Beauty and the Beast – Blu-ray/DVD Combo Edition

After Disney did such a bang up job with the animated version of this film in 1991 you had to wonder why they would mess with things and try a live-action version in 2017. To be completely honest I am sure it had plenty to do with money. Making it, that is. With the combo of all the Harry Potter fans willing to following Emma Watson wherever she goes and the new generation of young girls who would go ga ga over the music and romance story. This is what you call a calculated risk.

The story is retold here not reinterpreted. It is pretty much the same as the animated version. With a few minor changes. The changes are cool ones that add to the story and make it more relatable to modern audiences.

In a small French village lives the young woman Belle (Emma Watson – The Circle, My Week With Marilyn) and her father Maurice (Kevin Kline – A Fish Called Wanda, Ricki and the Flash). Though she is a beautiful and intelligent young woman, Belle lives as somewhat an outsider just doing her own thing and reading books. Her independent streak does not deter the most eligible bachelor in the town, Gaston (Luke Evans – Fast & Furious 8, The Girl on the Train), who wants to make Belle his wife. She, however, does not swoon like every other girl in town.

beauty and the beastMaurice leaves town one day on his horse and does not come back the next. Belle goes into full panic when his horse comes back without him. While searching for her father, Belle discovers that he has been taken prisoner in the remote castle of the Beast (Dan Stevens – from television’s Downton Abbey). Bravely Belle offers to switch places with her father as the prisoner.

While there and discovering that the furniture, dishes, etc. can all talk and once over the shock of that, Belle learns from them the story of the curse that the Beast is under. Also that the curse will shortly become permanent if he does not find a woman to fall in love with him.

First off, this film looks amazing. The visuals are all spectacular. Through effects they are able to make a clock, garderobe and piano come to life and look believably real. Sets and costumes are also great.

Second, is the character of Belle. While Emma Watson does not really look anything like the animated version she does bring the energy and spirit of the character to it. Actually a lot of the acting is great. Special props to Luke Evans as the pompous Gaston. He totally embodies the buffoon. He is also rather a large man so that lends to the character as well. Then you have the wonderfully talented Emma Thompson (Love, Actually, Sense & Sensibility), Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen), Josh Gad (Frozen, The Wedding Ringer), Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada, The Hunger Games), Broadway star Audra McDonald (from television’s Private Practice), and Ian McKellen (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Mr. Holmes).

Special Features:

-Digital Copy

Enchanted Table Read

    • A Beauty of a Tale
    • The Women Behind Beauty and the Beast
    • From Song to Screen: Making the Musical Sequences
    • Extended Song
    • Deleted Scenes
    • Making a Moment with Celine Dion
    • “Beauty and the Beast” Music Video by Ariana Grande and John Legend
    • Making the Music Video: “Beauty and the Beast”
  • Disney Song Selection Karaoke versions of various musical selections, including: “Belle,” “How Does a Moment Last Forever” (Music Box), “Belle” (Reprise), “Gaston,” “Be Our Guest,” “Days in the Sun,” “Something There,” “How Does a Moment Last Forever” (Montmartre), “Beauty and the Beast,” “Evermore,” “The Mob Song,” and “Beauty and the Beast” (Finale).

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