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HTF REIVEW: Mary Poppins 40th Anniversary SE - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! (1 Viewer)

Al (alweho)

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Are you sure that is Bambi you are talking about Ernest? Or could that be the sound of Roy chasing Michael off the Burbank lot? ;)

Wonderful review David. Also worth a listen is the newly reissued 2-disc special edition soundtrack. It sort of got lost amid all the hoopla for the DVD. :)
 

DaViD Boulet

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Al,

thanks for mentioning the new 2-disc CD set. I plan to purchase it ASAP...only found out about it the other day and am very much looking forward to replacing rather "thin" sounding disc I purchased way back when Mary Poppins was first released on CD.

Adam's got me thinking...wonder how hard it would be to make a DVD that combines the picture of this new disc with the LPCM audio from my laser (I need to do that with Hello Dolly for sure...unless they give me an HD version that fixes it first)...hmmm....and anybody else heard tale of the "Japanese" disc with the rumored 16x9 image and good sound? There's also a 16x9 R4 (Australian) DVD that presumably uses a different video master than this new disc and I'd be curious for anyone who has it to post their impressions of its video quality...especially color and brightness and framing particulars. How's the 5.1 sound?

thanks for all the replies. I can't wait for you guys to get the disc in hand and post your own impressions of image and various soundtrack options.
 

Felix Martinez

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Great review, David! Looking forward to this one - and will select the original mix for my first viewing. Thanks for the heads up.
 

Doug Bull

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Thank you DaVid for one of the most accurate and comprehensive on-line reviews that has been my pleasure to read.
Fabulous Effort.

Now for the REALLY BAD NEWS FOR ALL REGION ONE BUYERS!!
If what DaVid says about the Soundtrack selections on the Region 1 Disc are correct and I'm sure they are, then,

PURCHASERS OF THIS UPCOMING REGION 1 DVD SET HAVE BEEN WELL AND TRULY SHAFTED! ROBBED! AND CHEATED!

You will be forced to suffer the new Bass heavy, muffled and noticably inferior 5.1 Dolby Digital Disney Home Theatre Mix or be satisfied with a 2 channel mix, while Region 4 and most likely also Region 2 purchasers, have been given a HIGHLY IMPRESSIVE and spacious 5.1 Dolby Digital Track as the Default Soundtrack.
The Sound Quality on this Mix is EXCEPTIONAL.

The Region 4 Disc also features the new muffled 5.1 DD Disney Home Theatre Mix plus the Commentary track and also 2 other 5.1 DD Foreign language tracks ( Norsk and Dansk)

WHY HAVE DISNEY DONE THIS?
Maybe there was more space on the PAL Region 4 and they decided because of space problems to drop it from the Region 1 Edition.
Who Knows?

But if I was a Region One purchaser, then I would be VERY, VERY ANGRY!!

(David, please come back and tell us that your sound specs was a misprint)

David, you asked about the Region 4 Australian DVD.
There was a 16:9 single disc version released here some time ago, but other than the improved 16:9 resolution, the Transfer was pretty much the same as the previous Region 1 DVD.(I owned both at one stage)

The new Region 4 Anniversary 2 Disc edition is, going by your review, most likely the same transfer for both PAL and NTSC regions. ( It is a little on the dark side with improved, but still brownish skin tones, although early in the movie they don't look too bad, but seem to get worse later in the movie)
 

DaViD Boulet

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Sorry to assure that the "original" mix on this R1 disc is indeed merely 2.0 DD. It ticked me off too...would have much rather had a decent 5.1 encoded track sourced from the original mix featuring the discrete L-C-R historic mix with nice ambient surrounds. And get this...both foreign language mixes are 5.1! :angry:

Doug, does the audio on the R2 disc suffer from PAL speed-up or has it been pitch-corrected?

I'd love for you to give us a nice A/B review if you can get a hold of both copies...
 

rich_d

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David,

Thanks for the review. I read it with much interest.

Regarding Mr. Rister's comments (which I had not read previously):


Terrific insights! I was thinking about the matte paintings and painted backgrounds in Mary Poppins over the last week or so. I think that the beauty of the work is that it is dreamlike (or even a bit surreal). I think the value of that is it takes the viewer to the fantasy/dreamlike effect of us the viewer in a theatre with the lights turned down and our minds open to the films we see projected.

That the paintings are stylized allow them a certain timeliness that I don't see as dated but as an admission ticket to a world of fantasy. I also think that one of the smartest choices for a filmmaker is to do period films. They are never look dated because they already are.

I also never understood the Dick Van Dyke complaints about his performance or his accent. For those that think differently, fine. But I'd love to see a list of actors (60's through present day) that could pull off that performance ... sing, dance, comedy.

