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Brad's AFWA: The Parent Trap (1961 & 1998) in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Kyrsten Brad

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HTF Brad’s A Few Words (well more than a few) About: The Parent Trap (1961 & 1998).

theparenttrap1961dmcbluray1521586444733.png theparenttrap1998bluray1521586525824.png

(referred to mostly as TPT61 and TPT98)

Well after how many years, I’d say about 9 years since I bought my first Blu-ray player, we finally got a HD Blu-ray release of Disney’s The Parent Trap films (DMC exclusive of course), both the 1961 original and the 1998 remake (no we did not get any of the TPT61 sequels this time around). Releasing both films at the same time was IMHO an excellent marketing move as Disney covered two generations of Disney filmgoers. Not only that but there was a good chance that those younger viewers who grew up in the 90s and saw TPT98 would also out of curiosity (or encouraged by parents/grandparents) check out the original TPT61. Conversely those of us who grew up going to the theater to see the 1961 original (in 1961 and subsequent theatrical re-releases in the late 1960s) would be inclined to go check out the 1998 remake, taking our kids, nephews & nieces or grandkids in the process.

I’m going to avoid doing an in-depth comparison of the two films here as both pretty much followed the main storyline and I don’t want to bog this writing down. Of course there are some evident technological & societal differences, the films being made 37 years apart. Disney had access to film-making technology in 1998 which hadn’t even been dreamed about back in 1961. Both films of course were in color but color was still relatively new in the early 1960s as B&W films were still being produced due to of course costs.

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The Parent Trap (1961):

Image – 4.5

Audio – 4.4

Pass/Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Definitely

Strongly Recommended

IMHO Disney did a nice job on this Blu-ray though other reviews noted the somewhat weaker color as compared to modern day films (didn’t bother me at all). Still quite good and a substantial improvement over the DVD. Audio was quite good. Disney tried to include some rear-speaker surround sound as well but it didn’t amount to much. Still somewhat weak when compared to the 1998 remake but that’s what you get with a 37 year technological gap.


The Parent Trap (1998):

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass/Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Most Definitely

Strongly Recommended

Having a lot more technologically to work with, Disney was able to offer up a very well produced Blu-ray. Image and audio quality both quite strong. Disney made good use of the features available in a 5.1 surround sound home theater system, well at least from my point of view. Those of you with with more critical eyes & ears and expensive home theater equipment might differ.

ALERT: Spoilers Ahead.


TPT98 homages to the original TPT61

During the comical San Francisco hotel lobby a-go-go in TPT98, Hallie (Lindsey Lohan) sings to herself a brief rendition of Let’s Get Together which was of course the iconic duet split-screen song done by Hayley Mills in TPT61.

Though TPT98 featured an entirely different set of characters from TPT61, Disney did seem to carry over one TPT61 character into TPT98. The hated vixen Vicki in TPT61 makes a substantial cameo appearance in TPT98, played in both films by Joanna Barnes. We see the very sexy (for 1961) Vicky trying to steal her way into Brian Keith’s heart (and his money) and a gracefully aged Vicki in TPT98 playing the mother of (of course) vixen Meredith. She even uses her pet-name “pet” in both films for Hayley Mills and Lindsay Lohan characters. Nice tie-in to TPT61 by Disney without it being overly obvious (It would have been much more difficult to have Hayley Mills do a cameo in TPT98 without it looking like a shoe-horn casting).
This also seems to indicate that the events portrayed in TPT98 were in the same "universe" as TPT61.

Another nice homage, the two senior camp counselors in TPT98 (played by Polly Holliday (Flo from the 70s TV show Alice) and Maggie Wheeler) were portrayed as mother & daughter both with the last name “Kulp”. This is believed to be a homage to actress Nancy Kulp (Miss Jane Hathaway on the Beverly Hillbillies) who played one of the camp counselors in TPT61 (she passed away in 1991).

Of course the girls in TPT98 had their cell phones (late 1990s tech) which allowed for some comic lines on how will they live without their phones working in that remote area.

A Few Notable Differences between TPT61 and TPT98

Being made 37 years apart, there’s definitely going to be some substantial differences both technological and in terms of societal norms of the two eras. The majority of plot devices & gags used in TPT61 appeared as well in TPT98. The cabin trashing gag, seeing double gags, the storm which blew into the isolation cabin and brought the respective characters together and the respective celebrity crushes (Ricky Nelson for Hayley Mills, Leonardo DiCaprio for Lindsay Lohan) are some examples. Differences though were quite notable as well.

One big difference I noted in TPT98 is that boys in general as any kind of subplot were pretty much absent (with one glaring exception). There was no neighboring boys camp in TPT98 as there was in TPT61 and of course no boy-girl mixer dance as we saw in TPT61 which of course deteriorated into a messy fight between the Hayley Mills twins. The only boy-related gag in TPT98 was the young boy who mistakenly ended up at the girls camp (played by Michael Lohan). One would think he would be immediately sent back home and the mistake corrected but as we saw, he stayed for the whole camp and had a few girlfriends quite fond of him when camp broke up (why did that never happen to me back in my Boy Scout camp days?).

The cut-dress gag in TPT61 (and a bit racy for that time period) didn’t make it into TPT98 but TPT98 did have the dive naked into the lake on a card game bet gag (done tastefully, we thankfully don’t see any skin shots).

