Last year, when the folks at the Academy opened up the field to nominate 10 films for Best Picture, Pixar's hit "Up" made it onto the list.
Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" pulled off an even more enviable feat in 1991, when it found itself in the run for a Best Picture gong when only five films could make it onto the docket. The Mouse House's "tale as old as time" finally makes it way to Blu-ray this week on a whopping Three-Disc Diamond Edition (also available on DVD).
The modern classic is best remembered for proving that Disney was back in the game, and that "The Little Mermaid" was no fluke. It officially signaled to what many critics refer to as the Disney animation renaissance, during which "Aladdin," "The Lion King" and "Pocahontas" all became worldwide hits. But "Beauty" is still regarded by many as the belle of the ball.
The Gary Troussale and Kirk Wise-directed fable tells the story of Belle, a hot French bookworm, who becomes prisoner to the resident Beast after her mad inventor of a father ticks him off. Belle and the Beast get over their differences and gradually fall for one another through a series of memorable tunes composed by Alan Menken and written by Howard Ashman. The title song remains the best remembered of the bunch, and took home a Best Song Oscar. Menken's score also netted the film a trophy.
Last year Disney tried to bring hand-drawn animation back into the mainstream with "The Princess and the Frog," and while the film was a moderate hit for the studio it didn't reach the highs, both artistic and commercial, that "Beauty and the Beast" achieved back in the day.
Don't forget Disney has a tendency to lock their films back in their 'vault.' Get it while it's hot folks!
Extras! On top of offering a DVD of the film, also included in the package are three versions of the film: original theatrical release, special extended edition and an original storyboard version (exclusive to Blu-ray). Other features include an audio commentary, a conversation with the film's composers, art galleries, deleted scenes, and a making-of documentary. For the aspiring crooner (or theatrical family), check out the Disney sing-along mode.