101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure (2002)

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Released 12-Nov-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Menu Animation & Audio
THX Optimizer
Featurette-Thunderbolt's Dressing Room
Game-Lost In London
Featurette-Making Of
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 70:46
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (47:16) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Jim Kammerud
Jim Kammerud
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Barry Bostwick
Jason Alexander
Martin Short
Bobby Lockwood
Susan Blakeslee
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $36.95 Music Jason Frederick
Richard Gibbs
Randy Rogel


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
French
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    This is a sequel to the original animated version of 101 Dalmatians. This follows the usual Disney pattern of following a major hit with a direct-to-video sequel that usually does not really match the quality of the big hit. I suppose they need to release a range of material, and cost-wise it would be impossible to make every title a big production. That being said, I sat and watched this movie with my usual cartoon reviewing buddy, my 3.5 year old son. He is usually a far harsher critic than I, but in this case we reversed roles.

    Whilst I thought that this was a nice little story, but certainly nothing to get excited about, my son ended up standing on his seat cheering for the characters! There are parts of this film, mainly when Cruella de Vil and her artist friend are on screen, that I thought would bore a child to distraction, but again I was obviously missing something here that my son picked up on.

    While the animation is good, though not to major hit standard, the music and songs are limited. What seemed to hit home was the characters and the story. There are some great actors playing the voices of the characters; Martin Short brings his unique voice to the character of Lars, and Jason Alexander plays Lightning.

    The story revolves around one of the Dalmatian puppies named Patch. He is feeling very much just one face in amongst ninety-nine and longs to stand out from the crowd. The rest of the family pack up their London flat and are heading out into the country to live on a farm. Due to a small miscalculation while the count is being taken, Patch is left behind. Now on his own, he decides to go to a competition that is being held to find a guest star for the show "The Thunderbolt Hour". This show is Patch's favourite and involves a dog running around the old wild west with his trusty sidekick Lightning, foiling bad guys and generally being the hero.

    Patch does not do well at the competition but still ends up as Thunderbolt's real life sidekick in a series of adventures. Of course, Cruella de Vil is still hanging around despite a court order to the contrary, and manages to kidnap the remaining 98 puppies with a truly nefarious purpose in mind. It is up to the hero Thunderbolt and his trusty sidekick Patch to save the day.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     If not for a generous helping of aliasing, this would be a near-reference quality transfer.

    The transfer is presented at its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is very sharp and the shadow detail is excellent. There is no low level noise at all.

    The colours are wonderful and clean. There are no eye bleeding bright colours but an overall palette of pastels.

    There are no MPEG artefacts at all. Aliasing is a problem where there is any line, which means every scene in a animated feature. A clear example is at 10:14. There are no film artefacts at all.

    There are two sets of English subtitles, both accurate and easy to read. The second set is for the Hearing Impaired and adds sound cues.

    This is a dual layered disc with the layer change rather badly placed as far as the audio is concerned. It comes right in the middle of a thunder clap at 47:16 and is quite obvious.

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

Audio

     There are three soundtracks on this disc. The first two are English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks, with the English having a bitrate of 448kbps and the French 384kbps. The surprise comes in that there is also a French DTS 5.1 soundtrack present. I listened to the English soundtrack.

    I found some of Martin Short's Lars dialogue a little hard to catch at times, although this is not a fault of the transfer. Other than this, the dialogue quality is excellent. There are no problems with audio sync.

    While there are a couple of songs in this film, I could not recall either after the credits rolled. The other music worked in well with the action.

    There is a reasonable surround presence throughout, although this is mostly from the music.

    The subwoofer does have its moments during this film.



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

Extras

Menu

    A cartoon animated menu using scenes from the film which is quite well done, it is accompanied by a Dolby Digital soundtrack and presented at 1.66:1. The menus are available in both French and English with language selection being the first menu presented after the disc loads.

Thunderbolt's Dressing Room

    A cartoon of the inside of Thunderbolt's trailer. There are a series of objects around the trailer that can be selected. Three show publicity photos of Thunderbolt, three show short video clips that would be ads in the Thunderbolt hour. One is the couch that drops some money that can then be selected - this plays a voice-over from Thunderbolt. The film cans on the floor take us to some outtakes. The last shows some scribbled notes on the floor. Presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Lost in London Game

    A rather cute little game where you answer a series of questions about London landmarks. For each question there are three answers on screen in the form of street signs. Get the answer right and you are taken on a short video tour of the particular landmark. For example, the tour of Buckingham Palace includes the changing of the guard. The questions are easy but a couple are a little obscure. Presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Making of "Dogumentary" (7:00)

    A group of non-animated doggies take a tour of Disney studios. They are very well trained and the voiceover is amusing at times. They interview the producers, the animators, the sound people and meet some of the voice actors. Disney really do know how to entertain kids and this is a classic example, entertaining with some interesting information thrown in. Presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

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

    From what I can see, the R1 version of this disc is not due for release until January 2003. Information is sketchy but the release appears to include a DTS soundtrack. As the soundtrack would probably not exercise the DTS codec any more that it has the Dolby Digital, the only outstanding issue will be the presence, or lack thereof, of the aliasing. For the moment, R4 is the winner by default.

Summary

    The above review was all written a few days ago. This review was interrupted by the fires burning at the moment across NSW, and this disc is still being requested every night. I don't know what it is about this story, but it is tops in my son's estimation. Thunderbolt has a bark that is a key part of the story and actually appears in the top end of the subwoofer register, adding a nice touch to the overall soundtrack.

    The video is very good except for the aliasing.

    The audio is good.

    The extras are entertaining.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252q CRT Projector, Screen Technics matte white screen 16:9 (223cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationSony STR-DB1070
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

Other Reviews
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Comments (Add)
Buy this DVD if your a fan @ Big W for $39.95 - Jose Bay
Correction - JB