The scene at the El Capitan theatre on Hollywood Boulevard was an enchanted one, as the afternoon on October 2nd took a turn to animated France, as Disney celebrated the release of "Beauty and the Beast" for the very first time on Blu-ray™ & DVD Combo Pack, coming October 5th.
This was one of my most favorite Disney films, as the voice of Belle, Paige O’Hara, shared with Monsters and Critics that she was unlike any other Disney princess before her, "and she was the first brown-eyed Disney princess too."
The thrill of the day was served up by the Beast himself, handsome Robby Benson, who just gets better with age.
Benson told Monsters and Critics that this event was heartwarming for many reasons. "My daughter is 27 years-old, and when she was a little girl, she watched this film here in this theater sitting on my lap!"
Benson and O'Hara were the belles of the ball, as many of Hollywood's stars turned out to celebrate this auspicious occasion with their children, most of the young ladies dressed in flouncy yellow Princess dresses replete with tiaras.
MaximoTV.com was on the Red Carpet next to us, and shared their interview with Benson and O'Hara:
Another wonderful bonus was being serenaded by Eight time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken in a medley of all his award-winning songs from Disney classic animation, "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," "Pocahontas" and "The Little Mermaid."
Each of those four fantastic films netted two Academy Awards for Mr. Menken. His rousing singing and piano playing had the whole El Capitan singing along with him and cheering, giving this accomplished man a standing ovation at the end of his performance.
"Beauty and the Beast" was then screened in the historic theater in Blu-ray format. When the film was first released I had seen it in the theaters, but the animation looked crisp and ageless, and the colors incredibly bright.
This is an absolute must-own if you have children or grandchildren, for the music, premise and wonderful lessons it teaches about marching to the beat of your own drum, kindness, loyalty, compassion and self-reliance.
Benson, O'Hara, Menken were all fêted by a variety of guests including Marcia Cross, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Andrea Bendewald, Kevin Nealon, Ali Landry, Shanna Moakler, Zane Holtz, Stephanie Pratt, Daphne Blunt, Ryan Newman, Jadin Gould, Chelsea Hobbs and many more. After the film, the guests were invited to attend a tea party that was held at the Hollywood and Highland Ballroom.
Did you know that this is Disney’s most requested film? "Beauty and the Beast" now arrives for the first time on Blu-ray Hi-Def as the second installment to the company’s new Diamond Collection.
The first of only two animated films ever to be nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Picture (the second is 2009’s Up), Beauty and the Beast earned six Academy Award® nominations and won two Oscars® in 1992 for Best Original Song (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Best Original Score. It is available for the First Time on Blu-ray™ & DVD Combo Pack on October 5th
Paige O'Hara as Belle (voice)
Robby Benson as Beast (voice)
Richard White as Gaston (voice)
Jerry Orbach as Lumiere (voice)
David Ogden Stiers as Cogsworth / Narrator (voice)
Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts (voice)
Bradley Pierce as Chip (voice) (as Bradley Michael Pierce)
Rex Everhart as Maurice (voice)
Jesse Corti as Lefou (voice)
Hal Smith as Philippe (voice)
Jo Anne Worley as Wardrobe (voice)
Mary Kay Bergman as Babette (voice)
Brian Cummings as Stove (voice)
Alvin Epstein as Bookseller (voice)
Tony Jay as Monsieur D'Arque (voice)
All-new Digital Restoration With Enhanced High Definition Picture And Sound
Three Versions Of The Film
-Original Theatrical Release
-Special Extended Edition
-Original Storyboard Version
Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scene
Never-Before-Seen Alternate Opening
Beyond Beauty: The Untold Stories Behind the Making of the Film
All-New Music Video "Beauty And The Beast" Performed By Jordin Sparks
Bonjour, Who Is This? (BD-Live): Use your Phone, Receive Secret Messages, and Guess
Other Players' Identities Before They Guess Yours!
Enchanted Musical Challenge: Go on a Quest to break the Spell Before the Last Petal Falls!
Broadway Beginnings: Hear From Celebrities Who Have Appeared in the Hit Broadway Production
Composing A Classic: A Musical Conversation with the Songwriters and Producer
Disney Sing Along Mode
Classic DVD Bonus Features:
-The Story Behind the Story
-Deleted Song "Human Again"
-"Beauty and the Beast" Music Video Performed By Celine Dion
DTS-HD MA 7.1 Sound
French and Spanish Languages
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 92 Minutes
The following is the official description of the film:
"Acclaimed and treasured like no other, Disney's beloved modern classic, the first animated feature film in the history of the Oscars® nominated for Best Picture (1991), is brilliantly transformed to a new level of entertainment through the magic of Blu-ray™ High Definition. The music you'll never forget, the characters who will fill your heart and the magical adventure about finding beauty within all come to spectacular life in Blu-ray. Plus, all-new, immersive bonus features will transport you even further into Belle's enchanted world. So be our guest and join the beloved, independent Belle and the Beast with the soul of a prince as they cast an enchanting spell like never before."
"Beauty and the Beast" is rated G.