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Turn that frown upside down

Blu-ray

A couple of days ago, if you’d told me I’d enjoy Enchanted so much, I’d probably have laughed. I must admit that the idea of an intentionally saccharine Disney fairytale spilling over into the “real” (i.e. live action) world didn’t really sound like a bundle of laughs, but, all the same, reports of stellar image quality and some very nice hand-drawn animation piqued my curiosity, and I picked up the Blu-ray release.

I watched it on Friday night, and I honestly don’t think I’ve got so much pure enjoyment out of a film in a long time. If Disney fairytales aren’t your cup of tea, you’ll probably hate this, but in that case you, sir, are Scrooge McDuck and have a heart of stone. This film has its head lodged firmly in the clouds, and frankly I’m not complaining. A little bit of escapism now and then is a very good thing, especially when it’s executed with this degree of panache. I still haven’t decided whether Amy Adams is intensely charming or intensely irritating, but she and the rest of the cast have a level of enthusiasm that is incredibly infectious and lets me overlook the script’s shortcomings.

I found the live action material more appealing to look at than either the traditional animation or CGI elements, which is quite a feat indeed. Then again, given the bland (albeit slick) look of the hand-drawn elements and the overall shoddiness of the CGI (including the worst talking dragon this side of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Graduation Day episode), perhaps that’s not entirely surprising. Anyway, I thought I’d do a bunch of screen captures to show just how far Disney managed to hit their Blu-ray release out of the park. Feast your eyes on these:

Enchanted
(Buena Vista, USA, AVC)

Animation:

Enchanted Enchanted Enchanted

Live action:

Enchanted Enchanted Enchanted Enchanted Enchanted Enchanted Enchanted Enchanted Enchanted Enchanted Enchanted Enchanted Enchanted Enchanted Enchanted

 
Posted: Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 11:40 AM | Comments: 4
Categories: Animation | BD Impressions | Blu-ray | Buffy the Vampire Slayer | Cinema | TV

 
Comments

1.

is there some storyline reason for the large vertical framing on the animation sections? it seems like only 1512x824 resolution is actually being used when they could have stretched it out to fill the width and make use of 1920x1046

otherwise sounds good, I'll probably rent the bluray of this movie now.

I recently watched Stardust, which ended up being a pretty enjoyable fairytale styled film.

Posted by: Dom, May 4, 2008 3:15 PM

2.

Dom,

The animated prologue is in a ratio of 1.85:1, and when we enter the “real” world it expands to 2.39:1. In order to maintain this effect on home video, the prologue ends up being shown in a window. It’s a technique that, for some reason, seems to be quite popular in the animated world - Brother Bear was, I think, the first to do it, “expanding” to 2.39:1 after the main character was transformed into a bear, and The Simpsons Movie’s “Itchy and Scratchy” prologue was also windowboxed to a narrower ratio than the rest of the film. On a decent-sized display, it’s not a problem at all and is actually quite effective, but I can imagine it being a bit annoying on small TVs.

Stardust is a film I’ve had my eye on for a while. I might pick it up when Paramount get round to porting it over to Blu-ray.

Posted by: Whiggles, May 4, 2008 3:19 PM

3.

I somewhat dislike the (modern?) animation style in the beginning. Is it like this all through the prologue or are there different style incorporated representing the different styles in which the original movies were made?
Is there singing involved in this movie?

Posted by: Peter von Frosta, May 4, 2008 4:18 PM

4.

It’s the same style throughout. The prologue only accounts for about 10 minutes, though, with a handful of animated shots here and there throughout the rest of the film. I’m not wild about the animation style either. It’s slick and polished, and it’s very nice to see 2D animation in a Disney film once more, but the character designs are quite bland, something that you can immediately see if you compare the wicked Queen to one of Disney’s great villains from days gone by, like Cruella in One Hundred and One Dalmatians.

And yes, there is singing (it’s a musical, after all), but not as much as you would expect from an Alan Menken project. By my count, there are three traditional Disney/pseudo-Broadway-style musical numbers performed by Amy Adams (think The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast and you’ll be half way there) and two Menken-written pop numbers, one performed at a ball by a singer and the other a piece of backing music used for a montage.

Posted by: Whiggles, May 4, 2008 4:22 PM

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

 

 
 
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