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Blu-ray Reviews

Pete's Dragon: 35th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review



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#21 of 55 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted October 12 2012 - 12:56 PM

Originally Posted by SilverWook 


Touche'! Posted Image
I have seen some Elliot merchandise in the Disney stores in recent years though.


There were stuffed Elliott dolls still being made at least into the 1980s. Mine, which I got from Disney World, is in a bag of stuffed toys in my mom's attic.


Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then.


#22 of 55 OFFLINE   NY2LA

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Posted October 12 2012 - 02:00 PM

I believe the Elliott plush in the theme parks was merchandising his part in the Electric Light Parade as much as anything else, because that parade has kept the character visible far beyond the movie. Anyway, one character appearing in plush here and there is not what I would call a great deal of merchandising. It's no Winnie the Pooh, or Cars, but I'm glad he's around for folks who'll be pleased to have him. I recall one of the things John Lasseter changed when he come on board was adding a strict rule that the merchandised movie characters had to look exactly like the characters in the movie they came from. I think the only exceptions are where the characters are stylized to match all the others in a stylized line, (which might excuse the whitewashed "snowflake" plush series) that was the end of the blue eeyores. Have they ever fudged with Elliot's colors?

#23 of 55 OFFLINE   soop.spoon

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Posted October 14 2012 - 01:46 AM

I find it odd that they chose to put this out on Blu-Ray before so many other bigger titles like 20,000 Leagues, Bedknob and Swiss Family.

#24 of 55 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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Posted October 14 2012 - 08:41 AM

Originally Posted by soop.spoon 

I find it odd that they chose to put this out on Blu-Ray before so many other bigger titles like 20,000 Leagues, Bedknob and Swiss Family.


2012 = 35th anniversary of "PD".  Studios love their anniversary releases, so bet on "Bedknobs" next year.  Dunno if Disney will wait until 2014 and 2015 for the anniversaries of "Leagues" and "Swiss", respectively, but I do think that angle explains "why now?" for "PD"...


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#25 of 55 OFFLINE   darkrock17

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Posted October 14 2012 - 08:58 AM

2012 = 35th anniversary of "PD".  Studios love their anniversary releases, so bet on "Bedknobs" next year.  Dunno if Disney will wait until 2014 and 2015 for the anniversaries of "Leagues" and "Swiss", respectively, but I do think that angle explains "why now?" for "PD"...

Disney, just like to throw out "Anniversary's" knowing that we will buy them, because, we think something new will be on them, because it has Anniversary on the cover. Disney, had their chance last year for Bedknob's 40th, doubt next year they release it again. Anyways, Poppins, will get Blu-ray before Bedknob's ever would.

#26 of 55 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted October 14 2012 - 09:50 AM

Originally Posted by darkrock17 


Disney, just like to throw out "Anniversary's" knowing that we will buy them, because, we think something new will be on them, because it has Anniversary on the cover.
Disney, had their chance last year for Bedknob's 40th, doubt next year they release it again. Anyways, Poppins, will get Blu-ray before Bedknob's ever would.



There is also the likelihood that this film had a Blu-ray ready transfer before its predecessors did. I have heard they are using digital technology to recombine the animated sequences in Mary Poppins without the generation losses, but have heard no word on whether Bedknobs will have any similar work done for it.


As long as the films I want to see get released, I couldn't care less whether they get tied into anniversaries anymore. Every movie has an anniversary every year, it's just our cultural obsession with fives, zeros and tens that makes multiple-of-five anniversaries seem important. If my spouse only acknowledged my wedding anniversary every five years, I'd get a divorce. Posted Image


I only care about the picture, sound and extras, and I would like not to have to keep old DVDs around for extras. I can wait for them to be done right rather than seeing them rushed out for an anniversary release. Considering the fact that I purposely didn't buy the 2009 DVD because I suspected a BD of this would be just around the corner (same deal with B&B), it's just plain silly of Disney to leave them off of a 50 GB disc.


Originally Posted by Colin Jacobson 

I've written nearly 5000 reviews over the last 14 years, and along with "10 Things I Hate About You", I've gotten the most e-mail about "Pete's Dragon".


I've been called many a horrible name by folks who defend the movie due to its gentle charms - kinda ironic, don't you think?


I was 10 when I saw "Dragon" and I'm sure I liked it back then.  As an adult, though, I find the film to be an atrocity, one of the most cloying, annoying cinematic concoctions ever screened.  I WANT to like it but just can't stomach the thing - it's as awful as awful can be.


