Free Willy (1993)
|Year Of Production||1993|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Simon Wincer|
Warner Home Video
Jason James Richter
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Dutch Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Jesse goes to work at the North West Adventure Park where he reports to Randolph (August Schellenberg) who warns him to stay away from Willy as he gets into moods and is dangerous. Despite this warning, Jesse is drawn to Willy and through a series of events they become friends - for me these are the main highlights of the movie.
Rae (Lori Petty) is the North West Adventure Park aquatic animal trainer. She is unable to work with Willy as he is uncooperative and will not learn to do any tricks. Willy becomes playful with Jesse, and as their friendship deepens (this is another highlight of the movie for me), Jesse is able to teach Willy to do some tricks with Rae instructing him. Their debut show goes disastrously wrong when Willy is scared by all the banging on his tank and will not perform. After this, the owner of the North West Adventure Park decides to cut his losses by arranging for Willy to have an accident so he can collect the insurance money.
Jesse finds out about this and with the help of Rae and Randolph they set about trying to return Willy to the sea.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is extremely clear and sharp and is by far one of the clearest transfers I have ever seen. Some minor over-enhanced edges can be seen during the opening and closing scenes, particularly around the whales' dorsal fins. Only one other sequence was affected by excessive edge enhancement, which was from 40:37 through to 41:03, but it was minor and not at all disruptive.
Shadow detail was excellent and no low level noise was seen.
The colours, well what can I say? They were exemplary - beautifully saturated, rich and vibrant. This transfer is, without a doubt, one of the best transfers I have ever seen in this respect.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. Again, this disc was exemplary in this area. I cannot ever remember seeing a DVD that was so grain-free as this one.
Aliasing is where this transfer comes unstuck - big time - and this stops this transfer from being even close to reference quality. There is almost no scene in the entire movie that does not have some minor aliasing in it - whether it is distracting or not is another matter. A lot of the aliasing is very minor and is not distracting at all, but there are far too many occasions where you cannot help but notice it...and then there are the downright annoying occurrences. The worst examples of these are at 23:09, 52:49, 59:19, 61:01 and 93:39. I must say for me that this disc is right up there with the infamously bad Die Hard: With A Vengeance transfer for aliasing.
There is one more point I would like to specifically mention on the topic of aliasing - Progressive Scan Output. I am sure that if this disc was played on a DVD player which had a Progressive Scan Output mode all the aliasing seen on this disc would simply vanish, leaving us with one of the BEST video transfers EVER. I, for one, will be replacing my current DVD player with one that has Progressive Scan Output capability when they become available, as it is far superior to the Component output that I am currently using.
There were more than one or two film artefacts seen, but overall this transfer was still very good in this area. The film artefacts noticed were mostly white, small and one-offs.
Romanian and Bulgarian subtitles were present on this DVD, but not mentioned on the packaging.
There are four audio tracks on this DVD. The default is the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The other soundtracks are French Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 5.1, and Dutch Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded. The Dutch soundtrack is not mentioned on the packaging of this DVD.
The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times.
Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer, and was completely spot on.
The musical score was by Basil Poledouris and suited the movie nicely.
The surround channels were used to create a good sound envelope which was beautifully detailed. The only thing that I could criticize this soundtrack for was the lack of directional or localized effects in the rear speakers, but that is more a movie production issue rather than a transfer problem.
The subwoofer channel was used subtly but frequently to enhance the sound.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Due to the continuous aliasing that occurs throughout the movie, I can only describe this transfer as being just acceptable. This is a real shame because in almost all other departments it is one of the BEST video transfers I have ever seen.
The audio is beautifully detailed, clear and clean.
There are no extras.
|DVD||Sony DVP-725, using Component output|
|Display||Sony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Fronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)|