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Writings > DVD Image Comparisons > Mulan


Mulan

Region 1 (USA) Special Edition - Buena Vista
vs. Region 2 (UK) - Buena Vista
vs. Region 2 (UK) Special Edition - Buena Vista
vs. Region 2/4 (Australia) Special Edition - Buena Vista

 

Details

 

 

DVD

R1 USA SE
 

 

DVD

R2 UK
 

 

DVD

R2 UK SE
 

Disc(s)

 

1x single-sided dual layer (DVD9)
1x single-sided single layer (DVD5)

 

1x single-sided dual layer (DVD9)

 

1x single-sided dual layer (DVD9)
1x single-sided single layer (DVD5)

Running Time

 

Approx. 88 mins (NTSC)

 

Approx. 84 mins (PAL)

 

Approx. 84 mins (PAL)

Video

 

1.66:1 anamorphic
Average bit rate: 6.57 Mbps
NTSC 720x480

 

1.78:1 anamorphic
Average bit rate: 8.27 Mbps
PAL 720x576

 

1.66:1 anamorphic
Average bit rate: 6.27 Mbps
PAL 720x576

Audio

 

English:
Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kbps

French, Spanish, Mandarin:
Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kbps

 

English, French, Italian:
Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kbps

Hebrew, Czech, Polish, Dutch, Greek:
Dolby Surround 2.0, 192 Kbps

 

English:
Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kbps
DTS 5.1, 768 Kbps

English audio descriptive:
Dolby Surround 2.0, 192 Kbps

Subtitles

 

English HoH

 

English, Serbo-Croat, Italian, Greek, Dutch, French, Czech, Icelandic, Hebrew, English HoH

 

English, English HoH

Extras

 

Disc 1:
- Deleted scenes (7)
- Music videos (5)
- DisneyPedia: Mulan's World
- Audio commentary
- Mulan's fun facts
- Sneak peeks

Disc 2:
- Music videos (2)
- Discovering Mulan
- The ballad of Hua Mulan
- 1995 presentation reel
- 1996 presentation reel
- Finding Mulan
- Storyboard to film comparison
- Art design
- Character design
- Ballad of color
- Art galleries
- Progression demonstration (2)
- Digital production (2)
- Music
- Mulan's international journey
- Multi-language reel
- Publicity art

 

- Film recommendations

 

Disc 1:
- Deleted scenes (7)
- Music videos (4)
- DisneyPedia: Mulan's World
- Audio commentary
- Mulan's fun facts
- Sneak peeks

Disc 2:
- Music video
- Discovering Mulan
- The ballad of Hua Mulan
- 1995 presentation reel
- 1996 presentation reel
- Finding Mulan
- Storyboard to film comparison
- Art design
- Character design
- Ballad of color
- Art galleries
- Progression demonstration (2)
- Digital production (2)
- Music
- Mulan's international journey
- Multi-language reel
- Publicity art

 

 

 

DVD

R2/4 Australia SE
 

 

 

 

 

 

Disc(s)

 

1x single-sided dual layer (DVD9)
1x single-sided single layer (DVD5)

 

 

 

 

Running Time

 

Approx. 84 mins (PAL)

 

 

 

 

Video

 

1.66:1 anamorphic
Average bit rate: 6.32 Mbps
PAL 720x576

 

 

 

 

Audio

 

English:
Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kbps

Greek, Arabic:
Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kbps

Bulgarian:
Dolby Surround 2.0, 192 Kbps

 

 

 

 

Subtitles

 

English, English HoH, Greek, Bulgarian, Arabic

 

 

 

 

Extras

 

Disc 1:
- Deleted scenes (7)
- Music videos (4)
- DisneyPedia: Mulan's World
- Audio commentary
- Mulan's fun facts
- Sneak peeks

Disc 2:
- Music video
- Discovering Mulan
- The ballad of Hua Mulan
- 1995 presentation reel
- 1996 presentation reel
- Finding Mulan
- Storyboard to film comparison
- Art design
- Character design
- Ballad of color
- Art galleries
- Progression demonstration (2)
- Digital production (2)
- Music
- Mulan's international journey
- Multi-language reel
- Publicity art

 

 

 

 

 

