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Beauty and the Beast was one of the movies which revived the fortunes of Disney animation in the 1990s and remains one of the most beloved of all the Disney movies. Now for a limited time you can own Beauty and the Beast on Blu-ray DVD. But time is running out as it goes back into the Disney Vault on April 30th 2012.
It is difficult to believe that it has been over 20 years since Beauty and the Beast was released. Disney animation had experienced some difficult years but the Disney Princess revival which began with The Little Mermaid continued with the release of Beauty and the Beast in 1991.
Belle was a new, stronger, Disney Princess. Whilst she did still meet her handsome Prince in the end, she was intelligent and determined not to accept the hand of the shallow Gaston.
Things could have turned out very differently for Beauty and the Beast. Jeffrey Katzenbery, who was the Walt Disney World Studios Chairman at the time, ordered that the movie be halted and started over in 1989 after seeing the first storyboard reels for the production. This meant that new directors were brought in and production time had to be cut from 4 years to just 2 years. You would never know from the beautiful finished product which is one of the great triumphs of Disney animation.
The Computer Animation Production System (which was developed by Pixar) was used for only the second time, and it is this which creates the amazing richness of color and shading. I still remember seeing the beautiful animation for the first time and it looked truly amazing. Of course we are used to such amazingly vivid animated movies these days but this was groundbreaking at the time.
Much of the success of the movie is due to the amazing score written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman including the most memorable ‘Human Again’ and ‘Be Our Guest’.
To date to Beauty and the Beast movie is estimated to have grossed almost $425 million worldwide.
The Beauty and the Beast Blu-ray DVD Diamond Edition includes:
• Three versions of the movie
• Original theatrical release
• Special extended edition
• Original storyboard version
• Original theatrical version with a PIP of the storyboard
• Disney song along mode
• Audio commentary
• Beyond Beauty: The Untold Stories Behind Making Beauty And The Beast (interactive)
• Broadway Beginnings – Up close and personal celebrity interviews with Nick Jonas, Donny Osmond, Toni Braxton, and others who have starred in the Broadway production
• Composing a Classic: A Musical Conversation With Alan Menken, Don Hahn, and Richard Kraft
• Deleted scenes
o Alternate opening (boards)
o Belle in the library – never-before-seen moment where Belle meets three new characters in the library
• Art galleries – Only available inside the “Beyond Beauty Experience”
• Family play games
o Enchanted Challenge: help Belle and the Beast fall in love in order to break the spell before the last petal falls (Disney Quest)
o Bon Jour, Who Is This? A Disney TelePlay Game – Powered by BD-Live. Using your cell phone, guess the identity of the other players before they guess yours
• Music & more
o All-new music video featuring Disney Channel star TBD
• Classic DVD bonus features