The 2010 book, “Tale As Old as Time – The Art and Making of Disney Beauty and the Beast” has been updated and released this year to include the new Live-Action film and Walt Disney World theme park additions. If you are not familiar with the title, the book takes a comprehensive look at the history of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast featuring stories of those involved. Starting with the origins of the story and the many starts and stops the process took to bring the original film to the big screen. Along the way you learn about the hurdles that were overcome and are introduced to many members of the team that brought the classic to life including the animators, music team, production team and more. You learn the many ground breaking aspects of the film including the computer system that was used for the film. The transition from film to live theater is documented. Other chapters focus on the re-releases including the IMAX and 3D Versions and what it took to update the film for those.
This updated version of the book adds two new chapters picking up where the original left off and taking a look at the Walt Disney World new Fantasyland additions and an extended look at the Live-Action film that was just released. For Walt Disney World there are 10 pages that delve into the three additions to the park – Be Our Guest Restaurant, Gaston Tavern and Enchanted Tales with Belle. Several aspects from design to the grey stuff are highlighted. Nearly 30 pages are added to cover the new version of the film. Topics covered include why bring the film back, challenges to live action, the cast, sets, and of course the music.
The book is hard cover and a large format (9.5 x 12.5 in), just like the original release. All chapters include an easy to read narrative that includes many quotes and stories from the team involved and those around the company to give you some insight into what it took to make the film and how the property was extended over the years to stage, screen, themeparks and more. The book contains art from the film(s) including concept art, final animation, stills from the films, photographs and more.
If you are a fan of Disney Animation and/or Beauty and the Beast and have not considered adding “Tale As Old As Time” to your collection you really should. It is a great documentation of the film’s history plus some incredible art. A bigger question for us geeks, who bought the original release, is do we buy the updated version. That is a little tougher to answer and really depends on your interests and budget. There is substance with nearly 40 pages added looking at the theme park elements and live-action film. Both topics are covered well and follow the format of the original chapters. I would have liked to have seen a little more on the theme park side, but then again I always want more. Fpr example I would have really enjoyed hearing a little about the future plans for the parks.. Namely the Tokyo Disneyland expansion that will include a large Beauty and the Beast component.