MARY POPPINS 40th Anniversary Edition DVD is sure to please

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Doug Bull, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    1,544
    Likes Received:
    642
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Real Name:
    Doug Bull
    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.
     
  2. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Messages:
    1,450
    Likes Received:
    608
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Real Name:
    Andy Budgell


    This is too bad, as I was looking forward to seeing the overture, intermission, and exit music re-instated back into the film, or at least as bonus material. Either way, I have not purchase this film yet on DVD, so this is a no brainer for me. I actually was quite impressed by the 'sneak peek' I saw of it on the Golden Girls: Season One.

    Can't wait, and thanks for the review, Doug!

    Andy
     
  3. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2001
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    1
    Believe it or not, this is the very first time that I had ever heard of Mary Poppins having overture, intermission, or exit music -- I was unaware that there even was an intermission. Where was it located? After "Feed the Birds"?

    By the way, I saw Mary Poppins at the El Capitan in Hollywood back in 1999 as part of a celebration of Disney live-action classics. Also included during the month were 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Swiss Family Robinson, and Tron. I saw every one of these, and the IP used for Poppins did not include overture, intermission, or exit music. I've seen many versions of Poppins going all the way back to the 70's as a child, I've owned myriad versions of the soundtrack -- I've never heard of an intermission cue, or an exit cue, or an overture.

    Anyone with more detailed information -- please share.

    And thank you Doug for the early word. You just made my night.

    EDIT

    And by the way, when I frist saw the restored My Fair Lady, I remember thinking "God, I wish Robert Harris could be allowed to restore Mary Poppins". At that time, all I had was a VHS release which looked like the IP had been stomped on with golf shoes. I've owned TWO versions of this title on DVD, and they've always underwhelmed, particularly the opening credits, full of noise, dirt, artifacts, and excessive grain. I take heart that - while Mr. Harris was not involved - the restoration of this title might meet my wishes.

    I'm looking forward to Mr. Harris' opinion on this release.
     
  4. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Messages:
    9,209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Doug, thanks for the review, I will have to pick this one up.
     
  5. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,683
    Likes Received:
    11
    I think there's another thread which hashes this out, but for the record:

    The intermission appeared after "Stay Awake" and before the street scene going into "I Love To Laugh."
     
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    37,687
    Likes Received:
    5,327
    Location:
    Rensselaer, NY
    Thanks, Doug! [​IMG]

    This is a much anticipated title. Here's hoping for a restoration soon of The Sound of Music!
     
  7. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2000
    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    47
    Doug, does the new dvd have the original Buena Vista logo that opened the film ( with appropraite music) or is the new logo inserted without the original music?
    Anyway, the prints of Poppins that had Overture and INtermission Music were few and limited to special early runs (it was NTO standard as in the case of sound of Music, etc).
    INtermission came at the end of the song Stay Awake.
    There was an Overture but NOT exit music ( I saw prints that had these at the original showing at Radio City music Hall and at another theater in Syracuse New York.
     
  8. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    1,544
    Likes Received:
    642
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Real Name:
    Doug Bull
    Sorry Joe, but there is only the now normal blue Walt Disney Pictures card , which features the music of When You Wish upon a Star, followed by the feature fade in to Walt Disney presents, which is superimposed, as is the rest of the titles over the London painted backdrop. The Music fades into Feed the Birds which is followed by Spoonful of Sugar.
    Any other opening logo or music is not there.

    The Documentary that shows the Intermission card says that this was only used in some London screenings.
    This is obviously incorrect.

    I didn't mention it in the earlier summary, but there are some great live action takes, with and without animation for the sidewalk/ fantasy sequence.
    There are heaps of live takes (some goofs) that I'm sure were not on any previous edition.
    It's interesting to note that the floor(simulated ground) during these live action sequences was painted to look like grass,flowers, etc, obviosly to match up with the animation.
    The actors were on wires through most of this sequence.

    The extras menu is not the greatest to navigate, but so far I have not come across any trailers, which, if missing, is a bit of a let down.

    I have just had a brief look at some of it again and I am now concerned that there is some edge enhancement.
     
  9. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2001
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    1
    "The Documentary that shows the Intermission card says that this was only used in some London screenings.
    This is obviously incorrect."

    That crack Disney history squad strikes again.

    How can they make a DVD so amazing as Walt Disney Treasures: Disney on the Front Lines, and then goof up so blatantly in liner notes in Fantasia (Road Show Version DVD), press releases for Sleeping Beauty, and intros to Fantasia/2000 -- intros with Roy Disney, no less -- stating that the Great Mouse Detective was the first Disney film to feature CGI effects.

    Must be some underpaid interns writing a lot of copy for the Mouse House these days....
     
  10. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,683
    Likes Received:
    11
    As to your paragraph c), Ernest,

    I can't imagine that those clips in the Beethoven would have been removed, because the music would have to be edited. It is my understanding that the shots were zoomed in, to eliminate the black characters on the side. This would explain why there was no change in overall running time.
     
  11. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    37,687
    Likes Received:
    5,327
    Location:
    Rensselaer, NY
    I picked up the new release of the 2-disc soundtrack CD the other day, but haven't yet had a chance to give it a spin.

    It DOES have as Track #1 an eight-second Buena Vista Fanfare to start things off, though. And, there are ten new tracks and four tracks with additional material added.

    Disc 2 of the CD has an-hour-and-a-quarter of bonus material which consists of Mary Poppins story meetings (41:05), Hollywood Spotlight Microphone (17:24) and the Sherman Brothers reminisce about their work on MP (16:07).
     
