Tuesday, March 31, 2009

PINOCCHIO 70th ANNIVERSARY EDITION (Blu-Ray)

It’s funny how studios figure anniversaries; PINOCCHIO, Walt Disney’s second animated feature film was released in 1940. By my math, that would make the 70th Anniversary 2010, not 2009. Oh well, in any case, the studio has chosen to remaster, restore and release this all time animated classic on Blu-Ray, and I’m glad they did.

Disney’s version of the Carlo Collodi story of the wooden puppet who is granted life a Blue Fairy and wishes nothing more than to be a "real boy," is known to all of us, along with such endearing supporting characters as Geppetto the woodcarver, Jiminey Cricket, cat Figaro and goldfish Cleo, as well as the evil Stromboli and the fearsome Monstro the Whale. But what’s amazing is just how well the movie holds up. The storytelling – never mind the lush, rich animation – is flawless, and the musical score is wonderful.

Disney’s new Blu-Ray edition includes two Blu-Ray discs and a standard definition DVD of the film. As usual, the transfer and audio quality are of the highest possible standard, employing the most cutting-edge of high definition video technologies. Presented windowboxed, in its original 1.33:1 Academy aspect ratio and at full 1080 hi-def resolution, the restoration of the film is gorgeous, with astounding detail, rich blacks and amazing color fidelity. The movie has absolutely never looked as good as it does here. Multiple audio options are available, up to 7.1 DTS-HD Surround.

Bonus features are bountiful, and I simply don’t have the room (or time) to go into them all, but anyone interested in the movie and its place in animation history will not be disappointed by the depth and breadth of the behind-the-scenes material.

Highly and unreservedly recommended.

BUY: Pinocchio (Two-Disc 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition + Standard DVD+ BD Live) [Blu-ray]