Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas is a sequel to the original movie but is told in flashback form so the actual story takes place in the middle of the original movie's story. It feels very much like a straight-to-DVD film, which I'm sure it is though I haven't actually looked up to confirm this. The main bad guy is this movie is Forte the pipe organ, played by Tim Curry whom I absolutely love. That guy is just so fantastic at playing bad guys. His little innocent sidekick is played by Paul Reubens of Pee-wee Herman fame. It's been a long time since I've seen the original film, but the voices for all the original characters sounded like they were done by the original voice cast.
This story finds Belle and the rest of the castle characters trying to decorate the castle to have a Christmas party, which The Beast would be against if he found out about it, because it was on Christmas that an evil witch cast a spell on the prince and his castle, turning the prince into a beastly creature and all his castle folk into objects. Yes, I said "evil". Sure, maybe the prince deserved what he got, but she went way beyond that in cursing everyone in the castle. I say that makes her evil.
In the original movie we know that the curse won't be broken until someone loves the beast as he is, and of course that someone is Belle. So in this movie, Forte sees that this is happening and wants to stop it because unlike everyone else in the castle, he doesn't want to be human again. He likes being a pipe organ because he likes how The Beast always comes to him to listen to his depressing music. He figures if The Beast falls in love and is happy, he'll have no more need of Forte. Thus, Forte forms a plan to trick Belle into enraging The Beast and causing a rift between them, ensuring they will not fall in love. Of course we know from the original movie that they do fall in love and break the curse, but whatever.
There are a decent number of songs sung in this movie, though honestly I didn't care for any of them, and I really didn't like Belle's singing voice. Neither did my wife. The songs were neither catchy nor did they invoke any emotion, and they didn't feel like they flowed naturally from the story. The only one I didn't really mind was "Don't Fall in Love", sung by Tim Curry, but that could be just because I love his voice.
This isn't a bad movie, but doesn't come close to the original. Still, the production values seem pretty good for what I suspect is a straight-to-DVD release. This Blu-ray/DVD combo version comes with several extra features. You can select the songs from the movie that you want to listen to, or sing along to the movie with song lyric subtitles during the musical parts, but the two main bonus features are the behind-the-scenes featurette, which is about 11 minutes long, and half-hour live-action/animated show featuring Belle called Sing Me A Story. It's an educational children's show that kinda feels like The Pee-wee Herman show or The "Weird Al" show, though it doesn't really have the adult appeal as those two shows. But it's not too bad.
DVD Bonus Features:
- Music & More
- Sing Along With the Movie
- Disney's Song Selection
- "As Long As There's Christmas" Music Video, Performed By Play
- Games & Activities
- Forte's Challenge Game
- Enchanted Environment
- "Click the Mouse" Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
- Bonus Episode: Disney's Sing Me A Story With Belle: "Stick To It (Don't Give Up)"
I'm sure the Blu-ray has some additional bonus features, but I don't know what they are since I don't have a Blu-ray player yet.