Okay. So by now, you have probably heard that "for the first time ever, in high definition," Disney is taking Beauty and the Beast back out of the Disney Vault and releasing the film on Blu-Ray and DVD.
Perhaps even a few of you know that you can currently visit the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood to see this classic return to the big screen (now through October 7th).
But that's not in 3D, which we've all been waiting for many years now. Disney showed a clip of "Belle" in 3D 2 Comic Cons ago. The 3D version was supposed to debut February 2010 as per advertised on their website.
But February came and went, and Disney never openly addressed the situation.
So instead, we have speculation.
This is a typical Disney case of double-dipping. Beauty and the Beast is quite probably their strongest animated film property, and they want to milk it for all it's worth. So, they will re-release it as many times as they can get away with.
I don't take any issue with having the option to see a much-beloved film on the big screen again. Nor do I take issue with seeing that film turned 3D. But it looks like Disney may want to re-release this property up to 4 times within a very short period of time, and that just doesn't seem right to me.
But here's the real kicker – the 3D version has apparently already been released in New Zealand and Australia. From what I've been reading, the typical 3D haters aren't happy because the film wasn't originally designed in 3D or thought of in 3D, so it didn't need to be done…and everyone else is just happy to see this new look of the film, which is all cleaned and pumped up in color, sound and definition.
There is one controversial change to the opening prologue. As we originally know it: "If he could learn to love another, and earn their love in return by the time the last petal fell…" The change: "If he could learn to love a woman, and earn her love in return by the time the last petal fell…" Really, Disney? If we're talking about unnecessary choices here, let's take a look at this one! Obviously Beast ends up with Belle (a woman)…do we really need to walk on eggshells here to further "comfort" conservatives? I don't think so. The public was perfectly happy with the original prologue. You might as well be spitting on Howard Ashman's grave. Nice, really nice. Personally, I think the original wording sounds nicer, anyway…
This proves that Disney is really trying to get every penny out of America, folks.
And we still don't know when Disney plans on releasing the 3D version in America! There are merely rumors that the 3D version will come out in 2012 or later, so that when Disney releases the 3.0 version of the "home video," more people will have purchased 3D TV's for their homes by then.
Which now brings me to another troubling question – if Disney altered the prologue for the 3D release, then have they altered the prologue for this upcoming Blu-Ray/DVD release as well? It comes out October 5th, so we don't have to wait too long to find out.
Not all of the merchandise being released with this current set of offerings is bad, by the way. There are a few neat collector's items I found at Disney's official online store, along with an amazing new book called Tale As Old As Time: The Art and Making of Beauty and the Beast. And reportedly, this new Blu-Ray/DVD set will contain bonus materials that will go more in-depth and dirty with the behind-the-scenes drama (as this project was originally very different and in others' hands).
But here is my advice to my readers out there: prioritize how you will spend your money. Check things out. Decide what is realistically best for your budget and your home. If you hate 3D or you don't plan on having a 3D screen in your home anytime remotely soon, then perhaps you should get this upcoming release. If not, then perhaps you should wait.
Or you might be like me…totally on the fence.