Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)

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Released 7-Dec-1999

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 81:01
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Duwayne Dunham
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Robert Hays
Kim Greist
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $36.95 Music Bruce Broughton


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Dutch Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Portuguese 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
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

    Homeward Bound is a remake of the 1963 Disney film The Incredible Journey. It is based on the Sheila Burnford novel of the same name. This time around, Disney has upped the production values and included some big name voice actors such as Michael J. Fox and Sally Field. Although the film isn't bad, it is a very family-oriented affair which makes it a bit uninteresting at times...for someone like me that is.

    The film is overly nice, like all Disney films. It is full of corny lines, although the voice actors have done a superb job, especially Michael J. Fox, who has the some of the best lines in the movie. The other non-voice actors' performances are completely forgettable. You may wish to know that I despise most non-animated Disney films because they are so templated and unoriginal, and unfortunately this film does fit into that category.

    The film's storyline goes something like this: The Perfect Family has to move temporarily but cannot take their two dogs and a cat with them. So, the family leaves the pets with a friend who has a farm. The pets escape due to Shadow the dog having a bad feeling about the situation. They then embark upon the journey of their lives across the wild countryside back to their home. Meanwhile, the Perfect Family is worried sick. The film has a happy ending like all Disney films and you should not waste your time with it unless you are under the age of ten or have kids under that age.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    A less than stellar transfer accompanies this film, riddled with problems.

    Homeward Bound is presented in the non-original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is rather undefined with only average sharpness exhibited throughout the film. The film's brightness level is very low for the most part, especially in the forest scenes which makes shadow details virtually indistinguishable. No low level noise was visible. One problem spotted was the brightness level fluctuating between 48:16 and 48:24. This was very annoying and just shows the carefree attitude taken when this transfer was being created.

    The colour was satisfactory but was nothing to write home about. It was neither vibrant nor bright for sustained periods. Some chroma noise was exhibited. This occurred in scenes where the blue sky comprised a large percentage of the picture.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Telecine wobble was apparent at 00:16. No aliasing was present. Film artefacts were rife throughout the feature and at times did interfere with the image since some big scratches and spots were shown.

    The English subtitles defaulted to on.

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

Audio

    A mediocre audio transfer accompanies the mediocre video transfer, but this isn't the film for a great soundtrack anyway.

    There are five audio tracks on this DVD. The default is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded track. There are also French, Italian, Dutch and Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded tracks. I listened to the English track.

    Dialogue was clear at all times since 90% of it has just been looped over the video. Audio synchronization was a bit troublesome with a couple of problematic scenes at 14:48 and 37:05.

    The score by Bruce Broughton was very Disney-oriented and just followed the movie, with little variation. It was either a triumphant style or a sad style of music. It fitted within the Disney formula for family film music.

    The surround channel was hardly used. The only effects that it expelled were bird sounds and some ambient effects. The subwoofer was used occasionally to support the music, which sounded good.

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

Extras

    No extras are present because this is a Buena Vista disc. Obviously they have not yet learnt the meaning of the word.

Menu

    The menu is a still picture of the animals with the following selections: Chapter Selection, Setup and Play. It is not 16x9 enhanced and has no audio. Not very inspiring.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     Neither version would be preferred since the video transfer is the same on both. If you are a die-hard fan of the film, stick with the Region 4 version or preferably avoid the film altogether.

Summary

    Homeward Bound is a good film for kids presented on a sub-standard DVD. The video transfer is less than stellar - the authors of this DVD must have thought that no one would notice since Homeward Bound is a family film. The audio transfer is mediocre. The extras are non-apparent. All-in-all, this is a DVD that can be dismissed as a waste of plastic for some people.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Andrew Siers (I never did my biography in primary school)
Monday, September 25, 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

Other Reviews NONE
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love it - Anonymous