|Year Released||1969||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||103:17 minutes||Other Extras||None|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame (?)||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None||Dolby Digital||2.0 (mono)|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.75:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The gist of the story is that Herbie is unloved and unwanted, until Jim, a struggling racecar driver, shows him some compassion. Herbie is so moved by this that he follows Jim home. Through a series of misadventures, Jim comes to own Herbie, and races him. Herbie loves to race, and Jim becomes quite successful on the race track, much to the chagrin of Thorndyke, Jim's arch-rival. Jim, of course, presumes that it is his driving skill that is leading to his success on the track, but we know better, and soon, Jim does as well, though almost not soon enough.
It all comes down to the final race of the season, where Thorndyke tries to win with a host of dirty tricks. Will Herbie come through?
There isn't too much to this plot, which is firmly targeted at a younger age range, and the special effects are very dated-looking, but this movie is just a good, fun, clean, lighthearted and enjoyable way to spend a little under two hours. And Herbie is just soooo cute and funny that you just can't help but like him.
The transfer looked like a 1969 movie. It was very reminiscent of sitting in front of the TV on a lazy Saturday afternoon watching the Saturday afternoon movie matinee, except for the fact that there were no commercial breaks. There was not a great deal of sharpness and clarity in this transfer, but it remained acceptable at almost all times. There was a small section of footage which was quite out of focus between 61:40 - 62:04. There was not a lot of shadow detail, either, but again, this remained perfectly acceptable given the age of the movie.
The colours were generally well rendered, though with a dated look about them. The opening car racing sequence looked very washed out, but once the movie proper started, the colour returned to a more normal saturation level.
Occasional MPEG artefacts could be seen during scene transitions, with some blockiness apparent, but nothing that was too severe. There was a small amount of aliasing at times, but once again, nothing to be overly concerned about. At times, there was significant image wobble, though the origin of this problem is unclear - it may have been a result of the telecine process, or it may be inherent in the film itself. The worst point in the transfer for this is from 24:48 - 24:57.
Dialogue was easily understood, even though it was quite compressed and frequency limited.
There were no audio sync problems.
The score by George Bruns sounded dated but suited the movie just fine.
The surround channels were not used.
The .1 channel was not used.
The video quality is acceptable given the age of the source material.
The audio quality is acceptable given the age of the source material.
The extras - what extras?
© Michael Demtschyna
14th September 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 4:3 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer|