on April 17, 2004
I found the movie quite entertaining. I haven't seen the original movie for quite a long time now, so I can't be biased or weigh them side by side. In its own accord it was my sort of movie. The dark scenery sort of "gave the mood" if you like. The beginning scene after the enchantment had been gone for a year tend to be bright in comparison of the scenes during the time of the enchantment. That alone shows differences in the beast's/prince's and perhaps even Angelique's moods about christmas. The songs Stories and As long as there's Christmas were very nice. I'd have to say I enjoyed Stories the most. It was beautiful and the lyrics were wonderful. The singing isn't perfect, but at the same time it give more emotion, it seems more raw and perhaps sincere. Since it has been many years before the first movie, I would assume the voices aren't quite the same. Nevertheless, they did well enough. The new characters were interesting. I enjoyed the "bad guys" the most. People would deem it scary for children, but then again I have seen scenes in other movies just as dark and scary back when I was little. I believe it depends on the child and the upbringing, and how the parents feel. The plot had its lacking points, like how the Beast suddenly decided to lock Belle up after saving her. Strange, strange man if you ask me. The Beast's portrayal seemed a bit out of character from what I recall. Belle was just as kind and patient as ever. Lumiere was still a shameless romancer and Cogsworth was still never listened to. Chip was adorable as ever though. The way the scenes were done weren't as elegant. It was more like how you'd watch a bugs bunny cartoon... far away instead of up close or at different angles. Thus, it didn't have a more enchanting impact as the original. I wouldn't compare it or try to fit it in with the original. I'd leave it as a stand alone. In that case it is a nice movie.
on March 25, 2010
My brother has been trying to get this movie for his daughter ever since it came out. He was happy that I managed to get it for a good price. My niece loveit. It arrived in time for spring break and she watched it 2 or 3 times a day while she was off. She is now learning the words to the songs. My brother says it follows along with the original movie very well and is pleasant to watch.
on November 11, 2003
Belle has just been saved from the wolves by the Beast. As a way to show her appreciation, Belle decides that the castle will celebrate Christmas, even though the Beast has forbidden it. Surely it will bring hope and joy back to everyone in the castle, right?
But Forte, the former court composer, is against the idea. The current pipe organ has become used to being the Beast's confidant and advisor and is threatened by the idea of Beast falling in love and the spell being broken. Enlisting the aid of Fife, he tries everything he can think of to ruin Christmas and drive Belle and the Beast further apart.
Overall, I'm not too impressed with most of the Disney straight to video sequels. But this one is entertaining. The storyline is engaging, even if the ending is obvious from the start. The idea of setting the "sequel" in the middle of the original movie is wonderful, and helps develop all the characters. Yet the wrap around part shows us the human characters again and how things have changed. All the original voices are back, except for Bradley Pierce as Chip, who is replaced by Haley Joel Osment. In an effort to appeal to kids, the main target for this movie, Chip has a larger role in this one, but it really helps advance the story as well.
As with most Disney animated sequels there are two major flaws. The animation isn't as good as the original, although it certainly works to tell the story. Also, with the exception of "As Long As There's Christmas," the songs are immediately forgettable and actually take away from the enjoyment of the movie. Also, clocking in at just over an hour, it's pretty short.
The picture and sound on this DVD are fantastic. For a special edition, this DVD is short on extras, but the number they have are fitting the movie. There is an interesting making of documentary, but the rest of the features are for kids to enjoy.
If you go into this movie not expecting the brilliance of the original, you'll be entertained. And it will get you in the holiday spirit. What more can you really ask for?
on May 23, 2003
I feel this movie was put together very well for a Christmas Special! I am also glad they released a soundtrack as well because it really has great music on it!
MY PROBLEM WITH THE DVD IS THAT THEY FORGOT TO ADD THE ORIGINAL MOVIE VERSION OF "AS LONG AS THERES CHRISTMAS" ON IT! That made me really upset! I like Play's music video to the song don't get me wrong but I would really enjoyed this DVD if they had BOTH MUSIC VIDEOS ON THE SPECIAL EDITION DVD!!!! I had to get the Read Along DVD of Beauty and the Beast to get the video! That to me did not make any sense at all!
They put both videos of the original song from Beauty and the Beast on the Special Edition DVD! Why not get the same treatment? SORRY! THAT JUST ERKS ME! :)
Another thing, this DVD is full screen! Why not have a wide screen version of the DVD? I would have loved to see the other parts of the movie that was CHOPPED OUT IN THE STUPID FULL SCREEN VERSION! ERRRR DISNEY ERRR!
