Live Action Beauty and the Beast on Home Video (Jason’s 1st Impressions & Featurette Previews)

Beauty and the Beast Blu-rayThe live action Beauty and the Beast comes to home video on June 6 in various formats (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD).     If you missed the film in theaters, this film carries on the recent trend of re-telling classic Disney animated films in live action.   The film holds true to the original story with some additional exploration into the back story and motivation of several characters.  The music we all know is there plus a couple of new pieces written for this version.  Here is my full review of the film if you would like read more about it.

For this first release on home video there is a healthy amount of bonus material.  As you would expected on a home video release there are traditional bonus featurettes such as making of clips and deleted scene (8 to be exact), plus a sing along version of the film.  There are two pieces on the new Ariana Grande and John Legend “Beauty and the Beast” music video (one the video and one the making of).  For a full listing of the bonus material and specifications of the release here is the original press release.

I found the “Enchanted Table Read” to be an interesting featurette.  It showed footage of the rehearsal/table read for the film which was a production unto itself.   There is a more traditional making of featurette called “A Beauty of a Tale” that interviews some of the cast and creative team and looks at some of the choices they made and how some of the movie magic happens.   The piece entitled “From Song to Screen: Making the Musical Sequences” felt brief even though it was over 10 minutes long.  Viewed in isolation it was interesting but when viewed back to back with all the other bonus features there is a fair amount of re-used material that felt to overlap in several places.

I was really surprised there was no piece on the new music or just the music in general with Alan Menken.  Alan was on the press tour for the film’s theatrical release and I was expecting to hear from him on this release.

Me being the tech geek and engineer that I am I would have really liked to have seen pieces go more in depth on the computer side of the creation process and on the sets created for the film.  They do touch on both in several featurettes but I always enjoy hearing about that aspect of the process and would have liked to have seen even more.  I did find it interesting when they showed the set for the Village as well as the ballroom in  a couple of the pieces.

I was also a little frustrated with the menus on the digital version at DisneyMoviesAnywhere.  The Music & More Section contained the bonus features as well as links directly to the songs in the film.  Both called the same.  This really should have been two section or at least title them differently.  If you clicked on the description you could figure it out but it could have had a much better user experience.  Or the introduction for the bonus scenes/deleted scenes was the second item not the first, it is minor but just reflects poorly on the product.

For fans of the film this will be high on your list of films to purchase.  There is a healthy amount of bonus material that is interesting and a chance to revisit the tale as old as time.  If you missed it in theaters it is an entertaining retelling and you may want to consider catching it now.



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