Can't wait to run my Blu-ray review so I can generate a whole new run of hate mail! Posted Image


They must have conveniently skipped over the part where Helen Reddy sings about showing love and tolerance towards one's fellow man, or woman, or dragon.


Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then.


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Posted October 14 2012 - 10:12 AM

Poppins will probably be released in 2014.

#28 of 55 OFFLINE   darkrock17

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Posted October 14 2012 - 12:19 PM

Poppins will probably be released in 2014.

Well that will be the 50th Anniversary, so no doubt it will, it might even get released back into theaters; if only for a one night only event from Fathom Events.

#29 of 55 OFFLINE   bujaki

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Posted October 14 2012 - 01:02 PM

Poppins is playing this Wednesday at Cinemark theaters in the Dallas area; 20,000 Leagues under the Sea the following Wednesday. Check your local Cinemark listings for information.

#30 of 55 OFFLINE   NY2LA

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Posted October 14 2012 - 01:42 PM

Disney, had their chance last year for Bedknob's 40th, doubt next year they release it again. Anyways, Poppins, will get Blu-ray before Bedknob's ever would.

Anyone whose been following these movies since they were made would have bet that BOTH Poppins and Bedknpbs would have gone Blu waay before Dragon would. So at this point I wouldn't just assume Poppins has more likelihood of getting out before Bedknobs.

#31 of 55 OFFLINE   Escapay

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Posted October 14 2012 - 03:04 PM

Excluding the 1998 and 2004 DVDs for Mary Poppins, Disney has usually released the three films on DVD within the span of a year, but in all the cases, Mary Poppins was the first. Mary Poppins - June 30, 2000 / January 27, 2009 Pete's Dragon - January 16, 2001 / August 18, 2009 Bedknobs and Broomsticks - March 20, 2001 / September 8, 2009 Disney also is in the middle of filming Saving Mr. Banks. They haven't formally announced a release date (IMDB says 2014, but this article says 2013), but I'm guessing that Mary Poppins will be held off from release until that film's Blu-Ray release - similar to how TRON debuted on Blu-Ray the same day as TRON Legacy. That would probably explain why of the three, Mary Poppins isn't on Blu-Ray yet, but Pete's Dragon is. Hopefully that means Bedknobs and Broomsticks will be released in the next eleven months.

#32 of 55 OFFLINE   NY2LA

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Posted October 14 2012 - 03:25 PM

Excluding the 1998 and 2004 DVDs for Mary Poppins, Disney has usually released the three films on DVD within the span of a year, but in all the cases, Mary Poppins was the first. Mary Poppins - June 30, 2000 / January 27, 2009 Pete's Dragon - January 16, 2001 / August 18, 2009 Bedknobs and Broomsticks - March 20, 2001 / September 8, 2009 Disney also is in the middle of filming Saving Mr. Banks. They haven't formally announced a release date (IMDB says 2014, but this article says 2013), but I'm guessing that Mary Poppins will be held off from release until that film's Blu-Ray release - similar to how TRON debuted on Blu-Ray the same day as TRON Legacy. That would probably explain why of the three, Mary Poppins isn't on Blu-Ray yet, but Pete's Dragon is. Hopefully that means Bedknobs and Broomsticks will be released in the next eleven months.

Interesting thoughts. Mr. Banks is filming at Disneyland soon. I would imagine maybe if the Poppins BR were held back for Mr. Banks, it would be only until the theatrical release. That way you could come out of the theatre and buy something. Maybe Poppins is just taking longer for the tech stuff. Don't you wish they would take all that extra time to fix the awful ADR in Bedknobs? I can still remember people laughing at that in the Academy's Goldwyn Theatre when the reconstructed version debuted. Not a frame has been changed since then, (except going from 1.33 on LD to 1.66 or 1.85 on DVD) and it sure could use some help with those voices.

#33 of 55 OFFLINE   Ejanss

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Posted October 14 2012 - 08:18 PM

Bedknobs and Broomsticks - March 20, 2001 / September 8, 2009 Disney also is in the middle of filming Saving Mr. Banks. They haven't formally announced a release date (IMDB says 2014, but this article says 2013), but I'm guessing that Mary Poppins will be held off from release until that film's Blu-Ray release - similar to how TRON debuted on Blu-Ray the same day as TRON Legacy. That would probably explain why of the three, Mary Poppins isn't on Blu-Ray yet, but Pete's Dragon is.

