Thursday, August 30, 2012

Beauty and the Beast [Diamond Edition] [3 Discs] [Blu-ray/DVD] [Blu-Ray] $30

Diamond Edition DVD/Blu-ray of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

The most important aspect of any musical is the songs. Songs in a musical should be both memorable and somewhat functional. One or the other is fine, but if most of the songs advance the plot or reveal character andmake the audience want to sing along, then you have a truly great musical. Alan Menken and Howard Ashman composed an arguably perfect set of songs for Disney's Beauty and the Beast. The opening number that encapsulates both Belle and her hometown, the hilarious tune illustrating how formidable a man Gaston is, and the warmly charming "Be My Guest" are just three high points from one of the great soundtracks in movie history. The title track, which is as sappy as Ashman ever got as a lyricist, charmingly acknowledges its own banality ("Tale as old as time/song as old rhyme/beauty and the beast") without minimizing or mocking its inherently sweet description of true love.

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