  12. BBbrowd

    BBbrowd Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2003
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    33
    Real Name:
    Chris
    I'm surprised and downright disappointed to hear that the original Buena Vista logo and fanfare music have been removed and replaced with the Disney Pictures logo. That makes me angry. What the heck were they thinking? Why make this change now when the previous video and DVD releases have used the original fanfare and it's even included on the new Special Edition Soundtrack CD?

    I suppose something like this should not surprise me considering they never gave us the option to see and hear the Intermission music.

    I've been anticipating this release for a long time now and I'm still looking forward to it, but you'd think the studio would have learned how to treat their classic masterpiece with respect by now. Removing the Buena Vista fanfare is messing with a part of the film itself. [​IMG]
     
  13. Rob T

    Rob T Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2001
    Messages:
    1,991
    Likes Received:
    0
    I plan on getting it. [​IMG]
     
  14. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2002
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    20
    You are right, Chris,
    that is a diappointment.

    Not including the original Buena Vista logo,
    while a minor point,
    is worrisome.
    Disney did such a good job in the laser
    years, putting *back* music,
    and original titles, and such.
    Removing or revising *anything* now, is a step backward
    as far as this film preservation fan is concerned.

    When Warner began releasing MGM oldies,
    they left the lion's roar intact,
    and I think that the Disney company should
    do the same for their own product.

    I enjoy the Buena Vista title card,
    and agree that it is part of the movie itself
    for me.

    I doubt that Mary Poppins would find this
    idea practically perfect, nor do I,
    and I'd love to hear what her parrot headed
    umbrella would have to say to the
    people who made this decision.
     
  15. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 1997
    Messages:
    5,550
    Likes Received:
    214
    Location:
    DFW
    Real Name:
    Steve Tannehill
    When will this DVD grace our shelves in region 1?

    - Steve
     
  16. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,521
    Likes Received:
    121
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA, USA
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    Wow, I forgot that this was being released!

    It looks like Lowry Digital performed a digital restoration on the film (Probably only another HDTV-res one). However, Disney really seems to have a problem with keeping their hands off the filtering settings.

    I'll be getting this, though... it's a pity they had to go and replace the Buena Vista logo. They've replaced logos for decades, though... I don't know why they'd stop now.
     
  17. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2001
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    1
    DeeF --

    I edited my post so as to not sidetrack this thread. But I will answer:

    "As to your paragraph c), Ernest, I can't imagine that those clips in the Beethoven would have been removed, because the music would have to be edited. It is my understanding that the shots were zoomed in, to eliminate the black characters on the side. This would explain why there was no change in overall running time."

    Dee...believe it or not, the certain shots of the black centaurettes were *not* -- for lack of a better word -- "frame zoomed" in 1947, nor 1969. They were simply snipped, meaning there was indeed a *bump* in the soundtrack. It wasn't unitl the 1982 Irwin Kostal version that a musical bridge was actually synthetically composed to compensate for the moments of missing footage. This is fact. Check the John Culhane history of Fantasia for verification.

    The 1990 version was the first to "zoom in" on certain frames, but even that version excised certain feet of film from the Pastorale. The first version of Fantasia since 1940 to feature the complete, uncut musical version of the Pastorale (even if it meant massive frame-cropping in certain shots on DVD) was the 2000 DVD version. Every version since 1947 had been altered. Why did this begin in 1947? Song of the South in 1946.

    The liner notes on Disc 3 of the Fantasia Anthology are wrong, almost comically so...stating that they can't explain why the 1947 and the late 60's version are the same length.
     
  18. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2001
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    1
    "I suppose something like this should not surprise me considering they never gave us the option to see and hear the Intermission music."

    Until six hours ago, the biggest Disney expert you're ever going to brush shoulders with on the HTF didn't even know there was an intermission in the original road show version of Mary Poppins to BEGIN WITH...if word of an intermission in Mary Poppins can surprise ME, it can surprise probably 99.9999% of the rest of the American population. Those pretending otherwise should drop the wounded consumer act - I've owned Mary Poppins on VHS, twice on laserdisc, and twice on DVD, and I'm about to own my THIRD DVD. Not once, in all of these versions, going all the way back to the 1980's, has there ever been an intermission, an overture, or exit music, not even when I saw Poppins at a revival at the El Capitan across the street from the Chinese. Not once, in any single review of the film, in any book I have read, has an intermission for the film ever been mentioned, nor overture, nor exit music. Never has such a thing appeared on any soundtrack I have owned. I am in fact taking the HTF *at its word* that that there even was an intermission or overture for Mary Poppins in the first place.
     
  19. Paul Linfesty

    Paul Linfesty Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2001
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    0


    I also have to question this, since the first-run engagements in Los Angeles (Chinese, move-over to Carthay Circle) had showtimes spaced at 2 and a half hours. That didn't give a 139 minute film much time for extras (and where WERE these "Roadshow" engagements supposed to be playing, anyway? Not in L.A., New York, or any other city that I could track). I DO remember an Intermission after STAY AWAKE, but I think this was an option for theatres to put one if they so wanted (On some prints this faded out, on others it dissolved to the next scene, as it does on the DVD).
     
  20. BBbrowd

    BBbrowd Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2003
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    33
    Real Name:
    Chris
    There *was* additional music on the first and original soundtrack album of Mary Poppins. Performed by the orchestra, the Overture goes into an extended piece of music that includes a "Jolly Holiday" portion and then into a grand finale featuring the melody of Feed The Birds. It's glorious. It's one of Irwin Kostal's best moments. The fact that it is not included on the new DVD nor the new special edition soundtrack is a real shame.
     

Share This Page