The Trumpet of the Swan (2000)

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Released 20-Nov-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
DVD-ROM Extras-Who is Unique? - Game / Cut-out puppets / Colouring in pages
Game-Can You Guess The Sound?
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Stuart Little; Madeline
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 71:42
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Richard Rich
Terry Noss

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Jason Alexander
Mary Steenburgen
Reese Witherspoon
Seth Green
Dee Baker
Joe Mantegna
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $36.95 Music Marcus Miller
Little Richard

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Dutch Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Most Aussies, myself included, imagine a swan gliding serenely over glassy water, with only a subtle ripple or the occasional hiss to betray its presence. Not so the North American Trumpet Swan, who announces its presence, warns of imminent lift-off and seduces its mate with a loud "KUH-HOH" . The Trumpet of the Swan is a delightful cartoon that tells the tale of Louie, the trumpet swan who is born without a voice, and who overcomes this major handicap by learning to read and write and play a mean jazz trumpet. The screenplay is based on the book of the same name by E.B. White, who also penned Stuart Little. Naturally,  Louie finds fame and fortune along the way, brushes with a few bad guys, and gets the chick (?) Serena, played by Reese Witherspoon (the nice girl in Cruel Intentions). Sterling voice-talent performances are put in by the dramatic, thespian-father swan played by Jason Alexander, doting mummy swan (Mary Steenburgen) and the wise cracking chipmunk Monty played by Joe Mantegna. Louie is played by Dee Baker and his rival for the hand (wingtip?) of the fair Serena, Boyd,  is played by Seth Green.

    Accompanied by a lively jazz-blues soundtrack and lacking some of the cloying sentimentality of some of its Disney rivals, Trumpet of the Swan is a guaranteed-hit, good clean fun for the toddlers to tens of the family - oh and I didn't mind watching it one bit either!

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Transfer Quality


    This is a good clean cartoon presentation only slightly marred by its probable sourcing from an NTSC master for the PAL conversion, resulting in a slight (effective 13fps) jerkiness of movement.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The video is sharp and detailed. Most of the scenes are bright and well lit and being a cartoon, shadow detail is not an issue.

    Colours are cheerful, vibrant and attractive, presented in a 2D, planar aspect. Being sourced from filmed picture story-boards, they lack the sophisticated mist, water and 3D effects of some of the digital computer generated imagery of the likes of some of the Pixar presentations. This in no way detracts from the charm or artistry evident in the presentation.

    There were no significant MPEG artefacts discernible and the only film artefacts seen were fairly frequent inconspicuous black flecks and the occasional hair.

    Subtitles are available in no less than 17 different languages, mostly European but with Arabic, Hebrew and Hindi thrown in for good measure.

    The disc is single layered and thus has no transition pause.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    This is a superb Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack with clear, clean dialogue, restrained use of imaginative sound-effects and a jazzy music and song score.

    There are three audio tracks, all Dolby Digital 5.1, recorded in English, Dutch and German.

    The dialogue was very clear and principally ported to the centre speaker and thus separated from the frequent music score which was relayed to the front main speakers. Audio and lip synch appeared to be spot-on for the English track.

    Music is credited to Marcus Miller (who also wrote some of Lethal Weapon 4's music and was voted bassist of the year in 1995 by Bass Magazine) and consists of a lively jazz original score interspersed with some of the old favourites such as When the Saints.... and songs performed by the voice talents and guest performers Little Richard and Kenya Hathaway.

    The surrounds kicked into play during the sound effects with lively renditions of underwater gurgles (7:50), smashing glass (18:45) and a police chase (33:26). They were also used to provide a pleasing reverberation and background ambience during the frequent musical interludes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


   A small number of extras are available targeted at the likely age of this disc's viewers.


    The menu is animated and presented in 1.78:1.

DVD Game

    Amusing and instructive game played via the remote whereby you have to select the instrument playing and if correct get treated to a vignette on the said instrument.

Computer Game

    "Who is Unique" game for those equipped with a DVD-ROM, including pages for colouring and cut-out puppets.

Original Movie Trailer

    1:52 trailer with English and German Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks and Dutch subtitles

Bonus Movie Trailers 

    Trailers for Stuart Little and Madeline movies both with 5.1 audio in English for Madeline and English and German for Stuart Little.

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;


    The Trumpet Of The Swan is a well-presented, attractive, kids cartoon feature with a good story expertly conveyed by experienced voice talents. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks are impressive with good usage of the surround features and a pleasing jazz-based musical score. The video is a bright clean transfer and the title is recommended as an addition to the ever-increasing "kids' video-Valium" section of your DVD collection.

Ratings (out of 5)


© John Lancaster (read my bio)
Monday, December 24, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-900E, using RGB output
DisplayPioneer SD-T50W1 (127cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersB&W 602 front/rear. B&W LRC6 Centre / Solid (AKA B&W) 500 SW

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