Beauty And The Beast – Signature Collection Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Beauty-And-The-BeastTwenty-five years ago, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast broke ground as the first animated feature film to receive an Academy Award® nomination for best picture, and now this tale as old as time joins the Walt Disney Signature Collection. 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. Relive the magic on Sept. 6 on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere, and on Sept. 20 on Blu-ray™ and DVD.


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Walt Disney Pictures’ magical animated classic “Beauty and the Beast” captures the magical journey of 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.

Yep, I know.  We all like to be smart alecs about this film and call it “Stockholm Syndrome: The Movie”.  Yok yok yok.  No, you’re not wrong if you make the comment, but I believe that’s an accidental shortcoming of the author.  What is meant to be done is to show the power of personality over looks and never to judge a book by its cover.  Its pretty simple in that regard, but that whole message goes a long way.

People may forget, but Beauty and the Beast was a Best Picture nominee for the year it was released.  That’s a pretty outstanding achievement as animated films aren’t afforded that luxury much ever.  The film was instantly iconic with songs that were a staple of being the moment the first note was played.  It was quite remarkable and a stunning grand slam after the home run that Disney had with The Little Mermaid.  This all but assured that the Mouse House was back on top, bigger than ever and ruler of the animation game.

Going back to Beauty and the Beast I was amazed at how drawn in I was the instant it started.  This Blu-ray’s picture quality helps to lend a hand in have you marvel at it and be sucked in feeling like its the first time again.  There is just an iconic look to the film and it just plays like a classic right away.  When people do Disney animation parodies and the like, it almost feels like this is the well to draw from for the humor.

Beauty and the Beast features a nice list of iconic and fun characters, but it may contain one of the strongest villains in their history in that of Gaston.  The guy is a complete tool and dickhead and always was.  However, as time has gone by, he’s aged very well and become even more of a devious shithead than before.  When you think of all this male entitlement syndrome confrontation, gamergate stuff and such, you just can’t help but see Gaston as the animated embodiment of it all.  And…well…you just want to punch this dude or kick him in the junk super duper hard.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is one of their all time greatest achievements.  Its got a solid story that never over-complicates itself, keeping things simple and to the basics.  The film also displays some great animation and wonderful use of color.  The film is a quick jaunt through this fairy tale and will have you hooked and deeply into right away.  Truly a tale as old as time with a song as old as Rhyme.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  I’m sure this is the same transfer from the Diamond Edition Blu-ray from a few years back, but WOW, this image is stunning.  I hadn’t seen that previous one before, so this was enlightening.  This thing looks like it was drawn and captured just moments before you’re seeing it.  Such an iconic look to this film and it just really feels special from the moment the first frame hits and never stops.  Its sharp, detailed and rich and beautiful with color.  Outstanding.

Depth:  Yeah, this one has a nice well rounded three dimensional look and feel to it.  The “tale as old as time” sequence is the showstopper in terms of this.  The animation moves very true to its cinematic look and nature.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and rich.  They provide solid outlines as well as good coloring, with the ability to see marks and stuff within them.

Color Reproduction:  Colors looks absolutely gorgeous.  They pop and shine with great luster in pretty much every frame.  It feels freshly colored and transferred. Quite remarkable.

Flesh Tones:  N/A

Noise/Artifacts: None that my eye could see.

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Audio Format(s): English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics:  As expected, this sounds great.  Like the video transfer, I’m sure this is the same 7.1 track that was included on the Diamond Edition.  And that’s not a problem as it sounds fabulous.  The highlight being the score and the big musical numbers.  They are expertly layered and bring a sort of live theatre performance quality to them.  

Low Frequency Extension:  Male singing vocals, the Beast’s voice, stomping, big doors slamming, thunder and plenty of other sounds rip through your subwoofer with a good rumble.  

Surround Sound Presentation:  This one is an all around 360 degree musical experience.  It puts you right there with something happening in each speaker.  Its richly woven with the songs to have an organic and effective feel.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is loud, crisp and plenty clear.  Singing is belted it out greatly and with a wonderful impact.

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Beauty and the Beast – Signature Collection Edition comes with a DVD Copy and UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film.  The older bonus features are not included on the disc, but are available when you access the film through your DisneyMoviesAnywhere account.

3 Versions Of The Film – Original Theatrical Edition, Sing-Along Edition (English Only), Special Extended Edition

Audio Commentary

  • By Directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale, Producer Dan Hahn and Composer Alan Menken – Extended Cut Only

Always Belle (HD, 11:32) – A profile on Belle actress Paige O’Hara.  She reflects on her roots, the part, the process and the legacy of the film.  Features recording session footage from the film.

Menken & Friends: 25 Years Of Musical Inspiration (HD, 19:06) – An intimate discussion between legendary music composers from classic and future Disney films, 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”).  They all discuss Beauty & The Beast and pay their tribute to Alan Menken through talk and singing/performances of the songs from the movie.

#1074: Walt, Fairy Tales & Beauty And The Beast (HD, 9:36) – Going back to the 1930s and 1950s, Disney had attempted twice before to get Beauty And The Beast made.  This features recordings of Walt Disney as well as other discussing what those were and it features artwork and story notes.

The Recording Sessions (HD, 3:48) – Features the VHS recordings of the actors in the recording booths which was used to help the animators to craft facial expressions and mouth movements for the drawn performances.

25 Fun Facts About Beauty And The Beast (HD, 5:24) – Some Disney channel kid actors drool over Beauty and the Beast and reveal “25 things you might not know” about the film which…is like a video of a Buzz Feed post.

Beauty And The Beast Sneak Peek (HD, 1:24) – Bill Condon talks about how they can do the film know, which features a table read of Emma Watson & Dan Stevens as well as some behind the scenes footage, art work and a little bit of actual footage (from the trailer).

Song Selection (HD, 22:52) – Allows you to pick songs from the sing-a-long cut of the film.

Classic Bonus Preview (HD, :43)  – Reminds you that you can get all these through Disney Movies Anywhere

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I’m not sure if you have the Diamond Edition you need to rush out and by this one, but that doesn’t discount that this isn’t THE release of the film now.  Yes, the old bonus materials are lacking from the disc, but you get them digitally and there are some good new extras, highlighted by the really terrific one with all the composers.  The image and sound are absolute perfection of the medium.  Don’t have this one yet?  Grab this Signature Collection Edition as fast as you can.



Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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