment to all that view it, within the top ten movies ever made in my opinion.
This D.V.D also heightens the enjoyment of this film by offering an overwhelming amount of special features, such as the fascinating 'making of...' and the wide range of games and quizzes. Don`t miss out... buy this movie
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
This is a film to appeal to children and to adults who are still young at heart. It has beautiful animation, catchy songs and a gentle love story to appeal to all.
The dvd features an extended version of the film (the song 'human again' has been added ) which I was concerned may spoil what was already an excellent film. I need not have worried, the additional song fits in like so well you would think it had always been there.
This is surely Disney at its best and well worth buying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 2011
I have loved this film since I saw it at the release in 1991, I bought the VHS, I bought the DVD then the special edition DVD, then the Blu Ray, however none of them compare the the 3D version. This is absolutely fantastic!
Remember this is my favourite Disney movie,but I cannot lie, it is now the best Disney movie in 3D, that includes Tangled and Cars and Alice in Wonderland.This 3D version is actually like watching a brand new movie, the image is as sharp as any new hi definition animation from the past 12 months, and the way that Disney have given an old story so much depth is unbelievable.I cannot praise this Blu Ray enough. If you have a 3D TV then you need to buy this edition as it will show this new technology to its full extent. I have 10 3D movies, all of them issued in the last 2 years. but this new version of a long time favourite is by far the best.It is actually like being there in the village with bell, and in the castle with the beast, the musical numbers come to life with so much depth, basicley I am amazed, all over again.
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