'Beauty & the Beast: Enchanted Christmas Special'
(Animation / 2-Disc Blu ray+DVD / G / (1997) 2003 / Disney)
Overview: Celebrate the most magical time of the year with this Special Edition of the irresistible holiday classic inspired by Disney's Academy Award(R)-winnng masterpiece, Beauty And The Beast (1991: Winner -- Best Song, Best Original Score; nominated for Best Picture).
Blu ray+DVD Verdict: In truth, I have always loved this movie since I was kid. Now seeing it as a young adult, I can appreciate it even more in brilliant high definition!
I must admit that the picture quality is terrible on the original VHS and even earlier and current DVD versions. But once you see it on Blu-ray, the animation is so crystal clear that it looks new again and literally shines on your big screen compared to the major grain on the other releases in the past!
While the animation is not up to par with the original, and some of the characters movements are robotic at times, high definition sure does a damn good job of bringing it close. Don't go into this movie expecting the same standard as the original because there won't be. For what it is, it's above average.
The songs of course are great. Loved that the whole original voice cast came back. People are complaining that this movie scared their children, especially the villain Forte. Honestly, I saw this movie for the first time when I was seven years old in 1997 and I was not all scared but entranced. Really though, it can't all be candy canes and lollipops just because it says Christmas in the title!
This isn't Tinker Bell and the Magical Christmas Tree. This is one of the very few Disney sequels that I actually enjoy (next to the Lion King 2: Simba's Pride) and not despise like so many others (the Hunchback of Notre Dame II... need I say more? Now lets never speak of it again!).
If you want a great holiday movie for your kids, or for the kid at heart, than pick this up! However, I would highly recommend seeing it on Blu-ray as the other qualities pretty much suck, but still worth it I suppose given that it's a great "midquel" to the BATB franchise. Heck, if I loved it so much on VHS you could imagine how much I love it even more on Blu. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
•Blu-ray(TM)Feature Film + Bonus
•DVD Feature Film + Bonus
•Disney's Sing Me A Story With Belle: "Stick To It (Don't Give Up)" -- Belle Inspires Children To Keep Trying And Never Give Up
•Disney Sing Along Mode
•Disney's Song Selection -- Select Your Favorite Songs And Sing Along
•Music Video: "As Long As There's Christmas"
•Enchanted Environment -- Bring The Castle's Crackling Fireplace Into Your Home