A Few Words About A few words about...™ Disney's Beauty and the Beast -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Attempting to come up with a list of Blu-ray releases that I would consider absolutely perfect in every detail is a huge challenge.


    Begin with a handful. Take that up to 8 or 9 or 10.


    And then things get exceedingly difficult.


    Combining perfect Blu-ray discs with films worthwhile, and of a high enough quality to either have stood the test of time, or to be considered modern classics...


    And things get even more difficult.


    Disney's new Blu-ray of Beauty and the Beast glows, glistens and shows itself off brilliantly. Colors, densities, shadow detail, back and foregrounds are all reproduced to absolute perfection, along with the uncompressed audio. The overall density of the colors becomes a visceral event.


    There is no grain.


    Which in this case is not a problem. Viewers see an extraordinary combination of hand drawn and computer animated frames, and everything about those frames is perfect.


    Hollywood-Elsewhere's Jeffrey Wells will be pleased.


    One can select either the original or extended versions of the film, and the extras seem unending.


    Beauty and the Beast is one of a handful of films that takes Blu-ray technology and wrings every last bit of quality out of it.


    A brilliant piece of modern animation from Disney's renaissance period, here presented to absolute and undeniable technical perfection. My hat is off to the folks at Disney for an incomparable Blu-ray.


    From a historical perspective, as this film has been around long enough to have representation on most every format, those who have a high level of interest in the art of animation might make an effort to find a copy of the Work in Progress, an unfinished version of the film that was met by a standing ovation 1991 NY Film Fest. It was obvious to all that high quality classic Disney animation had returned.


    Very Highly Recommended.


    RAH


    As an afterthought, if we could now get The Little Mermaid in this quality...
     
  2. Frank Ha

    Frank Ha Second Unit

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    Thanks for the review, Mr. Harris. It's pre-ordered and I am looking forward to it's arrival with anticipation. I'll have to postpone my scary movie challenge for one night to watch it when it comes. [/url] As an afterthought, if we could now get The Little Mermaid in this quality...[/quote]
    Now you're talking!
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I was giving further thought to the overall color saturation and densities in BatB, and finally realized what it reminded me of.


    For those who appreciate wines, there is a unique pleasure to seeing a certain opaque tonality to red wine in a glass. It's even better if the nose and flavors come together to prove out some of the gorgeous colors that can be found.


    The point should also be made that even with the level of saturation as it is represented, the entire image appears both normal and magnificent.


    RAH
     
  4. Guest

    The "theatrical version" has been altered a bit. During the ballroom scene, a reflection of Belle has been added in the window, and the shot at the end of Something There is the SE version...the background has been changed from Belle and Beast in front of the fireplace to the empty hallway.
     
  5. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Cinematographer

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    Well of course there's no grain. Disney had stopped using film except for internegs and printing at this point. The neg is DDD.
     
  6. Steve Tannehill

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    The work-in-progress edition is included...both on the combo-pack DVD, and as a picture-in-picture with the blu-ray.


    I'm excited, USPS delivered this in record time, so I'll get to watch it tonight!
     
  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I'm extremely pleased to hear this. Highly educational, and generally a real treat.
     
  8. Steve Tannehill

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    It's not overly-obvious how to play the work-in-progress version from the blu-ray. You select "Play" on the main menu of Disc 1, the blu-ray, to be given three choices, the special extended edition, the theatrical edition, or the theatrical edition with "storyreel picture in picture." Disc 3, the DVD, includes the three versions, which you see via a menu option when you select play--only the Work in Progress edition is called just that. Why they couldn't have called it "work-in-progress" on the blu-ray is beyond me.


    Also, the picture-in-picture version on the blu-ray is very small--about 1/16th the size of the picture. The DVD version is full--sized, anamorphic widescreen. I wish it had been that way on the blu-ray. At least you can see it well on the DVD.
     
  9. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    That sounds like it will be my only gripe: the lack of full sized image on the WIP on the Blu ray.

    I found with the previousDVD, I watched the WIP as often as the completed film.


    Still, too much to love to mind that much particularly since they do include it on DVD full sized.

     
  10. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    Since we are getting slightly stiffed on the complete theatrical cut and a full screen WIP, does the included DVD look better than the old one?
     
  11. Craig Beam

    Craig Beam Screenwriter

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    My understanding is that it's Disc 1 from the previous Platinum Edition DVD. In other words, no.


    How spoiled we've become when we can consider ourselves "slightly stiffed" when a magnificent release like this comes along.
     
  12. Marco S

    Marco S Agent

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    Yeah I'm real bummed out that we don't have the complete full screen blu ray WIP. I remember,, that was the only way, you could get the movie on lase,r when it first came out. It came out around Christmas and I remember getting it as a gift, from my brother. You are glued to the screen watching all the different stages of animation. It became visual delight.
     
  13. Mark-P

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    It most certainly is not the same disc from the 2002 DVD! It's the standard definition counterpart of the all-new restoration, and yes the quality is much improved over the 2002 DVD. Ultimate Disney did a review of both blu-ray and DVD and includes screencaps comparing the 2002 and new DVD:

    http://www.dvdizzy.com/beautyandthebeast.html
     
  14. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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  15. Guest

    So, is the change in the shot I brought up, after Something There (in the theatrical edition)...would that have been an artistic change for the blu-ray by the filmmakers?
     
  16. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    Yep, Disney held off the LD release of the "complete" version for an entire year. Allegedly, this was done to foil bootleggers, but the WIP was a sort of olive branch to frustrated Laserdisc fans who really wanted the film. Wouldn't be the last time the Mouse kept LD fans waiting!


    The WIP was also screened at a film festival, IIRC.
     
  17. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the info, Mark!
     
  18. SilverWook

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    More likely a revised shot for the IMAX release back in 2002?
     
  19. Guest

    Yes, but it is also used for the theatrical version for the first time.
     
  20. Guest

    Just watched this and it was wonderful! However, I still think the original shot from the end of "Something There" worked better. When Mrs. Potts says to Chip, "Shh. I'll tell you when you're older" it takes on a slightly different meaning and emotional depth when you can see the love story in the background as opposed to an empty hallway. I hope that this is what the directors are intending as opposed to an oops! by Disney.
     

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