OTHER THAN THAT: get the DVD! :)
on March 26, 2003
Ok you can argue all you like about Disney straight to video sequels frankly not being very good and being a detriment to the Disney legacy- and you are totally right! However, "Beauty & The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas", along with "Winnie The Pooh's Grandest Adventure" is one of those straight to video sequels where Disney did put some effort in. Granted, certain continuity as with Belle's dress is partly stretched, but this sequel isn't at all bad. The animation is inferior to "Beauty & The Beast" but is superior to other Disney video sequels. It also has great music and is full of Christmas spirit.
However, as with my review of "Beauty & The Beast", I'm gonna focus on the special features and the DVD itself. First of all, the film is digitally remastered and looks fantastic. As for the special features, "Beauty & The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas" has "Forte's Challenge" game; an Enchanted environment fireplace; Sing-along song tracks; and a music video by Play. There is also an exciting behind the scenes documentary which I was very impressed by. With this documentary, whenever a bright circle appears on screen, if you press play, the documentary will go into greater depth before returning to where it left off. The documentary is also designed with Children in mind and thus is a lot of fun as well as being informative. This was a very pleasant surprise and definitely added bonus ponits to a very pleasant DVD.
"Beauty & The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas" the film gets 3 stars.
"Beauty & The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas" the DVD gets 5 stars!
on February 4, 2003
Belle, The Beast, Lumiere, Clogsworth, Mrs Potts and Chip are back to do a seasonal adventure movie.
Despite being released after smash hit movie "Beauty and the Beast," it is not a sequel, this story is an added into the events of the first film. Unfortunately, it hasn't got the charm of the original movie though. The story is pretty basic and doesn't really have an interesting story to tell the viewer. Belle wants to have a Christmas party and Beast forbids her, therefore setting the stage for new turmoils with the new bad guy Forte an old organ who is a bit sinister for my likes.
Another new character is a Christmas tree fairy/Angel named Angelique. She is the expert on organizing parties and celebrations. However, other than having an absolutely darling accent she plays little to no part in the movie.
It has the usual songs for a Disney Movie which are pleasant and nice but none are not overly memerable. The animation is nice but I would expect none the less from Disney, with the usual vibrant colors. Overall, I would think younger children would enjoy this more and probably would not please more mature children and adults like the first one.
on February 1, 2003
"Beauty & The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas" is enchanting. And when you see it on DVD, it's even COOLER! The animation is super, I love the songs, and the story is GREAT!
The plot: This movie is all about Belle and the enchanted objects getting ready for everyone's favorite holiday (save of course for my birthday). But the Beast hates Christmas (and probably my birthday, too) and wants to make sure that it doesn't come to the castle this year. The bad dude in the film is Forte, an evil pipe organ with a trusty sidekick named Fife. Forte hates Christmas and anything happy (meaning that he hates my birthday). He also wants to kill Belle, and eat her for Christmas dinner.
The songs: "As long as there's Christmas" , a way cool song with a BIG TIME COOL music video on the DVD! I love it. There's the super song, "A Cut Above The Rest". It is SO cool! The only stupid song is "Don't Fall In Love". It gets a big BAD!
This movie is so cool! You should buy it! If you do, you'll enjoy it every Christmas for years to come.
on January 22, 2003
I was deeply disappointed when Lumiere (Jerry Orbach) said "Happy Hanukkah" just once although he had been repeating "Christmas" all through the story. I felt an American awkward effort of politically-correctness. Disney should have referred it as "Happy Holiday" from the beginning if they really wanted to make it p.c., or I strongly believe that they should have stuck to Christmas due to the fact that Beauty and the Beast is based in the 17 century, France.
Other than that one line, the animation was plain and there was no dynamic movement as Belle did when she was choosing a book in the original movie. The only well-drawn character was the new girl Angelique from the animation point of view.
The music was far below the level of the original movie scores by Alan Menken, unfortunately. There was no much for Be Our Guest, Belle, Guston nor Human Again.
If you barely know the original movie Beauty and the Beast, there is a chance you'll enjoy the Enchanted Chrismas. If you have seen the original and loved it, your quality bar of its sequences is already set very high. In this case you will be disappointed by the Enchanted Chrismas like me who saw the original DVD more than 20 times, listen to the original sound track CD every day, and even went to see the Broadway musical.
on December 25, 2002
Going by what other reviewers have already said, I bought this DVD as a gift for my brother and sister. Around mid-afternoon on Christmas day, we sat down to watch it. Considering that I'm a lot older than the target audience and a lot more cynical about Disney productions than I used to be, it's to the film's credit that I still enjoyed it. Not near the quality of the original, and not quite up to par with Disney's greatest direct-to-video release Aladdin and the King of Thieves, but still a nice little holiday movie.
