Ashley meets the Beauty & The Beast!

A sea of mini Belles, dressed in their yellow dresses with a variety of shoes and hairstyles to match (or not) swarmed outside of Disney’s El Capitan theater in Hollywood on Saturday to celebrate the DVD and Blu-ray Hi-Def release of “Beauty & The Beast”.

A red carpet welcomed the likes of Denise Richards, Kwesi Boakeye, Marcia Cross and Brad Paisley to the event, celebrating the release of one of Disney’s most beloved fairy-tales in all-so-welcome sing-a-long form.

The Oscar winning ”Beauty and the Beast” comes to DVD in Blu-ray Hi-Def as part of Disney’s new Diamond Collection. For those not familiar with the classic (but seriously, who isn’t!?), Belle lives in a small French village during the 18th century and is considered an outcast because she likes to read. Set on marrying the heroine is Gaston, a meathead that puts the ”Jersey Shore” cast to shame. Her bumbling inventor father keeps getting him into trouble and winds up as the prisoner of Beast, a prince turned into a monster because of his cruel nature by an Enchantress. Belle finds out and becomes the Beast’s prisoner so that her father can go free. Over time, the Beast’s staff (humans turned into household objects) win Belle over and together they have to fight off the small minded villagers, led by Gaston.

“Beauty & The Beast” is a magical, engrossing story told in a way that Disney has become legendary for.

Interestingly enough (cute, too that), children in the audience at the event didn’t seem to know who Paige O’Hara (voice of Belle) or Robby Benson (Beast) were when they introduced the film – they were just a couple of ‘special guests’ who happened to be on ‘the list’. But for us older ‘kids’, it was exciting to see ‘Belle’ and ‘the Beast’ in person. It was especially great to hear Benson do his fantastic ‘Beast’ roar!

“Belle” and “Beast” also came out on stage to welcome the audience, but most exciting of all was the medley performed by Disney soundtrack mastermind Alan Menken before the film began. Just splendid.

Being a sing-a-long event, most ‘tried’ to do that – but the kids, being so young, struggled to read and/or keep up with the lyrics on the screen. Cute.

You know what’s great? It’s great to see children watch and love a 2D animated film in a 3D animated film world. “Beauty & The Beast” holds up and once they watch it enough times, they’ll be able to sing a long in no time, I’m sure.