For TPT98, the mom (the much-missed Natasha Richardson) was moved all the way to London England as opposed to TPT61 where Maureen O’Hara was a Boston socialite. Both films had the big get-together in California though in TPT98, the final resolution was done in London.


TPT98-Digital Retouching:

A brief note here on TPT98. I had both TPT61 and TPT98 on VHS which I watched considerably in those days. I’m not sure at this point but it seems that there was some retouching, both visual and audio in the Blu-ray edition of TPT98. In the first day of camp goodbye scene between Annie and her butler Martin (Simon Kunz), Martin proclaims that Annie might meet someone at camp who might “whip her tush at poker” (which actually happens when she meets Hallie in a poker game). I might be wrong but in the VHS edition (which I no longer have), Martin says “whip her butt at poker”. Can anyone substantiate this?

Also seems some digital retouching was done in the cabin trashing sequence on some of the gags done to the girls in Annie’s cabin. Can’t verify these but anyone in the know, feel free to chime in.


In closing, I’d recommend you buy both and do your own comparisons (its fun). Especially if you have kids or relatives who were pre-teens or teens when TPT98 was released and went to see the film, or caught it on VHS. I know some purists here who loved TPT61 won’t give TPT98 the time of day but they’re entitled to their preferences. So lets enjoy these long-awaited Blu-ray releases from Disney and hope these portend more long sought after Disney Blus (20000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954), The Black Hole (1979), That Darn Cat (1965), The Ugly Dachshund (1966) etc).
 
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haineshisway

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Are you actually ripping off Mr. Harris' entire grading platform? Why don't you, I don't know, do something original? :)
 

Kyrsten Brad

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Well you know what they say about imitation being the sincerest form of.........

Anyway I can't think of a better way to format my reviews than to learn from a true master (RAH) and I do differentiate by using the acronym along with my name so no one confuses who wrote what.

Next up, a review of the Thank God Its Friday (1978) Blu.

Note to RAH, if you do your own review of the TPT films, I'd be happy to copy over my review to that thread and close this one out. No problem, I wouldn't mind at all. No ego problems here.

Now where did I put the phone number of my therapist???
 
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Matt Hough

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My copy of the 1961 version came today, and I plan to watch it tomorrow and I'll have some opinions to share then. Looking forward to seeing it. The Parent Trap is one movie I have never tired of watching. As a pre-teen, I saw it five times at the theater during its original run. My parents thought I was nuts going back to the same movie time and again, but I was spending my money so they let me.
 

Matt Hough

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I watched The Parent Trap (1961) tonight. I did not find the color a bit underwhelming or faded. A couple of early scenes seemed to me to be a bit too bright, but overall color was just fine. It quite resembled the HD version of the film that Netflix ran for many months (and which I watched four or five times).
 

Ronald Epstein

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Watched the original PARENT TRAP on Blu-ray over the holiday weekend.

It has been a few decades since I have seen this film. I think my DVD copy is still in its shrink-wrap. The film seemed very fresh to me with some things I had completely forgotten about.

It's funny how you view this film as an adult compared to a kid. This time out I was looking at the "double" being used which was very obvious during the opening camping scenes. It was very cool how they hid the double's face behind a duffle bag or other object while Haley played one of the characters. These are the kind of things you don't even look for when you are 40 years younger.

The film looked pretty good. I am just glad this is finally out on the format.

Have to see the remake someday. Maybe I will buy it blindly if fans think it's worth it.
 

Kyrsten Brad

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A couple items I forgot to
put into the OP:

We all pretty much believe that the feathered hairstyle on girls ‍♀️ (ie Farrah Fawcett) started in the mid 1970s. But note that Hayley Mills (as Sharon) is sporting feathered hair back in 1961. Time Travel paradox here ( note some of those FB articles featuring photos (unretouched) which show modern-day items (iPhones for example) as anachronisms in early days photos).


Oh and be sure to keep the TPT DVDs as no extras were ported to the Blus and keep the discs with the Blu-ray. Twilight Time could be making quite a killing selling 2 and 3 disc clear Blu-ray cases.

I’ll be going back to my TPT98 disc and reading up on how the body double scenes were handled in that film as compared to TPT61. I imagine it took some Disney magic, and costs, to create the split screen Sharon/Susan duet.
 
Last edited:

atfree

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A couple items I forgot to
put into the OP:

We all pretty much believe that the feathered hairstyle in girls ‍♀️ (ie Farrah Fawcett) started in the mid 1970s. But note that Hayley Mills (as Sharon) is sporting feathered hair back in 1961. Time Travel paradox here?

Oh and be sure to keep the TPT DVDs as no extras were ported to the Blus and keep the discs with the Blu-ray. Twilight Time could be making quite a killing selling 2 and 3 disc clear Blu-ray cases.

I’ll be going back to my TPT98 disc and reading up on how the body double scenes were handled in that film as compared to TPT61. I imagine it took some Disney magic, and costs, to create the split screen Sharon/Susan duet.


TT does sell the 2 disc clear cases, for $1.75.

https://www.twilighttimemovies.com/transparent-2-disc-blu-ray-case/

No 3-disc cases though, you have to get them elsewhere:

http://www.casetopia.com/Scanavo_3_Disc_Blu_ray_Case_14mm_p/br3-onet.14mm.krt.htm
 

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