The new 2 disc MARY POPPINS' 40th Anniversary Edition has just been released here in Australia. I picked up a copy from my local Target store yesterday. Until we get a full HTF review of the region 1 edition, I thought that I might pass on some comments to those that are sweating on this release. This is my 5th version of Mary Poppins on Video, having previously owned 2 Laserdiscs and 2 earlier exsisting DVDs.(one non Anamorphic NTSC and one Pal Anamorphic) I am very pleased to announce that this new edition is by far the best it has ever looked and sounded. The sharpness of this new 16:9 transfer is quite noticable starting with the opening credits. You can literally count all of the freckles on Glenis John's face. I'm also very pleased to say that the skin tones, especially early in the movie, look much closer to the original Technicolor tints than on previous releases ( bar the original pan and scan laserdisc which had the best colors up until now) There is a downside though, because the skin tones in some scenes later in the movie seem to revert back to the murkiness displayed on earlier releases. I realise that there is always going to be a problem during the Live Action/Animation sequences, but this does not excuse some of the later live action sequences looking a little bit dowdy colorwise. The Blacks are solid, if at times a little heavy for my personal likings, but overall the greyscale looks fine. I didn't notice any edge enhancement, but those viewing it on larger screens might see something that I didn't. The animation sequences are ablaze with Color and look Fabulous. Overall, the picture quality of this DVD is mostly excellent with impressive sharpness, due somewhat to the new clean 16:9 Anamorphic transfer and a greatly improved color palette. It is certain to impress. The Sound is sure to raise some interesting debates. There are 2 completly different sounding 5.0 Dolby Digital tracks. One is probably mixed close to the original Theatrical multi track Roadshow release and while very wide and high in spread and sound fidelity, it is lacking a little in the bass department. Also the vocals on this mix are almost drowned at times by the volume of the orchestra. It is still clearly the best quality of the two. The other track is called a new Disney 5.0 Dolby Digital Home Theatre mix. There is bass galore on this track and the vocals are more prominent and not overpowered by the orchestra. This track however does not have the same fidelity as the first one. In the end it will be up to the individual over which track they prefer, as both have their own highs and lows. One of the Documentaries on disc 2 shows an original intermission card, but there is no Overture, Intermission or Exit music on this disc. There is a most enjoyable Commentary track featuring Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Karen Doltrice ( who sounds very much like Julie Andrews, making it difficult at times to know just who is talking) and composer Richard Sherman. The second disc contains the supplementary features and is 4:3 with the exception of a new, very forgettable, live action/animation short that features Julie Andrews. The short in 16:9 looks and sounds great, but the art and storyline is below the usually high Disney standard. The rest of disc two contains a wealth of material, including a highly informative and enjoyable making of Documentary, color footage with interviews of many Hollywood celebrities at the original premiere and party afterwards. There is also a marvelous around the piano discussion about the songs and memories of the production from Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and Richard Sherman. This new edition is sure to please everybody, as "MARY POPPINS" now looks and sounds better than ever. It will make a perfect Christmas present. It should be noted that my comments are based on the PAL region 4 edition, but other than the usual PAL Vs NTSC issues, there should be little or no difference between the two. I look forward to the official region 1 HTF review.