Beauty and the Beast Diamond Edition Blu-ray Review

Disney has done it again with Beauty and the Beast Diamond Edition. It comes in a 3-pack case that includes the Blu-ray movie, Blu-ray bonus features, and a DVD movie. If you’re a fan of Beauty and the Beast, you sure as hell don’t need me telling you to buy this on Blu-ray. But those of you who are still on the fence? What are you waiting for?

Beauty and the Beast is a tale as old as time that brings the magic and wonder that you love and a cute-romantic story that anybody can fall for. In a world where beauty and perfection has beaten us to the point of submission, it’s nice to see a story about finding love behind the exterior. It is a fairy tale after all.

The quality of this Blu-ray is simply amazing, and beats the previous DVD release like the Beast beating up the wolves. The video quality, from beginning to end, is clean and feels like the movie was created digitally. From the very first scene when you see the camera zooming in past the woods and into the castle that transitions into a mosaic artwork, the colors and details pop out. You can even see the details in the cel artworks for characters, where the artist’s sketching can be seen that gives the movie that whole hand-drawn animation touch.

There are certain scenes however that bugged me that probably have nothing to do with the transfer; but in the beginning, you see the Beast, fully detailed, and later on, the movie tries to imply that he’s still mysterious by showing you bits and pieces of him. It’s like, “Hey, I already saw how he looks like, there’s no point in trying to hide him in the shadows now.” This is more of a nitpick. Some scenes do look dark, even though it’s outside in daylight, and I do wish there was a better contrast.

The audio is great. The songs are clear and catchy and the crowd can be heard from all over. The snarl of the Beast can give a man goose bumps. The audio in the end when the Beast transforms into a human just brings tears to my eyes. The sound of the light shooting from his fingers and fireworks hitting the ground feels very magical.

The extras are good. You have a new behind-the-scenes feature, collections of old DVD features, music videos, an Alen Menken feature showing off his creation process, and more. The main problem with the bonus features is the navigation. Instead of just listing the features on the disc that contains it, Disney has decided to put all listed features on both Blu-ray discs. This means that when you see a feature you want to click on, some will say that it’s available on disc 2. It sucks because let’s say you try to look for a certain feature again, you might forget which disc it is on, and have to swap. It’s a minor inconvenience, but an inconvenience nonetheless.

Like I said, you have to get Beauty and the Beast on Blu-ray. It’s the total package and Disney has taken a lot of care in the restoration and presentation of this product. It’s a timeless classic with the best video/audio presentation possible that trumps the previous releases.

Grade: A

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