Pinocchio: 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition (Blu-ray) (1940)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Gepettos, The Sweatbox, Live Action Reference Footage
Trailer-3 theatrical trailers
Audio Commentary-Leonard Maltin, Eric Goldberg and J.G Kaufman
|Year Of Production||1940|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (3)
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English DTS HD High Resolution Audio 7.1 (6912Kb/s)
Polish Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Arabic Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.37:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Smoking||Yes, Though actively not condoned|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
It is hard to imagine anyone capable of finding and reading a review such as this on the Internet that doesn't already know the story of Pinocchio or at least the basic gist of the story. To be perfectly honest, you probably know the story better thank you think even if you think you only know the basic gist. It is a remarkably simple story, but one that hangs together incredibly well and is told so well in this instance that it has truly stood the test of time.
Told through the fourth wall by the lovable Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio is the story of a puppet who is given the gift of life by a good fairy after his lonely maker Geppetto wishes upon a star for him to become a real boy. As he is sent off for his first day of school, the naive wooden lad is presented with a series of temptations by a rascally fox named "Honest" John and follows every one, despite constant complaints from Jiminy Cricket, who has been given the task of acting as Pinocchio's conscience. When Pinocchio finally turns his life around he discovers that Geppetto has been eaten by a whale and so he sets out to save his surrogate father.
The animation is magnificent. Though it is clear that Walt & his lads hadn't quite perfected lip motion at the time Pinocchio was produced, they had virtually every other aspect of moving animation down pat. The attention to detail, in both the foreground and background, and fluidity of motion are stunning. Few films, even in the Disney stable, look quite so much as though every frame has been laboured over.
One of the best reasons to show this sort of classic to your children is that there are a lot of aspects to the film that simply wouldn't make it into modern, overly politically correct fare. Pinoccio learns the hard way not to make a jackass out of himself, literally. The film doesn't hide children from the fact that there are unsavoury folks out there, that many such folks smoke and booze, and, possibly most importantly of all, that these folks might seem friendly at first - so beware! Best of all, at no point does Pinocchio seem like it's trying to sell Happy Meals or other insipid plastic garbage to mollycoddled youth.
There are certainly better kids flicks to be seen, particularly in the classic Disney stable, but few offer so much with such a simple pretense. Pinocchio is a truly timeless film.
Pinocchio is presented in its original full frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio in 1080p. Anyone whose kids ask too many questions about why there are black bars at the side of the picture can turn on the "Disney View" feature to fill the gaps with some pretty pictures.
The video look stunning. In the dozens of Blu-rays I have watched, animated films generally see the biggest improvement in the jump from SD to HD and Pinocchio is no exception. Anyone that doesn't believe me will even get the DVD edition of the film to compare to directly if they buy this set (handy for the car, when you aren't seeing what I am talking about).
The image is crystal clear. The level of detail in every frame is magnificent. There is no sign of film or digital artefacts at any point in the film.
The colours are delicately balanced, though to varying effect between scenes. Most scenes feature a bold, painted look. Scenes featuring the Blue Fairy, feature a delicate pastel look. Every palette the film takes looks stunning.
The film features English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Russian Dolby Digital 5.1, and Arabic Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks.
The remastered audio is surprisingly good. As well as being crystal clear, the audio features a surprisingly good surround mix.
The film's orchestral score, from Leigh Harline, Ned Washington and Paul J. Smith, deservedly won an Oscar in 1940. The film also features several well loved songs, including When You Wish Upon a Star (which won a "Best Song" Oscar), Give A Little Whistle and I've Got No Strings
The film features a delicately mixed 7.1 soundtrack that makes sparing use of the surrounds and to good effect. The bulk of the track sits in the centre channel, as it rightfully should for something recorded in mono. Minor environmental effects and the odd all encompassing effect find their way to the surrounds. Purists will be disappointed that there isn't a mono track (which would normally include me), but in this rare case the surround additions to the track have been made with a little intelligence and a great deal of reserve. The same goes for the subwoofer, which only gets a handful of rumbles throughout (mainly to the movement of a certain cranky whale).
|Surround Channel Use|
The package is spread across threee discs, two Blu-rays and one regular DVD. All the extras on the Blu-ray discs are HD.
A historical commentary by popular critics/historians that can either be listened to as a regular commentary or watched as a picture-in-picture track.
This feature fills the pillars to the side of the screen with custom paintings by Toby Bluth. The images act and look a lot like a picture frame. Personally, I did not care for the effect but can see its benefit for anyone driven mad by black space.
A present day Disney cash cow sings the classic with a thumpy beat. Ugh!
The ability to play the songs from the film by themselves, with the option of sing-along lyrics. This includes When You Wish Upon A Star (2:02), Little Wooden Head (2:11), Give A Little Whistle (1:38), Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee (1:29), I've Got No Strings (2:53).
A simple quiz game based on the movie.
A colourful trivia track.
An overly simple puzzle assemble game. An OK time-waster.
Four simple Pinocchio-themed time-wasters, playable with the DVD remote. There is target shooting, horse racing, number guessing and a strong-man game. Backstage Disney:
An in-depth, yet surprisingly accessible, making-of featurette that runs through almost every aspect of production. Unsurprisingly, the featurette presents a "Walt could do no wrong" view of the world that should probably be taken with a grain of salt. Otherwise, this is a great featurette that will satisfy both casual and dedicated viewers.
Three short featurettes on scenes that were "deleted" long before they were animated, along with explanations of Walt's notes.
Walt was a slave-driver, particularly to his story guys and animators. Somehow this is given a positive spin by this featurette!
One of the big secrets of Disney animation was that the animators filmed most of their sequences with real actors to use as a reference for their work - scaled props and all. This featurette explains the process and runs through many of the ways the footage was used in the animation process.
A huge quantity of production art, broken down into the following segments: "Visual Development", "Gustaf Tenggren Art", "Character Designs", "Maquettes & Models", "Background & Layouts", "Storyboard Art", "Production Pictures" and "Live Action References".
Three trailers for past releases of the film, including the Original Theatrical Trailer from 1940 (2:00), the Theatrical Trailer from 1984 (1:30) (that's when I first saw the movie!), and the Theatrical Trailer from 1992 (1:30).
A sound-only version of a song that was recorded, but never made it into the film.
A featurette about wooden toy makers, aimed at kids.
Disc three presents a DVD version of the film, along with most of the extras from the first disc (no game, no picture-in-picture version of the commentary).
The various international releases of the film are identical save for the audio and subtitle languages each presents. That said, the US Region A edition features only English audio but it does include the film's original mono soundtrack. Purists may prefer that version, but it is honestly a negligible difference (particularly when you consider the amount of remastering the track will have undergone anyway).
Pinocchio is a classic animated film that has stood the test of time surprisingly well.
The video and audio on offer on this release are magnificent. The extras are abundant and off a high standard all-around. There is even a DVD copy of the film provided on the third disc, which is ideal for anyone that wants the Blu-ray and a baby-sitter for the car.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3, using HDMI output|
|Display||Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Pioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub|