Mailbag Roundup: Winnie the Pooh, The Muppets and Merlin
Aug 25, 2013- Permalink
A trip to the mailbox netted us some more Blu-rays from the Disney catalog. This month I’ll look at The Sword in the Stone 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack, The Muppet Movie Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Special Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack.
1977’s The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was a compilation of three Disney featurettes, 1966’s Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, ’68’s Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day and 1974’s Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too.
The 1080p video transfer is full of lively colour and though some purists may argue the noise reduction and grain removal might be too aggressive, it’s not too crazy and works with the animation’s minimalist style. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track provides us with clean voices, the sub-woofer doesn’t get too much action and the rear speakers give us a little ambiance.
The set has a bunch of extras: Pooh Play-Along, Mini Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, A Day for Eeyore, The Story Behind the Masterpiece and the film’s theme song performed by Carly Simon.
If you love Winnie the Pooh, and if you don’t just move on, you’ll love this release.
The Muppet Movie Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition is “nearly” because as a 1979 film, this release is one year early. Not to be confused with the 2011 film, The Muppets, this is the first time Jim Henson’s TV gang made the jump to the big screen.
The film’s 1080p video transfer doesn’t suffer from heavy-handed noise reduction and the grain that remains gives the presentation a nice filmic look. In a felt and fur fabric world it’s important that the colours pop and the ones in the presentation do so like a champagne cork.
On the audio side, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track didn’t get quite the same attention as the visuals so don’t expect much in the way of additional oomph being added to the slapstick adventures of Kermit and the gang.
The pack comes, um, packed with extras: Jim Frawley’s Extended Camera Test, a Frog-E-Oke Sing-Along, Pepe Profiles Present Kermit: A Frog’s Life, Disney Intermission, Doc Hopper’s Commercial and the original trailers.
If the Muppets make you warm and fuzzy…or is that warm and Fozzie?…you need this set.
I remember reading about The Sword in the Stone in a Disney animation book I had but it’s still surprising that this traditionally animated tale is now fifty years old. It’s not one of the pillars of Disney’s catalog — we’re not talking Snow White here — but its release goes towards completing the Blu-ray releases of the Mouse House’s cel animation collection. It tells the story of a young orphaned boy, Arthur, who is guided to his rightful royal destiny by the wizard Merlin.
The film’s 1080p video transfer is, alas, plagued with a few problems. Though the colours look a bit bolder and the blacks blacker, the transfer suffers from a lot of softness. Digital noise reduction has been applied heavily to what could have only been a bad print and so this is not a release that anyone is going to hail as a great remastering.
The original mono soundtrack has been remastered as a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track. It sounds clean but the audio is just competent, not innovative.
The pack does feature some extras like an alternate opening, Music Magic: The Sherman Brothers, an excerpt from All About Magic, hosted by Walt Disney, the animated shorts A Knight for a Day and Brave Little Tailor, and a chance to sing along with the movie.
If you must have a complete Disney catalog, buy it, but you might want to give this one a pass.blog comments powered by Disqus