Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pinocchio: 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition Blu-ray Review

Pinocchio: 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys JohnsonDisc 1 Size: 46.6 GB (BD-50)
Disc 2 Size: 46.6 GB (BD-50)
Film Size: 22.2 GB
Film Rating: G
Region: A

'A Real Boy' Scene from Pinocchio:


Pinocchio comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The film is nearly 70 years old now, and it still holds up very nicely. The presentation is as accurate as possible with today's technology, and there is no way to be disappointed with this release. Colors are vibrant for the majority of the film, and always impressive. Black levels and lines are solid as can be, as were small details, and I think that's what impressed me the most. The quality put into this film originally is amazing, and it shows through this high-def presentation. Disney has done a fantastic job at bringing this Disney classic to Blu-ray, and I anxiously await for future classic releases. 10/10.

Disney has included both a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, as well as a restored mono track. I listened to the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, which was actually very nice. The film isn't going to be a surround sound experience, but the audio has never sounded so clear. Dialogue was crisp and clear at all times, and the film's music stayed front heavy, but made a nice and light use of the remaining speakers. For such an old film, it's hard to set expectations too high. Regardless, the experience was very nice, and I can't imagine Pinocchio sounding any better. 8/10.


Disc 1:
Disney View
Hate the black bars on the side? Wish the film had a widescreen feel? Well activate this feature to view the film with beautiful panels on the sides painted by Toby Bluth. I was able to take part in a roundtable discussion with the artist a week prior to this review, and I have to say I am very impressed with what he has done.

When he began talking about his work on Disney View, he said, "Well, first of all, in approaching this at all, I have such respect for the core material that I had to - I had to be careful not to distract from it, not to look like we just added something on or it was stuck on. And I wanted to do it. I painted the panels in transparent watercolor because that's what they painted the film in." He also added to his comment by saying "..I wanted the film and these panels to look like they were of the same time period, like they were done in the '30s or early '40s."

I have to say I was very impressed, and found it to even add to the experience. Toby Bluth put a lot of work into the panels, and created a nice story book feel to Disney View.

Cine Explore
View the film with an all new Picture-in-Picture commentary from Leonard Maltin, Eric Goldberg, and J.B. Kaufman

Meaghan Jette Martin - "When You Wish Upon A Star" Music Video (3:15) (HD)
Like every major Disney DVD and Blu-ray release, we get a classic song reinvented for today by a current or upcoming Disney star. This time around we get a music video from Meaghan Jette Martin, who plays talented mean girl 'Tess Tyler' on Disney Channel's Original Movie 'Camp Rock.'

Disney Song Selection (10:19) (HD)
This feature allows you to sing along with the songs featured in the film, although the lyrics are just the regular subtitles featured in the film itself. Fans of the songs may use this option when dying to sing a song from the film with out finding it in the film, otherwise I found it quite pointless.

Pinocchio's Matter Of Facts (Pop-Up Trivia Track)

Pinocchio Knows Trivia Challenge (BD-Java Game)

Sneak Peeks (HD)
View trailers for Bolt, Monsters, Inc., Disney Parks, On Blu-ray Disc, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs Platinum Edition, Up, Tinker Bell And The Lost Treasure, and Disney Movie Rewards.

BD-Live (Activates 3/10)
Movie Chat
Movie Mail
Movie Challenge
Disney Movie Rewards

Audio Commentary
View the film with an all new audio commentary from Leonard Maltin, Eric Goldberg, and J.B. Kaufman

Disc 2:

Pinocchio's Puzzles (BD-Java Game)
Includes a selection of puzzles to put together.

Pleasure Island Carnival Games (BD-Java Game)
Battle the coachman in a selection of carnival game.

No Strings Attached: The Making Of Pinocchio (55:58) (HD)

We get an hour long making of Pinocchio, and it was definitely my favorite extra on the release. The featurette features interviews from animators, historians, and others on the process of making Pinocchio. It was also neat to hear about the highlights and downfalls when it came to Pinocchio. The film was not a box office success, but it was definitely an amazing acheivement and step in animated films. Fans of Disney in general, do not hesitate to watch this.

Deleted Scenes (10:23) (HD)
We get 3 deleted scenes, with one being an alternate ending. The scenes start with an introduction about the footage, as well as explaing why they were left out. The scenes are in storyboard layouts, so don't expect any final footage here. The alternate ending is basically the same ending, but Pinocchio becomes a real boy on the beach, rather than Gepetto's home. Very neat to see and hear about some ideas for a few scenes not in the film.

The Sweatbox (6:24) (HD)

Walt Disney had a certain way he got things done, by viewing the animators' work each day, and giving both suggestions and thoughts on everything. This extra pretty much explains his process.

Live Action Reference Footage (9:58) (HD)

Archival footage featuring live action references used by the animators

Pinocchio Art Galleries:
Visual Development
Gustaf Tenggren Art
Character Design
Maquettes & Models
Backgrounds & Layouts
Storyboard Art
Production Pictures
Live Action References

Original Theatrical Trailer (1940) (2:00) (SD)
Theatrical Trailer (1984) (1:30) (SD)
Theatrical Trailer (1992) (1:30) (SD)

Deleted Song: "Honest John" (2:37) (HD)
We have a song that did not make it into the film, and although there is no actual footage, we get a nice high-def background featuring Honest John. The song is actually quite catchy, but I can't imagine the song actually working well in the film, nor adding much to the story.

Gepetto's Then And Now (10:57) (HD)
I found this extra to be surprisingly entertaining, as it compares wooden toys of the past, to the accomplishments in toys today. Once I saw the robotic Wall-E, I just had to order one.

Disc 3:

DVD copy of the film

Blu-news Summary
Pinocchio may not be my favorite Disney classic, as I felt there were a bit more issues that should have been resolved by the end. And for those wondering, my favorite classic would probably have to be Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the film that started it all. The Blu-ray release has given me so much more respect for the film after viewing the extras, particularly the making of. So much work and love was truly put into the film. The Blu-ray release really was like watching it for the first time, and I can only imagine what a thrill die hard fans of the film will get when watching it on Blu-ray.

Bottom line, there is no way the DVD can compete with the Blu-ray release. The Blu-ray tops in all categories, including video, audio, and extras. Disney has even included a bonus DVD copy of the film for those who are planning to upgrade to Blu-ray in the future, or just want another way for their kid's to enjoy the film from their minivan to their bedrooms. Pinocchio: 70th Anniversary Edition is a 'Must Own' on Blu-ray.

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1 comment:

Olivier Ladeuix said...

thanks for that really detailed review