|Category||Animation||Main Menu Audio|
|Running Time||83:00 minutes|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 ,
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
Dutch (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Thumbelina (Jodie Benson) is, as her name suggests, a tiny girl the size of an ordinary mortal's thumb. Whilst happy enough, she would love to meet someone her own size, which she duly does in the form of Prince Cornelius (Gary Imhoff), a fairy prince. They fall in love, but there are problems. A travelling sideshow of gringo toads kidnaps Thumbelina, leading to a big adventure where she and the prince seek out each other, assisted by Jacquimo (Gino Conforti), a heavily-accented sparrow.
There are more than a few continuity faults in the telling of this story, but I don't think that the target audience will care overly how Thumbelina came to be in the mouse's house nor how the prince miraculously appears near the end of the story.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is reasonably sharp except for the opening sequence, which is deliberately dull and soft. The opening sequence is also somewhat grainy. Thankfully, when we enter the story proper, the transfer rapidly improves in appearance to a more traditional animated look. Occasionally, the brightness level of the background varied slightly up and down, but I felt that this was inherent in the source material rather than being a transfer problem. Likewise, the background image occasionally skipped slightly, but again I thought that this was a source material problem rather than a transfer problem Shadow detail was not an issue and neither was low level noise.
The colours are presented nicely, with the typical appearance of 2D animation - bright, vibrant and well-delineated colours are the order of the day. Once again, the early part of the transfer takes on a deliberately dirty appearance that may concern you at first - rest assured that the transfer soon adopts the traditional vibrancy of children's animation.
There were no MPEG artefacts seen and aliasing was absent. Film artefacts were present to a greater extent than I am used to seeing, and tended to occur in bursts, but they were generally unobtrusive.
Note that the packaging claims that English, French,
Italian and Dutch subtitles are present on this DVD in addition to others.
They are not. The packaging also claims that the disc is dual-layered.
It is not.
The dialogue was easy to understand most of the time, with the sole proviso being that some of the strongly-accented voices needed quite a deal of concentration to understand what they were saying at times. Audio sync was more of a problem than I am used to seeing in modern animation, with some fairly lazy animated mouth movements accompanying dialogue at times, such as during the song at 11:00.
The score is credited to a series of composers; Barry Manilow, Jack Feldman, Bruce Sussman and William Ross. It is virtually omnipresent throughout the feature, and at times takes on almost a clichéd sound, with frequent reprises of the main themes. It has the sound of 60 minutes of actual music being stretched to fit into 83 minutes of movie.
The surround channel was used merely to contain musical ambience. Because the music was present so frequently, subtle surround channel use was also subsequently frequently present, making this soundtrack sound more immersive than it really deserved to. Dialogue and other sound effects were more or less confined to the front soundstage, with no wrap-around to the rear at all.
The .1 channel was not specifically encoded, but
my subwoofer was kept busy enough lightly supporting the music. The very
end of the end credits features Barry Manilow singing one of the
songs from the movie. This is the only time the subwoofer really calls
attention to itself, as the mix of this particular version of the song
is extremely bass-heavy, to the point of distraction.
|Surround Channel Use|
© Michael Demtschyna
(read my bio)
19th September 2000
|DVD||Philips 711, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer|