BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: AN ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS & BELLE’S MAGICAL WORLD
MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
In time for Christmas and the whet the appetite of Disney fans for the 3D release of “Beauty and the Beast” in theaters this winter, the Mouse House has released two direct-to-video movies from the 90s following Belle’s stay with the Beast over the year of the feature film.
“Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas” is available on special edition Blu-ray with the 1997 direct-to-video sequel. The story is told from Mrs. Potts’ point of view about how a scheming court composer is trying to keep Belle from finding love with Beast.
The Blu-ray comes in a combo pack with the DVD. There’s a sing-along story included with the message for kids to keep trying. The movie is also available in sing-along mode or with the song selection. There’s also a behind-the-scenes featurette and a music video for “As Long As There’s Christmas.” Plus, to get into the warm holiday spirit, the Blu-ray also features “Enchanted Environment,” which brings the crackling fireplace into your living room.
The second film, sold separately, is “Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World,” which hit the home video market in 1998. The story follows Belle as she works with all the enchanted characters in her new home to fix up the gloomy castle into a charming place to live. Running about 20 minutes longer than “The Enchanted Christmas,” “Belle’s Magical World” is only available on DVD.
Bonus features on the DVD include another “Sing Me a Story” feature which teaches the kids to look beyond people’s outside appearances. There’s also a set-top game “Belle’s Delightful Dinner Game” and a song selection mode. Finally, like “The Enchanted Christmas,” there is an “Enchanted Environment” mode to bring the warm fire into your home.