The live-action Beauty and the Beast movie surprised us all by recapturing our feelings for the Disney animated classic. Now it’s on Blu-ray, full of bonus features, and looks better than it even did in theaters.
As expected, the Blu-ray picture is perfect. The live action sets come to life in high definition. It’s a much brighter picture in HD than in theaters so that corrects some of the grim scenes. “Be Our Guest” is a show stopper with a Fantasia (see what I did there?) of colors.
The bonus features are pretty magical too. 13 minutes of footage from the table read shows how they had full choreography and orchestration just to get everyone in the spirit. Luke Evans is the star of the table read, belting out “Kill the Beast” and still being magnificent for “Gaston” only in plainclothes. Emma Thompson sings “Tale as Old as Time” and Emma Watson dances with a stand-in partner, perhaps Dan Stevens hadn’t learned the choreography yet.
A more traditional behind the scenes feature still makes you appreciate how large a world they created on soundstages. A spotlight on the female below the line talent is great for championing their work. Celine Dion gets emotional about the impact Beauty and the Beast has had on her life.
They take us behind the scenes of four songs and each one has different needs. “Be Our Guest” is visual effects heavy. “Belle” lays out background characers who become significant.
Deleted scenes have more Gaston, more gags in the final battle, and an anthropomorphic piece of furniture you’ve got to see to believe. Remarkably the bulk of these five minutes come from that climax. Only a few extra scenes from the provincial town portion.
Beauty and the Beast does not disappoint on Blu-ray. It’s a great way to own the film and explore it even further.