They're going through bargain mass-market "Blu Gold editions" of their bottom catalog--like the 70's Ron Millers and the '95-'05 "Troubles" titles--and boy, is "Pete's Dragon" resting comfortably at the bottom of the former. B&B is a few steps up (70's obscurity, not shame), and we'll likely see it later, but with probably not too many more bells-and-whistles than we got with the last "complete" restoration. There may be more lost footage to restore in better condition, but it's pretty doubtful at this point. (The complete "Portobello Road" alone took a few lab tricks to reincorporate into the Gold re-release.) As for Poppins, two Disney titles have turned up in the list of Cinemark theater event-reissue screenings which are often early premieres for disk restoration--20K Leagues, and Mary Poppins. 20K, we already know has premiered a brand new print master at the El Capitan; as for whether Poppins has finished studio lab work, one would be wise to consult the Magic 8-Ball, but saving it for Mr. Banks would be the most plausible theory I've heard. :) (Although certainly not "hiding" it out of embarrassment, as was the reason with Tron:Classic)

#34 of 55 OFFLINE   Erik_H

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Posted October 14 2012 - 11:28 PM

Within the last year or two, I recall reading on this site an excerpt from an interview with a Disney home video executive, who remarked that "Poppins" was in the pipeline for Blu-Ray but that it would take some time, as the film required considerable work to render it suitable for Blu-Ray. That comment led me to believe that the Blu-Ray release would likely occur in 2014 in conjunction with the 50th anniversary, although coordinating the Blu-Ray release with "Saving Mr. Banks" would make sense. The exec also mentioned in that interview that there were---at least at that time---no plans for a "Bedknobs" Blu-Ray release. BTW, "Bedknobs" is available in HD on VUDU for rental or purchase (it's the expanded version that has been available on DVD, with the awful dubbing of David Tomlinson in the restored scenes). I rented it a few months ago--the quality of the HD transfer was not great in 1080p.

#35 of 55 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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Posted October 15 2012 - 12:42 AM

Originally Posted by darkrock17 


Disney, just like to throw out "Anniversary's" knowing that we will buy them, because, we think something new will be on them, because it has Anniversary on the cover.
Disney, had their chance last year for Bedknob's 40th, doubt next year they release it again. Anyways, Poppins, will get Blu-ray before Bedknob's ever would.


Whoops - I had a brain cramp.  I misremembered and thought "Bedknobs" came out in 1973 so its 40th would be 2013.  Nevermind! Posted Image


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#36 of 55 OFFLINE   BBbrowd

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Posted October 17 2012 - 06:34 AM

Picked up the Pete's Dragon blu-ray last night and the picture quality is very impressive, but as Matt said, the audio has a mono quality. It's a shame, because I don't remember it being quite that way. So I got out my old 'Gold Collection' dvd, and sure enough, it has quite a bit more stereo separation. This blu's sound is very center channel oriented, warm, and any crispness is gone. That seems very typical of late for the releases of the older films, doesn't it? I have my fingers crossed for them to do "Mary Poppins" justice. I would think they would put the attention on it we are all hoping for. They certainly have the isolated elements, both picture and sound, to do a phenomenal job if they recombine it all. Hopefully they will not disappoint with Poppins.
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#37 of 55 OFFLINE   rsmithjr

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Posted October 17 2012 - 08:41 AM

Agreed completely. I rebalanced my system by reducing the center channel but it is pretty weak. I will be comparing to the LD and DVD of the title to see what I get. Saw this in Radio City Music Hall during initial release. It was certainly stereo. For some reason, I have the recollection that it was a 70mm print, but I cannot find any information that 70mm prints were made. Of course, Radio City would often get one-off prints for movies, this was their big Christmas show in 1977, quite an event really.