The movie has many high points. All of the original cast is back, except for Chip, but he's actually been replaced by Haley Joel Osment. This immediately gives this movie some credibility, as the voice actors are all top notch. Joining the cast is another great actor, Tim Curry as the villain Forte. Coupled with some delicious computer animation, Forte is a very worthy villain. He towers over everyone else, accomplishes much evil even though he is bolted to the wall, and is really creepy in human form. Unfortunately, he gets the one dull song in the movie, but thankfully, all the others are top-notch fun. And the animation in general is very good; a few characters look slightly off at times (Lumiere and Cogsworth in human form in the intro, for example), but overall everything has a very warm, rich feeling.
So what are the movie's low points? The story itself doesn't disappoint, but it's nothing super special either. It won't match up to other holiday classsics like Garfield, Peanuts, Grinch, and Disney's own A Christmas Carol. And while almost everything fits within continuity with the original, it's best not to think about such things. Just because Belle wore her yellow dress to dance with the beast in the original, does it mean that was the only time she wore it? No, but using the dress again kinda tarnishes the magic of that moment in the ball room. The only glaring continuity error is at the movie's end. While the movie packs in some decent action (which I did not expect from a holiday movie), you'll find yourself wondering how everything was restored back to normal later. Other than this, I wish they had used that lovely feather duster character more instead of making her another background object. And lastly, the movie seems a little too dark at times. If your TV set is darker than normal, a lot of the fine details in the animation will be lost on you.
But overall, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas is worth owning. There's good acting and animation, and while the story isn't quite up there, it's worth a repeated viewing, and might in time join your family's lineup of traditional holiday movies.
on November 27, 2002
The original film is such a masterpiece that it sets the bar so high for this sequel, and you have to keep this in mind when you sit down to watch this. First of all, I think it is such a delight to have the entire cast from the original back and at it. I think the film would really have been hurt if even one of the voice actors had been replaced.
I think what made the original so strong was the music and lyrics of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. Every song was beautiful, witty, and did so much to develop the story and characters. There a but a few songs in The Enchanted Christmas, and the only one that is somewhat memorable is the song "Stories", whose melody becomes a sort of musical motif that recurs throughout the film. The interesting animation sequence during this song is one of the highlights of the film, and it is nothing like anything featured in the original.
If you are a die-hard fan of Beauty and the Beast like myself, you will enjoy seeing the characters in action... but, sadly, it feels different and less magical than the original. The script is a little thin, and the voice acting isn't totally consistent with the original. For example, Robby Benson, who voices Beast, sounds very strange at times and seems to be overacting. But it seems that the Beast in general is very exaggerated throughout the film so this is probably not Benson's fault. Paige O'Hara as Belle as always has a remarkably beautiful voice, whether she is singing or talking. It is so wonderful to hear her put life into the character again.
One thing that I feel was very wrong with this film is that an entire sequence was devoted to showing how the Prince turned away the Enchantress on Christmas and became the Beast. I think that the original film did a marvelous job by telling this part of the story through the stained glass sequence in the beginning, but seeing it portrayed here again sort lacks that fairy-tale wonder to it that the images in stained glass conveyed so well.
Aside from this minor point, I believe if you enjoyed the original like myself, you won't have too hard a time of enjoying this film. Like I mentioned, it would be impossible to match the beauty and magic of the original solely in that the music just cannot match the genius of the Menken/Ashman collaboration. Even though the animation is low-budget, a wonderful soundtrack would have made the sequel great.
My commentary on the Special Edition DVD is that I thought the behind-the-scenes feature was wonderful, and although it is short, you get some really great interviews from the voice actors including Tim Curry who makes his debut as the story's new villain. You don't get to see Paul Reubens though, whose voice and character I found rather annoying. No big loss. One problem I had, however, is with the quality of the image. The Special Edition of the original on DVD has an amazing picture quality, and the colors are so lucid and spectacular, yet in the Enchanted Christmas DVD the colors are somewhat dull and faded. Aside from that, the other special features are just some nonsense that is thrown in just to satisfy the Special Edition title, but the behind-the-scenes feature is good enough for me.
On a final note, I noticed that there are Roman numerals on the side of the DVD cases of both films. Supposedly there will be a third Beauty and the Beast Special Edition coming out soon. Can't wait.