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Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (a J!-ENT Children’s Blu-ray Disc Review)

November 17, 2011 by  



An enjoyable holiday family film featuring the characters of the hit animated film “Beauty and the Beast”!  “Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas”  is the midquel to the first film as Mrs. Potts reminds everyone of how Christmas was brought back to the castle.

Images courtesy of © 2011 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

FILM RELEASE: 2011

DURATION: 71 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French and Spanish

COMPANY: Walt Disney Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: G

Release Date: November 29, 2011

Directed by Andrew Knight

Written by Flip Kobler, Cindy Marcus, Bill Motz and Bob Roth

Produced by Susan Kapigian

Music by Rachel Portman

Edited by Daniel Lee

Production Design by Brad Graham

Art Direction by Julie Eberley, Clive Powsey

Starring:

Robby Benson as Beast

Paige O’Hara as Belle

Jerry Orbach as Lumiere

David Ogden Stiers as Cogsworth

Bernadette Peters as Angelique

Tim Curry as Forte

Haley Joel Osment as Chip

Frank Welker as Phillippe

Jeff Bennett as Axe

Kath Soucie as Enchantress

Paul Reubens as Fife

Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts

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

Share the wonder as Mrs. Potts recounts another “tale as old as time” about a Christmas past that almost wasn’t – thanks to the scheming of former court composer Forte, 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 enjoy the spirit of the season all year long with the timeless magic of Beauty and The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.

In 1991, Walt Disney Animation Studios debuted their 30th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics line and the film would achieve commercial success as it earned over $377 million worldwide and was the first animated film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, and the film also received six Academy Award nominations, winning an award for “Best Original Score” and “Best Original Song”.

And to capitalize on the success of the film, Disney would release the two midquel’s of the “Beauty and the Beast” trilogy: “Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas” (1997) and “Belle’s Magical World” (1998).  The films would take place when Belle was being held inside the mansion of the beast and both trying to get to know each other.

For “The Enchanted Christmas”, Belle and Prince Adam are throwing a Christmas party in the castle for the local villagers.

Lumiere and Cogsworth get into an argument of who brought Christmas back to the castle, and in order to settle the squabble, Mrs. Potts explains the true story behind Christmas’ return to the castle.

During the flashback, the story takes place after Beast saved Belle from a wolf pack.  As Belle is excited about Christmas, the castle servants tell Belle that Christmas is not allowed in the Castle as the Beast has forbidden it.

But Belle decides to throw Christmas in the castle and when she along with Lumiere and Chip go to the castle attic, they meet Angelique, one of Lumiere’s previous lovers who is against Christmas being reintroduced to the castle.  We learn that the Beast hates Christmas because the curse that turned the Prince into a Beast happened on the day of Christmas.

But despite the Beast being against Christmas, Belle continues to do all she can to bring Christmas to the castle against the Beast’s wishes.

What will happen when the Beast finds out that Belle has been planning Christmas in the castle behind his back?

VIDEO:

“Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas” is presented in 1080p High Definition Widescreen (1:78:1).  For a direct-to-video “Beauty and the Beast” midquel, the production was obviously higher budget with the use of CG.  Even the animation is much more fluid, colors are more vibrant, more detail and shadowing are utilized in “The Enchanted Christmas” and utilizes CG similar to the original animated film.

I saw no artifacts, no white specks and scratches.  For the most part, picture quality is very good considering this is a direct-to-video release and it being released in 1997.  It’s unfortunate that this quality didn’t transfer over to the third film in the trilogy “Belle’s Magical World”.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, 5.1 Dolby Digital French and Spanish language tracks.  Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

This film is primarily dialogue and musical driven and the audio comes clear through the center and front channels and music also is utilized through the surround channels.  There are some mild action sequences, especially towards the end of the film which does utilize the surround channels but for the most part, this is a dialogue and music driven soundtrack.

Subtitle are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas” comes with the following special features:

  • Disney’s Sing Me a Story With Belle: “Stick To It (Don’t Give Up)” – (22:54) A hybrid live/animated short feature featuring a non-animated Belle with cuts of animated and puppet-based characters.  Belle inspires children to keep trying and never give up.
  • Disney’s Sing-Along-Mode – While watching the film, you can sing-along with the film (ala Karaoke style) during the musical portion of the film.
  • Disney’s Song Selection – Select you favorite song from the film to sing-along to.
  • Behind the Scenes Featurette – (15:48) The making of “Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas”.  While watching the featurette,  when a Mickey symbol shows up during the featurette, it will show additional information about the film.
  • Music Videos: “As Long as There’s Christmas” – (3:20) Featuring a music video of “As Long as There’s Christmas” by Play.
  • Enchanted Environment – Bring the castle’s crackling fireplace into your home.
EXTRAS:
“Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas” comes with a slipcover case plus a DVD presented in widecreen (1:78:1), 5.1 Dolby Digital English, French and Spanish with English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.

Enchanting and an entertaining continuation to the “Beauty and the Beast” animated film.  “Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas” is a wonderful family film for the holidays featuring the fun and vibrant characters of Disney’s popular animated film.

“Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas” is the midquel to the popular animated film and an answer to the many fans who have wanted to see Belle and the Beast once again!  It is no surprise that the film would receive a sequel or midquel as the original film literally made over $300 million in the box office, especially considering the original film only cost $25 million to make.  So, it was great to see “The Enchanted Christmas” made but also to incorporate the beautiful painted backgrounds, the vibrant colorful characters, wonderful animation including the CG animation that made the animated film so enjoyable, but incorporating it to the direct-to-video film.

“Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas” is a holiday film that brings the cast back together again and one of the enjoyable moments of this film is that we get to see how happy everyone as humans (post-spell) and seeing how Belle and the Prince are so happy together, but also a story that shows what happened during the Holidays when Belle was still being held captive inside the castle and seeing how she was able to bring Christmas back into the castle despite the Beast being against it (as he was turned into a beast on Christmas day).

A big question is if one should upgrade from DVD to Blu-ray.  I would say yes, only if you are a big fan of the film.  The Blu-ray definitely brings out the colors of the animated film, especially the detail.  Everything looks much more clearer and the banding issues that were on the DVD aren’t in the Blu-ray version.  The Blu-ray version of “The Enchanted Christmas” looks very good and to hear the soundtrack via lossless is also another plus.  If anything, the film looks and sounds great in HD and is definitely worth the upgrade.

Overall, “Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted” Christmas is a wonderful holiday film for the entire family.  And because it comes with both a Blu-ray and DVD, parents or grandparents can definitely benefit from watching this film via a long holiday commute or keeping the young one’s occupied during the Winter break.

But if you are a “Beauty and the Beast” fan and looking for an enjoyable family Holiday film, “The Enchanted Christmas” is for you!

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