Beauty And The Beast (Diamond Edition) (3D/2D) (1991) 
Blu-ray Animation
Written by Noah Fleming   
Tuesday, 27 September 2011

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Okay, if you thought “The Lion King” in 3D was marvelous, then you haven’t seen anything yet.  Day and date with “The Lion King” in 3D, also comes “Beauty And The Beast” in 3D.  You haven’t experienced “Beauty And The Beast” if you haven’t watched this 3D disc.  It is truly spectacular.

I’m lover of Disney animation, so to experience on the 3D plane is quite a sight.  The film is a masterpiece in its own right.  The music from Alan Menken and Howard Ashman is legendary, rivaling that of “The Little Mermaid” and “The Lion King.”  However, books have been written on the film itself, so I will concentrate on the 3D experience.  For a review of the film released previously on Blu-ray visit by clicking here.

This Blu-ray package is essentially a re-release of the previous Diamond Edition of “Beauty And The Beast.”  All the original material is included, specifically, the two Blu-ray 2D disc (one for the feature and one for bonus materials), the DVD copy and the Digital Copy.  This package includes a fifth disc housing the Blu-ray 3D version of the film.  I’m sorry for those that went out and purchased the first release, because the 3D is so great that it dictates that you purchase the package again.  And unfortunately, given the stipulation that Blu-ray 3D must always be accompanied by Blu-ray 2D, you will not be seeing a Blu-ray 3D standalone release of this title.

You might think that hand-drawn animation doesn’t benefit from 3D rendering. Let me tell you, you would be wrong.  It is not the leaping from the screen effects of 3D that are really the goal of 3D post-conversion.  It is the added dimension of depth.  As I stated in my previous Blu-ray review of this title, the video quality was so marvelous that 2D felt like 3D.  I had no idea at that time that a 3D version was in the works.  So, with 2D already primed for a 3D feel, it makes sense that the studio would give us a 3D version.

The 3D of this release sinks into the screen rather than pops from it.  Whatever sequences that do have the potential for leaping out of the screen occur too quickly for our eyes to adjust, so it looks more like the object comes splat into screen, never really reaching beyond it.  However, that is not to say the 3D is worthless.  Quite the contrary, the 3D is the only way I can imagine watching this film.  Again, the effect does suffer a bit given the size of the 3D screen.  I can only imagine the immersion possibilities were this Blu-ray 3D disc to be viewed on a theatrical screen.

Like all Blu-ray 3D, the brightness of the image comes down just a bit in comparison to the original 2D presentation.  However, I never found this to be distracting.  The colors are just as bold and beautiful.  Black levels are impeccable and details remain well delineated throughout.  There is simply nothing wrong with this 3D transfer.  Okay, I should really say that as I know there is a flaw here or there.  However, most viewers won’t even pick up on them.

Like me try and set the record straight when it comes to crosstalk.  Crosstalk is not so much the product of the Blu-ray 3D.  It is the quality of the 3DTV and the distance from which you sit from it.  Adjusting the backlight and brightness settings of your TV can drastically change the amount of crosstalk or “ghosting” that you experience.  Also, the closer you are the TV the better you eyes are able to take in the 3D effect.  That being said, I did not experience one instance of “ghosting” during “Beauty And The Beast” (or “The Lion King” for that matter).  So, if you find ghosting to be an issue, check your setup, because this Blu-ray 3D does not have an ounce of it.

The Blu-ray 3D disc comes with the same fantastic DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio track that was present on the previous Blu-ray release.  Visit the link above for more details on this marvelous audio track.  But, just for the record, the 7.1 audio experience is enhanced even more by the 3D nature of the animation.  And vice-versa for that matter.

The bonus materials are all the same as the previous Blu-ray release as well.  All special features are located on the two Blu-ray 2D discs.  You can find more details on this in the link above.

“Beauty And The Beast” in 3D is a sight to behold.  I only hope that Disney continues their 3D efforts for past and future titles.  Keep an eye out for “Cars 2” in 3D and the complete “Toy Story” collection in 3D in the month of November.

This is an absolute must have for any movie collector, fan, or technology enthusiast.  Heck, it is must have no matter what.
Studio Walt Disney Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating G
Starring Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Angela Lansbury, Bradley Pierce, Rex Everhart, Jesse Corti, Brian Cummings
Director Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Film Release Year 1991
Release Year 2011
Resolution(s) 1080p (main feature) • 1080p (supplements) • 480i (supplements)
Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
Running Time 1 hr. 25 mins.
Sound Formats English DTS-HD Master 7.1 • French Dolby Digital 5.1 • Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English SDH • French • Spanish
Special Features 3 Versions of the Film; Deleted Scenes; Alternate Opening; Audio Commentary; Sing-Along Mode; "Composing A Classic"; "Broadway Beginnings"; Jordin Sparks Music Video; Celine Dion Music Video; "Beyond Beauty" Documentary; "Enchanted Musical Challenge" Trivia Game; "Bonjour, Who Is This?" Phone Game; Classic DVD featurettes
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Reviewer Noah Fleming

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