Ali Baba and the Pirates (1997)

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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 1997
Running Time 76:37 (Case: 72)
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 Gianni Del'Orso


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 And The Pirates is the sequel to the Italian animated children's production of Ali Baba. It was made in 1997 and continues the story of the young Ali Baba and his talking donkey, Misery.

    This time round, Ali Baba boards a ship to travel to Spain to find his missing brother and father. Along the way, the ship is caught up in a violent storm and when damaged, must seek refuge on a nearby island. The island is inhabited by a tribe of pygmies and strangely enough Ali's brother Tahieb has been living among them for some time. He and the pygmies agree to help Ali repair his damaged ship so he is able to continue the search for his father. They encounter a spot of trouble when the thieves that featured in the first film pop up and want to take the ship and its valuable gold cargo. Ali and the crew manage to subdue them and lock them below decks, but on the journey home they encounter a raft with some castaways from a sunken ship. Taking them on board in a gesture of goodwill, Ali is shocked to discover they are actually pirates who demand control of the ship. The fun starts when the thieves and the pirates start to fight amongst themselves over the gold. Throw in a genie in a bottle who also causes some trouble and Ali will have plenty to keep him occupied.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is similar in most aspects to the initially-reviewed Ali Baba in terms of video. It is again presented full screen in an aspect of 1.33:1 and is obviously not 16x9 enhanced. I couldn't determine if this was the original aspect or not, though again I have my doubts.

    The sharpness was better than I was expecting given the overall fuzziness evident in the first instalment. This transfer sees some quite decent and sharp animation. There are still some issues with the odd blurry background, but nothing overly annoying. 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 much better than the original, with a wide palette presented. Some really nice deep oranges, reds, and blues are seen throughout. Definitely much better to look at.

    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 was a tiny bit of shimmer early on at 1:42 on some steps and 53:54 on the inside of the ship that lasted for a couple of seconds. 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

    Like the original disc, there is only one audio track available, this again being a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround track in English. Naturally enough, this was my track of choice. It is a serviceable track, but certainly is nothing exciting or imaginative.

    Dialogue was again improved from the slightly muffled offering from the first disc, with much higher clarity on offer here. Being animated, the normal issues with audio sync do not apply here.

    The music is nothing startling. There is a sort of calypso tune early on with pygmies dancing the Macarena (I'm serious). There is also the Arabian theme pervading the whole story again.

    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

    Ali Baba And The Pirates has a slightly better story than the original with superior production values and more finely detailed animations and backgrounds.

    The video is quite good, certainly much better than the original film. The colours especially deserve higher marks.

    The audio is unremarkable but is at least much clearer than the original.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Wednesday, February 27, 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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