Aladdin (Blu-ray) (1992)

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Released 27-Mar-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Audio Commentary-with filmmakers John Musker, Ron Clements and Amy Pell
Song Lyrics-Sing Along with the Movie feature
Deleted Scenes-Two Deleted Scenes
Music Video-Three Music Videos
Featurette-Four Deleted Songs
Featurette-Making Of-A Diamond in the Rough: The Making of Aladdin documentary
Featurette-DVD version of the main feature plus 2 Special Features
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 90:39
RSDL / Flipper No/No
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ron Clements
John Musker
Studio
Distributor
Disney
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Scott Weinger
Robin Williams
Linda Larkin
Jonathan Freeman
Frank Welker
Gilbert Gottfried
Douglas Seale
Bruce Adler
Brad Kane
Lea Salonga
Charles Adler
Jack Angel
Corey Burton
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music Alan Menken
Howard Ashman
Tim Rice


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1
Greek Dolby Digital 5.1
Polish Dolby Digital 5.1
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1
French DTS HD High Resolution Audio 5.1
Dutch dts 5.1
Ukranian Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Czech
Dutch
French
Greek
Polish
Russian
Slovenian
Ukranian
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, Yes, Right at the end!

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Every so often films are released which re-invent their genre. Aladdin is one of these rare films. Just like Die Hard (1988) set the template for later action films (try to think of Speed in 1995 being an updated version of Die Hard on a bus), so does Aladdin set the mold for animated films that followed in the ensuing years since its release in 1992. This is especially true in its appeal to children and adults (the most popular Pixar films since Toy Story in 1995 have had their scripts written for adults and children) and in its cultural references. Aladdin has been released on DVD in 2004 in a 2-Disc Special Edition. This version was reviewed by Daniel Bruce. You can reference Daniel's excellent and thorough review here.

     Aladdin was made for $US28 million and grossed over $US500 million worldwide. It was the third major success for the Disney studio, after the Little Mermaid in 1989 (gross: $US211 million) and Beauty and the Beast in 1991 (gross: $US424 million), which proved to be a financial and critical success and with exceptional and now memorable soundtracks by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. Adapted from the classic fairy tale of 1001 nights, we are taken to the fictional Arabian city of Agrabah at the time of the sultans. Aladdin tells the story of a young street thief, Aladdin (Scott Weinger), who along with his monkey Abu (Frank Welker), is continually trying to escape the palace guard. At the market he meets Crown Princess Jasmine (Linda Larkin), who has fled the palace incognito because her father, the sultan (Douglas Seale) is planning to marry her off, as is required by law. The young boy Aladdin falls in love, but of course he is no match for noble blood. Aladdin attracts the unhealthy attention of the grand vizier of the Sultan, Jafar (Jonathan Freeman), who believes that he has found, finally, a young man with a pure heart. Only a righteous person, in other words a 'Diamond in the Rough', can get a magic lamp from the Cave of Wonders, which inside houses a Genie (Robin Williams) who fulfils three wishes for the owner. Needless to say, the Genie generates Aladdin into a Prince so he can marry the princess and what follows is a universal lesson about how appearance is less important than inner beauty and courage.

     The aim of this review is to state the specifications of this Blu-ray package, as it has some extras ported over from the 2004 2-Disc Special Edition DVD release, and some extras left off. I will reference the 2004 DVD review in my description of the extras on this Blu-ray.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The film simply looks stunning on Blu-ray, much like it did on DVD, only sharper and brighter!

     Aladdin is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, encoded with AVC MPEG-4 compression and is 16x9 enhanced for widescreen televisions. The original theatrical aspect ratio was 1.66:1.

     Sharp and detailed in every way, the video bitrate on my Blu-ray player averaged 28 to 30 mbps.

     The colour is magnificent and vibrant, as is the contrast. I don't think I've ever seen a film with blue hues so bright!

     There are no significant blemishes to report with this image transfer.

     Subtitles are available in English, English for the Hearing Impaired, Czech, Dutch, French, Greek, Polish, Russian, Slovenian and Ukrainian, both for the main feature and the audio commentary from the filmmakers. A subtitle stream which carries the lyrics from the songs in the movie has been ported over from the DVD, but the Pop Up Fun Facts trivia track has not.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio was reference quality on the 2004 DVD, and it is similarly spectacular on Blu-ray!

