Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blu-ray Review of Pete's Dragon: 35th Anniversary Edition

The last time I took a visit to the fine town of Passamaquoddy was back in Episode 36 of the Disney Film Project Podcast.  And now more than a year later I’m looking at the 35th Anniversary Edition of the movie Pete’s Dragon on Blu-ray.  One of the most fantastic qualities of this new release is the color restoration of the film.  It corrects many of the problems I had with watching the DVD release last year.  The film is now more vibrant and clear, and it looks fantastic on my HD television.  Making this clearly the best version of the movie to date.

Unfortunately that’s where it ends.  The Blu-ray menu has a single static image of Elliott, Pete, Lampie, and Nora.  That’s a lot of wasted potential for what is more commonly a dynamic screen element.  The menu itself has the single redeeming quality of the colors being the green and fuschia of Elliott.  There are subtitles in English, French, and Spanish - however, there are only English and French audio tracks.  There is also no audio commentary.

The Blu-ray has 3 Bonus Features, one of which, “Brazzle Dazzle Effects: Behind Disney’s Movie Magic”, has appeared on some releases of the movie in the past.  This movie goes into some really good and enjoyable detail about how the animated and live action elements of the movie were combined.  Taking us all the way back to the 1920s with the Alice Comedies, and how instrumental Ub Iwerks was in changing the medium to help create films like The Three Caballeros, Mary Poppins, and Pete’s Dragon.  Thanks to the Sodium Vapor Process.

The second feature is a the deleted storyboard sequence: “Terminus & Hoagy Hunt Elliot”.  In this we get to see storyboards of a scene where Doc Terminus and his assistant Hoagy were plotting out the ways they would take advantage of Elliott once they capture him, but Elliot overhears.  In the final bonus feature we get to hear a demo recording of the song “Boo Bop Bopbop Bop (I Love You, Too)” set to some of the original storyboards of this movie sequence.

For lovers of the movie Pete’s Dragon itself this is a must have release for the enhanced quality of the film in high definition.  However for lovers of the Blu-ray format and its expansive range in the realm of bonus and other hidden features this release is lacking.  Fans of Elliott and his antics and the zaniness of the “evil” Doc Terminus will definitely want to own this if they’re in the process of upgrading their library like I am.

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