Bit Rate

R1 USA SE

DVD Image Comparison


R2 UK

DVD Image Comparison


R2 UK SE

DVD Image Comparison


R2/4 Australia SE

DVD Image Comparison

 

Screen Captures

Example 1

Mouse over to switch between versions:
USA SE | UK | UK SE/Australia SE

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 2

Mouse over to switch between versions:
USA SE | UK | UK SE/Australia SE

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 3

Mouse over to switch between versions:
USA SE | UK | UK SE/Australia SE

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 4

Mouse over to switch between versions:
USA SE | UK | UK SE/Australia SE

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 5

Mouse over to switch between versions:
USA SE | UK | UK SE/Australia SE

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 6

Mouse over to switch between versions:
USA SE | UK | UK SE/Australia SE

DVD Image Comparison

 

Update, January 28, 2006 (Australian R2/4 SE): A can see almost no difference between the UK and Australian SE transfers, barring some slightly different compression patterns (and, of course, the fact that the Australian version has the headbutt intact). The bit rate waveforms look extremely similar (the Australian is slightly higher due to the higher number of audio tracks, but the shape of the waveform seems to be identical).

The Australian release loses the DTS track featured on its UK counterpart, so some might find the UK version preferable. Myself, I am going to avoid the UK release because it is cut.

 

Update, January 28, 2006 (UK R2 SE): Because it is cut, I can't recommend buying the UK Special Edition; otherwise, though, it would appear to be the best version, and I suspect that any other PAL version will have the same transfer (myself I have the Australian release on order). It is more detailed and better compressed than its American counterpart, and especially in the second half of the film (Example 4 onwards), where the US release becomes blurry but the UK version stays pin-sharp, the differences are very noticeable.

The UK SE also has a DTS track - something that seemingly no other release has (so, if you want DTS and don't mind the missing headbutt, this might be the version of choice for you). It loses the Mandarin dub, but I think the inclusion of DTS probably balances this out. It also gains a couple of extra music videos, although I'm not convinced anyone will be particularly bothered about that.

Overall, my recommendation is that you seek out a non-UK PAL Special Edition release. The Australian version is very cheap at DVD Crave.

 

Comments

** Note that the UK version reviewed here is an uncut version that was erroneously released and later recalled. Later versions remove a headbutt towards the end of the film and therefore should obviously be avoided. **

R1 USA SE vs. R2 UK: This is a very frustrating situation. The UK version (which is the same as the Australian and most mainland European releases), now out of print, features a film-sourced transfer framed in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, which opens up the mattes slightly from the theatrical 1.85:1 presentation. The US special edition, meanwhile, features a digital transfer using the native CAPS ratio of 1.66:1, which shows more vertical information with no major differences to the horizontal framing (the UK release shows a slight sliver more picture on the right hand side in some shots, but this difference is negligible).

In terms of image quality, the digitally-sourced R1 release clearly has more vibrant colours (Mushu looks a bit brown in the R2 transfer), although it is noticeably darker and thus features poorer shadow detail. For the first part of the film, the R1 is obviously sharper (look at the additional details that come out in the background in Example 3). Then, at around the 50 minute mark, the transfer suddenly becomes noticeably softer, with very prominent halos resulting from edge enhancement (Example 4 onwards). This strongly tips the balance in favour of the UK release, which also, in my opinion, has a more pleasing aesthetic quality due to being film-sourced (although this is down to personal preference). Note that a handful of shots in the UK release are unusually blurry (see Example 6). This only affects a few seconds out of almost 90 minutes, however, so I don't consider it a deal-breaker.

The UK release features a multitude of audio options, but most people probably won't care about these. The US release gains a bonus point for featuring a higher bit rate English track (448 Kbps vs. 384 Kbps), as well as including the excellent Mandarin dub, which features Jackie Chan as the voice of Shang. This is more a curiosity feature than anything, but it adds a neat touch as it is the language that the characters would actually have spoken in real life.

The US release is clearly the winner in terms of extras.

 

Summary

 

 

USA SE

 

UK

 

UK SE

 

Aus SE

Video

 

6/10

 

8/10

 

9/10

 

9/10

Audio

 

8/10

 

7/10

 

8/10

 

7/10

Extras

 

6/10

 

0/10

 

6/10

 

6/10