Gumboots (2000)

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Released 5-Feb-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Dance Menu Animation & Audio
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 79:36 (Case: 129)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Zenzi Mbul
Aubrey Powell

Warner Vision
Starring Soweto Gumboot Dancers
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Various

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.0 (448Kb/s)
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Gumboots is one of those very rare concert performances in that it actually manages to live up to the hype that surrounds it. It really is an original, and thrilling, performance of song and dance.

    Imagine a group of nine energetic singers who can beautifully harmonise, and sound like the South African group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Imagine then that they can also athletically and vigorously dance percussively, like the dancing troupes Stomp or Tap Dogs. Then, finally, imagine that they have an infectious enthusiasm and an unbridled spirit and joy that lifts their audience. That's what the Gumboots experience is.

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Track Listing

1. Nelson Mandela
2. Paulina
3. Ta La Li La Le
4. Joburg
5. Shosholoza
6. Egoli, City of Gold
7. Joburg Sibiziwe
8. Amazinyo Amhlophe
9. I'm Too Sexy
10. Mabele
11. Bump Jive
12. Uqhuba Isisu
13. Dronkie
14. Train
15. Omm Ohh Ho La La
16. Hiyo Hiyo
17. Ukuvalwa Kwe Mine
18. Asikhathali
19. Ma-Gumede

Transfer Quality


    The transfer is pretty good for what it is, but would have really benefited from being reordered as a widescreen image. When you have 10 synchronised dancers in a row (think Riverdance), a widescreen image catches a lot more of the action, and enables the recording to give a more faithful representation of the concert. In this age of digital widescreen television, a 1.33:1 image is a little weak.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, full frame. It is, of course, not 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness is good, and the shadow detail is in keeping with the concert lighting.

    There are a rich palette of colours on offer in this transfer.

    There are no problems with MPEG or film artefacts. However, there is a slight shimmer of aliasing at times, such as on the stairs at 24:15, but it is hardly noticeable, and I only spotted it the second or third time I watched the feature.

    There are no subtitles present for the main feature. Strangely, there are 5 sets of subtitles on the extra.

    This is an RSDL-formatted disc, but I did not spot a layer change during the feature, so I assume the extra is on the second layer.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are two audio options: English Dolby Digital 5.0 (448Kb/s), and English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s). To be honest, I much preferred the Dolby Digital 5.0 mix, as the surrounds really do add a lot to this performance. I also found that the vocals appeared a little buried in the Linear PCM mix by comparison.

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are excellent on both audio tracks.

    The musical score is largely comprised of traditional South African work songs. Some songs are sung a Capella, and others with a very rhythmic band. They all have that unmistakable upbeat South African sound.

    The surround presence and activity is excellent with the Dolby Digital 5.0 mix, as the viewer is planted firmly in the crowd. The ambience, cheers and applause of the crowd are pumped through the rears, and one can easily get swept up into the excitement of the concert.

    With the Dolby Digital 5.0 mix, there is no dedicated LFE track, but the subwoofer is still utilised for plenty of redirected bass.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    An animated menu with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Featurette - The Gumboots Story (53:12)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio, this is a genuine and fascinating documentary. It tells the story of the original six members of the group: how they met at Thabisong Youth Club in Soweto; how they honed their skills busking on the streets of Johannesburg for six to seven hours per day; and how, after appearing in a South African festival, and with the help of some Australian producers, they took their show onto the world stage.

R4 vs R1

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

    Gumboots has been released on DVD in Region 1.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    I would call them even, although I do tend to prefer a PAL image (R4).


   Gumboots really is "an explosion of spirit and song", and the performers deserve every minute of the lengthy standing ovation they receive at the end of this recorded performance.

    The video quality is good, albeit limited by the 1.33:1 image.

    The audio quality is very good, and very immersive as a concert recording.

    The extra is genuine and really does add to one's enjoyment of the feature.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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