Released: 2011, Walt Disney Studios
Starring: Paige O’Hara, Robbie Benson, Jerry Orbach, Angela Lansbury
Directed by: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
4 stars (out of 4)
Disney’s animation classic is re-released on blu-ray in 3D.
In 1991, Disney released what became the first (and only) animated feature nominated for a Best Picture Oscar®, Beauty and the Beast. The nomination was well-deserved – Beauty and the Beast is a movie full of memorable characters and songs (including the Best Song title track) that propel one of the greatest love stories ever told. Currently playing in theaters in honor of its 20th anniversary, I decided to pull out the 3D blu-ray I purchased during the past holiday sales and see how this new release translates to a smaller 3D TV screen. And I can say it transferred beautifully.
Beauty and the Beast comes to us in a 5-disc combo pack, with 3D blu-ray, regular blu-ray feature film, blu-ray bonus disc, DVD and digital copy. The 3D blu-ray is presented in full 1080P with a 1:78 aspect ratio, English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (48kHz/24-bit) track, 5.1 DEHT French and Spanish Language tracks, French and Spanish subtitles, and English SDH and Spanish ESL subtitles. What this means is an excellent 3D video and immersive audio. This is one of my favorite Disney movies and I was glad to see what care they took transferring it to 3D blu-ray. The 3D adds a depth to the film that is emphasized in forest scenes and interior castle sequences. I was especially impressed with how immense the castle looked whenever the camera panned back and showed Belle on her own (in a hall, climbing a staircase, etc.). The ballroom sequence stuns with the camera sweeping around the room and through the chandelier. Colors were brilliant throughout. When Belle’s father, Maurice, is thrown out of Gaston’s tavern into the snow it felt like I was in the midst of a snow globe. The one sequence where the weather felt a little too dense was the thunderstorm at the end, when Gaston and Beast are fighting on the roof. At moments, the rain actually seemed to be obscuring things too much. On the other hand, the light streaks shattering on the pavement as the Beast transformed were brilliant – little beads of light scattered along the floor.
All in all, this was an excellent transfer from 2D to 3D and a worthy addition to any video library. If you did not get a chance to see this movie 20 years ago in theaters, now is your opportunity – on a big screen with theater surround sound is a fantastic way to see this award-winning Disney classic.
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