Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996)

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Released 2-Nov-1999

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 78:12
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Tad Stones
Studio
Distributor
Disney
Warner Home Video
Starring Robin Williams
Scott Weinger
Linda Larkin
Val Bettin
John Rhys-Davies
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $36.95 Music Carl Johnson
Mark Watters


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Dutch Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Polish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Hebrew Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Greek
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

    Aladdin and The King Of Thieves is the third instalment of the Aladdin trilogy and it also sees the return of Robin Williams as The Genie, after settling his dispute with The Walt Disney Company. Like the second instalment of the trilogy, this was a made-for-video effort.

    The final instalment sees the nuptials of Aladdin (Scott Weinger) and Princess Jasmine (Linda Larkin) interrupted by the arrival of Cassim, The King of Thieves (John Rhys-Davies) and his bunch of Forty Thieves in Agrabah. In search of The Oracle, they almost succeed in gaining the power of this treasure before the intervention of The Genie and Aladdin. The Oracle knows all that has been and all that will be and will answer one question for each person who asks. Cassim wants it in order to locate The Vanishing Island, where will be found the Hand of Midas (you know, all it touches turns to gold). Aladdin now uses The Oracle to discover who is father is - naturally it is Cassim - and heads off in search of a reunion (and rehabilitation). After the obligatory trials, the usual happy ending sees Aladdin and Jasmine married, with Cassim a reformed man of sorts.

    It has to be said that the last instalment of the trilogy does in no way rival the brilliance of the original instalment, Aladdin, although it is marginally better than The Return of Jafar (the second instalment). Had it not been for the return of Robin Williams, this would probably have sunk without a trace, for it is far too littered with gags that are anything but funny, and that detract significantly from the story itself in my view.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The lack of quality in the story is not reflected in any lack of quality of the video transfer. This is a very good transfer indeed.

    Presented in a full frame format (1.33:1), this is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is beautifully defined throughout, although the style of animation is not an especially sharp one. After a succession of poor VHS transfers that I could barely watch, it is great to finally see how good this video quality can be. There were no real problems with the focus at all during the film, although the odd pan shot was a little off-putting. There was no evidence of low level noise in the transfer.

    The colours come up gorgeously saturated and very vibrant, without being too oversaturated in general. There was the smallest hint of oversaturation of colours on the odd occasion, especially where there was a preponderance of blue or orange but this was never too distracting.

   There were no readily apparent MPEG artefacts nor did there appear to be any film-to-video artefacts. Film artefacts were also noticeably absent from the transfer.

Audio

   There are eight audio tracks on the DVD: the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and seven Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded soundtracks in French, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Czech, Hungarian and Hebrew. I listened to the English default.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times.

    As usual there is the expected animation audio sync.

    The musical score by Carl Johnson and Mark Watters is not up to the standard of the original film, but is suitably evocative of the Middle East and provides nice support to the film. The songs are somewhat more contrived and really are not on a par with what we would expect from this source, which is renowned for Oscar winning songs in recent history.

    This is a reasonably detailed soundtrack, although the music comes through a little recessed so as not to detract from the dialogue. There is some nice detail at times in the rear channels but I felt that perhaps a little more could have been done here. The soundscape is a little forward but nonetheless is quite encompassing and creates a nice feel. The bass channel gets some very useful support work at times where it is necessary, like the elephant stampede at the wedding and the appearance of The Vanishing Island.

Extras

    Nothing at all.

Menu

R4 vs R1

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

    This has yet to be released in Region 1 so we have another Region 4 win.

Summary

    A reasonable effort all up but not a patch upon the original, and with too many gags to disrupt the flow of the story. Still, worthwhile viewing for the family. When you realize they could just about have got all three instalments of the trilogy on a single dual layer DVD, it makes it a little difficult to justify $35 for a 78 minute made-for-video film with zero extras.

    A very nice video transfer.

    A nice audio transfer.

    Extras?????

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Monday, December 06, 1999
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

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