Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco (1996)

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Released 2-Nov-1999

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 85:09
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By David R. Ellis
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Robert Hays
Kim Greist
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $34.95 Music Bruce Broughton


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Portuguese
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    After the disappointment that was Homeward Bound, Disney went back to the drawing board and devised its sequel. Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco is a much better film on all accounts, whilst still being based on the original characters from the Sheila Burnford novel. One of the factors that improves this film is that the background information on the animals has already been introduced in the first film, making it move at a much better pace.

    For any of you who have read my review of the prequel to this film (Homeward Bound), you will know that I am not too fond of Disney. Not in general, but for the most part. I actually watched the sequel before I watched the original film, which made me even more disappointed with the first. I wasn't expecting much from this film, and only took the review because no one else at the site (thanks guys) would do it - but I was pleasantly surprised. After coming home from a long day at school, I watched the film and had a lovely time doing so. The eighty-five or so minutes cruised by without a stumble.

    Michael J. Fox returns as Chance, the loveable bulldog and is as good as ever. He carries the film. It's not that the other voice actors are bad, it's just that they don't have the dialogue that he has. Sally Field also returns as Sassy. Unfortunately, Don Ameche has not. He has been replaced by Ralph Waite who does not have the same 'old man' effect that Don Ameche had.

    The film's basic premise is that the family of the three animals (note that I have dropped the 'Perfect' part due to this film being nowhere near as corny as the original) are taking a vacation to Canada and this time they decide to take their pets with them (they are going camping so they are able to). Unfortunately, Chance gets scared at the airport and escapes from his travelling cage. Sassy (the cat) and Shadow (another dog) have to follow. This time, instead of being lost in the woods they are lost in San Francisco. The animals meet up with a gang of street-wise dogs who take them around town while trying to stay out of the reach of what they call the 'Blood Red Van' - two guys who steal dogs off the streets for lab tests driving around in a red van. Chance also finds himself a girlfriend which makes this film somewhat of a love story. The ending is similar to the first, just more watchable and enjoyable.

    Homeward Bound II is a very good family film for the whole family, not just for the kids. I recommend it, even though it is non-animated Disney.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a very good transfer with no real problems to speak of.

    Homeward Bound II is presented in the unoriginal aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced. The original aspect ratio was 1.85:1.

    The transfer is sharp at all times, but not razor sharp due to the full screen presentation. Shadow detail is very good, especially in the dark alley scene. No low-level noise was present during the feature. This transfer just falls short of being great. It is a much better effort from Buena Vista after the many lacklustre titles that they have released.

    The colours were well-saturated and it showed. The colours of the city were bright and vibrant, especially in the park scene.

    There were no MPEG artefacts spotted. Only a couple of trivial occurrences of aliasing were exhibited. Film artefacts were absent from the transfer except from 71:03 to 71:08 where artefacts become so crowded on the screen that it gets dark.

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

Audio

    Am excellent and very unexpected Dolby Digital 5.1 track accompanies this movie.

    There are three audio tracks on this DVD; an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track which I listened to, and also French and Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtracks.

    The dialogue was very clear, mainly due to the fact that most of the dialogue was recorded under controlled studio conditions. It was a little too clear at times, though - some processing could have been used to make it sound more natural.

    Audio sync was perfect at all times except in one scene. In this scene, the mother mouthes "go away, jerk" or something to that effect, but "bad dog" has been substituted in post-production.

    The musical score by Bruce Broughton was very similar to the first film, but had some slight improvements. They are still Disney tunes, but you get into them more than the first film where they were lifeless.

    The surround channels were used constantly and used very well. They were mainly used for effects but at other times were also used for music. A good example is during the airport scene, where the plane takes off over you. The subwoofer was used mainly to back up the action sequences but also helped out the music.

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

Extras

Menu

   The menu is a still picture of the main stars (the animals) with the choices; Chapter Selection (14), Setup and Play. It is not 16x9 enhanced and no audio is present.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc has yet to be released in Region 1.

Summary

    Homeward Bound II: Lost In San Francisco is about ten times better than its prequel. The main change has been that there is less human acting and more dogs with funny voices doing stupid things. The story has been vastly improved. The video quality is very good. The audio quality is surprisingly deep and involving - a huge step up from the original, but the extras are still non-existent. Homeward Bound II is a great DVD that will please fans of the film and fans of the format.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Andrew Siers (I never did my biography in primary school)
Saturday, October 07, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-626D, using Component output
DisplayToshiba 34N9UXA. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha CX-600 Pre-Amp, Yamaha MX-600 Stereo Power Amp for Mains, Yamaha DSP-E300 for Center, Teac AS-M50 for Surrounds.
SpeakersMain Left and Right Acoustic Research AR12s, Center Yamaha NS-C70, Surround Left and Right JBL Control 1s

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