Ali Baba (1995)

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Released 21-Dec-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 72:44
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Zlata Potancokova Belli
Studio
Distributor
Airone Cinematograf
Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Alpha
RPI $29.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Ali Baba is an Italian animated children's production made in 1995 of, naturally enough, the Ali Baba story. You know. the "Open Sesame!" tale. For some reason, the forty thieves are missing though. There only seems to be half-a-dozen or so.

    In this take on the tale, Ali Baba is a poor young man who cuts wood from the forest for a living. He also happens to own a talking donkey (that sort of makes him like Shrek except he's not green). In addition to the donkey (called Misery - not sure why) he has a family that he tries to provide for but times are tough. He also pines for the affections of the Sultan's daughter and when he manages to save her from a runaway horse in the woods, his luck may have just changed. Of course, the Sultan doesn't just let any old peasant run off with his daughter and would require a huge dowry to give away her hand. When Ali stumbles across some bandits who have been robbing people in the forest and then finds their hideout he discovers the possible answer to his problems. With the magic words "Open Sesame" he manages to enter the cave and help himself to all manner of riches that the bandits have stored away. Of course, it is not all quite as simple as that, and when his greedy uncle and aunt discover his secret, things turn a little nasty.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video is presented in an aspect of 1.33:1 and is obviously not 16x9 enhanced. I couldn't determine if this was the original aspect ratio or not, though I have my doubts.

    This is not what I would call a top-notch transfer in terms of sharpness, being slightly fuzzy on enough occasions to warrant a couple of points deducted. There are no problems with shadow detail, and grain is virtually non-existent which is a huge bonus. There is also no low level noise.

    Colours are somewhat drab with none of the vibrancy I was expecting from a reasonably new animated feature. The backgrounds especially were quite muted in appearance.

    I noticed no MPEG artefacts other than a slight loss of resolution and a slight blurring of the lines during some of the pan shots. Not too disruptive, but certainly enough to notice. There are few film artefacts which is pleasing.

    There are no subtitles available.

    This is a single sided and single layered disc only, so there is no layer change to contend with as a result.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio track on this disc, being a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround track in English. Naturally enough, this was my track of choice. It is a fairly uninspiring track really. Serviceable, but certainly nothing exciting or imaginative.

    Dialogue was a little disappointing with a slightly muffled sound at times. Being animated, the normal issues with audio sync do not apply here.

    The music is nothing startling - a sort of pseudo-Arabian mix that just doesn't quite seem authentic to me.

    There is no surround or subwoofer use.

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

Extras

    There are no extras

R4 vs R1

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

    From the information I can gather, the Region 1 disc is identical to the local one. I would therefore recommend the local product as the version of choice.

Summary

    One for the kids, though I wonder if they will be entertained by this to any great extent. Sure the running time is a healthy 72 minutes, but the story does tend to go around in circles a bit too much for my liking. Disney this isn't (which some may be thankful for) and the production does betray its European origins at times.

    The video is acceptable.

    The audio is unremarkable and at times it is a little difficult to understand the dialogue.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Monday, February 25, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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