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DVD Review HTF REVIEW: The Little Mermaid - Disappointingly NOT Recommended (1 Viewer)

Mark-P

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You have that one. The wide-screen LD with AC3 sound was THX certified. The original LD he refers to would be the full frame. I've net-flixed the new DVD (you can bet I don't want to give Disney any money directly for this one) and it should come in the mail tomorrow so I will hear for myself how really bad it sounds.

David, glad to hear you will be sticking around for discussion, even though you won't be reviewing anymore. Good luck!
 

Lyle_JP

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I didn't know there was a CLV AC-3 disc, but I'm sure it's identical to the CAV disc I was using. And yes, the other laserdisc reviewed is the CAV full-frame disc released in 1990 or 1991. In both cases I used the PCM tracks. I did not review the CX analog tracks on the original disc. I'm sure there won't be anything revealing there.

-Lyle J.P.
 

Roy Batty

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Well, today I finally had the chance to try this disc in my player.

I have not a fancy, high-end set-up, but a modest Yamaha receiver hooked to JBL speakers all around. And I have not the previous DVD edition, either.

But I really do not need any back-to-back comparisons to clearly hear EXACTLY what David and others have described here. I am not sound-engineering savvy, so I can not guess what's the cause, but this soundtrack sounds flat, flat, FLAT, specially in the voice department. Singing is rendered emotionless, robotic, almost electronically generated. It sounds... well, inhuman. It does not resonate, it lacks –for lack of a better term– "body".

Spatiality is everywhere, mind you (even too everywhere, although that is more of a subjective appreciation) but the characters' voices are dull, lifeless. Dull not as in too low-range –quite the opposite, they sound somewhat harsh, too– but as in a guitar made of cold steel instead of warm wood.
 

Christian Preischl

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Just received my disc and checked this for you. The English track now seems to contain the original end credits, starting out with "Under the Sea" and then playing the Part of Your World instrumental with chorus.
 

ScottR

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Thanks, Christian..I appreciate you taking the time to check this for me. Too bad the sound is so bad, because I prefer this ending music.
 

Dannie

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ursala's death scene is had stuff taken out of it and somethings missig from the wedding scene also
 

TonyD

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your the first i've heard of this

did you read that somewere
 

Colby

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The only thing missing from the wedding scene that I know of is the minister's knee. Oddly enough, a clip in the bonus features shows the original unaltered scene.
 

Mark-P

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I've just rented the DVD through Netflix and have done my comparison to the original DVD. Here's my 2 cents.

The picture is a vast improvement, though I could see the noise in Ariel's hair that DaViD spoke of.

As for the sound, not quite as horrendous as I was expecting. The main thing that I disliked about it was the vocals being spread across the three front channels. I was under the impression that this was only during the songs, but NO, ALL DIALOG is mixed this way. It created a disembodied, diffused effect that I hated. I just don't understand why Disney has chosen to do this to the last two platinums. I know that multichannel music albums (DVD-Audio and SACD) are recorded this way, but they don't have a visual image that the vocals need to be tied to. Directional dialog, where the voices pan from speaker to speaker to follow the actors on screen, would have been a good thing. The Toy Story movies used directional dialog to great effect.

I must agree with DaViD that Ariel's voice sounded much richer and smoother on the original DVD that on the new one.

If anyone has purchased another region of this disc, PLEASE report back and let us know what the soundtrack options are!
 

BenjaminG

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I have the R2/R4 version.

The audio tracks are: English Home Theatre Mix, French 5.1 and Dutch 5.1. And commentary. There is no original 5.1 mix, no region has that.

Im thinking of muxing the audio from the original DVD and putting that onto the new DVD picture. Anyone know how to do that?
 

ZackR

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Ben,

I did that and it's great...however, I am pretty sure discussing the methods are out-of-bounds on the forum. You can shoot me a PM if you want and I'll let you know what I used.
 

Robert Ringwald

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Watched last night. The "erection" is gone. His knee has apparently been digitally removed.

Anyone else find that a little ridiculous and kind of funny? By removing it they almost admit the story is true. A christian woman files suit because the perv mistakenly thought it was a penis, when it was clearly his knee. And Disney bends over backwards to remove the "offensive" image from the movie.

I realize most people don't really care all that much, and it's certainly the least troublesome issue regarding this DVD release, but I'm annoyed at the alterations made to movies I grew up with as a child. I just find it funny that something completely inoffensive was made offensive by someone who just insisted it was "filthy." Hilarious.
 

Chuck Pennington

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I agree with DaVid's comment about which release of THE LITTLE MERMAID has the best soundtrack. I tracked down an AC-3 CAV LTB THX release of the film on Laserdisc (circa spring 1998, I believe) to compare the sound to the 1999 DVD and this new 2006 DVD. The 1999 DDD 5.1 track is far superior to the 2006 "Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix" 5.1, and to my ears the 1999 DD 5.1 track sounds better than the AC-3 on the Laserdisc as well.

For the strongest, clearest vocals I go for the 2-channel PCM surround mix on the Laserdisc, though it is largely front-heavy. There is a certain strength to the sound - especially during loud passages - that trumps both DVD releases. I didn't go to the time or expense to track down the original 1990 Laserdisc release to compare its soundtrack, though I wouldn't be surprised if it was very similar - if not identical (save for the ending credits) - to the PCM sound on the 1997 Laserdisc.

BTW - Both the PCM & AC-3 tracks on the 1997 Laserdisc - as well as the 1999 DVD - have the instrumental after "Under the Sea" replaced by "Part of Your World", though the original instrumental has been restored on the 2006 DVD. There are now restoration notes added to the credits on the 2006 DVD as well. I've got to say this much for Disney - when they redo credits, as they have now 3 times for THE LITTLE MERMAID - they match the font and speed and all VERY well - lol.

Maybe its me, but the 1999 DVD transfer actually looked like it had more flaws in processing than the 2006 DVD. Backgrounds hold and shift and "float" when the camera pans. Maybe this was due to the DVD authoring, I'm not sure.

I guess the best version that could be made with what has been released is a version with the new 2006 video transfer and the DD 5.1 audio from the 1999 DVD release with the corrected instrumental to the end of the ending credits from the 2006 DD 5.1 soundtrack. Or better yet, a PCM Stereo version from the 1997 Laserdisc with corrected ending credit instrumental from either the 1990 Laserdisc or a mixdown of the DD 5.1 from the 2006 DVD.

Hmmm.... Well, time for me to start working on this one :)
 

Chuck Pennington

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I apologize for referring to the Laserdisc as the "1997 Laserdisc" - it was based off of the 1997 theatrical reissue, but it came out on Laserdisc in March 1998. I stated the correct date at the beginning of my post, but after that referred to it incorrectly - lol - My bad.
 

Mark_TS

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Too add insult to injury, Ariel's cleavage has been digitally de-emphasised/toned-down-or so Ive read.
A quick scan of all 4 pages, and I didnt see this mentioned, but if it has been, Im sure youll pardon my ADD.
 

TonyD

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a couple people have posted in this topic about changes or removed scenes without links or anything to back up the claim or any info on were the info came from/

i guess the knee was removed.
i forgot to look when i watched the copy i rented
 

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