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Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition Blu-ray 3D Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: MVC (3D), AVC/MPEG-4 (2D)
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Region: ABC
  • Rating: G
  • Discs: 5 (2 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD + Digital Copy)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 4, 2011
  • List Price: $49.99

Purchase Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:5/5]
The Film
[Rating:5/5]

Video Quality
2D HD: [Rating:5/5]

3D Effect: [Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4.5/5]

 

The Film

[Rating:5/5]

Disney’s 1991 animated classic, Beauty and the Beast, anchored what has come to be known as the “renaissance” of the studio’s animated division. What began with 1989’s The Little Mermaid, continued, with great success, in Beauty and the Beast, a film that would go on to become the first animated feature to garner an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. It would also capture two Oscars in 1992 for Best Original Song (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Best Original Score, and three 1992 Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song.

The story is a musical fairytale based on the old fairy tale of the beauty and the beast, most likely from the first-ever published version by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont from the 18th century. At the center is a cursed prince who has been turned into a hideous beast by an enchantress who comes to his house one night in the middle of a storm. Under the guise of an ugly old woman, the enchantress begs the prince for shelter, but he turns her away and she turns him into a beast as payback, leaving him with a single rose. He must now find a woman to love and love him back before the rose loses its last petal on his 21st birthday or he will remain a beast forever.

Into this falls Belle, the daughter of a local inventor in the quaint French town where the story takes place. The whole town is fond of Belle, including Gaston, a local macho, he-man that is in pursuit of her as his wife, but Belle has no interest. Belle’s father finds himself at the Beast’s enchanted castle in the middle of a storm and the Beast imprisons him. Belle, fearing for her father, goes to look for him and finds him at the castle. She offers herself in place of her father, and the Beast agrees. Through the help of the castle’s enchanted staff, which includes talking teapots, candle sticks, and wardrobes, Belle begins to see through the Beast’s rough exterior and a classic romance ensues.

Beauty and the Beast is a lavish musical filled with memorable songs and a big heart. This is classic Disney through and through. One can draw a line from Snow White through Sleeping Beauty all the way to Beauty and the Beast and see the Disney legacy on display. The film also has the distinction of being the first of Disney’s hand-drawn animated films to utilize CGI for the backgrounds in the famous ballroom dance scene.

Video Quality

2D HD: [Rating:5/5]

3D Effect: [Rating:4/5]

Despite all the hullabaloo recently over the new 3D conversion and theatrical re-release of The Lion King, it is Beauty and the Beast that has taken to the new 3D conversion from Disney more strongly in my opinion, almost like it was made in anticipation of the stereoscopic 3D format. There is some ghosting here and there and is some spots the 3D looks odd, almost like looking like looking through a globe, but in general there is good sense of dimensionality. The opening stained glass window scenes, the famous ballroom scene and the “Be our Guest” scenes look particularly fabulous.

The 2D transfer is identical to what was previously released from Disney in the 3-disc Diamond Edition set. It continues their excellent track record with animated releases presenting a strong AVC/MPEG-4 encoding of Beauty and the Beast that is absolutely sparkling. Colors are vibrant, the detail in the line art is superb from the foreground way into the background, and the transfer looks exceptionally clean.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

Whether in 2D or 3D Beauty and the Beast gets a spectacular DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix that is truly engaging. There is a good balance of ambience in the surrounds and discrete sound effects panned throughout the room. Dynamic range is wide, but not excessive and low frequency extension is good, providing a hefty, but not booming bottom to the sound. High frequencies are smooth and relaxed while dialogue and vocals are clean and mixed perfectly into the mix.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:5/5]

While the Blu-ray 3D disc has no supplements and the 2D disc of Beauty and the Beast remains basically the same, it has been updated with new trailers. Everything else in the package remains the same other than Disney has now also provided a Digital Copy for Mac and Windows as well. The supplementary package provides hours of worthwhile bonus materials, including a new interactive “making of” documentary and supplements ported over from the old DVD release.

The supplements provided with this release are:

Blu-ray 2D:

  • Special Extended Edition (01:31.44) and Original Theatrical Release (01:24.54).
  • Audio Commentary
  • Sing-Along Track
  • Broadway Beginnings (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:13.07) — Members of the Beauty & the Beast Broadway cast talk about the film and the show.
  • Composing a Classic: A Musical Conversation with Alan Menken, Don Haen, & Richard Kraft (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:20.18)
  • Deleted Scenes (1080p/24):
    • Introduction to Alternate Story Open  by Peter Schneider
    • Alternate Story Open
    • Introduction to Deleted Scene by Roger Allers
    • Belle in the Library
  • “Beauty and the Beast” music video by Jordan Sparks (1.78:1; 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • BD-LiveBonus Features-Only Disc:
  • Beyond Beauty: The Untold Stories Behind the Making of Beauty and the Beast (1.78:1; 1080p/24)  — An interactive featurette that allows you to select your path through the documentary.
  • Family Play:
    • Enchanted Musical Challenge: A Disney Quest Game — Help Belle and the Beast fall in love by finding all five friends hiding in the enchanted castle.
    • Bonjour, Who Is This? A Disney Teleplay Game powered by BD-Live — This game says it is powered by BD-Live, but it requires you to use your telephone to play, and, naturally, standard rates apply. Huh?
  • Classic DVD Bonus Features — These special features have all been ported over from the previous DVD release of Beauty and the Beast:
    • The Story Behind the Story
    • “Beauty and the Beast” Music Video performed by Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson
    • Early Presentation Reel
    • Alternate Version: “Be Our Guest”
    • Alternate Score: The Transformation
    • Deleted Song
    • Animation
    • Camera Move Test
    • Trailers & TV Spots

    DVD: — Includes standard definition DVD of the release.

  • Digital Copy – For Mac and Windows.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:5/5]

Beauty and the Beast is a visual feast for the eyes in 3D and 2D and this 5-disc package from Disney truly worthy of the “Diamond Edition” moniker. If you are 3D-capable, then you owe it to yourself to give this spruced up classic a look.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product align=”right”]B004WE01YA[/amazon-product]

Purchase Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:5/5]
The Film
[Rating:5/5]

Video Quality
2D HD: [Rating:5/5]

3D Effect: [Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4.5/5]

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