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Beauty and the Beast: Platinum Edition

The first animated film ever to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, Beauty and the Beast (1992) fleetingly resurrected the grand movie musical. Based on the classic French fairy tale about a young woman (wonderfully voiced by Paige O'Hara) who discovers hidden beauty behind the frightening facade of a cursed monster (former teen star Robby Benson), Beauty and the Beast is perfect, with its simple morality play magnified by the swelling emotional lilt of grand overtures and sweet romantic melodies toward its unambiguously affirming climax. In addition to Howard Ashman's clever lyrics and Alan Menken's soaring score, the animation is ravishing and luminous, and all of the characters are brought to vivid life by the gifted vocal performers, including Angela Lansbury, David Ogden Stiers, and Jerry Orbach. Disneys' two-disc "Platinum Edition" of Beauty and the Beast contains three feature-length versions of the film, including the original theatrical version, an expanded Special Edition including the song "Human Again," and a Work-in-Progress Edition, with several scenes incompletely animated. Using a new high-definition transfer technology, the film is presented in a bracingly crisp and colorful anamorphic digital transfer (1.85:1) with new Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes. The Special Edition includes an audio commentary by producer Don Hahn and directors Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise. Disc Two is loaded with extra materials, including nearly an hour of interviews, two DisneyTV items, several interactive games, The Making of Beauty and the Beast hosted by Celine Dion, two Beauty and the Beast music videos, and storytime versions of Disney film plots read by Disney actors. Dual-DVD slimline keep-case with paperboard slipcover.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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