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Video View: New Beauty and Beast

November 6, 1997

Disney is offering a new chapter of ``Beauty and the Beast″ on video, and this time the most memorable character is a villain through-and-through: an evil pipe organ that’s a delight to watch.

``Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas″ is told as a flashback to Belle’s imprisonment in the beast’s castle. She is determined to stage a Christmas celebration even though the beast has forbidden it. Meanwhile, Forte, the pipe organ, wants to get rid of her.

Forte is Disney’s first villain to be animated entirely by computer, and the effect is hypnotic. The viewer can almost feel Forte’s great bulk as his face swoops and his towering walls of pipes shift in the shadows of the darkened music chamber. His voice, supplied by Tim Curry, gives the right touch of bottomless evil.

Another new voice is Bernadette Peters as the tree ornament Angelique.

One of the four new songs in the video, ``Stories,″ is especially catchy as Belle sings of her love of books. The animation during this sequence is like a high-flying good dream.

All the main characters and voices from the original come back to the video, including Belle (Paige O’Hara), the Beast (Robby Benson), Mrs. Potts (Angela Lansbury), Lumiere (Jerry Orbach) and Cogsworth (David Ogden Stiers).

``Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas″ will be in stores Nov. 11. The video is unrated but it is suitable for all audiences.

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