Compared are the Theatrical Version (DVD) and the Special Extended Version (DVD), both available on the Diamond Edition (1 DVD und 2 Blu-rays) by Walt Disney.
The Special Extended Edition of "Beauty and the Beast"
The movie was restored for its rerelease in 2002. Moreover a new song was added. The song "Human Again" was removed from the Theatrical Version due to continuity reasons in 1991. After the song was edited for the musical version, it was reintegrated in the movie as well. This so-called Special Extended Edition was also released in 2002 on DVD. The sound effects of this version have also been edited, e.g. the Beast's stuttering when it says "You wan-wanna stay in the tower?" to Belle. The animation of Cogsworth when he says "Yes-yes-yes, but ... why?" is also new. The reinsert song "Human Again" caused further consequences. Because the servants are singing the song while cleaning the castle, the castle has to look clean in the following scenes. That's why the backgrounda after the song are new. Find examples in the comparison itself.
According to the IMDB, blood on the Beast's wound has been added afterwards after it defended Belle from the wolves. For some reason the blood is also in the Theatrical Version on the current DVD.
The Theatrical Version was released on DVD in 2002, but only in the 2 DVD-"Limited Deluxe Edition". The single DVD release only contained the Special Extended Edition.
Bug in the audio track
The sound editing bug, when the Beast says "You wan-wanna stay in the tower?", was being corrected for the DVD release in 2002. Unfortunately the DVD of the Diamand Edtion contains that exactly bug in the Special Extended Edition.
When Belle rides away from the castle, some sound effects (e.g. some glass bursting and the knocking over of some furniture, which hints that the beast makes havoc of the room after it let Belle go) were added for the Special Edition in 2002. As a result of that, no further editing of the room was necessary, the images from the Theatrical Version could be used. These noises are missing in the English audio track of the Special Extended Edition.
The DVD release from 2002 doesn't contain those bug and should be prefered, due to the mentioned points of criticism.
The Work-In-Progress Versions
There are two Work-In-Progress Versions. One of the unfinished Preview Versions was shown at the New York Film Festival in September 1991. The running time is equal to the Theatrical Version, nevertheless it's slightly different: the song "Be Our Guest" at Belle's father, when he enters the castle at the beginning, is in ti.
The other Work-In-Progress Version is also on the BD / DVD recently released. This version is 100% equal to the Theatrical Version, which means the song "Be Our Guest" is sung at Belle's. Approx. 20% of the movie consists of storyboard animations.
Die Diamond Editions von Walt Disney
"Beauty and the Beast" is the second movie of the so-called Diamond Edition by Walt Disney, the first one was "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". The Diamond Edition replaces the Platinum Edition, which consists of 13 movies released between 2001 and 2009. The new Diamond Editions are going to consist of 14 movies on BD and DVD. According to a press release from September 2009, the following movies are going to be released as Diamond Edition:
Aladdin from the Platinum Edition is goint to be replaced by Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 (both were released at the beginning of November, but without the addition Diamond Edition). Bambi is already pronounced for 03-01-2011. Further Disney movies were released on DVD, some of them in a "Special Collection" and a "Best of Special Collection" in a steelbook.
Cuts and editings
1 additional scene
1 edited animation
many background editings
= 5 min 19 sec
Time index: Theatrical Version / Special Extended Edition
New background plus mirrored picture of Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts and Chip in the Special Extended Edition while they're talking. As an illustration, one screen of the previous and the following shot are in here as well. One can see that the background in the Theatrical Version doesn't suit to the previous scene. Due the mirroring in the Special Extended Edition, the character shots suit much better to the following scene now.
Additional plot and musical scene
The last frames of Lumiere and Babette closing the door are missing in the Theatrical Version. Then an additional musical sequence. Before that Cogsworth talks to the servants. While the objects are cleaning the rooms, they sing the song orig. "Human Again". In between a shot of Belle, she attempts to help the Beast to learn reading. After the song a close-up of the Beast having a bath.
318.52 sec = 5 min 19 sec
Due to the room-cleaning servants, the backgrounds of the following shots have been modified. Everything is still destroyed and filthy in the Theatrical Version.
The lookof the room has been modified when Belle sees her father in the mirror.
When the Beasts explains it had let Belle go, Cogsworth is startled and stutters: "Yes-yes-yes, but...why?". The animation if Cogsworth has been modified here because the director didn't like the previous one.
When Belle rides away from the castle and the Beast watches and yells after her, the destroyed window frame has been repaired in the Special Extended Edition.