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  Beauty and the Beast:

25th Anniversary Edition

                    review by Bobby Blakey

Disney has become well known for their famed vault of films and where they used to release the diamond editions on Blu-ray they have since shifted to The Walt Disney Signature Collection Editions. The latest getting this treatment is Beauty and the Beast that is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

​If you have never seen the film it follows Belle, an independent and intelligent, modern-day heroine who’s taken prisoner by a hideous beast in his castle. Despite her precarious situation, Belle befriends the castle’s enchanted staff—a teapot, a candelabra and a mantel clock, among others—and ultimately learns to see beneath the Beast’s exterior to discover the heart and soul of a prince. I have never been a huge fan of the princess direction that Disney went into with films like this one, but there is no denying that they are amazing achievements of animation and storytelling. There are aspects to the story that are pretty dark and violent that would never make it into an animated Disney film now, but was pretty common in the classic films. This direction gives the film a sense of depth and seriousness that helps to break up the silliness and constant singing. We had already got a beautiful release of this film with the Diamond Edition and I am not sure this new edition adds anything all that new, but it still looks amazing. Whether you like this period of Disney or not you cannot deny that they have crafted a beautiful film that holds up even 25 years later as well as it did back then.

​The Walt Disney Signature Collection edition features four versions of “Beauty and the Beast.”  The Blu-ray release will include the original theatrical film; an extended version with the “Human Again” song sequence and a never-before-released on home entertainment sing-along version.  The original work-in-progress version will be available digitally and on Disney Movies Anywhere. There is also a host of all-new bonus extras including a rare opportunity to gather around the piano with some of Disney’s greatest composers, including Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin”), Stephen Schwartz (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Pocahontas”), Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“Frozen,” Disney’s upcoming “Gigantic”), Robert Lopez (“Frozen,” Disney’s upcoming “Gigantic”) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Disney’s upcoming “Moana”) as they sing and share how they’ve personally been inspired by the film’s award-winning music; a look at how Walt Disney himself sought to adapt this famous fairytale; a nostalgic look back with Paige O’Hara, the voice of Belle; behind-the-scenes access into the recording booth with the cast; and a sneak peek at Disney’s upcoming live-action re-telling of “Beauty and the Beast,” arriving in theaters in 2017.

​Be there to relive the magic of the Academy Award nominated classic when Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Disney Signature Collector’s Edition on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on September 6th and Blu-ray and DVD on September 20th from Disney Home Entertainment.

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