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When Belle danced…

SAVITHA GAUTAM
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DVD The restored version of Disney classic ‘Beauty and The Beast' was released recently and is as heart-warming as ever. SAVITHA GAUTAM

T here's nothing more heart-warming than watching a cute tea cup having a conversation with its teapot mother or a candelabra arguing with a clock, or all of them breaking into a song (‘Be My Guest').

Well, as you watch Disney's animated masterpiece, ‘Beauty and the Beast', especially with your five-year-old asking endless questions, the magic is recreated all over again.

It lends a fresh perspective and it leaves you as enchanted as it did when it was first released in 1991.

Recently released on 2-disc Platinum DVD and Blu-ray, Belle's beautiful tale has been restored and re-mastered with extra features and a new song ‘Human Again.'

What's more, one can watch three versions of the film (there's an alternate opening scene), explore never-before-seen secrets of Beast's castle and play some exciting games as well. Other bonus features include deleted scenes and music. The 1991 version did bring in some changes from the original. For example, Belle's father here is an inventor and not a merchant.

Awards aplenty

The classic which gave new meaning to the saying ‘beauty is not skin deep…it goes beyond', took home the Golden Globe for Best Picture (1991, Best Comedy or Musical), and was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award the same year. Inspired by the French fairy tale ‘La Belle et le Bete', first published by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, in 1740, the film went on to become a box-office success, and even after a decade and more, it still has not lost its charm.

It has gone through several film and stage adaptations in various languages, but Disney's 1991 version tops the list of favourites. Using the high-tech Computer Animation Production System (CAPS, the first was ‘The Rescuers Down Under') developed specially by Pixar for Disney, this musical is directed by Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale and has the voices of Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Rex Everhart and Richard White. The kinetic camera captures every detail and every emotion, so much so you are soon drawn into the tale.

The songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman capture the emotions superbly.

‘Belle' was the first composition. ‘Gaston', sung by the villain has the swagger that goes with the slimy suitor to Belle. ‘Human Again', is a lovely song that describes the growing love between Belle and Beast.

As for the title song, the love ballad became an international hit and a chart-topper when Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson lent it a pop feel and it was released as a single.

(Marketed by The Walt Disney Co (India), the twin-DVD pack is priced at Rs. 599.)


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