Individual Entry

 
 

 
This is going to set you back several Disney dollars… (Part 3)

You can view Part 1 (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Alice in Wonderland) here, and Part 2 (Peter Pan to The Black Cauldron) here.

DVD

The Great Mouse Detective [a.k.a. Basil the Great Mouse Detective] (John Musker, Ron Clements, Dave Michener, Burny Mattinson, 1986) - Draw between all the current releases, which all present the film in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and with the original stereo audio replaced with a 5.1 remix. The Region 2 UK release features scratchier opening credits due to the title having been replaced with the UK variant, Basil the Great Mouse Detective, but otherwise the transfer is comparable to its Region 1 counterpart. Both versions that I have seen feature what seems suspiciously like missing sound effects during the climactic fight between Basil and Ratigan, but, not having seen an earlier, non-remixed version, I can’t say for sure.

Oliver & Company (George Scribner, 1988) - All the current releases present the film in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and with the original stereo audio replaced with a 5.1 remix. The Region 1 release, however, gains a bonus cartoon short, Lend a Paw, not found on any other version.

DVD

The Little Mermaid (John Musker, Ron Clements, 1989) - The 2006 Platinum Edition is the version to go for, as it features an anamorphic presentation and the most extras. Its Dolby Digital 5.1 track is presumably derived from the 6-track audio that accompanied 70mm screenings of the film. Please note, however, that, unlike the now OOP Limited Issue version, it has been cropped from 1.66:1 to its theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It also suffers from DVNR artefacts.

The Rescuers Down Under (Hendel Butoy, Mike Gabriel, 1990) - All the current releases present the film in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and include the same extras. The Region 1 Gold Collection release features a Dolby Digital 4.0 track, whereas all other releases have a 5.1 track. The original theatrical mix was presumably stereo, making neither track ideal.

Beauty and the Beast (Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise, 1991) - I don’t own the one on DVD. All releases present the film in its theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1, matted from the CAPS native 1.66:1, and feature a Dolby Digital 5.1 presumably derived from the 6-track audio that accompanied 70mm presentations of the film. The 2-disc Platinum Edition was released in all territories, although I am under the impression that the OOP Region 1 version suffers from compression and edge enhancement issues, more so than the Region 2 releases, which are also affected. Note that a single-disc “Special Edition” was released in the UK, which features minimal extras and includes only the new extended version of the film, which includes a “newly rediscovered” song, so it should be avoided.

Aladdin (John Musker, Ron Clements, 1992) - All releases are the same in terms of content, presenting the film in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and with its original Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix (plus a “Disney Enhanced Home Theatre remix), along with copious extras spread across two discs. Having seen both the Region 1 and Region 2 UK releases, I would say that the Region 1 version has a marginally better transfer (comparison here).

DVD

The Lion King (Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff, 1994) - All releases are the same in terms of content, presenting the film in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and with its original Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix (plus a “Disney Enhanced Home Theatre remix), along with extras spread across two discs. Please note, however, that all versions are derived from the 2002 IMAX re-release, which features some modified animation and effects, as well as a different Walt Disney Pictures logo and static (rather than scrolling) end credits. It also features a newly-integrated song, the Morning Report, which can be disabled from the setup menu.

Pocahontas (Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg, 1995) - Go for any one of the various 2-disc releases (10th Anniversary Edition in Region 1 territories, but released under different labels elsewhere), which feature the most extras and present the film anamorphically in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 with its original Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix. Avoid the earlier single disc releases, which are non-anamorphic and have very poor image quality.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise, 1996) - I don’t own this one on DVD. All releases present the film in its matted theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1, cropping a small amount of information compared with the native CAPS 1.66:1 ratio, and feature the original Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix. The Region 1 release also features a DTS track and an audio commentary not found elsewhere, but has poorer image quality than the various PAL releases (comparison at Bjoern’s Place).

Hercules (John Musker, Ron Clements, 1997) - I don’t own this one on DVD. All releases are non-anamorphic and present the film in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1, accompanied by the original Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The Region 2 re-release (i.e. not the one distributed by Warner Home Video) comes with an additional featurette.

DVD

Mulan (Barry Cook, Tony Bancroft, 1998) - All UK releases have been cut to remove a headbutt (although the film was initially released uncut erroneously, and copies of this recalled UK disc now fetch a hefty price on eBay). The best version is the Region 4 Australian 2-disc Special Edition, which presents the film in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1, accompanied by the original Dolby Digital 5.1 mix plus several extras. The Region 1 Special Edition includes the same extras but has poorer image quality, especially during the final third of the film (comparison here). The UK Special Edition features a DTS track but is cut. The earlier single editions feature minimal extras and a film-sourced transfer matted to 1.78:1, with the Region 1 version being non-anamorphic.

Tarzan (Kevin Lima, Chris Buck, 1999) - All versions present the film in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1, while most versions feature a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track; the Dutch, Scandinavian and UK Special Edition releases feature a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The 2-disc Region 1 Collector’s Edition boasts some additional featurettes not found on other releases. Also note that the old UK Collector’s Edition is missing the audio commentary, but that it is included on the newer UK Special Edition. Avoid the various single-disc editions, which are lacking most of the extras.

Part 4 will follow in the not too distant future…

 
Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 10:58 PM
Categories: Animation | Cinema | DVD | Technology

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:

https://www.landofwhimsy.com

 

 
 
Back to...