Blu-ray Review: Holiday Releases of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Sequels

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CHICAGO – It’s been twenty years since “Beauty and the Beast” truly changed the animation landscape, bringing even more esteem to the Disney logo after the company’s comeback with “The Little Mermaid” by earning the first nomination for Best Picture for an animated film. The movie became a franchise, spawning toys, games, and even a hit musical. It also birthed a pair of straight-to-video quasi-sequels, both of which have been re-released just in time for families shopping on Black Friday. Add “Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas” and “Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World” to your shopping list. Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0

“The Enchanted Christmas” came first, in 1997, and appears to have been the more popular of the two as it’s the only one to get a Blu-ray release whereas “Magical World” is DVD-only. “Christmas” is the superior of the two pieces, although both films suffer greatly in comparison to the original. They have moments of beauty that seem inspired by the Oscar winner but one can’t shake the feeling that these were cash grabs, ways to milk a few more bucks from a hit franchise before someone had the great idea to take it to Broadway. They are both for hardcore Disney collectors only.

Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World
Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World
Photo credit: Disney

Those collectors will find typically-strong releases with sing-along modes for both films, a standard now in the Disney arsenal. Neither film looks amazing but these aren’t the kind of works that you would use to show off your new HD system this holiday season. They are the kind of releases one picks up after they’ve added nearly every other Disney release to their collection. OR they’re the kind of release one buys for that sweetheart in the family who simply loves Belle. And who can say no to her?

Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 15th, 2011
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 15th, 2011
Photo credit: Disney

“Beauty and the Beast: An Enchanted Christmas”

Celebrate the most magical time of the year with this Special Edition of the irresistible holiday classic inspired by Disney’s beloved classic. For the first time in spectacular Blu-ray High Definition, this adventure reunites the original voice cast.

Share the wonder as Mrs. Potts (Angela Lansbury) recounts another “tale as old as time” about a Christmas past that almost wasn’t — thanks to the scheming of former court composer Forte (Tim Curry), who is determined to keep Belle and Beast apart forever.

This enchanting adventure boasts exciting bonus features, delightful songs, spellbinding visuals, and enduring themes of hope, friendship and love. Your family will experience the spirit of the season all year long with the timeless magic of Beauty And The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.

Special Features:
o Disney’s Sing Me A Story With Belle: “Stick To It (Don’t Give Up)”
o Disney Sing Along Mode
o Disney’s Song Selection
o Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes
o Music Video: “As Long As There’s Christmas”
o Enchanted Environment

“Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World”

From the “tale as old as time” comes a new Special Edition inspired by the original classic, Beauty And The Beast.

Join Belle, Beast, Cogsworth, Lumiere, plus some charming new friends as they discover how love, teamwork, forgiveness and friendship can turn a once-gloomy castle into a dazzling palace fit for a princess! Adorned with delightful bonus features, your favorite characters and great songs, this fun-filled, modern-day classic proves that true beauty shines from within!

Special Features:
o Sing Me A Story With Belle: What’s Inside That Counts
o Belle’s Delightful Dinner Game
o Disney’s Song Selections
o Enchanted Environment

“Beauty and the Beast: An Enchanted Christmas” and “Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World” were released by Disney on November 22nd, 2011, the former in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and the latter DVD-only. content director Brian Tallerico

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