Fairy Tale: A True Story Studio: Paramount Year: 1997 Rated: PG for "Brief Mild Language" Length: 97 minutes Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Audio: DD 5.1 English, Dolby Surround English & French English Subtitles Release Date: November 11, 2003 Fairy Tale: A True Story (1997) is a charming film about a couple of young girls who claim to see, and photograph, fairies in 1917 and 1918. The photographs make their way to notable figures such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Peter O’Toole) and Harry Houdini (Harvey Keitel). Doyle is a believer in fairies, investigates the case, and goes on to publish a book about them, based on the photographs (Doyle did, in fact, publish The Coming of the Fairies in the 1920’s). Houdini, Doyle’s friend, was a skeptic - but he could not prove the photographs fake, and didn’t see the harm in the fantasy - though he did work hard to expose charlatans who took advantage of people. This film is, in fact, based on a true story. All of the controversy surrounding the photographs actually happened. The question is, were the photographs authentic? Though the girls admitted their trickery decades later, the film goes along with the gag and presents the fairies as real. Look for a cameo by Mel Gibson in the final moments of the film (his company, Icon Productions, produced the film). I enjoyed this film. Though it is geared toward younger audiences, the inclusion of historical figures and the “Theosophist” science, as well as the old-fashioned photographic processes we observe, made it interesting for adults as well. The Video I was truly impressed with the transfer of this film. The picture is tack sharp without any obvious ringing around hard edges. Colors are highly saturated and warm. The picture is bright overall, and has superb shadow detail. This is an outstanding transfer of an absolutely gorgeous print. The Audio The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, as well as English and French Dolby Surround. The 5.1 track is well done. Dialog sounds clear and natural, while the front soundfield is filled with effects and the wonderful musical score. Effects and music blend nicely into the surround channels. LFE is not overly aggressive, but then, there’s not much in this film to warrant Low Frequency Effects. This is a great example of a simple, well-done mix. Parting Thoughts This is a bare-bones catalog release. If you’re looking for a good, family-oriented, live-action fantasy film that you and your kids can enjoy, I think this fits the bill - an enchanting film with beautiful photography and good performances, and a well written story.