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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Fantasy > Children > Animals > Fairy Tale > Comedy > Large Frame Format > The Lion King + Beauty & The Beast (Disney Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)

The Lion King + Beauty and the Beast (Disney Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)

 

Picture:

Lion King A/A/B

Beauty and the Beast A/A/B

 

Sound:

Lion King A/A/B

Beauty and the Beast A/A/B

 

Extras:

Lion King B+

Beauty and the Beast B+

 

Films:

Lion King A

Beauty and the Beast A

 

 

Well, here in this review we discuss the new to Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D releases of two of my favorite Disney (and perhaps overall) films.

 

First we have The Lion King; a story that borrowed from many great works (mostly Shakespeare’s Hamlet) to create a work infused with genius.  The film is brilliant from beginning to end as it is well paced; telling a load of information in a short 88minutes.  The film seemingly has it all as it explores birth, loss, love, death, betrayal, revenge, reunions, and much more.

 

The story of The Lion King most know and know it well; having once again smashed records on its 3D re-release in theaters.  Simba is the future king of Africa and his birthing ceremony is the place to be; with the film’s opening being one of the most memorable of all time.  The film goes on to show the budding relationship between a father (Mufasa voiced by James Earl Jones) and son (Simba voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas), but just as they begin to understand each other a horrible tragedy pulls them apart.  Like that of Hamlet, Simba’s uncle (Scar voiced by Jeremy Irons) strikes down Mufasa and places the full wrath of guilt upon Simba.  Simba feeling like an outcast, runs from home; joining a band of misfits (Timon and Pumba) whose motto in life is “no worries.”  As Simba grows up (attempting to forget his past), his homeland is ravaged by Scar’s rule.  The Pridelands have become a place of death, disparity, and darkness; ruled by a greedy king and moronic hyenas. The moral center of the film is the wise and wacky baboon, Rafiki; who quickly captures the audiences’ attention and concurrently propels the story forward.  The Lion King is one of the most memorable films of all time and as it proves time and time again it has staying power that fascinates each new generation.

 

Outside of the fact that Beauty and the Beast has been transformed into 3D, there is not much new in terms of content.  I have discussed the film in great depth in a previous review and I will direct readers to the link below for that insight:

 

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/10451/Beauty+&+The+Beast+%E2%80%93

 

 

The technical features of both these sets are in line with one another in terms of excellence.  Neither ever fails to impress.  The 1080p High Definition 1.78 X 1 image found on both the Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D versions of these films are memorable for sure.  The image is stunning as it leaps from the screen with a vibrant color palette, a crisp/clean animation, backdrops of the finest art quality, and now jaw dropping 3D.  As if it wasn’t enough to have the standard Blu-ray soar into your home, now the image (with the help of a 3D television and some Disney magic) actually leaps from the screen.

 

The impressive part about both the Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D releases is that they brilliantly demonstrate the capabilities of the Blu-ray format; embodying perfect picture clarity, crispness, color, and everything in between.  The more impressive feature, however, that now the films are presented in a format they were never intended for with Disney Blu-ray 3D.  Disney is not pulling a “George Lucas” here and saying the films were always intended to be 3D; no, instead Disney has pushed recent technological advances to their limits by giving audiences an experience like they never had before.

 

Whereas I have had my SLIGHT criticisms of the conversion of standard 2D to 3D with films like that of The Nightmare Before Christmas and the Toy Story Series, here with Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King I think Disney has achieved perfection.  The image is well balanced in both the Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D, each a different and engrossing experience.  The 3D image never gets blurry and manages to be restrained, yet pops at all the right moments.  The DVD versions included in these sets are not even worthy of the Disney name with the coming of Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D.  Viewers will be astounded by what they previously thought was good quality.

 

The greatness continues into the audio as the boisterous, memorable soundtracks explode from the surrounds.  Again well balanced (there being no difference between the standard and 3D Blu-rays) like that of the picture, the sound quickly captures viewers’ attention as The Lion King’s and Beauty and the Beast’s Broadway-esc openings engulf you with sound.  The wall of sound continues throughout using the full speaker range, with solid panning effects and crisp clean dialogue.

 

The extras on the Beauty and the Beast are the same as those on the previously released Diamond Edition Blu-ray set that did not contain the 3D Disc.  For the reason I again refer you to my prior review of that release at the link listed above.

 

The Lion King’s extras are the same as those found on the 2003 Platinum release of the film, though some extras sadly did not make it over to High Definition release.  The extras are MOSTLY housed on the standard Blu-ray release; the 3D release only holding a Don Hahn introduction.  The DVD is just a “throw away” disc (I guess so the kids don’t mess up your Blu-ray) that has the film and “The Lion King: A Memoir – Don Hahn” featurette.  The extras on the Blu-ray disc are as follows:

 

  • Disney’s Virtual Vault
  • The Morning Report: Extended Scene
  • Sing-A-Long Mode
  • Audio Commentary
  • Blu-ray Interactive Gallery (concept art, storyboards, landscape art, etc)
  • Backstage Disney
    • Pride of the Lion King
    • Deleted/Alternate Scenes
  • Bloopers and Outtakes
  • Second Screen (an annoying feature that lets you watch the film on other devices)

 

The films are astounding to begin with then you add in High Definition Blu-ray, THEN you add on Blu-ray 3D…it just keeps getting better.

 

 

-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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