Disney Beauty and the Beast turns 25 this year and to mark the anniversary a Walt Disney Signature Collection edition has been released on Home Video. This release features an assortment of packages including Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital HD through Disney Movies Anywhere. For full specs and info on the release here is the original press release with details.
Most of us disneygeeks already own numerous versions of the film on vhs, dvd and blu-ray already, so the question comes down to what is different this time around. There are three versions of the film included on the Blu-ray and Digital releases – The original theatrical, special edition and sing-along. As well as a handful of new bonus features.
A quick rundown of my first impressions of the new features:
- Menken & Friends: 25 Years of Musical Inspiration (20:18)
This piece was the highlight of the bonus features this time around. It features Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez and Lin-Manuel Miranda gathered around a piano to discuss the impact of Beauty and the Beast on their films. It was interesting to watch these veterans and their reactions to being together and discussing a pivotal film. The twenty minutes flew by and when I wrapped up I was left wanting more.
- #1074: Walt, Fairy Tales & Beauty and the Beast (9:35)
This piece highlights how Walt assembled part of his book library and how Beauty and the Beast had been on the Studios radar for years dating back to Walt’s time. I always enjoy learning more about the history and evolution of the films and this one dating back so far was great to learn about.
- The Recording Sessions (3:47)
A quick piece showing some of the recording sessions and matching those to the final film so you can see the voice talent performing their roles. I would have liked to have seen a little more and them going with larger boxes for the voice talent and smaller for the animation.
- Always Belle (11:32)
A trip down memory lane with Paige O’Hara, the voice of Belle. Paige talks about some of her memories of the film and how it changed her life. I thought this was a nice piece to show the impact a role can have and how you can embrace and maximize it. Also interesting to hear her reflect on her experience.
- 25 Fun Facts About Beauty and the Beast (5:22)
Hosted by a couple of Disney Channel stars a look at some fun facts about the film. This is on par with past lists. A couple of interesting factoids in the mix but I do not recall anything new.
- “Beauty and the Beast” Sneak Peek (1:23)
A look at the upcoming live action version of the film. I was disappointed with this offering. I was expecting more than an 80 second piece that had been released online already.
If you take advantage of the Disney Movies Anywhere version of the release you will find an additional treasure trove of classic bonus material. Over 5 hours worth. It seems everything from the diamond and platinum releases has found its way online. This was great to explore. My one complaint though is how it is organized. It would be nice to know what year each piece is from and maybe some other ways to sift/sort through it because there is so much.
This release will make a solid addition to your digital library. I really enjoy having all the bonus material at your finger tip to quickly load without having to go through the disc menus. If you already own several previous versions and are not planning to use the digital library then you need to evaluate if the handful of new bonus features are worth it to you.