#38 of 55 OFFLINE   NY2LA

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Posted October 17 2012 - 12:56 PM

Picked up the Pete's Dragon blu-ray last night and the picture quality is very impressive, but as Matt said, the audio has a mono quality. It's a shame, because I don't remember it being quite that way. So I got out my old 'Gold Collection' dvd, and sure enough, it has quite a bit more stereo separation. This blu's sound is very center channel oriented, warm, and any crispness is gone. That seems very typical of late for the releases of the older films, doesn't it? I have my fingers crossed for them to do "Mary Poppins" justice. I would think they would put the attention on it we are all hoping for. They certainly have the isolated elements, both picture and sound, to do a phenomenal job if they recombine it all. Hopefully they will not disappoint with Poppins.

sad but true that studio people don't, as a matter of course, even LOOK at the previous version. Not the transfer, not the soundtrack, extras, etc... They're given a tight budget and a timeline, then they wing it. I learned that one the hard way. Still true I'm sure. As for Disney doing right by Poppins - well to its advantage it is a cash-cow for them, so could get a higher budget, but look at the upcoming Muppet Christmas Carol Blu Ray. 20th anniversary, very popular, arguably a classic. Despite the popular outcry, the fact that that it is the heart of the film, reprised in the finale and even featured in the "making of" that IS on the Blu Ray, they still won't bother to keep the song (by Scrooge's fiancee) that was hastily cut for time before theatrical release. It was then restored by the director's request (and before the Muppet buyout) to the first Homevid releases (LD widescreen AND panscan videotape, but NOT to the first DVD and ONLY in pan/scan on the last DVD. This time instead of putting it back in the widescreen version, we don't get it AT ALL. So you can't rely on them to do right by everything, no matter how popular.

#39 of 55 OFFLINE   BBbrowd

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Posted October 17 2012 - 06:12 PM

Agreed completely. I rebalanced my system by reducing the center channel but it is pretty weak.

I tried the same thing, Robert, thinking it may bring out more of a stereo sound. Like you said, it didn't make much difference.

sad but true that studio people don't, as a matter of course, even LOOK at the previous version. Not the transfer, not the soundtrack, extras, etc... They're given a tight budget and a timeline, then they wing it. I learned that one the hard way. Still true I'm sure. As for Disney doing right by Poppins - well to its advantage it is a cash-cow for them, so could get a higher budget, but look at the upcoming Muppet Christmas Carol Blu Ray. 20th anniversary, very popular, arguably a classic. Despite the popular outcry, the fact that that it is the heart of the film, reprised in the finale and even featured in the "making of" that IS on the Blu Ray, they still won't bother to keep the song (by Scrooge's fiancee) that was hastily cut for time before theatrical release. It was then restored by the director's request (and before the Muppet buyout) to the first Homevid releases (LD widescreen AND panscan videotape, but NOT to the first DVD and ONLY in pan/scan on the last DVD. This time instead of putting it back in the widescreen version, we don't get it AT ALL. So you can't rely on them to do right by everything, no matter how popular.

My thoughts exactly. I've been sure that the studio would put a lot of care into the release of "Mary Poppins" on blu. Then, with all the recent disappointments, I've begun to think anything is possible. They were going strong with their first BD releases of the classic Disney films and now it's all fizzling out. Still hoping that, because of the film's status, it will get a worthy treatment. On a related note, we went to a showing of "Mary Poppins" tonight in Dallas. It is part of Cinemark's classic series and it was shown in huge XD. It was quite impressive and very different from the print on the current DVD. While the process shots looked pretty bad, with tons of grain and other problems, the rest of it looked wonderful. Skin tones were perfect, colors were beautiful. The reds were actually red instead of orange like the DVD transfer. Julie Andrews looked incredibly beautiful.. her blue eyes and every eyelash in stunning detail. Her fair skin was picture perfect... none of those brown looking tones that seem to cover all the faces on the DVD version. Night and day when compared with what we've been seeing on home video. I was encouraged to see that Poppins could look this way. While it still needs a lot of work, this HD presentation was miles ahead of anything I've seen previously, both in sound and picture. And it had the original Buena Vista title in the opening!
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#40 of 55 OFFLINE   rsmithjr

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Posted October 17 2012 - 07:12 PM

I did some comparisons between the new Pete's Dragon Blu-ray and my old LD. The LD (played with Dolby Surround mode) has a genuine stereo front soundstage with music, effects, and even some directional dialogue. ("He went that-a-way."). This is almost completely crushed on the Blu-ray. Even with radical rebalancing, the stereo is now largely gone. This is unfortunate because the picture is very good, excellent color, sharpness, and no noticeable digital effects. You can easily tell the difference between the opticals and the rest of the film,which is one of my criteria for the quality of an OCN scan. Ironically, there is also a French soundtrack on the disk, which has a bit more stereo effect.





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