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DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Pocahontas 2-disc 10th Anniversary set, OUTSTANDINGLY RECOMMENDED (1 Viewer)

RobertSiegel

Reviewer
Joined
Mar 10, 2004
Messages
1,290
Thanks David for the great extensive review. I love this movie, the color tones and music are absolutely fab! I am very excited to pick this up on Tuesday. Glad to hear the transfer is so good. The previous editions were just "ok." I read a comment here that someone feels this wasn't a very good movie. I strongly disagree.
 

Steve K.H.

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 11, 2002
Messages
719
Three things...

1) Excellent review of the transfer David.:emoji_thumbsup:

2) WTH is up with people reviewing the film here?... wrong forum people... :thumbsdown:

3) The topics discussed here have a potential to be more volatile than any religious or political discussion. So far it's been very well handled and kudo's to all... I suggest perhaps it's time to leave the cultural sensitivity discussions alone - we can easily do this because they have no place in a DVD review thread.

and as an addendum...

David politely asked people to stop posting silly items such as

"I don't like the movie and I'm not buying it"

Would it be too much to ask others to honour that request? *Edit* is your friend.
 

Paul_Scott

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
6,545
i always enjoy DaViDs reviews.
But since his reviews are (thankfully)not just dry technical impressions of a/v, and because in the body of the disc review DaViD goes into his impressions of the actual story points and themes, then i think that follow-up discussion within the same thread as to these points are valid
-even though there is a seperate forum for 'films'.

its perfectly ok not to agree with other posters viewpoints.
the impulse to eradicate an unpopular, contrary opinion or banish it to a far off land where it won't cross your path as you search for something else (like tech data, glitches, easter eggs etc), i find a bit...small minded(for lack of a better phrase).

is it really that big a deal to skip over posts that have veered into an area you are not interested in?

i'm not talking about post like- "this movie sucks- why would anyone want to buy it?"
the above was more in defense of reasoned, thoughtful, informed contrary opinions , of which this thread has had a few

...though none were mine, since i still haven't seen the thing yet :)
 

Steve K.H.

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 11, 2002
Messages
719
It is not "that I am not interested in" but rather those that are unproductive - and in this instance tread on multicultural sensitivity - that I suggest have no place in here.

With a membership of over 50,000 - we should attempt to limit the fluff or otherwise we risk having 50,000 stale posts (an obvious exaggeration for effect) in any given thread.
 

krisBjorn

Auditioning
Joined
Apr 17, 2005
Messages
3
David-
I too was on the prolly yes fence..due to your review it's a resoudning yes!! Thanks for the wonderfully eloquent and informative review.

It's astonishing how movies can provoke such emotion- can't wait to get this.
 

Bruce*A

Grip
Joined
Apr 15, 2004
Messages
17
Thanks for the insightful review David! Great insights! I do have a question for you though. Has the end of the "Mine, Mine, Mine" song been restored? It used to end with a long shot of the decemated forest but was changed (for the video release I think) to a close-up of Ratcliff holding a British flag and standing atop a pile of dirt. Thanks in advance for your response.
 

Ernest Rister

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2001
Messages
4,148
The notion of a Disney cartoon using an historical character, stripping away an aspect of her Christian faith and instead emphasizing spiritualism really chafes certain groups. I don't know if that's what Pocohantas did, but I remember claims that it did.

I don't remember any notable Prostetant anger over Pocahontas prior to release.

I remember a boycott of Disney by Southern Baptists after the Miramax acquisition and the release of films like Kids, Priest and "urban legend" rumours of sexual in-jokes in Disney animated films.

I don't remember any notable specific controversey over Pocahontas prior to the release of that film from mainsteam christian organizations. After release? Sure, lots of people have been ticked off about it, on both sides. But prior to release, the fear was that Pocahontas would be a whitewash, and it is anything but.
 

Neil Joseph

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 16, 1998
Messages
8,332
Real Name
Neil Joseph
Thanks for the review. I too have been torn about picking this up or not. I have 3 boys and I know none of them are interested in seeing it although I may want to have it in their/my collection before moratorium.
 

Lyle_JP

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 5, 2000
Messages
1,009
It looks like a lot of material from the laserdisc has still been left off, so I will have to keep it around. Most notably, the whole abandoned characters/concepts section of the LD, which goes into depth about Pocahontas's turkey, and a reel of rough animation with Percy actually talking instead of barking!

Still, this new DVD sounds great, from a A/V perspective anyway.

-Lyle J.P.
 

Mark Zimmer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
4,318
The end of the Mine, Mine, Mine song is only in the deleted scenes section and isn't reinstated. There is some footage of Percy talking with the turkey in the section on Redfeather, too.

I thought the transfer was pretty lacking. There's a ton of added edge enhancement and ringing throughout; the credits are practically unreadable. Some kind of noise reduction makes Pocahontas' blue necklace frequently dissolve into a pixelated mess. I also noticed the stair-stepping that David mentions on the natives' skin tones; oddly it doesn't show up on the Europeans. I gave it a C- in my review at digitallyObsessed.
 

DaViD Boulet

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 24, 1999
Messages
8,826
Mark,

Excellent review:

http://www.digitallyobsessed.com/tre...w.php3?ID=7337

I didn't find the Edge-Enhancment as problematic...could you elaborate on your viewing system? (credits almost always show artifacts of EE on most transfers on my system...even when the feature-film seemed relatively immune...but even in this case I wasn't jarred by any worst-than-normal ringing even on the credits...???).

You did note something that...now that you've mentioned it...I'm realizing may have been a problem I hadn't picked up on...it does appear that much of the line-contours of the animation are somewhat blurred or sketchy-looking. I had assumed that this was just the rough-nature of the animation/scetched quality...but perhaps it's, as you say, a symptom of digital noise redution. It just would be hard to believe that LDI would have done this given their general concern for the integrity of their films. Can others please comment when you get the disc..anyone with access to actual animation still or historical prints would be great to hear from!