If you want to hear a tragic accent just listen to Orson Welles' pretending to be Irishman Michael O'Hara. I don't think Welles can dance much either. :D
 

RobertSiegel

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Hell, it all sounded so fantastic last week in pre-review land. Looks like a nice edition and much better than those before it, but I can't say I am as excited. At least the laserdisc had a 5.1 track that was quite decent. The home theatre mix is actually what I prefer on Lion King, but I don't think I will like it here. So, Disney could not give us a separated l-c-r dolby digital track that is un-enhanced, left off the Buena Vista Logo and changed the aspect ratio. It's been 25 years since I bought the first VHS version of this movie, and have had 4 different tape transfers and 3 laserdiscs, plus one from Japan, and this is the 3rd dvd issue, and they have YET to resotre the movie to the exact way it was presented in the theatre.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
 

Tim Glover

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The more I read David's review, the more I am saddened by this audio. Just before xmas last year when news first hit about the 40th anniversary edition of MP, I quickly sold my copy awaiting for a glorious image dvd and a mix that was true and yet entertaining. This makes me want my Gold version back.

Dangit! :angry: Mary Poppins is in my top 10 films of all time too.
 

Doug Bull

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David, I just did a side by side comparison of the last NTSC Laserdisc edition and the new PAL DVD.
Sad to say for a lot of PAL customers, there is that dreaded speedup.
I must say though that the pitch, which doesn't appear to have been corrected, doesn't sound too bad on this occassion.
Switching from one disc to another it was clearly the faster tempo in the sound on the PAL DVD that was the most noticable.

This is now a problem for me and possibly lots of others, as because of speedup, I normally prefer to purchase the correct speed NTSC versions, but this time I'm not too sure that I would want to lose the great 5.0 mix on the PAL disc.

Of course there is a probably a majority of PAL viewers who think that those of us who can hear speed up and pitch problems are just plain nutty. If that's the case then just call me nutty.
;)
 

Joe Caps

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I already transferred my archive Laserdisc to dvd - r (best picture and sound of the bunch). the Gold collection dvd had color that was not right and screamy sound (sounds like punched up mid -range).
the archive laser is also missing sides, but everything else is fine. Will buy the new dvd for the extras (expertly researched and produced by Les Perkins).
 

Keith Paynter

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Joe, that's something I've considered for my 1997 LD (final 2 disc AC-3 edition, similar artwork to this DVD from 1998)...


I don't know if it's the same video source as the archive edition, but it does feature a mono music-only track on the analog-L track, which I don't think the Archive Edition had...

Look forward to the new DVD and the original mix in 2.0 (scrap the enhanced tracks).

Joe, I assume you spread the title over 2 discs...?
 

Joe Caps

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No, I put it on one disc - it fits fine with good video. the disc cover your showing me is a transfer that is the same as the gold collection with the same problems - wrong color and screetchy sound.
 

Paul Hillenbrand

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Thank you David, for giving us this fine review.:emoji_thumbsup:

Your endeavor to explain your constructive criticisms, and showing us a 3 dimensional view of reasons for argument on this DVD production, should be incorporated as mandatory reading, in a "required" class for All Disney production employees!

Would also like to commend you for the refinement of your review rating system ;). Your experience is showing!:D

Paul
 

Keith Paynter

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I may have to consider investing in the Archive disc - according to IMDB.com that version is the only one correctly framed at 1.78:1, and has better stereo sound and color correction...
 

DaViD Boulet

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Keith, talking about the laserdisc? It may or may not be "framed" correctly, but the picture quality sure is wanting on the big-screen. It might hold up somewhat on a smaller television but I'd really have a hard time watching it now especially after having watched the 16x9 40th anniversary disc (though flesh-tone wise the laser is the most comfortable on the eyes).

Sound...well that's another matter! PCM *rules* :D


Paul,

thanks for your kind words. much appreciated.
 

DeeF

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Jun 19, 2002
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I really wish somebody from Disney would come on here and explain why they did what they did.

Why create the 1.66:1 ratio at all? It seems a little unnecessary, those extra columns, left and right. Will this appeal to full-screen users more?

Why redo the sound effects?

I'm not saying it shouldn't be done, I'm asking someone who chose to do these things to tell us their perspective.
 

Ernest Rister

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Sounds like the "refurbished" philosophy, which leads to upodates and changes on the rides at Disneyland from time to time. "It's new and improved!"
 

DaViD Boulet

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Agreed. I'm especially curious about that 1.66:1 issue.

I've got a feeling I already know what they would say about the new DEHT mix...probably something like "wanted to update the sound to appeal to modern audiences and the home-theater environment" or something like that...
 

Keith Paynter

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DaViD;

Yeah, there's something (bad) to be said for analog video dubbed to DVD, compared to D1 tape masters, especially on even my new 30" 16:9 display. I've noticed a couple of transfers I've done are certainly a lot worse looking, when I've set up my player and TV for anamorphic playback (turning it off for 4:3 dubs). The graininess is far worse than I expected compared to viewing on my old 31" 4:3.

If it were possible, I'd love to be able to make the analog letterboxed LD sources anamorphic with Adobe Premiere Pro (which I've used in the past). Zooming the image to fit the 16:9 framing looks just awful. I wonder if I should try again to DV tape first, then import the DV video to PC, vs just using the DVD as a firewire interface...

Joe...?
 

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