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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown



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#1 of 2 Michael Osadciw

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Posted October 30 2010 - 12:46 PM

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It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
Release Date: Available Now
Studio: Warner Brothers
Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-ray Digibook
Year: 1972
Rating: G
Running Time: 1:33:00
MSRP: $34.99





THE FEATURE

SPECIAL FEATURES

Video

1080p high definition 1.37:1

1080p high definition 1.37:1

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1

Dolby Digital 1.0 Spanish

DTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1

Dolby Digital 1.0 Spanish

Subtitles

English SDH, French, Spanish

English SDH, French, Spanish


The Feature: 5/5


It’s Halloween 2010 and I’m still waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive.  I’m also sitting at home for the first time rather than going out dressing up trying to win some prize for best costume.  The past few years I’ve been a runner up for winner but never actually received first prize.  So tonight, I decided to spend some time at home with a real winner: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.


What is there to say about this lovable Halloween special that hasn’t been said before?  This Halloween might be the time Linus will see the Great Pumpkin and bring toys to all the good children who wait for him in the pumpkin patch.  We see the gang out getting ready for trick or treating, getting candy, at Violet’s party, and Snoopy as WWI pilot battling the Red Baron.  Full of humour and never outdated, this charming episode is finally available on Blu-ray high definition.

Video Quality: 4.5/5


I really enjoyed watching these television shows in high definition.  For those who believe there is little difference between these programs in high definition and standard definition, I highly suggest you give it another try.  I have the DVD on hand (released by Paramount) and the differences are visually stunning.  I’d like to first comment on the grain structure – this is the first time we’ve been able to see this.  The DVD doesn’t show any of this at all and in direct comparison it looks smoothed over and soft.  The grain is consistent from beginning to end and much like the recently released 1933 version King Kong, the grain appears as if it’s overlapping the image rather than being weaved into it.  The image that makes up the moving picture content seems completely intact, detailed, colourful and bright, with the thin veil of grain layered on top.  There are some marks and flaws on this film but it doesn’t take away from the video.  I feel that these things are a part of the image and it’s good that Warner Bros. left them rather than cleaning everything up.  This disc is also superior to the DVD because it doesn’t have the flaws of the DVD system such as rougher/edgy edges that can appear like mild ghosts plus the HD video has reduced noise in colour.  It’s a great presentation overall – great job Warner Bros.


Audio Quality: 4/5


The music of the Peanuts episodes always won me over as a kid.  In It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, there was always an ambient eerie sound that stuck with me over the years and still gives me goose bumps to this day.  When Snoopy is the battling the Red Baron, crash lands, and wanders the night, the music gave me the feeling of loneliness and hiding. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio encode impressively delivers the 5.1 repurposing of this trackin all channels.  The surrounds are mildly engaging and most of the mix is still mono. Dialogue can have its moments of stress and distortion, but for the most part it is well delivered.  Bass is modest in this older mix where music is the strongpoint.  It would have been nice if the original 1.0 mono soundtrack was included as well.

Special Features: 3/5

It’s Magic, Charlie Brownis the bonus episode on this disc.  In this episode, Snoopy goes to the library and gets a magic book.  With the help of Marcie and Sally, as well as a few members from the audience, Snoopy puts on his magic show that goes the right way and the wrong way, making a trick on Charlie Brown irreversible!  The video and audio quality of this special feature is of the same level as It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  So don’t you worry about getting a great looking feature and an inferior special feature.  Warner Bros. has pulled no tricks here and has treated us well.


Lastly, there is a brief 14-minute featurette title We Need A Blockbuster, Charlie Brown which explores how other Peanuts episodes let to It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Recap
The Feature: 5/5
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features:
3
/5
Overall Score (not an average):
5
/5

I can’t think of a reason why I cannot recommend this disc to anyone.  It features one of the most loved TV specials aired during Halloween
and continues to be a favorite with each new generation.  So when you pick this up as an individual release or in the Peanuts Holiday: Ultimate Collection Edition on 11/16 (featuring Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas episodes) you will be happy to know that Warner Bros. did not throw a rock in the treat bag.  It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on Blu-ray is the eye candy for this episode we’ve been waiting for.


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#2 of 2 Doug Wallen

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Posted October 30 2010 - 03:09 PM

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I agree with all you said.  This is one of my favorite Halloween specials and the bluray is stunning.


Thanks for the review.


Doug


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