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A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) and Mulan -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Robert Harris
In the 1990s, Disney created and released more animated feature films than they had in the first quarter century of animated feature production. While the '90s features may not have the classic look, feel and textures of the golden era, they are quality productions nonetheless. Just different. With virtually, if not all, of the classic animation currently in release on Blu-ray, with the exception of compendiums such as Melody Time, featurettes joined together as feature length releases, and the much discussed live action / animated Song of the South, you'll arrive at 1963 and The Sword in the Stone and The Jungle Book (1967) before finding missing titles. We have The Aristocats (1970), but not Robin Hood (1973). We have The Rescuers (1977) and The Fox and the Hound (1981). No Oliver and Company (1988), but there's Blu-ray of The Rescuers Down Under (1990). And that brings us up to the "modern" period. Hit the '90s and things are getting good. While there's no Aladdin (1992), there are Blu-rays of The Lion King (1994), Pocahontas (1995), but no Hercules (1997) or Tarzan (1999), which is available in the UK only. What appears to be occurring however, is a very good trend for Disney lovers and completists. With the 3/12 release of both The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) and Mulan (1998), those holes in the collection are closing rapidly. And while I'm not a fan of Disney sequels, the studio is doing the right thing for the consumer, by including the direct to video Hunchback of Notre Dame II, along with the original. The even nicer thing, is that street prices for the pair are reasonable, and I presume kids will like the second feature. For all these initial words of explanation and preface, the big question is "what do these look like on Blu-ray." The answer. Absolutely superb. Hunchback has been slightly opened up to fill 1.78 screens (the negative format was 1.66), while Mulan is presented in it negative ratio of 1.66. While I have information as to the whys and wherefores of this, but my presumption would be that this is the way they look best. Color, densities, resolution, shadow detail and stability on both films, is beyond reproach. Audio on both is DTS-HD MA, and superb. These are both very high quality productions. According to IMDb, budgets were each in the 70 million dollar range. Great voice talent on both, as we get closer to the completion of the Disney animated features on Blu-ray. The Hunchback of Notre Dame Image - 5 Audio - 5 Mulan Image - 5 Audio -5 Both are Very Highly Recommended. RAH
 

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