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This is going to set you back several Disney dollars… (Part 2)

You can view Part 1 (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Alice in Wonderland) here.

Peter Pan (Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, 1953) - The 2006 Region 1 Platinum Edition includes the most extras, as well as the original mono audio mix. Non-Region 1 releases of the Platinum Edition ditch the original mono mix. Older releases, including the now-OOP Special Edition and Limited Issue versions, also omit the mono track and most (if not all) of the extras.

DVD

Lady and the Tramp (Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, 1955) - The best available version is the Region 1 2-disc Platinum Edition, which includes the 2.55:1 Cinemascope presentation of the film with its original 3-channel audio. A 1.33:1 version is also included, but this is just a pan and scan presentation of the Cinemascope version rather than the differently framed Academy version that was released for theatres not equipped for Cinemascope (this version has never been released on DVD). The Region 2 versions of the Platinum Edition ditch the 3-channel mix and pan and scan version. The OOP Limited Issue release features only a 5.1 remix and has much poorer image quality, slightly cropped to 2.35:1, plus a complete lack of extras. At all costs avoid the older, non-Platinum Region 2 releases, which are presented in pan and scan only.

Sleeping Beauty (Clyde Geronimi, 1959) - I don’t own this one on DVD. All editions are currently OOP, although a Platinum Edition is scheduled for release on DVD and Blu-ray in October 2008. None of the previous releases include the mono audio that accompanied Academy ratio presentations of the film, but the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix found on every DVD is presumably derived from the 6-track mix accompanying 70mm prints of the film. Avoid the older, single-disc Region 2 releases, which are presented in 1.33:1 pan and scan; the various 2-disc Collector’s Editions all include the original 2.35:1 presentation (unlike Lady and the Tramp, the 1.33:1 prints were merely cropped rather than reframed), while the UK release features a DTS 5.1 track. The US version, however, contains a commentary not found elsewhere, so it basically comes down to a choice between audio and extras.

101 Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman, 1961) - I don’t own this one on DVD. All releases are currently OOP. They all present the film in the preferable 1.33:1 Academy ratio rather than the 1.75:1 theatrical ratio (see here for an explanation to this controversy), and feature 2.0 surround audio rather than the original mono mix. A 2-disc Platinum Edition is due out in March 2008, and is expected to feature the original mono audio (on the Region 1 release, at any rate), and be matted to the theatrical 1.75:1 ratio.

The Sword in the Stone (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1963) - All current releases present the film in the preferable 1.33:1 Academy ratio rather than the 1.75:1 theatrical ratio (see here for an explanation to this controversy), and present the audio in a 5.1 remix rather than the original mono recording. Judging by footage shown in the documentary on Platinum Edition release of The Jungle Book, a new edition will be released in matted widescreen at some point in the future.

DVD

The Jungle Book (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1967) - The recently released 2-disc Region 1 Platinum Edition includes the best selection of extras and also includes the original mono audio mix (no word yet on whether the mono mix is included on Region 2 editions, but judging by recent trends, this is probably unlikely). Note, however, that it is presented in a matted theatrical ratio of 1.75:1 rather than the preferable 1.33:1 Academy ratio (see here for an explanation to this controversy). The various OOP single-disc releases present the film in its Academy ratio, but feature poorer image quality and remixed 2.0 surround audio.

The Aristocats (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1970) - I don’t own this one on DVD. All the current releases present the film in the preferable 1.33:1 Academy ratio rather than the 1.75:1 theatrical ratio (see here for an explanation to this controversy), and present the audio in a remix (2.0 surround in Region 1 territories, 5.1 for Region 2) rather than the original mono recording. A 2-disc Special Edition is due out at some point in the future, presumably with a matted 1.75:1 transfer and the original mono audio mix.

DVD

Robin Hood (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1973) - All pre-2006 editions present the film in the preferable 1.33:1 Academy ratio rather than the 1.75:1 theatrical ratio (see here for an explanation to this controversy). The OOP Region 1 Gold Collection release features the original mono mix, while all other versions include only a 5.1 remix. The recently released Most Wanted Edition ditches the mono track and presents the film in a matted 1.75:1 ratio. The Region 2 UK release is also confirmed to suffer from severe DVNR artefacts (evidence here), but I have no idea whether the Region 1 version is similarly affected.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (Wolfgang Reitherman, John Lounsbery, 1977) - I don’t own this one on DVD. The OOP Region 1 25th Anniversary Edition presents the film in its intended 1.33:1 aspect ratio and features only a Dolby Digital 5.1 remix instead of the original mono track. The more recent Friendship Edition features similar specs, but boasts an improved transfer and includes some additional extras. Region 2 releases appear to correspond to the Region 1 25th Anniversary Edition in terms of specs and bonus materials.

The Rescuers (Wolfgang Reitherman, John Lounsbery, Art Stevens, 1977) - All available releases present the film in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1, which appears to be an accurate reproduction of its intended framing, and feature a 5.1 remix in place of the original mono audio.

DVD

The Fox and the Hound (Art Stevens, Ted Berman, Richard Rich, 1981) - All available editions are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, which appears noticeably cropped, suggesting that this is a pan and scan job rather than an open matte affair like the 60s and 70s productions. All releases dump the original mono audio mix in favour of a remix (2.0 surround on the OOP Region 1 Gold Collection release, 5.1 for all other versions).

The Black Cauldron (Ted Berman, Richard Rich, 1985) - All releases present the film in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio of its 35mm screenings (a 2.20:1 ratio was used for the Super Technirama 70mm version); however, all but the French Region 2 release are non-anamorphic. The French release, which also includes English subtitles, seems therefore to be the preferred edition to get. All releases feature a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, which I presume is derived from the 6-track mix that accompanied 70mm prints of the film.

Part 3 will follow in the not too distant future…

 
Posted: Monday, October 22, 2007 at 11:29 PM
Categories: Animation | Blu-ray | Cinema | DVD

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