Well it seems logical to me - you can’t animate a silhouette. You animate the character and then turn him into silhouette. Also, I’ve actually seen this movie projected in a cinema, and that’s exactly how I remember it.
And it’s 100% intentional. Don’t forget they showed the work in progress version in New York in 1991, 2 months ahead of the full release.
You can animate a silhouette, it’s just another abstraction of form. If you can animate a stick figure, a distorted long late-afternoon shadow, or amorphous shapes like the pink elephant sequence in Dumbo, you can animate a silhouette. There’s some stylized clean solid black silhouettes in the opening of Batman the animated series.
I don’t doubt that it was intentional though. Honestly, I can see how Disney would want headroom for exposure and have that flexibility. If a projectionist in the boonies shows the print too bright, Beast won’t be a gray blob.
Her hair often appears black on film, that’s just how it is.
I’m sure you’re correct. I think the preservation is a great endeavor and believe that original formats should always be available to the public. I’m not petitioning for this to be altered in any way.
Just commenting that I’m surprised that the original intended version (that I agree should be distributed as is) looks strange to me. It’s a weird fall-off, a separate aspect from how dark the film is. Something can be dark and not have a such a steep notch in a very specific area of the contrast curve. I don’t doubt that it’s intentional.