Tale as Old as Time
Beauty and the Beast and the mystical world of the Disney Vault
Beauty and the Beast
The Disney Vault is a concept that is as mystical as the stories that Disney tells. Classic Disney films are laid to rest, only to be awakened after several years by a handsome prince (a.k.a. Disney). This process of keeping films in a virtual vault is called a 'moratorium'. While films are in moratorium, production of their DVDs is paused and they become scarce in the market. This, of course, makes it all the more exciting when the films are released again.
Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney's classic films to take part in the Vault cycle. First released to the cinemas in 1991, it has been in and out of moratorium ever since, waking from a seven-year sleep in 2010 when the Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition was released. The film has had a few recent stints in the cinemas, with a 3D version showing at Hoyts for a short time, but no-one knows how long it will be before it returns to the Vault.
Why would Disney put some of its most popular films away, one might ask? There appear to be two reasons. Firstly, the Vault allows these classic films to be fresh for new generations of children. When films are re-released, children get to experience the anticipation and excitement of a 'new' film coming out, and are less likely to dismiss the films as 'old'. The down-time is also an opportunity for Disney to re-master the films using the latest technology (think 3D and Blu-ray), making sure that the films stay not only relevant, but accessible too.
This month and next, Disney's original 1991 version of Beauty and the Beast is showing at ACMI. This is truly an event not to be missed, as this might be your last chance to see Belle and friends for seven years!
Beauty and the Beast screens at ACMI from Wednesday 19 January - Sunday 27 February.
Published Monday, 17 January 2011