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The Magic Years
Disney through the eyes of teens
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Adrienne Krock, editor
Beauty and the Beast: 10th Anniversary Special Edition

Promotional art  Disney
Promotional art Disney

Upon hearing about the re-release of the critically acclaimed masterpiece, I was excited to hear that it was returning on the big screen, this time into Imax and other super-sized screens. Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite Disney animated movie, and I was looking forward to seeing it again in a larger format with added footage. Let me tell you that Beauty and the Beast-Special Edition was a magnificent movie, and was very enjoyable.

Disney animators had gone through the numerous scenes in the film and began to reinforce the beauty and feeling. To convert it to 70mm film, they had to enhance most of the backgrounds and polish up the animation. Some of this polishing meant covering up awkward brush strokes, drawing faces on certain characters that were once too small to be seen and inserting the new animated musical sequence "Human Again."

Walking into the UltraScreen Theater at the Ontario Mills Mall in California, I was blown away by how large the screen was. I had to select a seat in the back so I could see the entire screen.

The lights dimmed and the movie started. The beautiful first sequence with the castle in the background and the forest in the foreground looked magnificent on the enormous screen.

Promotional art  Disney
Promotional art Disney

Suddenly, the film started to shake. The picture on the movie screen jostled up and down repeatedly as if someone was holding the camera walking towards the castle. This continued through the beginning enchantress scene and all the way through the line in the song "Belle" where Belle says, "I just finished reading a book about a beanstalk and an ogre." This ruined the beauty of the beginning of the movie but did not spoil the experience entirely.

Only little flaws in the animation were present on the 100-by-80-foot screen. I only caught these by looking in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some I noticed were at the end of "Belle," in which most of the townspeople looked rather cartoonish. In the original format, their faces were never drawn in because the people were never meant to be projected on such a large screen. Since the film was twice the size of the original format, they had to draw in faces, which looked very fake. Although beautiful, another flaw I noticed were the brush stokes in the background in the woods. Other than that, the blow-up on to the giant screen was very successful.

Promotional art  Disney
Promotional art Disney

The highlight of the movie was the musical scene of "Human Again," which was perfectly added into the movie as if it were there the whole time. It preceded "Beauty and the Beast" and followed "Something There." I have seen this show-stopping number in the stage production of Beauty and the Beast, and it was great to see it in the animation.

"Human Again" was originally set to be used for the first copy of Beauty and the Beast, but the number was long and took away from the plot. It was revived for the stage production, but was cut back. Finally, in 2002, it premiered in animation in the Beauty and the Beast-Special Edition in a form that was cut back slightly from original plans. This number was wonderfully done, and a pleasure to watch. All I can say give is a bravo to those who wanted to put this masterpiece back into the film. It made the trip worth while.

Promotional art  Disney
Promotional art Disney

Eleven dollars later, I would say it was worth seeing once or twice. I will probably even go again. Although it was great on the enormous screen, the only thing that made it worth the money and time was the new footage, which was magical and new. Whether the next large format movie is Aladdin or The Lion King, I am afraid that it won't be worth the time if the next large format movie doesn't have added footage. I will still probably go see it, anyway, though.

- Christopher


Coming Soon:
Christopher's Mailbag - Responses and Answers To You


Christopher's Disney Trivia: Beauty and the Beast was the only Animated film nominated for Best Picture in the Academy Awards. It won the Oscar for Best Song: Beauty and the Beast.


Have any questions, comments or suggestions for future columns? Drop me a line at coolkids@mouseplanet.com. I'd really enjoy hearing from you!

Promotional art  Disney
Promotional art Disney

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hi!
My name is Christopher.

I am thirteen years old and live with my family in Southern California. I am currently a high school student, and an avid fan of Disneyland Resort. Other than visiting the "Happiest Place On Earth," I have numerous hobbies, the most significant of which is acting.

Acting has always been a major hobby of mine. I have been participating in numerous plays, movies and productions all of my life, and hope to eventually accomplish my dreams of becoming a famous actor. Some of my recent works include productions of The King and I, Shakespeare- Enough Already, and Ebeneezer. Other than acting, I enjoy playing the alto saxophone for my high school jazz band, playing the keyboard / piano, listening to music (especially the Rent soundtrack), and visiting the Disneyland Resort.

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