Snow Dogs (2002)
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Going To The Dogs
Featurette-Chillin' With The Actors
Featurette-Tolketna On Ice
Game-Ted's Arctic Challenge
Audio Commentary-Brian Levant (Director) & Jordan Kerner (Producer)
|Year Of Production||2002|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (68:08)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||Brian Levant|
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Cuba Gooding, Jr.
M. Emmet Walsh
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish Audio Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
This is a standard Disney film made pretty much to the standard formula that they use for these films. Some people will not like this film for that and a variety of other reasons. Having said that, I personally really enjoyed this film. Yes, it is a standard feel good, happy ending film but this is exactly what it is meant to be. I don't see the problem with this type of film - what is the matter with feeling good? As long as the film is well made and acted, and this one is, then simply sit back, relax and let the story take you on a little journey to a place where everything comes out OK.
We are treated to two fine performances by both Cuba Gooding, Jr. and James Coburn and good performances from Joanna Bacalso and Nichelle Nichols. It is a real shame that along with the majority of the cast of Star Trek Nichelle Nichols was typecast so severely, as she does a really great job in this film.
Cuba Gooding, Jr. plays a dentist, Dr Ted Brooks, whose practice is in Miami. He is a very successful dentist that is carrying on the family tradition. Something comes up and next thing he knows he is off to Alaska. On arrival in a very small town nestled amongst the mountains he discovers that he has inherited seven fine huskies and a border collie. Completely out of his depth and struggling to come to terms with a recent series of emotional shocks he decides to stay around for a while and learn to mush. Unfortunately, the dogs are far smarter than he is and things quickly go awry. In amongst some fine physical comedy Dr Ted learns a little about life, meets a girl and of course mushes off into the sunset for a very happy ending.
I can't say much more than that as the first twist comes less than 5 minutes into the film and I don't want to spoil anything. The story revolves around three main characters; Dr Ted, Thunder Jack (James Coburn) and the dogs. They are supported by several further characters; Barb (Joanna Bacalso) is the tough but very lovely local bar owner, Mum (Nichelle Nichols), and George Murphy (M. Emmet Walsh) the local lawyer, pilot and JP.
The transfer is presented at 2.35:1 and 16x9 enhanced.
As mentioned, sharpness is down a little. While relatively still objects and the foreground are quite good, moving objects and the background can be a bit lacking in detail. At 10:51 a light plane is landing and then spinning around. While spinning, some of the finer detail just disappears. Another example of motion blur is at 34:29. Shadow detail is excellent and there is no low level noise.
While there is lots of white in this film there are also some very nice bright colours with good saturation and no chroma noise. Often this is the clothing, and parkas that the characters are wearing to stay warm.
There are no obvious signs of macroblocking or other MPEG artefacts. There is some edge enhancement, such as on the left side of the clothing at 17:16. There is no aliasing and film artefacts are very rare with little or no grain present. There are a couple of black marks that stand out only because they are against a uniform grey background at 34:26.
I don't like the font that the English subtitles came up in. The fine lines on the top and bottom of the letters tended to strobe a bit on my projector. Other than that, they are easy to read and reasonably accurate to the on-screen dialogue.
This is an RSDL disc with the layer change at 68:08. I have seen better but I have also seen worse. It is on a scene change but the pause on the last frame of the previous scene and the break in the music makes it quite noticeable.
There are no problems with the dialogue quality nor with the audio sync.
The music works very well with the film and sets the mood for each scene as required. Like the film it does set out to manipulate the emotions, but it is all in a good cause.
The surrounds gave the music a nice expansive soundscape for the music and also helped out with lots of ambience and some nice panned rear effects.
The subwoofer supported the movie quite well and while there were no earth-shattering moments it would have been sorely missed.
|Surround Channel Use|
An enjoyable look at the search for the dogs that were used in the film followed by an introduction to the dogs chosen. We meet many of the people involved in training the dogs and then listen to the actors talk about their experiences with the dogs and the experience of mushing. Presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.
The actors, producer and director talk about the movie and their characters. Talking heads intercut with footage of the filming of the movie. Presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.
A quick look at the little town that was built for the film along with some of the other very cold locations that were used in the film. Again a mixture of interview footage and on location footage. Presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.
After a live footage introduction you are placed in the driver's seat of a snowmobile. The object is to steer your snowmobile around a series of obstacles using the remote. The image on screen is computer generated. I have no idea how this game is meant to work as I could not steer or manage the sled in any fashion. You may have better luck than I did but I found it very frustrating.
This is an OK commentary. There is no real depth here and you are not going to learn anything about filmmaking but there are some interesting titbits. At least there are no big periods of silence. One thing that seemed to be constantly mentioned is that many of the actors did their own stunts.
There are four deleted scenes included: Show me the mushing (1:15), Ted offers Jack a deal (2:15), You're looking much whiter (0:14) and New caps (0:15). All are presented letterboxed and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.
There are five of these: Girls at the beach (2:17), Rush Hour (0:36), How about a big hug for your daddy (1:42), Understanding Lucy (4:22), Open Wide (0:40). Again all are presented letterboxed and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
While the English seem to have the identical release to our disc, the Americans seem to have drawn the short straw.
The R1 version of this disc misses out on:
The R4 version of this disc misses out on:
I am calling this a win to R4 because while DTS is slightly better than Dolby Digital in some situations, I could not abide having a panned and scanned transfer of this film. The scenery is integral to the film and to lose a fair proportion of it would be a crime.
I was really surprised to hear my 16 year old son say that he liked this film. I did not think it would be appreciated by late teenagers, but who knows the mind of a teenager? I really enjoyed this film. The story is well told and the acting is really very good. A very nice film that would appear the whole family can sit down and enjoy.
The video is good.
The audio is surprisingly good for a comedy.
The extras nicely round out a very nice disc.
|DVD||Skyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output|
|Display||Sony 1252q CRT Projector, Screen Technics matte white screen 16:9 (223cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.|
|Speakers||B&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)|