Special Edition version.
A sequel to the wonderful Oscar-winning "Beauty and the Beast". A
tale that tells of the Christmas where Belle tries to bring the spirit of the
season to a beast who forbids its celebration. Not surprisingly, he wishes to
forget the anniversary of the day he was transformed from a prince into a beast.
Belle has other plans as the special day approaches. Aided by a decorator-turned-ornament
(Bernadette Peters), they strive to win him over despite the evil efforts and
dark music of Forte (Tim Curry), the pipe organ, to prevent them. Joining Forte,
to foil their attempts, is Fife (Paul Reubens), a piccolo promised sheet music
especially for him if he does Forte's bidding. Eventually, all the enchanted
creatures that were formerly servants come to Belle's aid.
The sequel gathers the original voice cast together including Belle, Paige O'Hara;
The Beast, Robby Benson; Lumiere, Jerry Orbach; Cogsworth, David Odgen Stiers
and also showcases first-timers Bernadette Peters as Angelique, Tim Curry as
Forte, Haley Joel Osment as Chip and Paul Reubens as Fife.
While it does not achieve the difficult task of topping the original, Disney
does give it a good shot. The number of songs are reduced from the parent Menken/Ashman
collaboration, but what does exist is original. Especially pleasing are the
exceptional singing talents of Bernadette Peters. The animation is not as tight
in this direct-to-video offering but is better than that of prior releases,
such as Aladdin, and does shine at times with memorable clips of Belle's storybook
and Forte's songs.
1.33:1, original format, direct to video, OAV (original animated video),
Very nice direct to video transfer and much improved over the non special
edition version. The colors really pop as compared to the dull ones that exist
in the prior release.
Dolby Digital 5.1 English.
Dolby Surround French.
Dolby Surround Spanish.
Interactive access with scene selection.
Behind the Scenes featurette - "Beauty and the Beast" animation
in general, not specific to this movie and discussions with some of the films
"Forte's Challenge" game - a memory game.
Enchanted environment - animated fireplace scenes.
Sing-along song tracks - standalone and in-movie titling of the song words.
Music video - "As Long As There's Christmas" music video,
performed by PLAY.
If you are a fan of "Beauty and the Beast" specifically, you are
sure to like this sequel, as it tries to insert a point-in-time story into the
original. A Christmas past where Belle tries to warm the heart of the beast
to the season against his reluctance.
Note: Disney plans to discontinue this title on January 31, 2003. So, you might
want to pick this up while it's still available.