Last February I spent a weekend visiting my sister-in-law baking cookies and watching Disney movies; our husbands both weren’t included (though hers was in the house, but he mostly hid from us). We first made plans for our Disney weekend discussing “Beauty and the Beast.”
We both love the movie so much we always sing along with the songs, and usually follow along with the dialog as well. We talked about how we can never watch the movie with anyone else, because others usually find our tendency to recite the whole film annoying. So we figured we’d match each other perfectly.
I think our experience actually reflects that of many other Disney fans, especially those from our generation. And Disney agrees: for two dates beginning at the end of the month, the company’s organized nationwide screenings of “Beauty and the Beast” sing-along events.
According to website Disney Dreaming, select theaters across the country will on September 29 and October 2 air the film and encourage viewers to sing along. I can’t find any reports that specify, but I’m assuming that the lyrics will appear on the screen so those who don’t have every line memorized can still sing along. Here’s hoping they’ll even include a nod to the Disney Sing-Along VHS tapes of my childhood and have viewers “follow the bouncing ball.”
Disney’s scheduled the event now to promote its release of “Beauty and the Beast” from the vault. Both the movie itself, on a new “Diamond Edition,” and the soundtrack are coming out soon, so Disney execs hope that the sing-along will increase the anticipation.
I’m torn here; I love “Beauty and the Beast,” but I despise the concept of the vault. I already own the movie and the soundtrack and I really don’t think that the diamond edition will have much new material that I want; releases of older Disney films rarely do, because the company wasn’t before in the practice of making and saving material for the DVD because it didn’t yet exist.
Also, I haven’t liked what Disney’s done to “Beauty and the Beast” on DVD. I hated the new songs they shoved into the movie for the last DVD edition, though at least the disc came with the option to watch the film without them. I especially thought the movie looked awful on DVD; maybe it’s the hazy film of memory, but the fuzziness of the VHS copy of “Beauty and the Beast” worked for it, leaving the many scary scenes of our introduction to Beast’s castle dark and atmospheric.
The colorizing of the film meant to sharpen and brighten it didn’t fit well, leaving the previously dark scenes far too bright and thus not as creepy, and overall making the animation of the movie look more fake. Let’s put it this way: when my sister-and-law and I re-watched “Beauty and the Beast,” we intentionally did so with an old VHS copy.
But I digress. A “Beauty and the Beast” sing-along event sounds fantastic, and I guess this is a good opportunity for those who don’t have the movie to purchase it. First, though, I’d check to see if websites like amazon.com don’t still have some likely cheaper older copies of the film in stock.
If you’re interested in attending the sing-along, check Fandango’s website (they’re co-sponsoring the event) for listings of participating theaters in your area. Tickets are now on sale for Fathom Insiders, and will release for the general public on September 27.