Disney has officially speaking released all three Beauty and the Best films this year on home video. The latest batch are The Enchanted Christmas and Belle’s Magical World. Both are neither sequels nor prequels, they’re midquels. Essentially they take place during the original movie. They are side stories that Disney wove in and for the most part they do a decent job of representing the characters that the world has come to love.
The first midquel is The Enchanted Christmas. Obviously this is a perfect Christmas gift for kids this year. The movie is just over an hour and ten minutes, but there are also special features that increase the value of this Bluray. You get a bonus episode of Sing Me A Story with Belle. This is a TV series that aired in the 90’s with Belle singing songs as old Disney cartoons played on the screen to teach kids valuable lessons about life. There’s also a music video tied to the movie called “As Long As There’s Christmas.” The Enchanted Environment is a interactive experience allowing you to bring Beast’s castle to life, but I couldn’t figure out how. I didn’t see a guide on how to control the experience. They also allow you to play the movie in a sing-a-long mode. What is even more surprising is that there is a behind the scenes video of the making of this film. For a 90’s straight to video animated production that seems pretty rare. When you look at it The Enchanted Christmas is pretty solid as far as the animation is concerned. It sports decent 90’s CGI and as for the actual quality of the 2D animation it looks just a notch below the original film’s quality.
Belle’s Magical World feels much more low budget with its animation quality being very reminiscent of a 90’s Disney channel TV series. The film is also only available on DVD as of right now. Again this is another midquel that takes place after the first midquel. This film is about an hour and thirty minutes long. In addition to it you do get another episode of Sing Me A Story with Belle as well as the Enchanted Environment. Several more DVD games are included.
Anyway if your kids are fans of the original Beauty and the Beast they should enjoy either one of these films. Neither is no where near as good as the original, but they get the job done.