Buena Vista Home Video
Beauty and the Beast (Three-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD)
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Product Description 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. Additional Features The most interesting of the extras on this multi-disc set is the storyboard for the first version of the film. British commercial animator Richard Purdum was originally slated to direct Beauty and the Beast: he envisioned a darker retelling of the story with no songs. The storyboards and scratch voice track for this version offer rare insights into the creation of an animated feature--including the wrong turns. Although the artists boarded nearly a quarter of the film, the viewer sees very little of Beauty and nothing of the Beast; too much time is spent on Beauty's well-intentioned father, his comic horse, and her mean aunt. It's easy to see why Jeffrey Katzenberg rejected this version and called in Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. Unfortunately the discs have needlessly fussy, uncooperative menus: why list features on one disc that appear on another? --Charles Solomon