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Dumbo (Two-Disc 70th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack in Blu-ray Packaging)

Dumbo (Two-Disc 70th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack in Blu-ray Packaging)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
List Price: $39.99
Street Price: $15.25
Amazon.com: $19.00
Release Date: Sep 20, 2011
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Running Time: 64 minutes

4.2 Stars (out of 5)

Synopsis

In celebration of this landmark film’s 70th anniversary, experience the daring adventures of the world’s only flying elephant with a dazzling all-new digital restoration and brilliant Disney Enhanced High Definition Theatre Mix Sound. The inspirational tale of Dumbo, the courageous baby elephant who uses his sensational ears to soar to fame with the help of his clever best friend Timothy Q. Mouse, will thrill and delight audiences of all ages. And now, the award-winning music and empowering messages about friendship and belief In yourself reach new heights in this must-have Blu-ray high-definition presentation of Walt Disney’s classic Dumbo!

Starring:

Sterling Holloway, Herman Bing, Verna Felton, Billy Bletcher, Edward Brophy, Jim Carmichael, Cliff Edwards, Noreen Gammill

Director:

Ben Sharpsteen

Blu-ray Release Date:

September 20, 2011

Subtitles:

English SDH, French, Spanish

Rating

Overall rating weighted as follows:

Audio 40%, Video 40%, Special Features 20%, Movie - its just our opinion so take it with a grain of salt

Audio 3.5 Stars (out of 5)

Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison

● Subwoofer - 2.5 Stars

● Dialog - 5.0 Stars

● Surround Effects - 3.0 Stars

● Dynamic Range - 3.5 Stars

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, English: Dolby Digital Mono (Original), French: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

The original audio mix for Dumbo was mono. Disney had their hands full trying to supersize the sound to DTS-HD Master audio 7.1, and they did an okay job. The dialog is perfect, and never gets lost in the mix. Most of the action takes place in the center channel, however it does open up towards the end of the movie. When Dumbo flies airplane sounds fill the room, some songs also utilize the rear channels to help draw you into the film. Every once in a while you'll hear the subwoofer, the pink elephant scene has some nice bass, and during the rain thunder adds some acoustic drama. Overall, I found the mix to be a little flat, and small most of the time. However, I do commend Disney for making the effort to covert it to DTS-HD, mono is too old school for me.

Video 4.9 Stars (out of 5)

Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison

● Color Accuracy - 5.0 Stars

● Shadow detail - 5.0 Stars

● Clarity - 4.5 Stars

● Skin tones - 5.0 Stars

● Compression - 5.0 Stars

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1, Original Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1

Dumbo was released 70 years ago. However, it looks like it was release yesterday since this film was restored from the vaults of the US Library of Congress' nitrate film negative. It looks fantastic. You can see every brush stroke and inked line. The colors are bold and fill the screen with vibrant unyielding art. Surprisingly, there is hardly any film grain, and I didn't notice any compression issues. It should be noted that this film is presented in it's original format of 4:3, but the Blu-ray does include a special mode that fills the side bars with appropriate custom designed art, and it looks great.

Bonus Features 4.0 Stars (out of 5)

● Cine-Explore (HD): Picture in picture commentary with Pixar director Pete Docter, Disney historian Paula Sigman and Disney animator Andreas Deja. It also include archive footage and interviews with some of the movie's creaters.

● DisneyView (HD): Fill the black bars on either side of the screen with custom paintings by Disney background artist James Coleman.

● Taking Flight: The Making of Dumbo (HD, 28 minutes)

● Deleted Scenes (HD, 10 minutes): Two deleted sequences discovered by Disney archivists.

● Celebrating Dumbo (SD, 15 minutes): Deja, Roy E. Disney, Don Hahn, Rudy Behlmer, critic Leonard Maltin and others talk about Dumbo.

● The Magic of Dumbo: A Ride of Passage (HD, 3 minutes): A brief, overly rosy featurette that takes flight with Dumbo on one of Disneyland's oldest, most beloved rides.

● Original Walt Disney TV Introduction (SD, 1 minute)

● Sound Design Excerpt from "The Reluctant Dragon" (SD, 6 minutes)

● Bonus Shorts (HD, 18 minutes): Two Silly Symphony shorts: "Elmer Elephant" and "The Flying Mouse."

● Disney Family Play (HD): Two interactive activities designed for kids.

● Art Galleries (HD)

● Trailers (HD/SD, 15 minutes)

Movie - 4.0 Stars (out of 5)

Review

On the surface Dumbo is a simple story about a "deformed" elephant that learns to fly, but I think the story is deeper than Disney suggests it is. Dumbo is really a story about societies social ladder, and how your birth determines you status. It also shows Dumbo hitting rock bottom after a night of drinking and hallucinations. However, not only does he pick himself back up, but he flies. This story also has one of the best examples of a mother's unconditional love. Dumbo's mother fought for her child's safety and happiness with such force that they had to lock her up in elephant prison.

Dumbo is a sweet and timeless family film that I will probably watch with my grandkids someday. When comparing it to other Disney films at that time, Dumbo was drawn very simplistic and cartoon like to make it more appealing to children. However, they storytelling is heartfelt and thoughtful.

Posted by The HT Guys, October 11, 2011 7:38 AM

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About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.