     There are more language options available on the Blu-ray than the DVD. The main soundtrack is an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, which reflects the Enhanced Disney Home Theatre Mix soundtrack from the DVD (the softer and less aggressive Original Theatrical mix has been left off the Blu-ray.) The filmmakers' commentary is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0. The other tracks available are French DTS-HD High Resolution 5.1, Dutch DTS 5.1, Czech, Polish, Russian and Greek Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks and a Ukrainian Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track.

     The dialogue is clear and the audio is synchronised.

     Alan Menkin and Tim Rice's songs 'come to life' with full clarity, especially on the signature tune, A Whole New World.

     The surround channels utilise a lot of ambience and sound effects to make the Middle-East setting of Agrabah sound 'busy'. Robin Williams' Genie also benefits from the directional effects heard here.

     The Subwoofer is used for the cave scenes and for the character of Jafar to add a strong emphasis to these scenes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     The extras on the Blu-ray are all in Standard Definition, not High Definition as stated on the Blu-ray packaging. All extras are presented in 4x3 fullscreen, so black bars are visible on the left and right when viewing on widescreen televisions. Also, there is no brand new, exclusive content for this Blu-ray release.

Audio commentary by writers/producers/directors John Musker & Ron Clements and co-producer Amy Pell

     A commentary by John Musker, Ron Clements & their co-producer Amy Pell. This is a good quality commentary without rising to the heights of greatness. They are relaxed, get some good banter going and tell some interesting stories. They also seem to think it's necessary to tell us exactly who did each and every piece of animation. They also discuss areas of the film which were changed during the production, Robin Williams, political correctness and how it affected the film and take care to point out their cameo. Not a bad effort and worth a listen.

Sing Along with the Movie feature

     This option allows you to view song lyrics and sing along during musical scenes.

Deleted Scenes

     There are two deleted scenes included here, both without full animation. They are basically shown in storyboard/storyreel format. The scenes are:

Music Videos

     This features the Number 1 hit single from the film, A Whole New World, which also won many awards including an Oscar, and a song not included in the film, Proud of Your Boy. The three music videos in detail are:

Deleted Songs

     This section includes 4 deleted songs which were either removed due to story changes or dropped because of timing. Each song is presented as part of a featurette which has the filmmakers (John Musker & Ron Clements, Producers, Directors & Writers) explaining why the song was dropped and then the song itself presented with storyboards or rough animation. The songs are all of high quality and a Play All option is available. The songs are:

A Diamond in the Rough: The Making of Aladdin documentary

     This is a comprehensive collection of featurettes, covering all aspects of the production, hosted by film critic Leonard Maltin. You can choose to view the material in two ways - 1) Choosing to view each featurette individually and then returning to the A Diamond in the Rough: The Making of Aladdin documentary menu and - 2) A Play All Option (99:33): Regardless, you have the opportunity to view all of the material, which includes the following:

DVD version of the main feature plus Two Special Features

     The DVD version of the film uses a PAL transfer, has an average bitrate of 7.2 m/b per sec and runs for 86:45. The audio options are English and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448kbps and Norwegian and Danish Dolby digital 5.1 at 384 kbps. Subtitles are available in English, English for the Hearing impaired, Spanish, Norwegian and Danish. There are two extras:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     Originally, Aladdin (1992) was set to be released worldwide as the next release in Disney's Blu-ray Diamond Edition series in March 2013, but this was changed to Peter Pan (1953) to mark that film's 60th anniversary. The next Diamond Edition release in October 2013 is set to be The Little Mermaid (1989). It is unknown, at the time of writing this review, when Aladdin will be released worldwide in a Diamond Edition Blu-ray release.

     In the meantime, Disney has released Aladdin on Blu-ray in March and April 2013 in Europe and Australia. The United Kingdom and Dutch releases have the same specifications as the Australian release. The German Blu-ray release has different language and subtitling options. These include German, English, Italian, Romanian, Spanish, Turkish and Hungarian.

Summary

     If you don't own this on DVD, then purchase on Blu-ray is highly recommended! As stated on the DVDCompare website here, the following extras are not ported over from the 2004 DVD release:

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S550 (Firmware updated Version 020), using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationSony HTDDW1000
SpeakersSony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)

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