It seems like a fever is going around with Beauty and the Beast, as there’s a CW show based on it, the recently released French take on the tale, and even a live-action Disney version coming next year. So to capitalize on this resurgence, Disney has released the 1991 animated classic back onto Blu-ray in Beauty and The Beast: 25th Anniversary Edition. Sporting a clean, high definition look along with some neat new extras, you’ll want to add this beast of a Blu-ray to your Disney collection.
As we’ve covered this film a few times on the site, including fellow reviewer Chris Pandolfi’s take on the theatrical 3D release, I’ll let readers check that out for the plot details while I’ll just go into my take on this new release. As with the 3D Blu-ray that was released a few years ago, this standard one looks and sounds great to the point you’d swear this film just came out recently and not twenty-five years ago. The colors, animation, characters and of course the music and songs come through beautifully and entrance viewers as most of the Disney Renaissance movies did. This is still one of my favorite animated films and I’m glad that it’s holding up perfectly and still entertains me as it did back then. As if that wasn’t enough, this release also includes three versions of the movie, the standard release, the extended cut with a previously unreleased song in it, and lastly the infamous Work-in-Progress version that gives viewers a special look at how the movie was originally envisioned.
To top of this beastly release, there’s quite a few brand new extras added to bring out even more beauty in this monster of a disc. Fans will be happy to know there’s audio commentary by directors Kirk Wise And Gary Trousdale along with producer Don Hahn and composer Alan Menken as they talk about what went into making the movie and their fond memories of working on it. “Menken & Friends: 25 Years of Musical Inspiration” has the famed composer talking with other Disney film composers such as the team who worked on Frozen and even Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame who is working on the soon to be released Moana movie. This was a nice treat as it was fun to see this group of people talk about what they love about the Disney films and how they go about making the music fit key moments in the movies. “25 Fun Facts about Beauty and the Beast” is an extra featuring some of the new young people from the Disney Channel and their scoop on some interesting facts about the film. The best extra on here is ”The Recording Sessions” that shows the all-star cast when they were recording their lines and how some of their movements and mannerisms were captured by the animators and used to bring their characters to life. I only wished this feature was longer as I’m sucker for behind the scenes stuff with legendary performers.
Chances are you’ve already picked up Beauty and The Beast: 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray if you’re a fan of Disney films or great movies. But if you haven’t seen it, you owe it to yourself to check out this monster of a film as it has some of the best talent ever assembled to craft a wonderful masterpiece that’s made even better with high definition visuals, audio, and including an impressive set of extras. So go out there and make this Blu-ray a special guest you’ll want over to watch again and again.