Friday, December 10, 2010

Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol Blu-ray Review

Release Date: Nov. 16th, 2010
Disc Size: 14.1 GB
Film Size: 12.5 GB
Film Rating: Not Rated
Region: A
The Video
Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol’ debuts on Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. Going in I really had no idea what to expect. I did think the video could look very dated and possibly upconverted, but it could also be a clean looking high-def presentation.

Luckily, ‘Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol’ on Blu-ray fits the description of the latter thought. The animation looks terrific in high-def; lines look sharp and well defined. Colors are rich and vibrant and impress from beginning to end.

There is a layer of grain present throughout the entire presentation. While there are dirt and specks throughout, it was actually far cleaner than I had imagined it could be. Overall I was very impressed by this high-def release.

‘Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol’ has never looked better and the upgrade is obvious from the very beginning. Fans of the special and high-def animation fans in general will find a nice surprise from the quality of this Blu-ray release. 9/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track is the lossless option included. Also included is a French 2.0 Stereo track. No subtitle options are included.

No surprise, the film does sound quite dated. The film was released in 1962, so I actually prepared for the worst. Thankfully, ‘Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol’ sounds quite decent. The track itself is well done, it is just limited by the audio source itself.

Dialogue is easy to understand, but it does lack the added clarity that usually comes with a lossless mix. Ultimately I am very pleased by the mix. The audio isn’t exactly an immersive experience, but it could have been much worse. Thankfully Classic Media provided a lossless mix, even if the upgrade isn’t huge. 7/10.

The Extras

Disc 1 (Blu-ray Disc):

Storyboard Sequences (SD)
  • Fezziwig (3:24)
  • Lord’s Bright Blessing (5:12)
Styne & Merrill Song Demo (2:35) (SD)
This features a rare song demo by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill.

From Pencil to Paint: Production Montage Slide Show (3:33) (SD)
View a slideshow which compares the production drawings to the final art.

Audio Commentary
Van Citters hosts the audio commentary and includes interview with certain members of the cast and crew. This is actually very entertaining and informative.

Disc 2 (DVD):

DVD copy of the film.

The extras included are very simple, but I really enjoyed the audio commentary. I didn’t expect too much from this holiday special with extras, so I can’t say I am disappointed. The included DVD copy is a nice addition, making it the obvious chose for those on the fence. 6/10.

The Movie
Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol’ is a title I am very surprised to see on Blu-ray. I have always enjoyed the holiday classic, but the title never came to mind when thinking of potential Blu-ray releases. Thankfully, Classic Media has provided the film a Blu-ray release that is the best it has ever looked.

There have been so many versions of the Christmas Carol tale it is hard to remember them all. I have always loved Mr. Magoo and mixing it with the Christmas Carol only felt like the perfect fit. Revisiting the film brought back memories of watching it when I was younger; something just feels so warm and fuzzy about the experience. I did find myself a bit more critical of the film now, but it was still very enjoyable.

The music and certain story aspects didn’t hold up as well as I remembered. However, Mr. Magoo brings a lot of charm and a different take to the story which audiences of all ages will enjoy. The film is not perfect by any means, but anyone who enjoyed ‘Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol’ will find the Blu-ray release hard to pass up. 8/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol’ is a charming take on the popular story. The Blu-ray release features a fantastic video presentation and solid audio mix. The extras are quite enjoyable and the DVD is a nice addition. Overall the Blu-ray release is easily ‘Recommended’ to fans of the classic.

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