Disc News: Beauty and Beast Diamond Edition

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has announced the Blu-ray debut of Beauty and the Beast for October 5, 2010 (SRP: $39.99). Disney will also be releasing a 2-Disc standard definition DVD on November 23 (SRP: $29.99).

Originally released on DVD in October 2002, Beauty and the Beast was only available for a limited-time, having been put back in the Disney Vault in January 2003. With this re-release, it will be the second installment in the company’s new Diamond Collection, following last year’s release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The film has undergone a state-of-the-art picture restoration and will be presented in 1.78 anamorphic widescreen. It will be supported by 7.1 Digital Surround Sound. A complete breakdown of special features isn’t known at this point, but expect many, if not all, of the Platinum Edition DVD extras to be ported over as well as include new behind the scenes featurettes.

Film Synopsis:

Set in and around a quaint French village during the late 18th century, Beauty and the Beast follows the fantastic adventures of Belle, a bright and beautiful young woman who finds escape from her ordinary life, and the advances of a boorish suitor, Gaston, by reading books. Meanwhile, off in a castle in the distance, a cruel young prince is cast under the spell of an enchantress who turns him into a tormented beast, while transforming his servants into animated household objects. In order to remove the curse, the Beast must discover a true love who will return his affection before the last petal falls from an enchanted rose. When Belle’s inventor father stumbles upon the Beast’s castle and is taken prisoner, Belle comes to the rescue and agrees to take her father’s place. With the help of the castle’s enchanted staff, she sees beneath the Beast’s exterior and discovers the heart and soul of a human prince.

Film Accolades:

Beauty and the Beast is the first of only two animated films ever to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture (the second is 2009’s Up). It won two Oscars for for Best Original Song (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Best Original Score. Listed as number seven on the American Film Institute’s Top 100 Animated Films, Beauty and the Beast was also added to the United States National Film Registry in 2002, joining Snow White, Pinocchio, and Fantasia. (Toy Story was added to the registry in 2005.) The film is regarded as being the second film in the “Disney Animation Renaissance” (1989-1999) which launched with The Little Mermaid and revitalized animated features by captivating mature audiences while still delighting young viewers.

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