Looking forwart to hearing lots of comments on this disc once you guys get it in-hand.

Mark,

thanks for chiming in! Your contributions are more-than welcome.

-dave :)
 

Ken_McAlinden

Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2001
Messages
6,241
Location
Livonia, MI USA
Real Name
Kenneth McAlinden
BTW, for those who don't have the special edition laserdisc and are disappointed that the earlier commentary was not included, don't feel too bad. I found it a very difficult listen. As much as I enjoy Stephen Schwartz's work on this film and other efforts, I really did not like his portions of the commentary. There was this almost embarassing sense that he was swooning over his own work and way too much lyric recitation versus actual insight.

Regards,
 

Lyle_JP

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 5, 2000
Messages
1,009
Mark,

I played Pocahontas today on the most unforgiving system at my disposal: my computer hooked to a 19" Samsung CRT monitor, scaled to 1280x1024. This generally brings out every flaw, great and small, that any disc tries to hide. Beauty and the Beast, for example, is simply unwatchable on it.

Honestly, I found little to none of what you described in your review. For starters, there is no edge enhancement. Edge enhancement is a filter deliberately applied to video to make it appear sharper, and I found absolutely none of the usual tell-tale evidence that it had been applied here. There is very slight ringing around only some of the opening titles, which is a common and almost unavoidable artifact of MPEG2 compression. The only reason it shows up more prominently in animation is because it is more noticeable against the artificial and vividly colored backgrounds.

I would suggest you re-check your system for any VSLM, excessive "Sharpness" settings, or other post-processing that may need to be defeated.

As for the line detail looking soft (more evidence, by the way, that no edge enhancement was used), you need to look closer. The animators chose softer colors than black for the character outlines on purpose. This is part of the film's art design. This helps the characters blend more naturally into the background artwork, and was done deliberately since this was the first ever Disney animated film to be based (loosely) on real people and events.

I step-framed through many sequences looking for blocking, mosquito noise, and other artifacts commonly hidden in quick action sequences. I found virtually none. Nearly every stepped frame looked like it was ready for printing and mounting on a gallery wall. This ranks up there with Tarzan in terms of reference animation on DVD.

The only thing i found "missing" in the image was film grain, which is not surprising, since the in-between work for the film would have been done entirely by computer. This disc is likely a direct-digital transfer, as opposed to one from a film source, like the previous Gold Collection disc.

I recommend this disc to any fans of the film. It's a revelation.

-Lyle J.P.
 

DaViD Boulet

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 24, 1999
Messages
8,826
Lyle,

thanks for your valuable input! Wow.

I'm especially glad to hear your input about the animation line-contours and the stylistic design that may be mistaken for noise-reduction artifacts.

Question...about EE...look again and tell me if you see any ringing around Pocahontas when she's standing on the ledge overlooking the ravine right before she dives off into the water...on my system I see a very mild halo...one of very few points in the movie I noticed it from my seated position.

Oh, one more question...did you notice any instances of "stair-stepping" on nearly-vertical diagonal lines...like the edges of arms and shoulders of the characters? I think I just may be seeing limitations of my scaler in my DVD player...on my friend's JVC HD2K with it's faroudja-based scaler I saw no such artifacting.

thanks!
 

Lyle_JP

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 5, 2000
Messages
1,009
David,

I stepped through the diving scene. I saw what looked like a very soft halo, and when I enlarged it, it was not a uniform smooth halo like I would expect from EE, but rather very (and I mean very) slight mosquito noise trying to show through. Perhaps the picture could have benefitted from dropping a few of the foreign language tracks for more peak-room, but 99% of viewers won't even notice it.

I noticed no chroma stepping like you described. This is most certainly being caused by whatever progressive scan chipset or scaler you're using.

-Lyle J.P.
 

DaViD Boulet

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 24, 1999
Messages
8,826
Thanks Lyle and Steve for your input. Steve...I'm going to link to those images in my review if you don't mind...

BTW, Steve, thanks for posting those exact images. Curious that you don't see the (very slight) ringing around Pocahontas' head in the shot on the rock...and also just barely around her face in the first scene. It looks almost negligible in these images (though I can still make it out) but seems more pronounced on my screen at 106". Lyle, so you're convinced that the ringing is really mostquito noise? I know the crawlie-look that Mosquito noise usually has and this seemed more stable to my eyes but it sounds like your inspection may be more discerning. I'll double check the disc soon and if I can make out that's mosquito-noise as you deduce I'll update my review (though may keep the score...either way a bit of visible ringing on a 106" screen is a bit of visible ringing). Curious that there are titles out there (Toy Story) that exhibit no-such ringing. Perhaps better compression?

BTW...Lyle...do you think that MPEG *decoding* can affect the visibility of such compression artifacting? Reason I ask is that my friend's system (JVC HD2K 1080P LCOS projector) is driving by a Pioneer DVD player via HDMI output...and the ringing I see on transfers is my system always looks a tad less pronounced in his (though still there) while at the same time the detail in the DVD image always looks greater in his system...so I'm sure his gear is showing me everything that's on the disc. It's caused me to wonder if even though my Momitsu is properly adjusted to add no edge-ringing/sharpness and is known as the "poor man's plug-play HTPC image" that is supposed to be free from added noise...if maybe my DVD player (or projector?) just may be enhancing this ringing ever so slightly. There are *still* transfers with utterly no EE whatsoever...so I tend to rule out the projector as the culprit...but I could still imagine how MPEG decoding might allow more poorly-compressed signals to exhibit more mostquito noise which could masquarade as very mild EE in some cases...thoughts?

Great work!!!
 

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