Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories (1991)
|Year Of Production||1991|
|Running Time||110:59 (Case: 120)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Timothy Forder|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Rudyard Kipling was the winner of the 1907 Nobel Laureate in Literature "in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterise the creations of this world-famous author". Author of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and of course the much loved The Jungle Book, he is also author of The Just So Stories which feature on this disc.
The twelve Just So stories revolve around the early creation of the earth and the animals, and people that came to populate it. Kipling was born in India, and later schooled in England, but then returned to India. These stories are influenced by the beliefs prevalent in India, not the traditional Christian beliefs and creation story.
These stories have entertained children (and adults) for nearly a century. They weave the story of a magical world with beautiful language that is absolutely spellbinding. The twelve stories presented on this disc:
The style of the presentation is as an animated story book. The characters are animated to an extent, but their mouths are not animated. There is a voice-over narrating the story as the characters perform the relevant actions. The narrator is Geoffrey Mathews and he does a fantastic job. He has that lovely resonant and flexible voice that young children love to listen to.
This disc is presented at 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. This disc is not time encoded.
Sharpness is not particularly good and the transfer is also badly affected by grain. Shadow detail is acceptable but there is a fair amount of low level noise. There are also some brightness variations and strobing, particularly in the early stories.
The colours can best be described as pastel. There is a wide palette used, making it attractive to young viewers but the saturation is down somewhat. There is also posterization of the colours present in many scenes.
The large amount of grain has taxed the MPEG encoder. This, combined with the fact that this is a single layered disc has given us a fair amount of pixelization in some scenes. Unfortunately, one of the worst artefacts on this disc is a constant telecine wobble present throughout the entire disc. As mentioned, the source material for this transfer is in fairly poor shape with a fair amount of grain, quite a few marks and a scratch down the left side that appears in a couple of places. All of these problems can be seen in the first minute or so of the fourth story, How the rhinoceros got his skin, as an example.
There are no subtitles.
This is a single layered disc.
This disc contains a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.
Dialogue quality is excellent with the rolling Kipling prose very easy to understand. There were no problems with the audio sync.
The music is very good and matches the feel of the stories very well, though it is somewhat spoiled by the bass-heavy mix.
There was no activity in the surrounds.
The subwoofer received too much redirected material from this unbalanced soundtrack
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This kind of disc always leaves me in a quandary, with a transfer little better than a VHS tape (in spots worse) but with content that is absolutely fantastic. If you have children between 2 and 4 years of age, they will love these stories. At least on DVD, the image will not get worse with each viewing like a VHS tape, because this disc will be spinning in your DVD player many many times.
The transfer is disappointing, largely due to the poor quality source material.
The voiceover is the best part of the audio
There are no extras.
|DVD||Skyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output|
|Display||Sony 1252Q CRT Projector, 254cm custom built 1.0 gain screen. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.|
|Speakers||B&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)|