Saturday, October 9, 2010

Disney's Beauty and The Beast: Diamond Edition

Disney’s most requested film, Beauty and the Beast,arrives for the first time on Blu-ray Hi-Def as the second installment to the company’s new Diamond Collection.The Blu-ray transformation reveals the magic, music and majesty of the film as never before experienced with state-of-the-art picture restoration, pristine 7.1 Digital Surround Sound and hours of additional viewing experiences that include behind the scenes features, deleted scenes, enhanced music tracks, immersive games and more.

The first of only two animated films ever to be nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Picture (the second is 2009’s Up), Beauty and the Beast earned six Academy Award® nominations and won two Oscars®in 1992 for Best Original Song (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Best Original Score.

Unavailable in any form since 2003, Beauty and the Beast will be released from the Disney vault for a limited time only, arriving on a Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack (2 Blu-ray Discs + DVD) October 5, followed seven weeks later with the release of a 2-Disc standard definition DVD on November 23.

Film Synopsis:
Set in and around a quaint French village during the late 18th century, Beauty and the Beast follows the fantastic adventures of Belle, a bright and beautiful young woman who finds escape from her ordinary life, and the advances of a boorish suitor, Gaston, by reading books. Meanwhile, off in a castle in the distance, a cruel young prince is cast under the spell of an enchantress who turns him into a tormented beast, while transforming his servants into animated household objects.

In order to remove the curse, the Beast must discover a true love who will return his affection before the last petal falls from an enchanted rose. When Belle’s inventor father stumbles upon the Beast’s castle and is taken prisoner, Belle comes to the rescue and agrees to take her father’s place. With the help of the castle’s enchanted staff, she sees beneath the Beast’s exterior and discovers the heart and soul of a human prince.

Film Accolades:
Beauty and the Beast received two Academy Awards® for music in 1992, three Golden Globes® for Best Motion Picture, Best Original Score and Best Original Song in 1992, and two Grammy Awards in 1993. Listed as number seven on the American Film Institute’s Top 100 Animated Films, Beauty and the Beast helped define Disney animation for a new generation as the second film in the “Disney
Animation Renaissance” (1989-1999) which launched with The Little Mermaidand revitalized animated features by captivating mature audiences while still delighting young viewers.
Beauty and the Beast features a cast of top vocal talent. Veteran stage actress and singer Paige O’Hara is the voice of Belle, one of Disney’s most beloved and independent heroines, and Robby Benson (TV’s “American Dreams”) delivers a powerful portrayal of the Beast. Three-time Oscar®- nominated screen star (The Manchurian Candidate in 1963, The Picture of Dorian Grey in 1946, and Gaslight in 1945) and six-time Golden Globe® award winner (TV’s “Murder, She Wrote” in 1992, 1990, 1987 and 1985, The Manchurian Candidate in 1963, and The Picture of Dorian Grey
in 1946), Angela Lansbury gives a bubbly performance as Mrs. Potts. The late Jerry Orbach (TV’s “Law and Order,” “House of Mouse”) shines as the voice of Lumiere, the passionate candelabra, and David Ogden-Stiers (TV’s “M*A*S*H,” Lilo & Stitch) is Cogsworth, the tightly-wound mantel clock who functions as the head of the household.

Beauty and the Beast was also the first Disney animated film to inspire a Broadway stage production by the same name. Highlighting the film’s music by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, seven new songs were written for the stage musical. Beauty… was nominated for nine Tony Awards in 1994 and ran on Broadway for 5,464 performances until 2007, becoming Broadway's sixth-longest running production in history.

About Disney’s New Blu-ray™ Diamond Collection:
The new Blu-ray™ Diamond Collection represents The Walt Disney Studio’s most prestigious animated classics. The Collection will be comprised with many of Walt Disney’s most treasured animated classic titles to be released through 2016. These titles represent the highest level of picture and sound, feature groundbreaking, state-of-the-art immersive bonus content, and include unprecedented levels of interactivity, personalization and customization, made possible because of Blu-ray technology.

Honest confession:

Beauty and the Beast is my second favorite Disney film of all time. The only one above it, for me, is The Little Mermaid. So you can imagine how extremely stoked I was to see that my beloved movie was being re-released as a Disney Diamond Edition. I eagerly tore open my copy as soon as it arrived and have watched it at least four times since then.

There is nothing, NOTHING, like the music in this film. When I was a Senior in High school my chorus sang, "Be Our Guest" and it was so much fun. I remember it so fondly and was so very happy to share this fantastic movie with my own children. This edition that I received was particularly amazing; a 3-Disc combo pack which includes 2 Blu-ray's AND the DVD version of the version. As Disney is known for, we also get never-before-seen deleted scenes and also a never-before-seen alternate opening as well as music videos, audio commentary, and games. The bonus features are some of the best ever (and that's really saying a lot, as Disney always has awesome bonus features). You get three versions of the movie (the original movie, the extended edition and a storyboard version). There is a sing-along mode, which I very much enjoyed (much to the dismay of my preteens) and a special "making of" the movie entitled "Beyond Beauty". The "Broadway Beginnings" appealed to my chorus loving daughter but she had a little trouble with the interactive game.

The movie is gloriously restored (and it was amazing before!) a will be on my rotation of favorites forever. This would be a fantastic Christmas present for a special little gal (or big gal, like me!) in your life.


M said...

OMG SING A LONG MODE?! Did you check uot the blue ray version of it? I so was considering the combo pack but didn't know if it was worth the blue ray of it....

Chelle (hanwayink) said...

ooooh. sing a long!! Not like I need help with the words.. I have (had?) the soundtrack committed to memory in HS...